Well, today was a great day, as the first of the two beams that will support the second storey were installed. As hoped, I was able to do this task with 100% mechanical assist.
Alfie was able to lift the 350 lb beam over the front entrance/office, that will support the upper floor exterior east wall, close to the final location and then it was a simple matter of sliding it along the top plates.
The 320 lb beam that supports the north end of the floor trusses located over the living room was a bit more work. The biggest challenge was that the west end of this beam was to sit into a beam hanger that was to be nailed to the side of the 16″ deep lintel over the kitchen window. So it was not a simple ‘slide’ job like the first. This time I used Alfie, one of my wall jacks, and my neighbours hydraulic car jack. I also built a ‘skateboard’ to assist the effort using one the the FastCap Speed Skates I recently purchased.
As you will see in the video below, the process entailed sliding the beam through the kitchen window opening by supporting the east end with the skateboard and installing a rail along the side so the beam would not flop over. I then built a cage at the west end so again the beam would not flop over and raised one end into place using the wall jack and the other end the car jack. Once at right height, it was a simple matter to nail hanger into place to secure.
Would it have been faster to just lift in place with 3-4 guys? Absolutely, but it is hard to find labour for such a small task (beams would have taken well under an hour), and although there would be some assistance available in the neighbourhood, I really do not want to take a chance of someone hurting their back. My approach took longer but was safer, and a lot less stress. The rest of the beams are generally around the perimeter of the house, so can easily be lifted into place with Alfie, or if in the middle of the house, are quite small.
It feels great to have finished the first storey. Many, including myself, were not so sure I could do the framing by myself. But other than two minor partition walls to build around the stairs to the basement, and the garage walls that will both be raised later in the build, all of the first level framing is complete.
I should finish the installation of the beams this week and start on the floor truss layout next week. If all goes well, I should have the floor assembly wrapped up by the end of the month and start framing the second floor walls. Woo-Hoo!
Thanks for visiting!