Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steely Man

Be careful!
A fun day, and not just because the Giants are now in first place in the West! The eight steel I-beams were delivered to the house today, and this time they were actually the right size. At twenty feet long and weighing in at around 300lbs apiece it was a major challenge getting them all down the hill and into their final resting places, but with lots of strong hands and some ingenuity, not to mention some amazing Bobcat skills from Ken the Excavator, we were able to get them all set before lunch.

Kenny lifts an I-beam with ease
Once the assembled masses had carried the beams down the tricky slippery slope, Kenny was somehow able to lift, cajole, nudge and drop each of the beams into the ground without once scraping or gouging the side of a pier hole, and that was no mean feat.

They're called I-beams for a good reason, aren't they?
I did ask if we could send them back and get some I-beams that weren't all rusty, but no-one was listening. Actually, I think they look rather fetching with their rust colored patina, and as they age they'll get even more homey.

Ariel, my friend and helper, admires a good morning's work
Dropping the beams into their holes isn't the end of the story, though, it's just the beginning. They still have to be raised up into place, braced carefully so that they are absolutely vertical, and then leveled so that their tops form a horizontal line. Once that's done, we'll be ready to pour concrete into the piers (most likely on Saturday morning) and soon afterwards place the pressure treated lumber.

The ever-changing front of the house
Another major change took place today: Kenny moved around the big dirt piles and began to backfill against the house, changing the skyline and the profile in a major way. The front wall of the house no longer looks so monolithic now that there's no slope in front of it, and neither does the side, where the huge pile of dirt has been flattened.

One day this will all be a garden...

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