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Installing steel beams

Sometimes Even The Best Plans Have to Change

Despite the intention – that’s what plans are – any builder will occasionally have to shift gears thanks to the natural environment. Builders work hard to minimize instances where a challenge may arise, yet sometimes challenges are unavoidable. What matters is how the challenge is overcome.

We recently encountered a challenge where the massive wooden structural beams were too massive to haul up the long, steep, winding driveway. The driveway took four months to cut and build, and it or the beams would have been damaged in the process of hauling them to the job site. The solution called for a pivot.

Creative, collaborative problem solving

When the challenge became evident, we gathered the team to brainstorm a solution. We met with the homeowners and the architect to review the options.

  • Use a helicopter! Great idea. Viable but expensive.
  • Redesign the soaring great room so you don’t need them. Not a great idea. First, it doesn’t achieve the client’s vision, and second, a redesign could significantly increase the cost.
  • Since the structural materials weren’t going to be seen, i.e., exposed beams, could we change the structural materials? We turned to the architect to determine feasibility. Yes!

In this instance, we shifted from massive wooden beams to equally sound but smaller steel beams. The architect adjusted the structural plans to accommodate the steel beams, and we were back to the races.

The right way to overcome a challenge

It is rare for any builder to build a custom home without facing some sort of challenge. Yet solving for challenges that honors the vision, timeline, and budget is one of our favorite parts of the job. The key to doing it well is open communication, mutual and realistic expectations, and an earnest commitment to doing the very best we can for the client.

Installing steel beams

Installing the steel beams that alleviated the challenges surrounding the massive wooden beams.

Wooden beams and arches while building new home

The structural steel beam in place surrounded by arched trusses.

Integrity is paramount for the Sineath Construction team. Take a moment.