Wednesday, 23 September 2009

How to put a roof beam on.....

First of all you get a big beast of a machine. Then you go pick up a huge beam of wood. Meanwhile your team members are up on the roof itself playing goats. Fleet of foot they have to be, plus sure of foot as well. Because that beam is going to get lifted up onto the roof:

...and it is really better not to get in the way.

So you lift the beam up with your machine but have to swivel it round so that it can be in line with the roof beam that is supposed to be laying dead square on the wall that has just been built but isn't because the wall has fetched up not in the right line. Not to worry. At least a bit of it is perched on the wall: a bit like sitting half a buttock on the seat of a chair.

Now you have to be careful to do this action slowly so your fellow team members can get out of the way of the beam. This might require a bit of French vocals, but all is said in the spirit of comradery. I think.

So then you notice that the beam, which is now parallel to the other beams, is at the wrong angle on the lifting arm thingy. So you have to stop your big machine, dismount, and go do some arm waving and French talking to your team member up on the walls, to tell him to turn the beam over.

This he doesn't seem to want to do. And says so, as can be seem by the graphic arm movements he is making. However, even sterner sounding words are emitted from the man on the ground, and since he is the one who pays the wages, the man on the wall walks onto the the middle of the wall, and turns the beam over. Then ducks, as the beam is brought into a better alignment. The other team member does a nimble step over the beam as it heads in his direction, then the beam is dropped into place, but only after some frantic chipping away of the walls is done because the original placement wasn't quite right.

And that is how you put a roof beam up. So now we have the right hand side of the house all beamed out. Not only that, but today saw the cross beams put on. Every single one of these rafters was personally man handled up onto the roof by the two team members of yesterday. No big machine today.

I think the house looks a bit odd at the moment: very new and very old. It will take a long time before the old and the new will sit comfortably together. SHRRRRRREEEAAAAKKKKKSSSSS. HORRORRRRRRRSSSSS!!!!! Oh you wouldn't believe this but a flipping mouse has just walked up the stone wall beside my PC. Half way up it got. I have put up with all sorts of insect life coming out of the walls, (they are cob walls by the way, made up of river stones, uneven and full of little hidey holes) but ...oh dear. And now Lester wants to go off to bed so I am going to have to shut down as well, because I am not afraid of a mouse, but I don't want to be in the Hutto (Hut Office)......crikey, oh crikey, its just gone up the wall again. And now Hubs has gone to get a broom to 'shoo' it out. Bye for now. I'm off somewhere else.

Oh this is the roof from inside the kitchen. Ooops. I'm gone!


TheChicGeek said...

My goodness, Vera! You are a wonder! I am so impressed with your building skills! When you are finished you are not going to know what to do with yourself...LOL

Have a Happy Day!

PS: Thanks for bringing me good cheer yesterday! I appreciated your kind words very much :D

DUTA said...

Hi Vera,

I'm impressed by how you're involved in every stage of the building process.
When all is done, you should write a book with tips for those embarking on a similar adventure to that of yours.

Vera said...

Well, ChicGeek, I will feel very happy when this building work is finished, although I am not sure what I shall write about! But I am always up to some nonsense or other, so no doubt writing fodder will come my way.
Glad you were cheered up by my words.

Vera said...

I am a watcher, Duta, which means that I am alert to what is happening around me, hence my alertness to the builders.
I will put together the blogs of our early days here eventually but will probably leave them as a block of writing on my web site, but thanks for the thought.

Land of shimp said...

Vera, you're a stronger woman than I. When we put in a roof beam, I pulled a Brave-brave-Sir-Robin ("When danger reared its ugly head, he proudly turned around and fled, brave, brave Sir Robin!").

Actually, I watched from across the street, nervously. It is an ominous sight. It's also best not to dwell on incidental things, like the workings of gravity.

Your home is coming along gangbusters, and the stories you share about it are amusing, and interesting. Thanks for sharing them!

Vera said...

I am amazed at the way in which the roofers clamber all over the roof: sure footed and with speed. They have been working on the roof for months, although the house is really a cottage so isn't very high. And I felt exactly the same as you did, Land of Shimp, when the big beams have been put in. But I don't go 'across the street' - I gently chew on my fingers!
Thanks for visiting, and for your comments. I am glad you enjoy the stories.