February 10, 2019

Carport Repair: Center Beam for Roof Support

While the new piers were curing, Dan got started on the next thing he had in  mind, a center beam for added roof support.

For the most part, the bones of the carport roof were in pretty good shape. The rafter ends on the windward side needed some attention, but the rest of it was still good. The builder, however, spanned too great a distance for Dan's liking. And since we were going to top the building with new metal roofing panels, it seemed a good idea to add another post for extra ceiling support.

For the post, he chose a beautiful cedar log.

We don't have a lot of cedars so we don't like to cut them down. This one, however, was the casualty of one of our recent storms. Dan found it lying on top of this pile of trees which wasn't there before!

Before the post could go up, however, a new ceiling beam was added down the lengthwise center of the carport.

This one was milled from one of our downed pine trees.

They were pegged together with a dowel, which was cut flush with the beam.

The base was next.

Two cap blocks with a rebar rod in the center. Dan drilled a hole in the bottom of the post to fit over it.

Then knee braces.

As you can see, the top of the post covers the beam joint and peg.

The old-fashioned name for the pegs is "trunnels," which comes from a slurring of "treenails."

How's that for rustic?

We've been discussing multiple uses for this space and this new post is helping me visualize it.

I can see a small table and two chairs in the front, and a small outdoor cooking area along the outside wall on the right: grill, smoker, and ??? Oven? The possibilities are slowly coming together.

Next: Carport Repair: Extending the Roof


  1. LOL, I thought this was going to be his workshop?!

  2. The center of the post will be safe from bugs even if you leave the bark on, but what about the sapwood?

  3. Judy, you need visit more often, LOL. The old goat barn became Dan's workshop when we moved the girls into their new barn. Moving day blog post here.

    Gorges, we haven't had problems with insects in our cedars. Maybe I should say 'knock on wood' LOL. We've had pine bark beetles in our pines, and every summer carpenter bees are eating holes in all things wood. I reckon if we have an insect problem down the road we'll deal with it then.

  4. Such talent! I'm always fascinated by all your building and using what you have. Are you going to put any plastic tarps on the side where the wood is to keep the rain off? Beautiful job!

  5. "How's that for rustic?" Beautifully rustic, I say!

    While watching and reading about this latest renovation, I keep thinking what my husband would want to use the space for. Definitely as a protective covering for some equipment or a vehicle! We probably need that more than you do, though, considering our different climates. But now with the center support post (which I agree was needed) that option would be squashed for him! ;o)

  6. What a difference geography makes. We have more cedars than we have people willing to cut them down. I do my part every year by liberating one from it's earthy toil for a Christmas tree.

  7. Sam, we had tarps covering the sides when it was being used as storage and Dan's workshop. They ended up looking pretty tacky. This time the walls will be open, which means everything there will have to be relatively rainproof.

    Mama Pea, if we lived in your climate we would definitely want cover for our vehicles and tractor. But you're right, we don't have the same problems here in the south. I admit that I didn't envision that center post when we discussed plans, but Dan had other ideas! LOL

    Ed, I wish we had more cedars. Some folks have an abundance, but ours has been in pines. Less useful for sure.

  8. That is some awesome fitting an notching...I love seeing it done this way.

  9. Takes a lot of skill to do that kind of work. I have to get motivated before I can go out and undertake a task that big!

  10. Leigh,

    Amazing work! Finding the wood on your property, milling it, and creating beams, and pegs (trunnels), I call that beautiful work. We need to borrow Dan out here!!!! I can picture your plans in my head.

  11. Rose, the notching really adds a nice touch, doesn't it? I love how it gives personality to a structure. :)

    Harry, good to hear fro you! I'm fortunate that Dan is a very self-motivated person. The next couple days of rain will likely drive him crazy!

    Sandy, yes, that sawmill is a blessing. It's enabled us to do so much more than we could otherwise.

  12. A beautiful piece of wood! Cockeyed Jo

  13. What an artist your Dan is and like you, now that our barn is coming along, I can see so many more possibilities for the rooms inside it. I'll be using our new barn room as an outdoor kitchen. Can't wait to do canning activities outside of our grain bin house!

  14. It looks great. Your husband does sturdy, beautiful work. I really prefer that rustic look a lot - just my style :) As for an outdoor space, have you ever thought about building with cob? Like a nice cob oven or grill area? Even a brick grill arrangement would be lovely. I can't wait to see what you do.

  15. Jo, cedar is that way. :)

    Donna, that's a great idea for your barn. Keeping the canning out of the house is a wonderful idea! Or rather keeping the heat and humidity out is, Whew.

  16. M.K. thanks! I have seen cob ovens, but am really undecided about them. I love the way they look and I like the concept. I do have my solar oven though, which serves well on sunny days and without using wood. I have a collection of ideas for an outdoor kitchen, but we've yet to make any decisions. So I do appreciate the ideas!

  17. An outdoor kitchen sounds perfect, as the carport isn't too far from the house. Nice workmanship. I love the rustic and organic appeal of exposed wood. You must be saving a lot of money on buying bolts, by making your own trunnels!

  18. wow, such beautiful craftsmanship!

  19. When I hear someone saying 'Oh, what a nice cedar tree!" I only see posts and beams lol. We have a few on our property but I'm careful not to use them all up. But if I had skills like Dan it would be difficult! Wow, that is really really nice work. Perfect notches! I built a tiny log cabin out of cedar and poplar for our goats and I call my notch work their air vents lol.

  20. Chris, keeping an outdoor kitchen close to the house is important! And yes, we have saved quite a bit by not having to buy all the hardware. I priced rafter hangers for Dan the other day and they were $5 each. Since he needed 11 of them, he decided to do something else. Another kind was $12 each. I don't know how people afford to do things nowadays.

    Tommy, thank you!

    Robbie, those air vents are important! We have some in the goat barn and it's true, they are a good thing to have as long as there aren't any drafts. :)

  21. The rustic post will be a nice feature, maybe with a work surface built around it?

  22. Leigh - The time stamp on your post of changing the old doe barn into Dan's workshop explains a lot for me. I may of went through the motions of reading it but it just didn't register while grieving for my sister. His workshop looks great!


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