Wood is Good

What a relief to finish the basement concrete! Now we can go full bore ahead with lumber, which is comparatively forgiving and fast to erect, not to mention a whole lot more fun.


Last bit of concrete work for a long time: cutting the slab with a monster masonry saw.

Well, not so fast. First we had to fix a mistake we made on the slab. The walk-out edge stuck out a couple inches too far because we didn’t properly consider the location of the stud wall relative to the ICF wall. Major pain to cut through four inches of concrete. First we made a notch with a regular circular saw fitted with a masonry blade. Then we switched to the mother of all circular saws, sporting a $300 diamond-studded blade, to slice the rest of the way. The saw sprays water from a hose attachment to keep the blade cool. Once we finished, we added some extra foam for insulation along a weak spot.


Burying blue foam insulation beside the basement slab’s walk-out edge.

There was also some sitework to do, utilitywise. Todd and Tim spent most of a day on site to bury a hydrant below frost line for an outdoor spigot, and to excavate a trench for water and electric connections to the house. In doing so, Todd let loose a huge volume of water saturating the crushed stone below the Barn. Very amusing to watch Todd Falls gush for a solid ten minutes before that water drained. Then, as the excavators began to fill in their trenches with crushed stone and clean soil, we finished gluing the telephone conduit together and buried that, too.


Our hydrant stands in the now-filled gap between the Barn and the main house.


Todd Falls. (Unreliable.)

Onward with lumber! We started with the walk-out basement exterior wall and the one load-bearing basement interior wall. Since the basement floor slab was not quite flat, we surveyed the elevations of the ICFs and cut studs accordingly. Then we built the wall halfway, surveyed again, and cut the remaining studs slightly shorter to flatten the top plate. Plenty of hands available to raise the walls once they were built, but the building took some time, particularly the exterior wall with all its rough openings. The load-bearing wall pretty much divides the 38-foot-wide house in half, for a maximum floor joist span of about 20 feet.


Interior wall raised with some studs missing; exterior wall in progress.

For those longish floor joists we’re using some nifty prefabricated wood trusses, which are deeper and thus much stronger than the 2×10 joists in the Barn. Carson and Cole carried the trusses over to what will be the front of the house, and Terry and I slid them into position. Next week we’ll nail those puppies down, and away we go.


Trusses ready to become floor joists.

One thought on “Wood is Good

  1. Pingback: Two Hundred Fifty | PERCH ENGINEERING PLC

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