Roof construction

When it comes to constructing a solid and reliable floor or deck, one of the crucial decisions you'll face is how to secure your joists. Two common methods for this purpose are using joist hangers or resting the joists directly on beams. Both approaches have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one depends on various factors. In this comparison guide, we'll delve into the differences between joist hangers and resting on beams to help you make an informed decision for your construction project.

The Support System


With joist hangers, the load is evenly distributed across the hanger, reducing the likelihood of localized stress points that can weaken the structure.

Installing joist hangers is relatively straightforward and can be done efficiently with the right tools, ensuring precise placement and alignment.


Joist hangers add to the overall material cost of the project, which might be a concern for those on a tight budget.

While installation is generally efficient, attaching multiple hangers can be time-consuming and may require additional labor.

If not made from corrosion-resistant materials or properly coated, joist hangers could be susceptible to rust and degradation over time, affecting their structural integrity.

A Traditional Approach


Resting joists on beams eliminates the need for purchasing joist hangers, making it a more cost-effective option for those looking to minimize expenses.

This method is straightforward and requires less intricate work compared to installing joist hangers, making it suitable for DIY enthusiasts with basic skills.

Allowing joists to rest on beams without the constraint of hangers can accommodate natural wood expansion and contraction due to changes in humidity and temperature.


Without the added support of joist hangers, there's a greater risk of joist movement over time, potentially leading to uneven surfaces or structural issues.

Joists that are simply rested on beams might not distribute loads as evenly as those secured with hangers, which can result in localized stress points.

Precise cutting and fitting of joists are required to ensure they sit securely on the beams, demanding careful attention and accurate measurements.

Factors Influencing Your Decision

If your budget is a major concern, resting joists on beams might be the more appealing option due to the cost savings associated with not needing joist hangers.

For complex structures where stability and load distribution are paramount, joist hangers offer a reliable solution that justifies the additional cost.

Your level of construction expertise plays a role. Installing joist hangers correctly requires attention to detail, while resting on beams demands precise measurements and carpentry skills.

Consider the long-term durability you require. Joist hangers, when properly installed and maintained, can offer extended stability and structural integrity.

Making the Right Choice

In the ongoing debate of joist hangers vs. resting on beams, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Your decision should be based on a combination of your budget, the nature of your construction project, your skill level, and your desire for long-term stability.

Remember, whether you opt for the convenience of joist hangers or the simplicity of resting on beams, the key to a successful construction project lies in proper planning, precise execution, and consistent maintenance. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your project goals and ensures a reliable and sturdy end result.