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The beam will span 8' between columns supporting 5' long rafters?
Yes, I will be answering your question about the beam, but I need to clarify your information. You said it will extend 5' off the house, which implies the rafters are 5' long. I need to make sure we're on the same page with everything so I give you the best answer.
Great. Thank you. Give me a few minutes to run some numbers
You will need a double 2x10 southern pine no. 2
As the beam? A 6x8 is not typically used as a beam
A single 6x8 will not be as good as a double 2x10. A 6x8 is classified as a timber, and timbers have much lower allowable stresses than dimension lumber. You could use a double 3x8
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