Block and Beam Floor Installation

Last week Barrie finished the block work up to ‘bearing level’ which is the level that supports the beams for the floor.   On Friday I received a call from Cemex to say that the beams would be ready 2 weeks earlier than I had expected and could they deliver on Tuesday!  Yes of course, let’s get started.

To prepare for the beams I had to think of some way of getting the 180 Kg beams from the front of the house to the site some 100 metres away.  I considered hiring a digger, dumper or crane but all of these options are simply too heavy for the soft ground.  Jason suggested that we could use two 500 Kg flat bed trailers and carry two at a time using the garden tractor.  Great idea, so I scoured eBay and found what appeared to be a reputable company selling just the item with delivery on Tuesday too (subject to a small fee), perfect timing!  All that was left was to ring round and muster as much help as possible.

On Tuesday Cemex arrived bright and early and used an amazing crane lifting 9 beams off the lorry at a time.  Amazing.

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Once the lorry had been unloaded of all our beams there was a seriously large pile of beams waiting for us to shift the next day.  Now to wait in for the trailers due for delivery ‘some-time’ today.

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Disappointingly, the trailers did not arrive yesterday so I need think of a plan b instead.  I started working this morning at 7 am just as dawn was breaking.  I needed to open the site, prep the garden tractor, roll up all the brickwork protection and set out the gloves and tools that we might use today.

I decided to hack the old green trailer and chop the front of the plastic away so that the beams could sit on the trailer base flat while also sitting on the newer trailer.  Hopefully it would last until the new trailers I had ordered on an ‘express’ delivery arrived today.  Shortly afterwards everyone arrived and we made a tentative start with the wobbly trailer.

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It didn’t take long to get into a rhythm and we were soon down to 5 minute rounds of loading, unloading, carrying and locating.  These beams are seriously heavy!!!

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By 12.30 pm we had moved every single beam.  Nearly 8 tonnes moved in just 4.5 hours, well done team!  A quick break for lunch and it was time to start on moving the blocks from the kerb up to the site.  Unfortunately, no trailers have been delivered yet so it looks like we are going to have to do it the slow way!  While Matt and Chad brought the blocks to the site Dad and I set about laying the blocks into the beams.  A floor is born!

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While laying the floor we discovered that some minor adjustments are needed to the ventilation under the floor so we are unable to carry on laying any more blocks.  Barrie quickly made the necessary adjustments and recommended that we leave it to set overnight.  So all we can do is tidy up and prepare to move this little lot tomorrow.

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