Cost To Install Load Bearing Beam

How Much Does LVL Beam Installation Cost?

Marwa Hasan

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) is an engineered material made of wood laminate. LVL beams cost $800 to $2,500, with a national average of $1,650. LVL is a thick plank made of layers of thin plywood glued together—they are also called micro-laminated beams. It’s less likely to warp, twist, bow, or shrink than conventional lumber.

LVL is a popular and cost-effective option for headers, beams, and edge-forming material. Whether you want to replace an old wood beam or remove a load-bearing wall, LVL makes a great option.

  • National Average cost: $1,650
  • Average Range: $800 – $2,500
  • Minimum Cost: $800
  • Maximum Cost: $2,500

How Much Does It Cost to Install LVL Beam?

LVL offers several advantages over typical lumber. Since it’s made in a factory under controlled specifications, it is stronger, straighter, and more uniform. Due to its composite nature, it is more durable and stronger than regular lumber.

While the cost to install a steel beam can be up to $5,000, an LVL beam can be a more cost-effective option that ranges in price from $50 to $200 per foot, including installation.

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How Much Does It Cost to Install LVL Beam per Linear Foot?

LVL beams cost on average $3 to $12 per linear foot for the material or $50 to $200 per foot installed. LVL beams are more cost-effective and durable than regular wood beams. LVL beams are fire-resistant, shrink-proof, and easy to install, especially in long spans.

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LVL Beam Installation Cost Breakdown

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Photo: ultrapro/ Adobe Stock

LVL beam costs vary based on many factors, such as the size and type of beam you need for your building and the labor needed to install it.


The size of the LVL beam makes a big difference in how much it costs.

Size in Inches Cost per Linear Foot
1.75 by 7.25–11.25 inches $3 – $5
1.75 by 14–24 inches $6 – $11
3.5 plus inches $10 – $12


To install an LVL beam, expect to pay $47 to $188 for installation alone for a standard-sized beam of 1.75 by 7.25 to 11.25 inches.


The span determines how long the beams you will need for support. Because of how strong it is, an LVL beam can span up to 60 feet. LVL beams’ size starts at 24 feet to 44 feet long and can go up to 60 feet. The LVL beam thickness is usually between 1.75 and 7 inches.

The price for beams that fit 10 feet of space will range from $3 to $5 per linear foot, while a 20-feet span will need a beam that costs $6 to $11 per linear foot. Consult a local structural engineer to determine the best LVL beam size for your span.

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The typical cost to repair a foundation is about $4,500, but major foundation repairs where beams or piers are added can cost $10,000 or more

LVL Beam Installation Questions and Answers

Is LVL more affordable than steel?

While LVL beams provide stronger and more durable material than regular wood, they can be more affordable than steel and concrete beams.

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Be sure that there are no cuts in the beam when installing an LVL beam. Any cut in the beam will compromise the strength of the beam.

How much does it cost to install a 20-foot LVL beam?

If you’re looking to install a beam in place of a load-bearing wall or instead of another beam. If the LVL beams are running parallel to the other floor joists, they could be in the $1,500 to $3,000 ballpark range if installed inside a house.

They can cost $3,000 to $5,000 if installed on exterior walls, depending on accessibility and utilities and what the posts are going to support.

What are the pros and cons of LVL beams?

  • Incredible strength
  • Lightweight material
  • Being an engineered product, it overcomes some disadvantages of natural lumber, such as shrinking, warping, and buckling.
  • Unique and aesthetically appealing material, different from regular wood, steel, or concrete.
  • LVL is ideal for many other structural applications such as door frames, window frames, joists, truss work, beams, and many more.
  • If it gets wet, it might rot faster than dimensional lumber.
  • Although its dimensional stability is better than solid wood, the product may result in some defects, such as warping, if it is not properly stored.
  • LVL is manufactured with strong resins, which can leave a dull, scrubby, patchy look on the surface of the product. But this can be solved by using suitable coats and paints.
  • While LVL is a great structural product, you can only use specially treated LVL and high-quality on external facade.
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Can I drill into an LVL beam?

Before drilling any vertical holes, you should consult an engineer or architect. But generally, you should avoid vertical drilling holes through LVL beams unless the beam width is at least 3.5 inches.

What is the correct LVL beam size for different spans?

LVL beams support up to 60-feet spans. The size of the LVL beams changes based on the span.

Span in feet Depth of LVL beam in inches Width of LVL beam in inches
16 7 – 8 3 inches
20 10 – 12 3 inches
24 12 – 14 4 inches