LVL (laminated veneer lumber) beams are becoming more and more common in residential and commercial construction. This type of beam is very strong because it consists of the best fibers of a tree and, because of the laminated ply makeup (the plies are shaved from a tree, adhered together, pressed and baked), there are no knots that transmit through the entire member. Knots are weak spots in conventional lumber that you buy at the lumber store. A 2x10 LVL (actually 1 ¾”x9 ¼”) is about twice as strong as standard 2x10! But beware… most LVL’s cannot be used outside because they drink up the water which degrades the wood and the adhesives. I have designed many repairs for moisture damaged LVL’s that were not installed with the proper protection. Call us to help you plan properly ahead of time instead of calling us to help you fix a problem after the fact!