Saturday, October 8, 2011

Construction Update September 25 to 30, 2011

Today I will try to get the construction of the last two weeks documented with photos... and it will likely take two blog posts.

Here is a little custom cutting to combine a top plate to tie together the new pantry wall to the old house and  a new support post at our front door in the existing wall.

This top plate ties into the 3" x 8" post that fits into the wall and will support an :LVL beam that carries the wall and roof load adjacent to the house.  This is the only part of the old house that we have used to carry any of the new construction...

Only in this corner of the original laundry room closet does our new addition overlap our existing house. Once the beams and joists are in place it will take away a small corner of the closet about 15" x 18"... you can see what we had to cut out to make room for the floor joists to be installed.

In order to build the stairwell and finish off the floor joists right up to the house we had to remove all the shingles, soffit and rafter tails on the eaves on the entry side of our house.  Brendan has lots of experience taking off old cedar shakes to install new roofing... the past three years his main job had been with a roofing sub-contractor.

The chainsaw was the easiest way to cut off the rafter tails.  And Brendan did a great job of cutting them off without hitting any nails... which was a little tricky.

Brendan is setting the TGI's into the header for the stairwell.  I removed the rest of the siding in this section so that I could put it back and cover the new support posts as well as the LVL  beam adjacent to the house.

Before we put the 3/4 inch T&G floor plywood on the studio joists, I wanted to extend the concrete posts higher to encase the LVL beams... it would be impossible to do it afterwards.  Ritchie Smith liked this idea, but told me to protect the wood from any reaction of the concrete... so I stapled some 6 mil poly to the beams first.  Each beam has either two 1/2 inch rebars or ready-rods  that go thru the beam and are attached to vertical rebars in the concrete.  This is on Foundation post #4.

Each one was a little different, but the concept was always the same.  Here on the top of Foundation Post #2  I used a ready-rod thru the beam, and wrapped a rebar around the end of the LVL 3-ply beam and back to the other end of the same ready-rod.  After the concrete is poured into the form we will face three of the four posts with 3" of sandstone rock. 

This is the detail of the post inside the garage... Foundation Post #1... the only one that will not be faced with rock after.  Note how we also put four 1/2" x 3" lag bolts with washers to help hold the concrete and the beam together.  In the end of the beam I used a couple of 5" long lags.  This is all to help to keep the beams from twisting under seismic pressure.

Here is Foundation Post #3 with forms in place ready for concrete.  It was no small task to get  the concrete into the small opening on the top of each of these.  Thus we had to do this before putting any of the floor plywood.  Even Shirley helped Brendan and me to place the concrete.  It took three full wheelbarrows of concrete... plus another part mix to fill all four forms.  This one task took almost a full day to complete.  

Once we stripped the forms off and saw the concrete done, it just looked like it was always that way.  Now, with this concrete post complete, it gives me the base on which I will apply the rock facing.  But the most important thing is that structurally it keeps the integrity of the LVL beams from any movement... much better than any metal Simpson bracket one can buy.

We look for every opportunity to use the tractor to help us lift anything up.  We were able to take about 6 or 7 sheets of 3/4" T & G fir plywood at one time... and the studio floor will need about 32-34 sheets.

We put down floor plywood on this entire level in a single day and used over 15 pounds of 2" deck screws.  This floor had better not even think of squeaking!

I was not prepared for the great view that we had once we were standing on the studio floor.  See Shirley's garden boxes on the knoll.  

When Brendan told me around 11 AM that he was not feeling good and wanted to quit at noon, I told him no problem and Shirley went with me to Victoria for the afternoon.  I was able to pick up some supplies... like a lift of 60 sheets of 1/2" sheathing for the walls, two 12" x 14 foot stair stringers and 1" stair tread material in 12 foot lengths and a new chain saw.

By banding the 14-foot boards to the plywood I was able to bring them home in my short box pickup with no problem.  This truck has never came home from Victoria once in the past three years without having a load of gravel or something.  We seldom take the car to town as there is always of load to bring back.


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