Steels, Trenches And Demolition!
Updated: Apr 2, 2021
At our most recent project in Brookmans Park, we have been very busy completing phase 1 - restructuring the rear of the property. This will allow us to build a loft extension and a first floor extension. These works are vital to ensure that the extra weight added above the ground floor will not impair the structural stability of the property. Steel beams are rapidly becoming the most practical way to achieve this as they are cheaper and lighter than any wood or brick built alternatives that could withstand the same amount of weight. Structural steel framework is the primary reason that skyscrapers exist after all! The incredible strength and durability that can be achieved through structural steel framework is un-matched.
We began by taking up the flooring, the floorboards and the joists, exposing the ground underneath the property. The two archways in the room were taking up more space than necessary and the customer wanted them removed, whilst also safely re-supporting the weight of the property and the extensions that are to follow. Once the ground was exposed, it was time to start digging! A trench must be made at a certain depth and width to allow the steel ground beam to be encased in concrete and sufficiently stabilized. In this case it meant digging well over a meter deep in certain places to expose the foundations of the property!
Then comes my favourite part - the demolition! The existing wall and archways were built to last - interlocking bricks and very strong mortar were used, making bringing them down a very difficult task! But after much hard work, and carefully propping up the ceiling to prevent any collapsing, the wall was down, the trench was dug and all the rubble was removed - now to get the steels in!
Our steels arrived - 5 of them, with the 2 largest measuring almost 6 meters long and weighing around 470kgs each! They were delivered by crane onto the driveway, and then very carefully moved by hand to the rear of the property and into the back room - an incredibly difficult task! Luckily, JB Carpentry Plus LTD have plenty of experience doing this! Each beam was lifted perfectly into place, before being bolted together into a box shape. This box is then lifted with genie lifts to align with the ceiling and then the ground beam is fully encased in concrete. This box will now support the weight of the entire rear of the property, including the 2 extensions to follow and was a vital part of the project.
Make sure to check in next week to see the steel framework fully completed, and to find out what happens next in phase 2!