Saturday, October 29, 2011

Construction Update October 23 to 29, 2011

To make this dormer I found that we had to make a few modifications just as soon as we stood up this wall of windows.  For example, we had to extend the top plate on each side with lookouts to receive the eave rafter and facia board.

We also set up the roof joists on Shirley's new pantry and installed 3/4 inch plywood instead of 1/2 inch since the fall on this roof is only 3 inches in six feet it needs to be as solid as possible.

Immediately Brendan waterproofed it with Titanium UDL.

Next we prepared the roof TGI's to the right length and with the right angles on each end... and built them up ready for facia boards.  These were almost 22 feet long and sure didn't feel as heavy as those TGI's on the other side of this building.

What a glorious autumn day to be working on this project.  We pre cut all the blocking to size and installed them at each end along with the TGI's, which went in really quickly.

In order to accommodate the new dormer, we had to purchase three 2 x 12's... the first one became the outside rafter over the bathroom... it will hold the facia board and soffit.

We also built the last two walls for our master bedroom closet... and this coming week we will get the roof for it built, as well as the canopy that extends over to the central cantilevered beam.

 On Wednesday we went to Victoria for Shirley's eye appointment... and I also picked up over 500 lineal feet of custom cut full 1" x 12" cedar facia board.  It was the most beautiful cedar product I have seen... but when I saw the pile of boards, there were several 18 foot boards... and there was no way I could transport them on my short box  pickup.  So I rented a trailer.

We unloaded the boards into the studio next to the storage under the waterproof roof and stacked the boards with slats between so this green and wet lumber can dry out before we have to paint it.

We set up the rafters on the dormer on Thursday afternoon.

We also added a small raker window on the side of the dormer... and will do it on both sides of this dormer.

It was a very difficult task to build this wall between the top of the dormer and the roof over the storage beside it on the left side of this picture.  There are two different angles on each vertical member, and it was a trick to measure and cut them to fit perfectly.  I had to do one of these 2 x 4's three times to get it right.  and we get to do it all over again on the other side next week.  By the time we get if finished I will know how to do it.

Looking down from the loft to the main studio we enjoy the view thru the front window. Also notice the three clearstory windows above.

At the end of this week this is the front elevation view as you come from the cottage to the house.  Shirley has requested that we trim off a few of the lowest branches on a couple of trees to tidy up this front view.  But that is a minor problem compared to the ugly power pole.

We are looking forward to getting rid of this power pole that has the meter and brings the power from here underground into our house.  This past week our electrician installed a new electrical panel in the back room on our garage with a 12 foot mast and new meter base.  It won't be long before we will be taking down that ugly power pole which is so close to our new addition.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Shirley

The leaves were turning colour and many have fallen... and it was a glorious sunny day to be with my sweetheart at the Royal Oak Golf Course today.

Shirley took this one shot of me thru these gorgeous leaves... thrust me, that really is me.  I don't wear my cowboy hat when golfing.

There were even several holes where Shirley got par and I didn't.  She felt pretty good about the day golfing together and told me as we drove on the way to lunch that she was happy go count this Groupon golf day as "her day" and who knows if we can even golf in my birthday.

My game was pretty slow starting... but on the second nine I had some good luck...  twice in a row I got a birdie.  The second one was a chip in from off the green.

After the game we went to White Spot for fish and chips... and then to Lance's... our roofer to pick up some larger metal colour samples for our new roof.  Then we went to the Running Room in Langford and each spent another last minute Groupon.  Shirley got a really cute purple top... and I got some push up swivel things that help you get more muscles involved in doing pushups.  

"I think it pisses off God when we walk by the colour purple and don't notice it."

We picked up a door and frame for Shirley's new recycling room under the stairs to the studio.  Then we headed for Safeway in Sidney... picked up a few groceries... a couple of sticky buns and some Starbucks soy latte.

When we got to the ferry every one was already driving on, and the ferry dispatcher waved us to follow the last car on.  This is my sweetheart working on her laptop on the ferry.  No more snagle tooth.  Tomorrow is officially her birthday... but we started a little celebrating already last night by watching the movie, "Thelma and Louise" and eating home made popcorn and apples.  

Shirley says she it doesn't feel like she is 65.  Isn't that wonderful!  Somehow I think she is going to keep saying that until she is 90!

"Everyone wants to live a long time, but no body wants to get old."


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Construction Update October 16 to 22, 2011

This has been a pretty productive week, in spite of the rain.

The first order of business was to set up the tallest wall on this west elevation.  We had it made last Friday, but we needed Shirley to help us... and she was in Victoria that afternoon.  Different than the other large walls, we could not build it and just stand it up.   After finally getting it vertical we had to rotate it 90 degrees but it was too heavy to just pound it into place.  Then I got the idea of putting a couple of dowels under it and while Shirley and Brendan kept it balanced I rolled very easily into place. Once again we couldn't have done it without Shirley.

With the wall in place we could now set up the 3-ply LVL beam on the roof ridge.

After making a couple of calls to Matt at Atlas Truss we agreed to modify the layout to give us the maximum roof area from the 15 TGI's we have for each side of the roof.  On two foot centres that gives us a maximum of 28 feet wide... so I revised the layout on the top of the wall.

The only problem was that our ridge beam on hand was 27 feet.  So with a couple of pieces of left over LVL which I cut down to the 11-7/8 inch height I did a diagonal splice which we glued and screwed and then let dry overnight.  See how this added an extra foot to the beam.

