Archive for the 'Framing' Category



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.

Finishing the first floor deck

I arrived Wednesday night to find that Warren had already tacked in the front bay trusses. Little did I realize how much more work (nailing truss hangers) was required before we could start nailing down the floor plywood. We finished the nailing the trusses and got most of the plywood on Thursday. Friday we finished up the deck and moved to the basement to prepare for the basement slab.

Framing Begins

Last week Joe and Warren installed the perimeter footing drain, 1000 gallon rain water cistern, assorted drain pipes and then back-filled around the foundation walls. Materials including the trusses, beams, lally columns  and floor sheathing also arrived. We were ready for a full day of activities on Saturday because we knew Sunday would be rainy.

Although we don’t have a picture, we managed to install the sill plates with gaskets, main beam (a 32 foot LVL laminated beam) and all the back bay trusses before the rain started. The gaskets under the sill plate are part of our air sealing system.

Next week we hope to finish installing the cement filled lally columns in the basement, the front bay trusses and put down the first floor sheathing. It’s going to take shape quickly from here. Stay tuned.


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