These are the building blocks that are specially designed to carry and distribute the load across the floor width. Bearers are the timber or steel and are attached directly to the stumps in the ground.


Joists are laid in the opposite direction of bearers. Both work in collaboration to provide additional support to the whole structural thing. Once they are joined at the top of the bearers, the floorboard is ready to get attached to the top.

Laid in the opposite direction to bearers, this part works in tune with them, using them to provide additional support to the structure. This attribute joins the former to give a smooth and safe surface. Once both of them are joined, you can align the timber floor system at the top.

Bearers and Joists Length And Thickness

An average length and thickness of these important attributes must be examined by the engineer you are hiring. It also depends on what you are constructing, a home or a multi-storey building. Moreover, what you can do here is that make sure you check the below-given points in the drawing of your granny flat –

  • Have a building inspection and Check if the design is structurally strong, long-lasting, safe, compliant, and functional.
  • See if the granny flat is built in such a way that is suitable for the foundation of your land.
  • check if it will withstand all the stress and pressure for a lifetime.

What Are Bearers and Joists In A Building?

While building a new foundation, there are two common techniques.

  1. Concrete slab
  2. Bearers and joists system

Usually, the houses that are built on a steep site use the 2nd technique to gulp in various changes in the inclination of the site. They usually use timber or steel bearers to connect to the brick piers in the ground. Here, both the attributes are placed in the opposite direction.

Why Are Bearers and Joists Essential to the Structure of Your Home?

Bearers and Joists Essential to the Structure of Your Home

The heroes of this article are solely responsible for the basis of the home. They are essential and are placed for safety purposes.

Let’s get into the detailed benefits –

  1. Cost-effective for a long run – Whilst thinking about implementing this technique, extra expenses attaches directly. However, this is considered to be your smart move because it will mitigate the other problems like drainage issues, heavy retaining walls, extensive landscaping and much more.
  2. The Natural slope will complement your house – Implementing this technique will allow you to establish your house in the natural slope of the land. This will mitigate the need for deep excavation that can disturb essential ground levels.
  3. No harm to the exterior façade – While implementing this, you can enjoy the height of your home, the outlooks around, good ventilation, beautiful backyard, and natural breezes.
  4. Mitigates flood damage – Australia’s one of the specialty is its unpredictable weather. Therefore, Having this technique implemented in your home saves you from the risk of flood damage as this technique lifts your home off the ground and allows the water to flow without blocking.

What Australian Standards Need to be Checked Carefully When Inspecting?

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission is very clear with the standard guide. If the distance among those members and the partition exceeds 3mm and that distance is not filled with load-bearing shims, the construction is considered defective.

Depending on the shape and age of the home, research into the placement of both the things reveal a few complicated issues. The protection of you and your family is paramount, so make sure that your constructing inspector dedicates time to analyze those elements. If you’re constructing a home, make sure that you have selected a good builder who is familiar with those requirements.


In conclusion, the basis of the whole story is that if you are going to construct a new home, you must go for this implementation for the additional support. They will keep the foundation strong and you will be tension-free for a long time. I know it will be a bit expensive, but trust me you will not regret it. And after all, it is the matter of your dream home. I don’t think you should compromise here at least.


Frequently asked questions

1. How are Bearers and Joists Fixed Together ?

Usually, both the things are simply nailed together by using a nail gun.

2. What size should bearers be?

These need to carry the burden of the whole structure and whatever is placed on the pinnacle of it, so they need to be very strong. A 140×45 treated pine bearer will generally do the trick. Every 1.2 metres, a 90×90 H4 treated pine post can be needed.

3. How far should bearers be apart?

The posts for these start a bit in from the ends and then they are spaced about 1600mm. Joists are usually spaced 450mm. Bearers are spaced aside at 1730mm

4. Do I need bearers and joists for a deck?

If you want to create your personal deck, familiarity with the components is very important. They are the timbers which are connected to the posts that assist the structure and the joists are found throughout the home. By this, the decking boards are connected.

5. Do bearers and joists run in the same direction?

The timber bearers rest on pinnacle of the piers and generally run towards the direction of the longest wall. Joist floors are laid in the opposite path.

6. What material is commonly used for bearers and joists?

Bearers and joists are generally made of wood, steel or a mixture of the 2

7. What is the best wood for floor joists?

The common varieties of wood you’ll need to make ground joists and finish the construction are Douglas fir, hemlock, redwood, and southern yellow pine.

8. What are the two types of joists?

There are 4 primary varieties of joists utilized in light frame construction.

  • Floor joists
  • Rim joists.
  • Deck joists
  • Ceiling joists

9. What do floor joists sit on?

The floor joists rest on the sill plate, even as the middle part rests on the primary support. The primary support itself is held up by massive support columns established every few feet.

10. Is it OK to drill through joists?

Here is the rule for drilling through the joists –

Put holes in it anywhere across the length. However, you cannot put them closer than 2 inches from both the edge of a joist. The max to max size of a hole is one-third the depth of it.

11. Do floor joists have to sit on a beam?

They ensure correct load distribution and need to be fit properly to fulfil the load paths. Ideally, if a load-bearing wall is parallel to floor joists, then it must sit over a beam.