Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Framing the roof

It has taken nearly four months to complete the framing, including the roof of our house.  I know some people have their whole houses completed in that amount of time.  Whatever, I really don't want to hear about it.

Just kidding, we're patient and I believe we are getting an excellent house.  James and Rob are doing all the framing and finishing work, so they will be on our project until the end.  They will be building the porch and deck soon, installing exterior doors and windows, putting up pre-painted siding, hanging interior doors and doing all the finishing work at the end.

The roof trusses arrived November 24th.  We all stopped by the next day to watch the crane load some of them up.  It took two days to get all the main trusses up.  It has taken another month and a half to finish all the side trusses (2x as many) without the boom truck and complete some hand framing of the dormers and the South gable.  The roof is a 15/12 pitch, which is steep and unusual around here.  Dark mornings and afternoons, cold temps, snow, wind and a few icy days have slowed the guys down quite a bit.

Day two with boom truck.  Main trusses go up with the help of a few extra people.

Our framing guys tagged our house :)  MUC = Mega Ultra Corp.

trusses on the family room

inside under the new trusses
garage in progress

garage roof framing is complete with sheathing, facia boards and dormer

more snow before the roof  is on the house

snow covered staircase
SW corner of house - Adding a ridge beam for the South facing gable

South side of house

North side of house

Going up

I can't tell you how ridiculously excited I was to see the first piece of wood going into the construction of our house.  After months of foundation, well, septic, and dirt work, we were finally out of the ground and going up.

Before the delays and the change in the construction of the house, the plan was for a small framing company to build our house.  SIPs go up pretty quickly and the two guys who own Mega Ultra Framing, Rob and James are the best.  After we decided to use 2x6s, the building season was in full swing and Rob and James were still on board for framing our house.  They are awesome, meticulous, and professional.  The only downside is that there are only two of them and our house and garage combined, is more square footage than I can admit at this time.

They began framing the floor at the end of August and continued working on the first and second floors through the first half of November.

Dan and I stop by pretty frequently, usually while we are out for a bike ride or a run, but Dan is the one who gets most of the pictures.  Here is a small sample of the progression of the floor to the second story walls:





floor joints going in


from the back corner of the family room

garage framing begins

support beam in garage

Steel support beams in house.  They support the South facing gable
stairs are in

first floor framing complete.  photo take from the top of the stairs.
view of first floor framing from the second floor of the garage

first floor of the garage framing complete

timber beams go in to support framing of the second floor

view from kitchen through dining area and living room
we're upstairs!
framing progresses












Delays, permitting and finally, a foundation

Whoops. It has been forever since I wrote a post about this house build.  Let's pretend I wrote this one last August, shall we?

Since I last posted, we had to make some major changes to our plans, which delayed the permitting process significantly and the start date.

Because of recent testing on Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), our Municipality decided that SIPs no longer satisfied the requirements for structural building.  So, if we were building a timber frame house, SIPs would be fine as an insulator, but as the structural element, it no longer tested well enough for our seismic and wind zones.

Our architect broke the news to me about a week before we were to get a permit.  I laughed out loud.  Then I said, "Well, maybe it is all for the best."  I was never all that excited about SIPs anyway.  We had to make a decision about a new wall system in the next couple of days.  A decision we had spent months agonizing over previously.

Our contractor suggested we build a 2x6 wall filled with spray foam and furr out the interior to create a thermal break and suggested the cost would be similar.  We quickly agreed and our architect and structural engineer got to work redrawing our plans.  Our building permit was delayed by over a month, which turned out to be a very sunny and warm month.
The Building Permit! 
After a lot of dirt work, the foundation began around July 1st.  The foundation was not a simple one and all the work took almost two months.  We are building two separate structures. The foundation work included a crawl space built with ICFs, a slab garage with block footers below the frostline, piers for the columns, and sonotubes for the deck. There is a lot of hidden structure in the cement for structural engineering of the building as well. Then, a whole lot of dirt came in to level things out.

House footers poured
cement block foundation for garage

ICF blocks set for house
a view of some of the structural rebar in the ICF walls


This door will eventually be at ground level, so will the two
garage doors behind me.  A whole lot of dirt to follow.
added foundation inside ICF walls of house

A whole lot of dirt came in over a weekend.
insulation, radiant heat tubing, and plumbing set before slab is poured for the garage


2 months later, foundation work is complete!  More dirt to follow.