Sunday, July 27, 2008

Foundation Backfilling Done

I've finally finished backfilling the foundation. Now all I need to do is add the topsoil... but that will probably be a "next year" project.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Roof Trusses All Up - Part 1

I've finished installing the roof trusses over the bedroom area. They're all braced and ready for roof sheathing, but I need to build the end gable wall before I can do the sheathing because the sheathing needs to extend out over the gable wall.

The trusses are attached to the sill plates with metal connectors called hurricane ties. There are two ties on each truss; one connects to the front of the sill plate, the other to the top. This protects against both lateral and vertical movement.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Installing Roof Trusses

The roof trusses for the bedroom area are not all that big, so I was determinded to figure out a way to install them by myself. They only weigh about 100 lbs, but they're 16' across (20' with the tails), so they're very unwieldly for one person to handle. However, with the help of the tractor and the little crane I built, they're a piece of cake to install.

First of all I attach a 2x6x14 brace across the truss so that I can lift it with the front-end loader and carry it to the far side of the house.

Once I've moved it over to the other side of the house I lay it on the ground with the bottom side closest to the house. This photo was taken looking down from the second story.

Now I wrap a tow-strap around the truss and the brace, and I crank it up to the second floor.
I'm lifting it upside down so that when I get it to the top, I simply roll the crane back and the truss lays down with the bottom ends on top of the sill plates; ready to be tilted up into place.

Now that the truss is sitting on top of the sill plates, I unhook the crane and slide the truss in towards me. I lift the top peak of it up and set it on top of the ladder. Then I attach the crane hook to the peak, and crank it up; tilting the truss upwards.

Once I've tilted the truss up I attach it to the other trusses with short braces. The whole process of moving the truss, lifting it up to the second floor, and installing it takes about 45 minutes. There are 11 trusses for this section of the house.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Beware The Jabberwock

I've built a small crane thing-a-ma-jig to lift the small roof trusses up to the second floor. The lifting mechanism is a boat-trailer winch that I picked up at Canadian Tire. The winch, some casters, a pulley, and a few nuts and bolts cost me less than $100, and I'll be able to re-use most of the pieces again. Considering it would have cost me at least $500 to rent a crane to lift the trusses, I think this is a pretty good bargain. The two long steel channels hanging off the back are parts from the ICF wall bracing system. I've used them for counterweights.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Backfilling Progress

Pick up a load of dirt.
Dump a load of dirt.
Pick up a load of dirt.
Dump a load of dirt.
Back and forth.
I can hardly stand the excitement.
You can the two ends of a grey pipe in the bottom third of this photo. That's the electrical conduit for the septic system pump. It will be buried about three feet underground.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Foundation Backfill

Today I backfilled most of the back half of the house. I'm using fill that I took from the old railway roadbed last summer. It's more gravelly than the soil from the basement excavation, so it will drain better and is less susceptible to heaving during the winter.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Foundation Drainage Rock Finished

I've finished adding all of the foundation drainage rock around the perimeter of the basement. There's now 12"-18" of rock on top of the drain pipes. That depth of rock will allow any water that seeps down to flow freely into the pipe system. Once the rock is down, it get's covered with a layer of landscape fabric. That will help to keep any silt from getting down into the rock bed and plugging it up.

Before laying down the final layer of rock.

Landscape fabric laid up against the excavation.

Final drain rock added.

Landscape fabric folder over. Ready for backfill.