• The Beam Guy

Are All The Rotten Roof Beam Photos Yours?

The short answer is yes; all the photos are mine taken over the last 25 plus years in the greater Sacramento - Davis area.


Taken During an Inspection in 2010

During an inspection, I take plenty of photos of the exterior roof beams to go over with the homeowner and to use later as I write up the estimate. The advent of digital photography and electronic tablets has made this a seamless process.


During decades of work, I've taken thousands of in-process photos as well. These too are often used to show homeowners the particulars of their job and if they choose, copies for their records.


My collection of failed repairs and restorations wasn't something I set out to compile. But, much of my time -- especially in the last 10 years -- is spent repairing these faulty "fixes."


Most of the previous work I encounter isn't intentionally done poorly but is most likely the result of trying to be the low bidder and/or misunderstanding the scope and nature of the problems associated with roof beam dry rot, especially that of the Streng roof beam. Moreover, most of the contractors who did these were either generalists who mainly focused on remodeling or were specialists in other trades such as roofers or painters. Unfortunately, the law allows laypersons to perform the specialty of roof beam restoration under the rubric of remediation of a fungal infestation, especially in regards to the sale of a home.


See, I'm a bit of an odd duck in the industry; I'm a licensed general building contractor, with a background in residential remodeling and commercial steel, who specializes in the repair exterior roof beams. My great fortune is I live and work in an area with literally thousands and thousands of homes with exterior roof beams. Sacramento California was booming in post-and-beam construction and mid-century modern "atomic ranch" style homes from the mid-'50s until the mid-'70s.


But Sacramento isn't alone in that history. In fact, I hear from homeowners and builders alike from around the world. My last international question came from Belgium. I get so many questions that I'm currently writing a book on the art roof beam repair.


Sometimes I just happen to be driving by and see something truly terrifying:

I took the above in 2001. It doesn't get much scarier than this. I ended up submitting it years later to Fine Homebuilding (a journal for building nerds like me) for their contest. I won a year's paid subscription. Click the photo to read about this so-called "repair" in their Scary Building Blunders gallery section.


Running around with a camera and looking up at roof beams a lot has given me some unexpected photos:

Hole Punch Cloud with a Circumzenithal Arc
22 Degree Solar Halo
Sundog (parhelion) Illuminating a Contrail

Spending my days looking up also helped me make friends with birds . . .

If only I was a photographer instead of a roof beam specialist ;-D


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