Progress on putting up the BEAM!

A brief history -

The columns in the front of the house were quite rotten from being watered regularly for 20+ years. In tearing them down I discovered dry rot and insects in the main beam. So I cut the beam off and found the insects were just local but now I needed to replace the beam.

After much thought and procrastination a neighbor came by last Halloween('06) and offered to give me a replacement beam. After some hassle I got the beam, sanded it down and primered it. Finally after cutting it it came time to put it up. This is the first step of that project.

Project start
Another view

I nearly finished putting up the beam yesterday but ran into a problem. The beam won't fit into the slot as you can see in the last shot. This explains why the piece of wood in the front of the unit is bent out of shape. I suspect the original guys horsed it into place. Guess I have to cut about a 1/4 inch to widen the slot.

General construction

I solved the problem by taking about a quarter inch off the cross beam instead of the slots.
I got the whole thing up and supported by the jack posts. I'm not happy with how the beam abuts the old beam. I also need to trim some off the length of the beam.

Beam to beam problem
Cross beam
Whole beam

Final beam pictures. I got the pieces to fit together perfectly.

Whole beam

Now on to building the posts...

Added Nov 20, 2007

I finally designed the posts and began building.
Note the way the 2x6's nicely fit over the footings. Very solid.

Column Base
Nice shot of columns

I covered the column closest to the house with 3/8" plywood and caulked and screwed it into place. After looking at it I decided the column was too wide. So I built the front column smaller too see if it looked good - it did.

Smaller post base
Posts with plywood - You can't tell from this picture that the posts are different sizes.

I'm much happier with the smaller size. I then ripped down the larger post nearest the house. This turned out to be a major problem because the caulk had glued the wood together. After much hassle I finally got the plywood off and the column down.

Added March 2, 2008

Painted beam and posts

I finally got around to painting the posts. I'd been waiting for the weather to get better. I think I will be repainting the posts themselves. The final plan is to have them stuccoed but at least it nolonger looks like a construction project.

More later.