17 August 2011
They say to write a good story there must be a hero, a great challenge and some kind of dramatic change or outcome...
Sometimes there’s nothing scandalous to report – just good, steady tradesmen lumbering along, getting a job done.
They say to write a good story there must be a hero, a great challenge and some kind of dramatic change or outcome. This story has none of those. But never mind. In fact, the more I think of it the better it sounds that this is a possibly boring story about the framing stage of construction on this home. Especially if it were my home under construction.
I’d be comforted to know there were no nail-biting moments of dangerous suspense (the worker’s compensation board would probably appreciate this, too). If it were my home I’d be happy to know that no surprises, hick-ups or death-defying antics occurred.
I’m sorry I have no drama or intrigue to share. Instead, the framing is humming along without critical delays or mishaps. The sun has been shining and boards are going up, studs are being nailed in place, steel beams are now bolted and I can even walk up and down the rough staircase without incident. All very boring. Precisely as I like it.
We did, though, have a high point today when the mobile crane came to hoist the two-storey library walls into place – from laying horizontally on the dirt to their final position reaching skyward in the vaulted library (or, ‘man cave’ as some are calling it) at the front of the house.
I hadn’t witnessed this ‘tip up’ process before and I watched with great curiosity as the crane whined and winched massive walls – up, up. The sun seared as we squinted skyward at the dangling skeleton walls. Over the growl of the diesel engine one could barely detect the creaking wood and nails as the crane persuaded the walls into position. A few knocks with a hammer and a mighty-high ladder climb to unhook the chains and voilà!, the walls were up.
Even though there was no drama to speak of, a dizzying number of things could’ve gone wrong. Like, for example, no one knew if the chain suspending the towering walls would stay in place – or would it slip causing the whole structure to collapse into a heap of sticks – or worse, fall onto someone below. But happily, no drama came to pass.
If I saw the words grace and crane together in a sentence I’d usually assume the topic to be birds or origami. But not this time, for today I witnessed a crane operator somehow command these unwieldy skeleton collections of boards and nails into place with a bizarre grace. This is particularly so considering these giant beams and boards have weights, balances and wild swinging tendencies only a (theoretical) mother could intuit. Yet, Mr. Grewal eased our beams and walls into position without mishap or even gasps of suspense. Completely uneventful. Very boring indeed. Yes, it was a perfect day of framing.