Saturday, 21 December 2013

Micropreneur versus venture funding who wins you decide update

Just a quick update on the Kevin Taylor versus The Goliath (Seedcamp) battle, no clear winner as yet, probably need a couple more years to see who gets the upper hand.

In the red corner are my sites - ranks as follows;


In the blue corner are the September 2013 Seedcamp sites, Alexa ranks as follows;


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Find out why our new website can save time and money

To find out how our new website can save you time and money, please take a look at our latest blog post here

Friday, 27 September 2013

Micropreneur versus venture funding who wins you decide

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I would see if me as a bootstrapping micropreneur could compete against a the latest intake of venture funded businesses from incubator

The only thing I could think to compare between websites, was to look at the rank as this is the only easily available public data I could find. The lower the alexa rank the better, for example has a rank of number 1, number 2 (i.e. the second most popular website), a smaller site might have an alexa rank of 1,000,000 etc.

My site website has an alexa rank of 469,656

Latest seedcamp intake alexa ranks as follows;

269,825 sharelatex
1,140,521 teddytheguardian
9,869,951 winnow solution

Only gopixel and sharelatex have a higher alexa rank than steel beam calculator so far, I will review this data every 3 months to see who wins, I expect 1 or 2 of the seedcamp to do better than me and the rest will probably fail. The site I launched yesterday has an alexa rank of 9,764,199, so it will be interesting to see how that one performs.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

New website launched today


I launched a new website today -
the quick and easy way to get your Steel Beam Calculation Reports

Lots of great features including;

Great Value

Only £29 per calculation report, we will not be beaten on price

Building control

Accepted by building control departments


We offer an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee

Free Support

We provide free technical support to all our users

Just select the calculation type and fill in the simple online form, make a secure payment online and we will email your calculation report within just 3 working days. 


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Top Structural Calculation Rescources

Tata (formerly Corus) "blue book", provides section properties and member capacities of steel sections to Eurocodes and British Standards;

Approved Document A, gives standard details which are deemed to meet the structural requirements of the Building Regulations, the details are just one way of achieving compliance and other equally valid methods may be used. The previous 1992 edition has some useful timber span/load tables which have been omitted from the 2004 edition.

Free Padstone Calculator;

Free Standard Beam to Beam Connection Details and Beam Splice Connection Details;

Standard Chimney Gallows Bracket Detail;

US Document showing how loads are applied to beams

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Do I need a steel goal post arrangement?

Generally if the masonry in a structure complies with the requirements of Approved Document A you won't need steel posts, as the masonry will be sufficient to provide stability to the structure.

It is difficult to summarise the requirements of Approved Document A, but as brief summary if you have walls on four sides the plan area should not exceed 70m2 or if you have walls on three sides the area should not exceed 36m2 (see Diagram 5), provided you meet the requirements of Approved Document A, the structure won't need additional steel posts. Doors and window openings should not exceed the dimensions as specified in Diagram 14.

If the proposed building does not comply with requirements of Approved Document A, we would recommend that you contact a suitably experienced Structural Engineer to carry out an assessment of the structure.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Joel on Software debate

I am just engaging in a debate on the Joel on Software discussion group, not sure if it will helpful, but willing to give it a go, hopefully my trademark honesty will help, just hope the trolls don't spoil it. Could be a good learning experience.

See link -

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

We are looking for mentor?

We are a fast growing Internet company based in Derbyshire and we are looking for a mentor who can help us grow our business, if you think you would be able to help please contact us.

Our websites are;

Monday, 17 June 2013

Steel Beam Calculation Examples

I have put some great examples of how to design steel beams on this website;

Example 1 shows twin steel beams supporting a cavity wall

Example 2 shows a steel ridge beam

Example 3 shows a steel beam supporting a flat roof

If you have any further examples you would like me to add, please just let me know and I will see what I can do.

Diagrams look very poor in Internet Explorer but are OK in Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Video showing how to design a steel beam

YouTube video showing how to design a steel beam using an online steel beam calculator

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Steel Beam Calculator Ltd

Are you a Building Surveyor, Building Designer, Architectural Technician, Architect or Engineer that needs a more efficient way to design steel beams? Our online steel beam calculator will enable you to design steel beams quickly and easily.

Is your construction job being delayed by the need for costly beam calculations, if so this innovative new product from Steel Beam Calculator Ltd may be able to help you get back on track. takes the waiting out of calculating.

