Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The wood elves pay a visit

Well, at least the sun is setting a little later now. It makes getting out to the home before the sun sets, a little easier. When I got there today, the view into the garage had changed quite a bit.

The wood elves have setup shop outside the garage

Obviously the framer has been quite productive the last couple days. I walked around back, to get a better view of the overall work.

Main support wall from center left, through the middle of the image

Back half of the home, going away from me, family room, guest bath and office, utility, garage

It looked good from a distance, time to see the work up close. I headed into the garage.

Garage, facing utility room, double doors will be on the left side for easy access

I'll stop here for a moment and explain about the different wall heights (before someone asks why there are three different wall heights). The green roof that I am going to have on the top, will have a very shallow slope. It will be easy to walk on, and hopefully easy to keep the dirt on top of. However, that means that the trusses that are going on top of the walls have to provide that gentle slope. Given the open spans that I want in some of the rooms, and the load that the roof has to support, we needed some fairly substantial trusses. They will span from the north ICF wall, to the central support wall (the tall framed wall running through the middle of the home), then a second set of trusses will span from that wall, out to the south ICF wall. The trusses will be 1 foot tall, and will be spaced one foot apart.

A truss has a bottom and top piece of material, in this case steel, running along its length. Then it has a series of struts that connect the top and bottom. At the back, on the north wall, we are going to attach the top of the trusses to the brackets that were embedded in the top of the wall. So the bottom of the trusses will be hanging down about a foot from the top of the back wall. At the center support wall, they will put on brackets to attach the trusses to. The top of the trusses will be attached to these brackets, and the bottoms will be hanging about 6 inches below the top of the ICF walls at that point. The tops will be about 6 inches above the ICF wall. This will provide the slope for the roof. For the front part of the home, the trusses will be starting out 6 inches higher than where they were on the back wall. Then on the front ICF wall, they will attach the bottom of the trusses to the plates they embedded in the wall. So now at the front, the top of the truss will be about a foot higher than at the back of the home. Inside, the ceiling will be shifted up in the front half, so that it is attached just below the bottom of the trusses on the central support wall. The result of this is that the ceiling in the front half of the home, will be about 6 inches higher than in the back half. This may help to understand.

Looking down the axes of the house from east to west

Ok, back to the home tour.

Looking from the front door toward the entrance to the family room.

When the home is done, this will be an open archway from the dining/kitchen into the family room. The center wall is made up of 2x6 studs, spaced at one foot intervals. Other than where there is an opening for a door, or this archway, there will be a stud directly under each truss to carry the weight down to the floor, and into the footer.

Looking toward coat closet, and down hall

They haven't finished framing in the guest or master bedrooms yet. From the progress they made the last two days, I would venture to say that tomorrow the framing will be completed.

The plans hanging on the wall

Funny thing, they keep treating my walls like a big cork board. Here you can see the foundation plan. The shaded, curved sections sticking out from the walls of the house, are block retaining walls. They will help manage the soil that will be piled up against the outside walls.

Looking through the south office wall, into the guest bathroom

Now looking south in the utility room

Now there are walls, to start planning the arrangement of the hydronic heating components with.

Out in the hall, outside the utility room

Across from the utility room and garage doorways, will be coat hooks, and a bench where I can put on my shoes/boots before venturing outside. Looking down the hall, through the hobby room, I will be able to look out the window and see what the weather is looking like.

Well, things are proceeding quite nicely. I did spot a place where the floor is chipped, but it should get hidden when the drywall and baseboards are put in. It is impractical to expect the floor to get through the entire construction unscathed. However as long as the problems are minor, I will just refer to it as "distressed". That will make it worth more right?

Still waiting to hear when the roof is going to be installed. Once that is done, most of the rest of the construction, will be a little more typical of home construction.

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