Get Ready for Beams

This afternoon we finished up the posts for the deck.

Mock beams for setting the brackets in place

We started by making dummy beams from some scrap wood we had in the yard. We screwed the brackets into the wood at the right distances for our posts, to help us set everything level and parallel.

Laying out the first beam

Then we used the laser level to find the height of the top of the columns, and cut the sonotube forms. We placed those relative to the house and packed them in with dirt to keep them in place while we put concrete in. (The other option is to use boards staked into the ground to brace it, but that was more involved than we wanted to get around the irrigation pipes.)

Beam set in place

Placing the concrete worked really well; everything just fit together nicely since we had taken the time to be careful about where things were placed. In no time at all we had the mockup beam in place and aligned.

Lining up the second beam

Once the sun went further down, we could use the laser level without having to rely on the little target mirror. We lined up the vertical line between our two reference posts and aligned the tubes for this beam to that line.

Double-checking our levels

The second beam went in quickly, faster than the first because we didn't have to figure out where our measuring reference points were. We made one last check of our levels, and the base of the beam on both sides is dead on.

Done for the weekend

And there's the finished foundations for the deck. It's almost hard to believe it's really happening.

posted by ayse on 03/11/12