Friday, August 29, 2008

Satellite Radio Tricks

Satellite radios work by transmitting an FM signal that's picked up by the FM radio in your vehicle. The transmitter in the satellite radio is quite weak, but it only has to transmit a few feet to be picked up by vehicle's antenna. (Some car stereos allow you to plug the satellite radio directly into them with a cable as well.)

I found that if I place my boombox close to my truck, or *on* it as in this photo, I can tune the FM radio in the boombox to the same frequency as the satellite radio and voila... I have satellite radio on my boombox.

Sirius radio rocks, man!

Securing The Main Girder

Today I installed the lag bolts that will hold the main girder in place. I've used three 1/2" x 8" lag bolts on each end of the girder. I've screwed through the girder into the double studs in the wall. After I build the other half of the gable walls, I'll screw through the wall studs into the girder with two more lag bolts on each end.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Crane Day

I finally had the crane come in today to hoist up the west gable wall and the big roof girder. I had originally booked it for last week but we had to cancel because of bad weather. It was raining again today but I wanted to get the work out of the way so we went ahead anyway. The rain just makes things slippery and therefore a bit more dangerous.

The first thing we did was tilt up the west end gable wall. I had built it flat on the floor of the loft, so all we had to do was lift it up and place it on top of the sill plate. Once it was in place I put some long 2x6 braces on it to hold it place until the girder was up.

Next, he lifted the main girder up and slipped it into place on top of the columns in the end walls. Once it was in place, I scrambled up the ladder to put a few nails and a big clamp on both ends. That will hold it in place until it's permanently attached.

Lastly, I had him lift up the trusses and put them in the loft area. I'll still have to put them up manually, but at least they'll be right where I need them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Roof Corner Framing

I've installed the outside rafter - called the rake board, and I've finished up the framing for the corner of the roof. Now I can finish up the sheathing on the bottom part of the roof.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gutter Board and Soffit Supports

I've started installing the soffit supports underneath the ends of the trusses. They provide a horizontal surface under which the soffits will be attached. They're braced with a 1x4 that spans across them so that they can't move from side to side. Also in the photo below, you can see the board that's attached to the ends of the truss tails. That's the gutter board; to which the eavestroughs will be attached. It's simply a 2x6 that's been ripped with a 45 degree bevel on the top to match the angle of the roof.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Roof Sheathing

I started sheathing the roof today. A big part of the job is getting the plywood up to the roof; but with the help of a winch and a cable and a pulley... it's not too bad.

I put a pulley at the peak of the roof and I run the cable up from the winch; over the pulley; down the roofline and over the edge of the wall.
I've got my extension ladder set up so that the sheet of plywood just slides up the ladder as I winch it up.
When the plywood reaches the top, it goes up over the wheels on the top of the ladder and continues to slide up the roof. Then I manoeuvre it into place and nail it down.
I've left the outside sheet just hanging over the end of the lookout rafters for now. Once I get the outside rafter attached to the lookouts, then I'll run a chalkline and cut the end of the sheathing off.

By the way, it may look like an odd place to start laying the sheathing, but it is intentional. I started with the second row of sheathing so that I could stand on the still plate while I nailed the plywood down. It's just easier to have a solid place to stand on while you're working. The first row of sheathing will have to be done from a scaffold or boom-lift anyway, so I might as well take the advantage when I can. Also, I've started away from the wall on the left so that I wasn't left with a short sheet on the outside end of the roof.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gable Wall & Roof

I've finished the gable wall in the bedroom and I've started installing the lookout rafters for the roof. The lookout rafters are the short rafters that run perpendicular to the trusses. They "look-out" over the top edge of the gable wall.

They're made out of 2x6s and 2x4s. They extend back about six feet into the room, just underneath the top chord of the trusses. That provides the bracing strength for the other end, which is cantilevered out over the top of the wall.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gable Wall In Bedroom

I've started building the end gable wall in the bedroom area. I've got the two outside portions done, and the three window openings done. I just have to finish the top center section above the windows. You can see that the bottom 3/4 of the two bottom windows are in the ICF portion of the wall, and the top 1/4 is in the wood framed wall. The window opening above is actually for a 1/2 moon shaped window, but it gets framed in a rectangular shape to start with. Once the window is installed, I'll fill in the odd shape above it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Main Roof Girder

The main girder for the roof consists of three separate trusses that get sandwiched together. This girder will support the entire roof of the main section of the house, so it's fairly substantial in size.

I put it all together close to the house so that when I bring a crane in, it should be easy to lift up and put into place. I used the tractor to drag each truss into place, then tilted them up and braced them in a vertical position.

Once I had the first two in place, I screwed some steel braces (from the ICF wall bracing system) to the top and bottom chords of the truss to keep them straight until they were nailed together.

Once I had all three in place, I clamped them together and nailed them as per the building code. The code specifies that there need to be either 2 rows or 3 rows of nails, spaced 6, 10, or 12 inches apart, depending which part of the truss you're nailing. There's about 800 nails holding these trusses together. Nail guns rule!