It is an instant and easy to use programme which designs in accordance with the most advanced eurocodes. For a minimal investment, the detailed calculations in some instances can reduce steel requirements by over a quarter allowing efficient delivery and installation. The benefits of the steel beam calculator is now being experienced on hundreds of building projects across the UK and has been used by hundreds of users over the last 26 months, tried and tested.

The free demo version allows users to design beams with a span length fixed at 1 metre.

The full version allows users to design and check simply supported universal beams, universal columns and parallel flange channels for spans up to 10 metres in length. For the introductory price of £50 for 6 months unlimited access, the full version allows you to:

* Run unlimited calculations for beams up to 10m in length.
* Add custom text to the PDF report (e.g. customer name/address job number etc)

Benefits of the steel beam calculator include:

  • Great value for money, unlimited access costs from just £50 and the steel beam calculator can be used as many times as you like during that subscription period.
  • Designs in accordance with the most advanced Eurocodes, which in some instances can reduce steel requirements by over a quarter when compared to British Standards.
  • Generates a detailed PDF report accepted by Building Control Departments.
  • Quick and easy to use.
  • Create Steel Beam Calculations from anywhere, from your PC, Mac, iPad or SmartPhone
  • No software to download, it's all done from the website
  • Free technical support provided
The structural calculations produced by the calculator comply with the latest European Design Codes and are suitable for UK Building Regulation Approval. The unique feature of this product is that it allows users to select loads from drop down menus speeding up the design process and the accuracy of the calculations.

YouTube video showing steel beam calculator designing a steel beam


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Kevin Taylor - Rebel Scum??

This is a blog post written by Glen Cooper (another Engineer) about me, enjoy (well I did);

It’s becoming easier to be Rebel Scum
Last post I mentioned Kevin Taylor. A structural engineer who has worked his way through engineering technician status, had a long stint checking calculations for a local authority, and now busies himself with running his own one-man-band engineering practice [+ sub consultants].
Since posting up the links to his engineering websites to my [blog], I have had the opportunity to briefly chat with him on the telephone. I asked a few questions, like about how and why he is trying to push into a predominantly web based market? Also, I enquired as to how his business was fairing – at this stage.
A summary of Kevins’ online ventures can be found within the [links] at the end of my last post.
What drew me to Kevin’s online [businesses] was his apparent disregard for formalities. Paying no homage to the tried and tested business plans, which exist within smaller structural and civil engineering enterprises. The man has a plan, and it appears that he is not afraid to journey into the unknown, just to see what happens.
As you can imagine – I’m loving that. As an engineer, designer, creative and fledgling entrepreneur… I’m loving that adventurous spirit.
Please do not misunderstand me, Kevin obviously has thought long and hard before committing time and money to his ventures. Citing business and engineering role models such as Chris Wise, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and Bill Gates, Kevin appears to have transferred our trade mark engineering ‘have a go’ attitude into his businesses too.
The question is; will the time spent, pay off for him? To put it in Kevin’s words “Time will tell” and “I didn’t go into this expecting immediate results”. Good man.
What I think is that this form of engineering business style is only the beginning. Since the established ‘mini-me’ consultancy paradigms seem to rely [in part] upon following the same analogous route of putting in time, leveraging connections, earning your stripes [blah, blah], and making the most of any opportunities thrown our way, it is only logical that small companies like Kevin’s, will grab more and more ground through guerilla style marketing techniques. Or indeed, they will evolve in such ways so that the limitations in growth set by the larger, established engineering and construction companies become insignificant, and easy to circumnavigate.
Another question we should be asking ourselves as engineers is, what are we physically doing to reinforce or break down the status-quo of our industries historical business practices here? Why is it becoming easier to rebel, and who stands to benefit from the ensuing anarchy?
From my personal viewpoint – so long as we have strive for ingenuity and ethical behaviour; we are professionally capable, knowledgeable, AND we do not expose ourselves, our clients and benefactors to unesseccary risks… then innovation will out itself eventually. So change is a foot, and is a good thing.
  • Why is it easier to rebel? The long tale has become unsettled, and is begging for change. Faster, more pervasive communication is readily available.
  • Who stands to benefit? We all do. Even those who stand to loose the most, will gain a newly motivated, educated and business-like workforce.
So what is standing in the way of change? I could say tradition. I might even be tempted to utter the word loyalty. Loyalty to a business paradigm which non-longer deserves our undying faithfulness to it.
The problem with both of those words, is with what value do you attach to them? Especially when your business is cracking up, or you are being pushed from one redundancy package to another. Or indeed, you can’t even seem to give your time away to a local engineering consultancy, just so you can flesh out your CV, in readiness for better times.
Times are not good for the long tail… or are they?
I finished my last blog by remarking that I was scared, and I also invited the readers of this blog, to pose an answer as to why this might be the case. No comments back. But that’s OK, because I am quite happy to reveal to you my thoughts.
There is an entrepreneurial spirit out there, amongst us engineers. With every new business start-up, the owners dreams [like seeds] are being cast upwards and outwards in the hope that they will land fortunately, and germinate in a nutritious environment.
The truth is, there really is no fertile soil left. We have over farmed this particular field.
Yes, Long tails like Kevin can survive in a less than welcoming environment, and represent the metaphorical localised testing of new ‘super crops’. Unfortunately though, it is still far too easy to remain on the sidelines, to criticise, to abstain from providing support and to apply the ‘if I had a time machine’ retort to each and every venture we witness.
I’m scared because, what Kevin needs is support. Support from his clients and from his peers. But will he get it? Only the remaining engineering long-tails can answer that. That’s you and me [of course].
As you know, I launched a small collaborative effort which has only cost me time, energy and the sharing of another idea from my mind. An experiment; the results of which are expected to help me plan my next engineering endeavour. By the way, please keep coming back here and supporting me where ever you can!
I really appreciate the emails and messages through LinkedIn. They all keep me going.
To finish off I would like to leave you with this cool reminder. We do make a difference to each others lives, careers, futures. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are on your own in this world. There are always people out there who can help you – should they choose to.
So give innovation a go. Kevin is.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Eurocodes versus British Standards for Steel Beam Design

