This six level hillside residence in Laguna Beach, CA is going to be re-skinned with smooth stucco and stone veneer. All of the doors and windows will also be replaced. On the front, ocean side, we are replacing the Living Room wall with a folding door. We are also removing the corner of the house where the two walls intersect to allow another folding window to meet with the folding door.
The first step to this transformation is to add the structure necessary to support the new folding door and window. The folding door and window will hang from a track that is mounted to a beam over the opening. This beam must be supported by a new structure that starts at the foundation.
Massive footings (caissons) were dug and filled with concrete and steel reinforcing bars to provide the base for the steel columns/frame.
Beams are typically supported by columns on each side of an opening. In this case, only one side is available to support the beam over the opening. Thus, the beam must cantilever over the opening from only one side. To remove the existing corner post, this cantilever has to occur on each side of the opening (one on the door side and one on the window side).
After removing the existing structure and adding temporary supports throughout the house (to keep it from falling down), a large steel frame will be inserted on the opposite side of the opening and ready to carry a cantilevered beam over the door. This cantilevered beam will meet with another cantilevered beam over the window. This work is a little like surgery. Without demolishing the entire front of the house, strategic openings in the walls and ceilings/roof are made. Then, these pieces of steel are inserted into and through the building.
The placement of the steel will be accomplished in two phases. The first phase will add the vertical steel as well as a few pieces of horizontal steel. The second phase will add all the horizontal steel at the upper level and connect everything together.
The first phase was just completed. The contractors are now getting ready for the second phase.
The remaining pieces of steel that still need to be set are being prepared offsite. The next installation phase should be scheduled in a few weeks.