Now I’m Beginning to See What Virtual Construction Consulting Looks Like

Just Because I Can’t Touch it Doesn’t Mean That I Can’t Help Fix it

It’s amazing what has been made possible with computers, smart phones and the internet. Virtual construction consulting is just one of those things.

The topic of virtual construction consulting came up several months ago when I was talking with a friend, who lives more than a thousand miles away, about his construction project. He and his wife bought some property that belonged to an older lady and the buildings had fallen into disarray. As we talked, I found myself wanting to go help him fix things.

The problem was that thousand-mile commute.

This is when the whole virtual construction consulting thing began to take shape. We began talking through the different things that needed to be done. I shared some of these construction issues in a couple of previous posts. One was what to do when you have a construction problem but don’t know what to do about it. Another was about how to make rafters long enough when you don’t have a “board stretcher”.

Today we’ll discuss a different project.

The problem we’ll be discussing today begins with rotting posts that are supporting (or not) an 8’ overhang.

Here’s the list of issues that we will address.

  • Roof support posts set inground aren’t supporting the roof because they are rotting.
  • Roof sagging due to lack of support because of rotting posts.
  • Header at the roof eave is not adequately attached to the posts or sufficient size to carry roof load.

Roof support posts set inground aren’t supporting the roof because they are rotting at the ground.

To fix this problem, there needs to be adequate concrete support under the bottom of the posts and then you need to fasten them to the concrete with post base brackets that will reduce the likelihood of future rot.

There are a couple of options for this. First is to remove the 4×4 posts, dig a hole outside of the concrete slab, pour new concrete piers and set the posts in brackets on top of the piers. Second would be to move the posts in and set them in post brackets on the existing concrete slab.

Moving the posts in would be the simpler and less expensive of the two options. It would mean no digging, no forming and no pouring of concrete.

The downside to consider is by moving the posts in, there will be more roof extending beyond the support beam.

With the current overhang only about a foot…this won’t be a problem.

Roof sagging due to lack of support because of rotting posts.

This problem will be fixed by moving the posts in and setting them on the concrete slab.

By stretching a string line down the outside bottom corner of the rafters from one end of the roof to the other, there will be a straight line that will be a target when reinstalling the posts.

The roof can be supported temporarily by 2x4s while the posts are being moved and reinstalled.

Header at the roof eave is not adequately attached to the posts or sufficient size to carry roof load.

Currently the header is a single 2×6 nailed to the side of the 4×4 posts and spanning approximately 8’. Code says that a header carrying a roof and spanning 8’ should be twice this big.

The single 2×6 will need to be removed to allow for the moving of the posts. Once the posts have been reinstalled, the salvaged 2×6 can be attached back to the 4×4 posts. Then a second one can be attached to the first. After both are in place and nailed together, carriage bolts can be installed through both 2x6s and bolted to the 4×4 posts.

An additional action that can be taken to assist in strengthening the roof is the removing of the 1×6 fascia board and installing a 2×6 in its place. This will help carry the roof load by distributing the load between the rafters.

This is today’s virtual construction consulting.

There are more in-depth instructions that we could go into, but to keep this post from becoming too long, we’ll stop here.

If you or someone you know has some construction questions that a virtual construction consultation might be able to give you some “support” with, leave a comment below.

A Journey of Faith Takes Time and is Scary

It’s Much Better When We Have the Support of Others

We had another faith Sunday at church the past week. It is amazing and wonderful to hear about people’s faith journeys. Each one of us in our own unique place in our journey through life.

It’s easy to be consumed by all the things going on in our own busy lives and forget those around us. We often feel that we are going on this journey alone. We forget that there is help when we need it.

Isolation is one of the most difficult things we will ever experience.

We need to remember that everyone deals with the same struggles we do. Being willing to support those around us, even in small seemingly insignificant ways, can be live changing. The simple act of noticing people can be one of the biggest.

Being noticed validates our worth.

Both the needing and helping sides of the journey were evident in the stories shared. There were stories of the church as a whole or individuals giving support in difficult times when there was struggling. We’ve all needed this type of support in our own lives.

As I was reading The Traveler’s Gift there was an example of what a faith journey is like. In this book David Ponders traveling through time meeting with various people who give him wisdom and insight into the seven decisions for determining personal success.

David meets Christopher Columbus on the Santa Marie as he’s crossing the ocean. As the two men are talking, Columbus’s First Officer confronts the Captain, explaining that the men have had enough, and they are going to turn around and go back.

Columbus explains that they have been at sea for 64 days and only have 10 days of food and water left. Turning back would be futile. These men did not have the vision or faith that Columbus did.

It would take a lot of faith to get on a boat and set sail for an unknown destination at an unknown distance…but Columbus had a vision and faith. He believed and trusted God.

We need to believe and trust in God as we go on our journey.

It took years for Columbus to get the expedition organized. It took support from other people. It wasn’t instantaneous and he didn’t do it by himself. And neither will we.

Get support when you need it. Give support when you can. Believe in God and yourself and continue your journey.

How Building Things Is Like Giving Birth

There’s Something Emotionally Fulfilling About Creating


I was having a conversation earlier this week with Cheri at Agora Architecture about a project that we are working on. As we visited about the project we both became excited about the new ideas that were developing. I told her that what we’re doing was like giving birth. I then explained what I meant by that and then decided that I should share it with you.

I’ve had this same discussion multiple times over the years. When talking with someone who understands this, the connection is intense. It really is amazing the similarities there are with building and giving birth.

CONCEPTION – “The forming or devising of a plan or idea.” This is where both creating and birthing start. There is a spark or an idea that begins to grow inside of us. Maybe it’s an idea for a new home, a new business, a new design, a new book, a new painting. There is something that has been planted inside by God and we need to pay attention to and act upon it.

GESTATION – “The development of something over a period of time.” As this little idea grows it will want, no need, to get out. We need to be aware and nurture this creation. As it goes through this process it will change on its way to becoming what it is meant to be. This can be painful as the idea continues to grow and stretches us, but it’s a necessary part of the process.

EXTERNAL HELP – When a mother becomes pregnant there is a need for support and help from spouses, family, doctors, nurses, specialists, etc. the same is true for other creations. To the project that I referred to earlier, it started as the idea for a new and used book store and café of Floyd Enterprises. There have been several people involved to this point and will be many more before it is finished. Currently there has been the Floyd family, Debby the realtor, Timber Creek Construction the contractor, Cheri and Hannah the architects. Giving birth requires help and a lot of it.

MESSY – Just like giving birth has some mess involved so do all creations. The process isn’t going to just happen without some clean up.

EXCITEMENT – This is the comparison that I think is the most pronounced. It’s hard to describe the feelings of holding the newborn for the first time. It’s the same when you have been a part of creating something that wasn’t there before. To see, touch and feel that thing that came from somewhere inside and is now tangible is amazing. There is a part of your DNA that has been transferred to it and it will be there forever.

There is something natural about the act of creating, whatever the creation may be. This is something that was implanted in us at our conception. This is God’s DNA in us. We are created in His image, Genesis 1:26-31. He created the world and everything in it. This desire to create and the joy it gives is a part of who we are.

If you haven’t yet figured out what it is that you were put here to create, keep looking until you find it. When you do you’ll know it, because nothing else feels as satisfying as that.