Crouching Homeowner, Hidden Beam
…As opposed to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon….that’s what it felt like after being hunched over for two and half hours in our attic tonight.
Last week he had the architect come back by to assess the “situation” in the Master Bedroom after demo (found here). He suggested installing a 26 foot beam in the attic for added support where we are removing interior walls. After picking up a butt load of lumber and twice as many brackets at Lowes, we were ready to start the next step of the Master Bedroom renovation…p.s. Lowes in Cross Lanes was cheaper than the Lowes in Charleston, go figure.
Ryan bought two 16 foot 10×2’s and two 10 foot 10×2’s. The goal was to double up the boards to create a support beam for the joists in the attic. He cut one and half feet off the two ten foot boards with the circular saw. We alternated the pieces by length and nailed it all together to create a glorious albeit extremely heavy 25.5′ beam.
Nailing both 2×10’s together took a
little lot of muscle work. I wore out quickly so Ryan had to take over my half (ok, mine was more like a third, not a half…and he still had to take over- apparently I’m a weakling when it comes to 3″ nails and a hammer).
When it was all nailed together we realized we were stuck with a 25.5 foot, 4 inch thick HEAVY beam that needed to be moved to the other side of the attic….and there was only two of us.
Ryan put the back half of the beam on an old skate board he found in the attic with hopes we could slide the beam to where we needed it to go. Michelle took it one step further and put a found 3 foot piece of PVC pipe under the front part of the beam…whala! It was perfect. Our almost 26 foot beam carefully rolled across the entire attic ceiling until it reached it’s home. Obviously I don’t have pictures of this since it was just the two of us, but picture crouching thirty-something year olds, a$$’s in the air and a few foul words thrown back and forth…
We carefully hoisted the beam into place (trying to avoid falling through the ceiling) on top of the joists and flipped it into place. Ryan secured the beam with metal brackets. It took 10 nails a bracket…times 35 brackets. He was able to complete 17 brackets before his back went out (unfortunately this not abnormal). I fed him a cocktail of 2 Advil and 1 Alieve to relieve the pain. If all goes as planned we will be able to finish the remaining brackets tomorrow. I tried my best at throwing nails into those brackets, but I exerted all my energy pounding those 3″ nails into the beam. I should be of better use for the brackets tomorrow.