We staggered the three beams putting a full beam end next to the two spliced end and then gave it extra nails.  When I ran this creative solution past our beam engineer, he said he had never seen this done before, but in actual fact just one of the three LVL's could carry that outside TGI since it only cantilevered one foot past the bearing point.

It only took us a couple of hours to put the three beams into their final resting place.  Here Brendan is doing the final nailing on the most difficult part of the span.  We are now ready to finally put up the TGI's.

But there was lots of preparation on each TGI before we even lifted them to the roof.  First we had to cut both ends at the correct angle... then Brendan put on the special joist hangers.

We added 2x4 blocking to each end of the TGI's to make possible nailing on these hangers as well as facia  boards on the tail end.  Pretty cool hangers, eh?  They are are upside down sitting here.

We set up a 2x6 ramp in the window to guide the TGI's one at a time as I pushed them up to Brendan...

who pulled them from the window and wrestled these heavy 25-foot long joists around by himself...  poking one end out the window in order to turn it around before setting it down.

He then stacked them side by side ready to go up into place.

The next morning we set up all 15 TGI's and that afternoon we started to put down the 1/2 inch sheathing.  Shirley took this photo early the next morning.

I picked up some Titanium UDL vapour barrier which Brendan put down making this half of the new addition protected from water a little more.  See the 1/2 inch H-clips we used between the sheets midway between the JGI's.

It didn't take Shirley long to clean up and sweep this half of the studio.  Behind the 2x4 stud wall is a storage room about 6 x 22 feet with headroom from between 6 to 8 feet.

We also got some more 2x6's, which I used the tractor to lift up to the loft level... which is about 18 feet.

Being lazy I look for every chance I can to use the tractor to save me having to do too much lifting.

After finishing the first side of roof joists, we found that our main ridge beam needed to be 3 inches less... so I did the delicate task of cutting it off with my new chain saw.  It was like walking thru a mine field of nails and I was amazed I was able to detect each one and cut around them so I didn't wreck the teeth in the chain.

We then built the short wall with the clearstory windows on top of the beam.  See my selfie shadow?

Here is the view from the loft... the new dormer windows are framed... and the Mayne Queen is passing by on it's way from Saturna Island.  To see what the dormer will look like look at the previous post from yesterday, "A Flash of Light."

And this is the part of the loft that is over the bathroom and stairs.

This shows the roof from below on our circle driveway.

Another photo from the circle driveway from the other side.  In another week we should have the roof on the other side ready for the roofers.

This is what our place is looking like today if you were coming up the driveway from the cottage.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Flash of Light

After working much of yesterday on the roof and loft level I was just overtaken by the absolutely incredible view from this height.  It was a glorious day.

Last night as I slept I found myself in my sub-consious working on a way to make a dormer for the loft.  First I tried an A-frame type dormer, like we have in our current living room, but there is not enough height to give us much benefit.   So I then tried a flat top dormer.

My original plan treated the loft primarily as a storage area... hence no windows on the side facing the view.  It is now or never if we want to do anything about this.  For the last few weeks I had brushed off my wife's constant ooooo's and aaaah's about the view, telling her we could put in a few opening skylights that fit between the roof joists.

Then as I was waking up I mulled over a couple of different ideas as to how I might do it better.  Today we planned to build the walls and next week set the roof josits in place... so I quickly pulled out the model and started to cut out cardboard to make a dormer.

This shows a nearly flat top dormer... roof slope falls about a foot over 18 feet.

This shows a dormer that would be about 10 feet wide.

I think I can make it work with the TGI's I have on hand... I may have to use some 2x12's on top of the side walls... and get 2x12's for the eaves.

I have posted these photos so that my TGI engineer and structural engineer can look at this idea and tell me the best way to proceed from here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Construction Update October 9 to 15, 2011

With the Thanksgiving holiday and Brendan calling in sick, we went to town on Tuesday and really only worked three full days together on the project... and I think it is safe to say it was the hardest three days yet on this site.  We were building angled walls... and to get them square and plum when set up had my brain working overtime.

Cutting out the windows was the easiest part... and I could do it in short order.

Tying together the angled walls required cutting angles into the top plate that overlapped.  It was a thing of beauty when it worked out right.

On Friday morning before Shirley went to town she helped us lift up and put in place this 14 plus foot high window wall.  It was by far the heaviest wall we have put up to date... the 8 windows had 8 headers... and each one is built up and very heavy.  Then we had to cover them with 1/2 inch plywood.

When she came back we had another wall that is over 17 feet high almost ready to go up... but we still have more plywood to nail in place first.  I told Brendan that by the time we get these walls done we will know how to build them right the first time every time... something that we can not say we've done.

This is what we looked like at the end of this past week.   By the end of this new week we hope to have up all the other walls, the main heavy beam that will carry the clearstory windows and the higher roof truss joists.  We just got the last three main roof beams delivered mid day on Friday... and on Monday by noon I expect we will have them in place and laminated together.

Shirley enjoys taking photos of the views from all the windows.  This one is of the three windows that are in the stairwell area.

This is the view from the north west corner of the studio over looking the knoll to the right of the water tank... seeing the top of the cabin and some of the meadowland.

From the same window with a slightly different angle we see the corner of the greenhouse, more of the meadowlands and in the foreground the TGI roof rafters under protective tarps.

I think my favourite non-water view is out this single east facing window overlooking Shirley's sunken garden... which she lately has been calling her sunken jungle.  It has really filled out this past summer and I think it's looking really great.

We wish you and us all a really great week.  Stay safe and don't work too hard, eh?