Archive for the ‘DIY homebulding’ Category

Well, all the second floor walls are framed and we are ready to start setting the roof panels! Tomorrow is the big day with a crane scheduled to arrive around 12:00. There is a lot of prep time to get the panels ready, which caused us to cancel the crane for this morning. The roof panels are 48″ wide, and up to 20′ in length, they also have 8″ of foam, so they are pretty hefty. The plans also call for full 4 x 8″ douglas fir splines, so that adds another couple of hundred pounds!  Needless to say, any preparation that you can do on the ground is going to save a lot of time and money when the crane is on site. Here are some pictures of the work

Some of these walls were massive and required chains, slings and come-a-longs to get them lifted into place

Along with mechanical advantage, sometime there is no substitution for good old muscle power!

Now just hold it there while I get a nail in!

And while that was going on, we ran ledgers to attach the roof panels to the exterior walls, and just to try it, I slid one panel into place……

I fashioned a ramp and we hauled the roof panel into place....seeing that I am not a Pharoah and do not have a lot of Egyptians at my disposal, we are going to have to opt for a crane from now on....

Now the roof panels are supposed to have splines connecting them and the splines are plated to the ledger that runs across the building. We tried putting a spline in and it required a lot of horsing around to get it into place, certainly nothing you would want to attempt 20′ in the air along with gooping in mastic and getting everything to lined up and so we made all the connections and corrections on the ground.

Bob and James inserting a spline in the roof panel. That is one big piece of wood. Heavy too.

With any natural material, the 4 x8’s can be twisted and crowned and we used pipe clamps to pull them into place and take all the twist out of them. There was a bit too much foam to get the spline in and only have 1 1/2″ of spline sticking out…. so what to do?  Use the foam cutter and melt out 1/4″ of foam for 18 feet???  How about going back to the old surfboard shaping days?  I pulled out my trusty Skil 100 planer that I used for shaping and was able to quickly remove most of the foam necessary for a good fit, then it was only necessary to use the cutter on about 1″ of foam, much easier and faster too! Here is how we did it.

Ah yes, full depth passes! The planer is attached to the shop vac so there is no foam mess.

There are about 5 more panels to spline in the morning and then the crane arrives. We also had lifting plates fabricated (per the manufacturers recommendation) that attach to the panels for lifting. We put some into place and tested them by lifting the panel with a chain-fall and then having three people stand on top and bounce up an down. The plates look like this:

So tomorrow’s operation is going to require everyone to have their job and to all work together to get it done efficiently and safely. We really have to be on our toes and watch out for each other during this lift.

So you may be wondering…what are those fashion mavens, Jerry and Ariane wearing on the jobsite these days??

Fashion is my life!

Canvas pants, t-shirts and glue, foam and dirt accents!

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We got the second floor all stood up and locked together. Lots of splices, lots of angles. You have to be prepared to make slight “field adjustments” here and there, but for the most part it goes pretty well. A nice thing is when the wall is stood and nailed off, you don’t need to put a lot of braces on to keep them from falling over. At the corners and where framed walls intersect, we are using 9″ screws to cinch it all together and plenty of steel ties where necessary.

We stood the first walls on both the west and east, and then tied them together with a conventionally framed 2 x6 wall.

Having a framed wall between the SIPS gave us all the bracing we needed to run the walls down the sides.

Walls down both sides to the back wall.

The Back wall is SIPS and all the remaining interior walls will be conventional framing. Getting all the walls up included setting in some pretty massive beams along the back wall for picture and clerestory windows. You have to really plan it out to get it done safely and they are too heavy to horse around after you get them set, not to mention all slathered up with green mastic! We also built the wall from the corners into the center, which allowed us to get all the metal ties in place on the beams before setting the center panels under and over the windows.

We're up around 14' with this top plate.

The interesting thing, if I haven’t already mentioned it, is you put trimmers under the beams, but the SIPS act as the king studs!  That takes getting used to. In the case of the back wall, there are 6×6 splines on both sides of the clerestory, a 6×8 header over the picture window, and a flat 4×6 top plate all across the top and tied together with Simpson A35 ties. It will also get metal straps all across the outside and along the window header….massive!

Making one of those "field adjustments".

Wall panel #79! the last one, going straight up into that hole in the background.

Heave away!

All screwed together, now we are ready to frame the interior walls.

In the pictures, you may notice where we marked the electrical and low-voltage chases with red and blue paint. Next to the windows the yellow marked chase is 2″ chase for fire sprinklers.

So this week we will split the crew and have one crew frame the interior walls of the second floor and the other setting ledgers and installing the roof panels over the living room and kitchen. Then hopefully, we can set the second story panels and close it in before it rains again!

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