The Steel I-Beam Arrives

Fourth in the 2014 Vienna House Project Series

Craftsman Home Vienna VA

Steel carries the load!

It is exciting when the steel arrives at a new house.

This is typical construction here in Vienna VA real estate construction to have a series of I-beams (some may say a W-beam) carry the load of the joists in the house. The steel fits into designed pockets in the concrete foundation and are supported by steel columns which stand on concrete footers in the floor of the basement. It’s all according to plan where these baby’s are going to go, so, if you are working with an architect on your new custom home then remember to make sure the columns aren’t in the middle of your cool new billiard room.

engineered joistWhen we are finished with this house, come back to this blog post and take a look at these photos (or see the photo story on Google).

The steel beams will be placed into the pockets in the concrete foundation and then attached to the steel support columns. Once these are properly bolted together and joined, the engineered wood joists will be laid in place. A band-board goes around the top of the foundation enclosing the joists.

These joists are designed to carry extreme loads over long spans and 99% of builders in Vienna use them. This technology allows modern homes to have those wide open spaces.

Carpenters prepare joists and deckingIt always amazes me when the “framers” show up and start to stick-build the house. Their work pace is rapid as they follow a carefully scripted plan of laying in the steel, adding the joists and then starting to frame the first floor walls. Although the tools and engineered material they use is high-tech, everything is still laid in place by hand after some onsite measuring and then secured together.

joists lay on steel I-Beam

Joist meet at steel I-beam

Most home building is still done on site, by hand, with a ton of sweat!

Now, as I may have mentioned before, my clients are relocating to Vienna so they aren’t here to check on things. And that’s actually how I got the idea for this construction series because I was sending them photos with brief descriptions. Since they thought it was cool seeing the progress that’s when I asked if it was okay to blog about it. What do you think?

basement in Vienna custom home

Starting to look like a room

The rest is history

In the end this won’t be another craftsman style home, but a custom home that will appeal to the market with a timeless look.

Over the next couple of blog posts you are going to see this house really take shape and look… look like a house! And over the next few months I will cover the inside finishing details and much more.

And, if I am missing something, then ask!

See More Photos!

Are you interested in seeing more photos on Google? As the project continues I am updating a Google page with a ton of photos so take a look to see where everything started and where the project is today.