Archive for the 'Framing' Category

Porch finished, for now

Still have a bit of painting, but the framing, siding and trim are complete. Porch is now the storage area for the remaining siding.

Metal roof materials for the porch and roofets should arrive next week. Getting the remaining metal roofs finished is high priority because it’s holding up completing the siding work and, believe it or not, the leach field. We are using a scissor lift to install the siding and roofs and it’s too heavy to drive over the leach field, so we have to finish at least the south side before we can install the leach field.

In the mean time we paint siding, a lot. All weekend, every weekend. I’m also trying to find someone to install gutters, 6″ half rounds, aluminum in Tuxedo Gray, with 4″ downspouts. We’re also hoping to start the sheetrock on the second floor ceiling soon so we can do our first blower door test sometime in early September.

Porch updates

We’re making some progress with the porch. Warren’s completed the porch ceiling and most of the siding under the porch roof. The electrical outlet box and wood plate are in. He’s also trimmed out the roof and nailed up half the soffit boards.

We had some tall help visiting this weekend. Art din’t even need a ladder to paint the porch ceiling. We paid him with food, beer and a stay in the log cabin.

A bit more trim around the roof and ceiling, and a little more siding on the roof and we’re pretty close to finishing the porch for now. We’re ordering the metal roof for the porch and roofets this week. We will be adding temporary stairs and handrails as well. We’ve decided to wait and finish trimming out the rest of the porch deck later in the year. Then we’ll add a more permanent stairs and railing.

July updates

It’s hard to imagine that it’s already August!

We’ve been busy with porch framing, painting the siding, sealing the deck, insulating water pipes and framing the last interior wall for the ASHP.

We still have a long way to go with the siding, but we’re getting a jump on the second coat of stain on the weekends. The Cabot acrylic stain really goes on well and the color (Thicket) looks great.

Warren and crew have completed the porch framing and deck, and about about a third of the ceiling v-groove. We sealed the edges of the porch deck this weekend. Bernie thinks we built the porch just for her. (The sealer is really to protect the deck from her drool.)

We’ve finished insulating most of the plumbing pipes in the 2nd floor. There is one area where the pipes are too close together to use individual foam wraps, so we’re going to try spray foam.

And finally the last interior wall. The refrigerant copper tubing for the interior unit of the ASHP can’t be bent in a tight radius, so we built a double stud wall at the stair to allow the tubing to bend more graciously. There is only a gap of an inch between the two walls. The tubing goes diagonally down to the lower right corner then through the first landing and out the exterior wall. The condensate drain also goes through this double wall. It passes through the second landing into the pantry to drain in the washer / dryer drain.

August promises to be even busier.

Porch framing begins

Despite the several downpours today, they were able to start framing the west side porch. All framing is pressure treated. The deck will be Douglas Fir. We’re using Penofin Verde to seal the deck. It is the best ‘green’ sealer we could find locally. Later in the year we will trim out the pressure treated. For now, we’re just going with the bare minimum till we have a better idea of the final budget and move-in date.

We have a roof over our heads

Last week Warren & crew were able to get the roof on the house. You can now get a feel of the overall shape and scale of the house in the landscape. The roof pitch is 12/12 or 45° angle for you non-building folk. This should be the best angle for our eventual solar PV array. Next, the gables will be framed and we’ll be mostly closed in. The windows arrive in 2-4 weeks and we’ll be ordering the Therma-Tru fiberglass exterior doors soon. More details soon.

More 2nd floor

The rain may have slowed our progress, but progress is still being made. Warren and Peter were still able to frame out more of the windows, the interior divider wall and nail up the ceiling joists. We were lucky to have a few sunny days over the weekend, so Bernie could enjoy a nap in the sun while we mopped up rain puddles in the living room. The fall foliage is really starting to peak!

We also purchased our first fixture for the house, a Kohler Archer 6′ soaking tub. Our contractor wisely recommended buying it now so we can lift it in through the second floor rough window openings. Much easier than carrying it up narrow stairs after the house is closed in.

Second floor framing

Warren and Peter worked around the rain last week and were able to frame up the exterior walls on the second floor, start the balloon frame for the stairs and finish waterproofing the foundation. Saturday we built temporary stairs to the second floor. You can now walk up the stairs from the basement all the way to the second floor. Fall colors were just starting to turn last week. If you compare the view from last week and this week you see Fall is well on its way.

More rain

I wasn’t expecting a lot to get done last week with all the rain. But Warren had some help and a few sunny days to frame the inside wall in the basement, the temporary stairs up to the first floor and attach the sheathing for the first floor. We didn’t attack the second floor because we expected rain on Sunday. So we worked out details for the interior beveled wall at the windows, the sun shades on the first floor and the stairs. I’m hoping to model them up and post them in the coming weeks. Until then, enjoy the latest pics.

More framing!

Last week after we put up the first floor exterior walls, Warren finished the interior wall framing, including the double stud wall and the structural wall that separates south-facing living spaces from the north-facing support spaces. He also tacked a few second floor trusses into place.

This weekend we finished installing all the second floor trusses and the second floor decking. We even got a chance to put up a few of the external sheathing ZIP panels.

If you’re not familiar with ZIP panels, they are plywood panels with a special external coating (the green layer). This coating acts as our moisture and vapor barrier when the seams between the panels are taped with ZIP tape. Using the ZIP panels means we don’t need house wrap or felt and will make our exterior air sealing much easier.

Basement slab and first floor framing

Caution, lots of photos this week.

This week we finished installing the interior drainage plane for the foundation walls, insulating the floor under the basement slab and pouring the slab. We also framed out the first floor exterior walls. The weather held out till Saturday afternoon when a cold rain forced us to stop.

We used extruded polystyrene foam (XPS, the blue stuff) under the slab because of its greater compressive strength. We laid two layers of 2 inch foam, then a layer of 6 mil polyethylene as our radon gas barrier. We used acoustical sealant to attach the poly to the drainage plane on the wall to complete our radon gas barrier. Then we laid another 2 inches of XPS foam for a total for R30 under the slab. The top 2 inches of the foam lies on top of the footing. We placed another 2 inches of expanded polystyrene (EPS, the white stuff) on the walls sitting on top of the XPS foam. EPS is more environmentally friendly than XPS. This overlap isolates the concrete slab from the foundation and walls, keeping it dry and warm.

The concrete arrived Friday. They poured and leveled 4 inches of concrete on top of the foam. They also poured a small knee wall in the walkout area and the footings for the deck on the west side of the house.

Above, we raised the first floor exterior walls. You can now start to get a sense of the size of the space and the view out the framed openings. Of course it will feel a bit smaller when we frame up the interior walls, and smaller still when we put up the sheathing and finally the interior drywall.  Now you can see the house when driving up the driveway.


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