Monday, June 30, 2008

Yard Excavation

When I dug the basement, I had piled up a lot of the dirt just to the east of where the house would be built. I've now flattened that area out so that I can get the tractor close to the house. That way, I can bring in the last of the drain rock and then backfill the foundation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gable Wall Continued

I've got the rest of the first half of the gable wall up. I think this has been the most challenging single task I've done so far. I had to build the second part of the wall in place, and it was difficult because of the height and weight of it.


This part of the wall has five 2x6's nailed together to form a solid column that will support the main girder for the roof. The column is 14' tall, and the tallest part of the wall is 18' tall. It was also quite a challenge to get the angles right so that the top plate matched up with the top plate of the short part of the wall. However, it all seemed to come together in the end.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gable Wall

I've built part of the gable wall for the east side of the house. There are two different wall elevations here, so I have to build the wall in two pieces. This is the small half, and it's only 8' tall, so I was able to build it flat on the floor and then lift it up into place.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Upstairs Floor Joists Complete

I've got all the floor joists installed up above the kitchen area now. I'll be able to start installing the subfloor next.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Main Beam Above Kitchen

The main beam above the kitchen is up now. My best buddy RW was here for a visit and helped me install it. It was great to have some help. We got it installed in about an hour; whereas it would have probably taken me at least a half a day to do it by myself.


The beam actually consists of three separate LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beams that are nailed together. It sits in the beam-pockets (described in an earlier post) on top of a stack of 1/2" and 1/8" steal shims.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Building The End Gable Wall

I've built one-half of the gable wall for the west end of the house. Where possible, exterior walls like this are built flat on the floor and then lifted up into place. I have to build it one-half at a time because of the space it takes up.

Due to the wall's size and weight... 14' wide and 15' tall... 600 lbs(?) I'll need to use a crane to lift it up into place. That's okay though, because I need a crane to lift the main roof girder into place as well. I'll just do it all on the same day.

In order to ensure that the wall was built to the right length, I laid one of the roof trusses down first as a template, then built the wall on top of the truss.

You can see that the wall is not as tall as the truss. That's done to leave room for the lookouts that will form the eaves. More on that later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Installing Sill Plates

The sill plates are the pieces of 2x8 treated lumber that sit on top of the concrete walls. The roof trusses will sit on top of the sill plates.

After I poured the concrete for the walls, I had inserted anchor bolts into the wet concrete at the tops of the walls. Those anchor bolts are what hold the sill plates to the top of the wall.


To install the sill plates, I laid out the lumber on the top of the wall, marked out the bolt locations, then drilled holes on the marks. The holes are drilled slightly oversized so that there is some "wiggle room". Before dropping the lumber down on top of the bolts, I installed a sill plate gasket. The gasket material is a type of spongy foam that comes on a long roll. It simply gets unrolled on the top of the wall and pushed down over top the bolts. When you bolt down the sill plates, the gasket compresses and forms an air tight seal under the sill plate.

Just before tightening everything down, I ran a string-line from one end of the wall to the other end, and then lined up the sill plates to the string-line. This keeps everything nice n' straight.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Roof Trusses Delivered

I finally got the roof trusses today, so I can start work on that next week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Removing The Temporary Walls

I had a friend tell me yesterday how much they enjoyed following my progress with this project; and it made me realize that I have been very... shall we say lazy... with regards to updates lately. So, I have soundly kicked myself in the arse and I will try to get back on track.

I've bolted the ledger mounting brackets together so that the ledger boards and floor joists are fully supported by the concrete walls. (Recall that the inside-half of the bracket is embedded in the concrete. The outside-half is shown here.)

After removing the screws holding the two top plates togther, and with the help of "the Persuader", the wall comes out fairly easily.