Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rails and Posts and Beams

I mentioned in the last post that when I returned from Colorado, Dennis and the crew had gotten the rails up along the stairs and around the deck on the existing cabana.  As you can see in the next photos, they did a great job!
The rail around the landing at the top of the stairs.
The rail around the deck.  It is good not to have to worry about getting too close to the edge!
You can see the new wood decking is a fresher color than the old.  This is one of the things about building in Belize - they ran out of the decking and we had to wait about a year, due to the major flooding last fall, to finish the deck.  And even after it was available, the width was slightly different than what we had first.  sigh ...  So it even after it weathers in to the same color, it will still not match.
The rail as seen from the ground.  I am quite pleased with how it turned out.  Now I can also see that the concrete needs to be pressure cleaned and painted.  It's always something!
Now for the new construction project - we are finally to the stage of getting the 4 huge support posts and central beam in place.
The set up for pulling the 8x8 inch x 10ft posts up to the main level.  There is the post at the foot of the "ramp".
Dennis, Derwin, and Tiger get the rope fixed to one end of the post.
Richard and Paschal hoisting the post up the ramp with ropes.
Paschal and Derwin moving the second of the four posts.  These posts are of Santa Maria tropical hardwood that is native to Belize.  It is similar to white oak in weight but is nearly as hard as maple.
The posts that will be positioned at opposite walls.  They had to be cut at an angle due the walls not being parallel.
The end of the post was shaped so that it fits over the floor joists and rests on the concrete column below.  Here the guys are lifting it into place.
The 3 central pieces of the beam rest on a tongue in the post.  
It took several days for the 4 posts to be shaped, fitted into place, and secured once they were plumb.  Then came the construction of the beam that rests on the 4 posts, spanning the addition from front to back.  The 25 ft long beam is made of 5 layers of wood.  The 3 central layers are 2x10 inch Santa Maria and each outer layer is 2x12 inch Santa Maria.  The 3 central pieces were installed first.
The top of the beam is level with the top of the walls.   
The outer layer of Santa Maria has been installed on the beam.
The outer layer of the Santa Maria is getting a smooth finish since it will be exposed in the finished room.
This side of the beam is awaiting the final layer of Santa Maria.  Here you can see the tongue that central layers rest on with the outer layer on the far side being 2 inches wider and covering the tongue.
In the midst of all this construction, Dennis had cataract surgery in Belize City.  He has a wonderful ophthalmologist, Dr. David Hoy, who did an excellent job with the surgery. He even corrected an astigmatism at the same time.  This required 2 overnight trips to the city; one for the surgery and another for the 2 week checkup.  We flew up for the surgery, but drove for the check up.  Both times we stayed at Villa Boscardi B&B.  We highly recommend it for staying in the city.  It is lovely, clean, and in a convenient and safe neighborhood.  Check them out on Trip Advisor.

Next up will be the construction and installation of the roof trusses which is currently in progress.


  1. That is a great job Wilma with some really special looking wood.

    1. It is slowly taking shape, Roy! Thanks.

  2. You certainly have a wonderful house and the latest building project looks to be going well.

    1. Thanks - we are getting there, David. And thanks for visiting the blog!


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