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DE-troit Steel



Most people who know me know that I’m a big fan o Detroit steel. Give me a ton and a 1/2 on an open road with the top down, and I am one happy camper.


Last week’s addition of steel also made my heart sing. It’s hard to say the origins of last week’s steel, but I will imagine it coming through my hometown none-the-less.

Last week’s steel, as challenging as it was to install because of the inability to get a crane though the mess of electrical wires, makes me happy because it’s one of the parts of this new construction coach house that will help make me green.


Typically a 25ft span wouldn’t require a 16” I-beam, but because I wanted to make a point to be able to have either an extensive or intensive green roof, I knew that it was in my future. The addition of the beam is going to allow me to offset the garden space that I will be losing plus the entire footprint of my garage and provide carbon combatting vegetation on the entirety of the roof of my coach house. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the addition of a green roof will help to insulate the apartment in winter, making it warmer, help to reflect sunlight in summer, making it cooler (by as much as 10’) and is likely to preserve my room membrane to the extent of doubling its lifespan, when everything is done as it should be.

Which is what I plan to do, if you’re asking. More on that whole green roof process in a future blog post.



The big ole I-beam is going to be sandwiched in between the ceiling materials (drywall) and the roofing material, with sleepers providing the appropriate pitch needed on the flat roof to ensure proper drainage. In between that sandwich will be insulation, electric and maybe a newspaper (do they still make those?) with the date that this portion of the project gets completed.


I was there, as any good GC should be, when the team of steel workers were partnered by my whole brick layer crew to make it happen.

Check it!



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