Comparing Eurocodes v's British Standards for Steel Beam Design;

If we take an example of a steel beam with a span length of 4m, supporting a timber floor in a domestic dwelling with a tributary load width of 4m.

When designing to Eurocodes the variable load factor is 1.5 and the permanent load factor is 1.35, to British Standards these factors are 1.6 and 1.4, so designing to Eurocodes automatically gives us an approximate reduction in loadings of 5%. Taking into consideration these safety factors the calculated bending moment to EC would be 24.98kNm and to BS 26.61kNm.

The buckling capacity of a beam is calculated differently for BS and EC, and the EC method is less conservative. Hence for the above loading scenario to EC a 178x102x19 UB (19kg/m) would be adequate, but to BS a 203x133x25 UB (25.1kg/m) would be required. Designing to Eurocodes would save 32% in steel, nearly a third, which is good for builders backs and the environment.

So if you want to design steel beams in accordance with the latest Eurocodes, just take a look at our online Steel Beam Calculator

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Beam Splice Connection Details

Just added some free steel beam splice connection details on our beam calculator website;

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Down with Rools why Structural Engineers Suck!

In engineering and architecture our worst self-inflicted injuries are our rules… of practice that mean we could probably take out half the material from our building structures and they would still be high performers.

To put it another way…if Usain Bolt was a building, his legs would become treetrunks in case he was struck by an earthquake, his gold shoes would be covered in intumescent paint in case they caught fire, and his shirt would be air conditioned in case the poor dear got heat stroke.

Where’s the sense in that? Good design is more than skin deep so designers pride themselves on making something beautiful inside as well as out.

Ah…if only that was true. In reality, most of our creations contain great swathes that are worse than useless….a plethora of plastic, foam, steel, brick, textile or gel that performs absolutely no useful function except denuding the earth of its resources.

And if we are determined to shag ourselves into overpopulation and material poverty, we need at least deal to stop shooting ourselves in the foot (admittedly a difficult act to pull off at the same time).

Kevin (words via Chris Wise, I agree though!)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Free Demo - Steel Beam Calculator

For a free demo of our online steel beam calculator, just visit these websites;

For UK customers;

For US customers;

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What are the benefits of our online steel beam calculator?

What are the benefits of our steel beam calculator?

* Create Steel Beam Calculations from anywhere, from your PC, Mac, iPad or SmartPhone

* No software to download, it's all done from the website

* Design steel beams quickly and easily, reduce stress and save time

* Free support provided

For more information please visit our websites;