I got up early this morning, earlier than usual, but not early enough, neither to have my morning coffee, nor to walk the dog. The second I walk downstairs, two trucks pull up out front. Those guys get up early, really early, 4:30am one of them told me.
But there I was to open the door for them, that's when the excitement began (don't worry, eventually I did got my morning coffee, and the dog did get walked, too):
It was 6:45am they walked through the door, and an hour later the massive steel beam spanning the length of the building was lowered to the ground, in one piece, and Gunk Haus didn't make a sound (confirming the theory everybody had, that the steel beam didn't do diddley squat).
... and out the door, er window, it went ...
Now that was easy, and we already thought at that rate those guys would be done come 10 o'clock. Here comes the new beam ...
... but wait there is still a broken wood beam in the way. Not a problem, cut in half it slips right out (ok, it took a little bit more cutting, and wiggling, and cutting, and lifting, and bending, but then it really slipped right out).
Just as easy as the old beam came down, the new beam was lifted into place (I gotta get me one of those fork-lifty-thingies).
Remember the basement work I had done? Here is why I poured all the concrete, so that the column (it actually came in two pieces, bolted together) could rest on it.
Jack it up, and the other side gets a column, and after wiggling, and tweaking, and pushing, and shoving, and hammering, but no cursing (very surprising, because I would have spilled my whole vocabulary of profanity), the whole assembly came together. A side effect of all this was (but not unintended) that the second floor was raised back into place (it had been sagging a bit due to the broken wood beam).
Beauty and the beam.
Although neither E! nor I had done anything today, we both felt exhausted, but at the same time had a sense of accomplishment. It's a great feeling. You may laugh, but having this (sub-)project out of the way took a huge load off my mind, so much in fact that I instantly agreed on having the guys take measurements for another (smaller) project, which had been one of E!'s pet peeves (and a nightmare to me).