Pulling down the overhead, but not on my head


In yesterday’s post, I described some of the excitement in the back yard rebuild project, but without pictures. Today, the pictures.

DSC06814 before

First, a picture from some years ago, before the house was as shockingly pink as it is now. There was a substantial overhead structure, a frame covered with lattice, and overgrown with wisteria.

But over the years, the wood deteriorated, and it eventually became time to replace the overhead, as well as the deck itself. I have already blogged about the deck project.


Looking from the back door out toward the vantage point of the above picture. I have been pulling down the secondary structure for a while now, the lattice and the non-supporting crossing boards. What I did Saturday was remove the final supporting cross beams between the posts. The two I did not pull down are the ones attaching to the house itself.


Here is the same corner we see in the first picture above.


The other side of the overhead, also tied into the house.


A close-up, showing how the beam is anchored in with a bolt. It needs to come straight out, to avoid damaging the rain gutter above it, or the drain to the right.


The same beam, supported on a post until I figure out how to get it down without destroying anything, especially the house. Especially not myself.


The ears were braces against the crossing boards. I would have pried them loose, but they were really nailed in tight, so I ended up just cutting them out. Turned out to be a good thing, because I used these remaining ears to support the beams as I took them down.

The T-brackets are bolted in. All of the bolts are rusty, and many have damaged threads, so it was a lot of work loosening and removing them. They are just loose in the holes now, while I figure out what to do next.

There were also toenails between beam and post, and under the T-brackets. So once I got the brackets loose, I had to get a hacksaw blade into the gap and cut the nails.

The original beam here was twice as long — reached almost to the gazebo — but I cut it in two, and as we see, there is not a whole lot of overlap. The rope sling is just in case it should move a little, I don’t want the whole thing to come crashing down. Even if this end didn’t damage anything important, the pivot around that bolt at the other end would surely damage the house.

What happened today was that Roger climbed up on the roof above the beam, we looped a rope sling around it, and I cut it near the house with a handsaw, whereupon he lowered the cut end to the ground. We then went to the post above (we had removed one of the two bolts, so it just pivoted down), and brought down the other end, safely. Good to have it done.

With no leverage and no weight on it, the remaining stub under the rain gutter was easy.


Here’s the other beam connecting to the house. Same arrangement, but no roof to sit on while lowering it, and it’s right over the edge of the new deck and its framing, so a little harder to place ladders. But it should be possible, one of these fine days.

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