Building "off-grid"

- Main Beam Installation -
(click pictures for larger view)

New Year's Eve Eve 2005:  "Taking it easy" was sort of thrown out the window when I decided I was going to install these main beam planks alone.  2 x 16 LVL planks (special laminant boards measuring an actual 1.75" x 16") are VERY dense and HEAVY.  The (2) 14' planks for the east garage door weren't bad to lift.  The (3) 20' planks for the west garage door were definitely a challenge.  Lifting the (3) 32' planks for the main beam by myself was probably pretty stupid.  I *did* take it slow and steady, but those beams are so heavy that you can lose your balance very easily and have a plank fall right on your head.  Since my property is 600+ feet from the county road, and a mile from the nearest full-time neighbor, that sort of emergency situation could be very dangerous. So if you're going to do this sort of thing, please call a friend (or two!) to help you.

Cost:  (3) 2 x 16 x 32' beams @ $6.18/foot - delivered.  (5) jack posts @ $50.00 ea.

32' Main beam planks                                 From front to back

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View from SW                                        From back to front

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