The first step in supporting a ceiling is to find the joists. To do this, look at the ceiling from below. If you can see the joists, then you are good to go. If not, you will need to cut a hole in the drywall (sheetrock) and look for them.
Once you find the joists, measure their distance apart and make sure they are spaced appropriately for your application. In most cases, they should be 16 inches on center.
But if there are support beams in place or if you are building a large deck or something similar, then they may be spaced differently. You can use a stud finder to locate these beams as well and see how they affect your spacing requirements.
Next, measure up from the floor where the beam needs to go (or down from where it will come out of the wall if it is going into one). Then measure down from that point along each of the joists until you reach an area where there are no other obstructions.
This will be where you can secure your support beam with a lag screw through each of its holes into each of those joist holes so that it does not move at all when weight gets placed on it from above (see image below).
Last modified: November 2, 2022