Joist Hanger Load Rating Explained

Joist hanger load ratings are an important factor in choosing the joist hangers that are right for your project. These little metal connectors are what anchors your joists to the frame in your ceiling, floor, or deck. There are three important factors to help you choose the load rating you need.

The Application

Load ratings are specific to how the joist will be used after the hanger is installed. The load ratings reflect the use; most hangers give load ratings for conditions including snow, roof, and floor.

Choosing between Labels

If you will be using a joist hanger for roofing, select one that is rated for sloped applications. If you live in a cold climate, you should choose the "snow" rating for your maximum load—notice that the snow rating is always lower than the roof rating, to account for extra weight.


Uplift represents any force that will try to separate or push away joists, such as wind or earthquake. The uplift portion of the load rating describes the joist's ability to take these forces and distribute them throughout the frame, increasing the safety of your home. Those living in hurricane or earthquake zones should purchase joist hangers with higher uplift ratings