Beam Me Up!

The last time we took a look at the beginning of the new house, it looked like this . . .

Due to weather conditions, and the builder working on another house up the bayou, the pilings stood there tall and strong waiting for our home to be built upon them.  They were patient and steadfast.

And early in the morning, watching the sunrise break behind our home site, my eyes beheld this lonely sight . . .

those faithful pilings still waiting out there in the foggy morning.  On my way inside to get more coffee, I thought I heard the sound of a woodpecker.  There near the front yard on the utility pole, was a red-bellied woodpecker hammering away.  Soon after, I heard much louder hammering coming from the backyard.

Turns out it was two men were back there knocking the bracing off the pilings in preparation for the next building step.  Woo hoo!  I was excited!

That would be the notching out of the pilings.  This little guy had one of those looking glass thingies on a tripod that showed him some kind of level line.  He started with the shortest piling and got his height set and he commenced to cutting with that chain saw.  Chain saw?  That’s right.  What other kind of saw would go through a 10-inch by 10-inch piling?  Certainly not a circular saw.  I guess an old fashioned two-man saw, but who uses those any more?  I was quite impressed with his skills.  I’m not sure how he got those lines so straight, but they must be perfect to receive the upcoming beams.  I didn’t ask him how many times he’s done that, but he certainly has done it a time or two before.

And he did them all, nice and neat and straight and level and plumb.  I was very pleased.

Here they are . . . all ready for the beams that are coming up next.  At this point, there is no “sky lift” to raise these 26-foot long, 4-inch x 12-inch beams.  I have no clue what they weigh, but I know they are heavy.

The two guys broke for lunch and were soon joined by another work crew and Miah with his lunch box and peanut butter sandwich (which he made himself!).   (What is wrong with my camera is what I was asking myself at this point. )

I had a few things to do inside, and before I could say, “Beam Me Up Scotty” those guys somehow managed, with their bare hands and strong backs, to get all those beams up on the pilings.

Fortunately, I got back out there with my camera just in time to see how they did it.

Six of them carried the beam from a pile off screen to the right, and then hoisted it onto the scaffolding.  Then they very carefully hoisted it up into the notches and held it there while one of them drilled holes with the biggest drill bit I’ve ever seen on the end of a gas motor drill, which I’ve never seen before.By mid afternoon, the pilings all had beams bolted on.  Now, the beams lie atop the pilings, waiting to be joined by their joists.

Since then we have had rain, and my understanding from my builder is that he doesn’t like to start “blacking in” unless he has several consecutive days without rain so that none of the decking gets wet.  Well, I appreciate that, but I am sure ready to get a move on with this house.

Let’s go ahead and order the materials for the next step AFTER the joists, because you are going to be in for a big BW surprise when you see what it is!

Thinking my camera needs a professional cleaning,

and anxious for the weather to cooperate,


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  1. Termite now has the perfect place to run a clothes line for all his hunting gear! No more dryer break downs! LOL!
    I sure hope the weather starts to cooperate. For construction and clothes hanging.

  2. Maybe you will get some dry weather for a change. We got hit tonight with large hail, rain and a series of small tornados. Sure was glad it finally passed over.
    So far, only minor injuries reported to the east of us.

  3. I just was looking at the forecast and it looks like beginning on Monday there will be a good stretch of weather – 4 or 5 days – with clear and dry behind a frontal passage. Let’s see – tomorrow’s Thursday. That’s not SO long 😉

    This is just so interesting. The pilings that were put in place and then abandoned next to the FEMA trailer in my raise-high-the-floor-beam post are finally fitted out with joists, decking and such, but those guys had to bring in every sort of machinery to lift beams and lift themselves from here to there.

    Of course, your crew might appreciate some of that machinery, too, but it sure is neat to see their skill and strength. When I was a kid in Iowa I had the chance to go to a couple of Amish barn-raisings. It’s amazing to see living traditions in action!

    1. Well, one of the reasons my pilings sat so long is because the builder owns one “sky lift” which is in use at the house he is building up the bayou. He said if I could wait until they were finished with it, it would save me $2500 in rental fees. I’m all about saving a penny, so I agreed to wait. But these young guys were amazing. There was a lot of grunting involved and a few swear words, but they certainly got it done without the sky lift. Scaffolding and backbone was all it took. The builder wasn’t here, so I wonder if he is as impressed as I am? I am going to email you later! BW

    1. Well, I hope you can come back often because I plan to post every step of the way. By the way, you seem to have a lot of photog. business. How much competition do you have? There are at least a dozen new portrait photogs in our nearest town now. Population about 108,000. There are probably two dozen total. How does that compare to where you are?

  4. Be glad you aren’t up here in this rain and nasty weather. Since Christmas Eve I’ve had to use 4wd to get in and out of our driveway. Last night Coach got his Dodge buried up to the doors in the driveway and had to use the tractor to get the truck and my Jeep down to the road so we could get out this morning. The mud was thigh high when I went out to chore. The ground gurgles, weirdest sound ever. I’m really excited for you and can’t wait to see the next step! I’m trying to convince Coach we need to take a road trip this summer!!!!

  5. Louisiana reconstruction period, Hmmmm…. that sounds familiar somehow. Watch out for dem dere yankee carpetbaggers! They been infiltrating the lines lately.

    Ya realize how wonderful next Christmas is going to be? Its a great life if ya just don’t weaken.

    Contractor is here today yanking out the breaker box and “re-wiring”, Looks to be a 2 hour job with a lunch break, but I have the igloo full of ice just in case. LOL. Contractors and Politicians, one’s a natural liar and the other has extra schooling to do it right.