Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Beams' Work Is Done

Today's work wasn't dramatic.
It was, however, noteworthy.

Yesterday the house was lowered so that the outer walls rested on the foundation. But steel beams still supported the joists under the center of the house.  This morning Jeff Sparks and crew completed the center wall that will form one side of the stairway and provide center support for more than half of the floor joists. They also cut and filled sections of the sill where the existing -- 85 year old -- walls didn't quite meet the new -- and level -- foundation.

A 2x6 wall runs east/west through the basement.
It will be the south support  for joists that need to be cut  to make a stairway.

The floor on the back porch was built with a slope to it.
To properly support it tapered sill plates were custom-cut  and installed

LVL headers were installed to create permanent entry-ways through both the north wall to
the addition [which is shown above], and the west wall to the front porch.

Then the lowering was completed. The cottage  -- including a very heavy fireplace and chimney -- is now resting on the foundation and basement supports that will hold it in place for decades to come. Then thousands of pounds of steel and hundreds of crib components needed to be removed from the basement.

It was important that the new fireplace foundation was fit carefully under the existing brickwork.
Concrete shims were placed above the foundation.
The openings through which the beams pass will be filled with block after beams are removed.
Twelve beams and four cribs remained in the basement once the load was removed.
The picture above shows the south-east corner of the basement.
Removing the beams presented various challenges since the lot is quite narrow and new walls limited  the maneuverability of the beams. The Deitz Crew adjusted the height of the beams so they could be pulled through the openings in the foundation. Then, one by one the beams were pulled through the basement wall.

Some of the openings were quite small and required beams to be removed straight out.
The distance the excavation extended away from the house
prevented equipment from getting close to the wall.
Eight of the twelve beams made it out from under the house today.
Each one of the beams was carried back down the long driveway back to a waiting truck at the road.

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