Construction, Day 9: Placing Second Floor Beams

Interior is starting to come together.

On May 20, 2014, I began blogging about the construction of my new home in Malaga, WA. You can read all of these posts — and see the time-lapse movies that go with them — by clicking the new home construction tag.

My building will have a second floor over a four-car garage. This 24 x 48 foot space will be my home.

The builders who have been working on my place for the past two and a half weeks are providing a shell — an enclosed but otherwise empty space. The only things they’re doing for the upstairs living space are providing an unfinished (plywood) floor and stairs. They’ll also be installing the windows and doors, and providing the basic framing (but not the floor) for my deck space.

Once the floor is in place, I can begin getting bids from contractors to do the interior framing — in other words, build the interior structure of that living space. The framing needs to be done before I can move in and install the plumbing and electrical systems. So the completion of the second floor’s floor and stairs are a key milestone for moving forward with my living space.

Yesterday, they began work on the second story floor by installing two very thick laminated beams and then hanging the framing between them.

First beam Installed
The second floor will be supported by a series of laminated beams like this one.

First Beam Support
The beam sits atop a 4×6 post on either end.

The laminated beams come from the lumber supplier a bit too long for the job. The workers had to trim them to size. The scrap piece from one of them is a serious block of wood that, with a little work, would make a nice butcher-block table. I’m thinking of fixing it up for just that purpose, perhaps for the east deck where I plan to put my BBQ grills.

Second Floor in Progress
Here’s where they left off on Day 9.

Framing between the two big beams really gives the second floor some structure. I found myself getting really excited, knowing that before the end of the week, I’d be able to walk inside the upstairs space I’d soon be living in.

Angel, the lead worker, told me that Tanya from the office would be by on Tuesday or Wednesday to finalize the locations of each window. Throughout the planning process, windows have been a huge deal and I’m happy that they’re as serious as I am about getting them just right.

The crew also prepped some other beams with hangers, getting a head start on the work they’d do the next day.

Here’s the time-lapse video:

4 thoughts on “Construction, Day 9: Placing Second Floor Beams

  1. Maria, those beams are mind blowers! They have to be the single most expensive material on the job. It is really looking great. I’m not sure why you couldn’t bid the entire job at once. Will this crew be bidding on the interior too, or are they strictly structure builders?

    • It’s all about money, Mike. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for my wasband to get his head out of his ass and pay me the money he owes me for my share of our house. I might not have enough to finish the job so I’m doing it in phases and will keep working on it until I run out of money. Worst case scenario, I roll the mobile mansion inside for the winter and live in a box inside a box. I’m hoping this divorce crap is resolved before then, though. There comes a point when you simply can’t wait for the person trying to hold you back to let go.

      Every step of the interior will be separately bid out and done. I’m the general contractor for that and will do the electricity and water myself, along with some other things.

  2. I’m so excited to see the progress. And yes, those beams are magnificent. Good idea to save and use the leftovers, that’s for sure.

    And no, the ex isn’t holding you back at all, IMO… maybe slowing you down a little, but that’s it. You’re working it out and moving forward regardless of whatever he’s trying to do, even if it means you just need to create a different plan. You’re still moving forward. :-)

    Love watching this develop, and I’m so, so excited and happy for you. :-)

What do you think?