Natasha and friends Jeremy and Juni went out on Friday to discover that our central ridge beams, and most of the posts holding them up, had collapsed so that they were sitting at 45˚. When Natasha called me and told me this I must admit I was beside myself, so much effort and time went into getting them up that to think of them not being the model of structural integrity I had believed them to be shattered my illusions.
We had our constructed internal walls leaning up and tied against the posts and beams to stop the wind blowing the walls over. We think that maybe this was not such a good idea, as the weight, plus, more than likely, our famous wind, put way more strain on these members than they were designed to take in their current form. The result? Well just look at the photos.
On Friday night we had Aygun and Ozlem over for dinner and afterwards (in the dark) we went out for some emergency damage limitation. We had to free the heavy framing which we had tied to the posts and beams and do it in a way that didn't cause further damage to framing or ridge beams. After some gentle manoeuvring we freed all the framing and braced the ridge beams in the position they were in.
This left us with Saturday to see what we could salvage and decide how to proceed. The east end had been held up well by the walls we had put up and the west end was saved by the ring beam it was attached to. So one by one we got the posts level again, attaching a rope to the ute and pulling it up bit by bit. Natasha's brilliant idea, that one. This very patient approach worked. Only one small post section had to be replaced. This was a job up the ladder in the wind and the rain started to come down but we had to finish this off. We got a bit wet, but by the day's conclusion we had the house back to where we left it last Sunday.
Lesson? Don't prop wall frames up - lay them flat until it's time to put them up. And don't panic, well not too much. There is almost always a way to rescue situations. What a relief.