Lumber Party

A little of everything as this week begins. Second floor joists, first floor sheathing, plywood subfloors, framing up more stud walls. We’re really cooking, working as late as we can every day to take advantage of the favorable weather and meet our self-imposed goal of getting a roof over our heads by the end of July.

Once again we need to think carefully about the unbuilt structure above us. The second-floor north exterior wall has no corresponding wall below. Therefore, we need to support that wall on a strong deep beam which will transfer the load to beefy columns that run down to the foundation. We built that beam out of three 12-inch-deep LVLs – much stronger than the same cross-section of dimensional lumber, but also heavier.

East elevation. The red box is where we built an LVL beam under the second-floor wall.

East elevation. The red box is where we built an LVL beam under the second-floor wall.

Anticipating that the complete beam would weigh several hundred pounds, Terry, Colin, and Carson raised each LVL to the top of the stud walls separately, then glued and nailed the three together in the air. Then we blocked the beam to a fourth LVL 12 inches away to support the full width of the wall. This detail required us to use joist hangers for framing around the stairs, but once the geometry got resolved Terry was satisfied that our wall and roof support is more than adequate. I think I am, too.

Terry installs blocks between LVLs so they share the load.

Terry installs blocks between LVLs so they share the load.

Speaking of the roof, it arrived today. Well, the structures that will support the roof did. Instead of plain old rafters, we’re using huge prefabricated trusses. A truss can span a long distance with a minimum amount of material, and since we plan to fill the attic with insulation we don’t mind how the truss’s bottom chord and diagonals will break up the space. The delivery truck used a pretty heavy-duty crane assembly to unload all our trusses, which are now strewn about the front yard. I can’t wait to see how we will lift these monsters up over the second floor.

Roof truss delivery!

Roof truss delivery!

Let’s finish with a couple more pictures of the exterior to show our progress. Colin taped all the Zip joints for extra weatherproofing. We’re in the process of building several stud walls upstairs, and when we raise them tomorrow the house will suddenly grow another ten feet.

Mudroom walls, all raised and mostly sheathed.

Mudroom walls, all raised and mostly sheathed.

And Colin tapes the seams.

And Colin tapes the seams.

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