Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Project to be

Now that the scissor truss design is done the evenings coming down to the weekend are going to consist of cutting the proper sizes of gusset plate out of 5/8 plywood and getting the rest of the materials rounded up.  I am especially looking forward to getting 2x6x16'  shoved in the back of my Toyota Camry.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Subflooring, well actually kind of boring

Today and yesterday have exhibited some pretty awesome weather, and for a few hours after work each day Doug and I managed to install a few windows on the second floor (shown above) and lay new sub-flooring in what used to be the three seasons room.  This was much to the dismay of the chipmunk who has decided to take up residence in the basement stairwell.  Progress continued despite the rodentine objections, and the sub floor has be successfully placed making the elevations of the old house and the addition match.  It also shows where the eventual staircase to the basement will be installed, though that is not a battle currently on the horizon.  "Well then what is the next battle..." you may find yourself asking.  I can say this much, it is one involving the fabrication of truss plates and nailing fasteners instead of soldiers.  It seems like I can manage general life and put a few hours of work in every evening during the week which seems to add up over time.  It doesn't give the same gratification as seeing extreme changes from one day to the next, but visible progress can still be seen.  So as always, Onward and Upward to another day of work!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not Boring... FLOORING!

     The morning started a bit slow for me today which sometimes happens after a rooftop pitcher of good margaritas.  However, starting slow was not the apparently the case for Doug who had three or four (aka the remaining) pieces of sheathing in place when I showed up at 9:30ish with coffee.  The plan of the day was to get the floor under the addition reinforced.  The main problem with the floor is instead of using 2x8"s or 2x10"s (good building practice for the past 100 years or so) 2x6"s were used and to boot they consisted of a low grade of lumber so over half of the beams had a large cracked knot on the underside reducing their effective bearing capacity by quite a great deal. 
     The correct solution for the whole addition I am realizing now was to bulldoze it and start from scratch,  however since that did not happen, every floor joist was faced with a clear (meaning a grade with only a few small knots) 2x6.  After a half an hour of slamming the first one in place with large hammers and crowbars, Doug figured out that taking quarter inch notches from the ends of the joists made them fit without too much trouble, and the difference in height could be fixed easily with shims. 
     Once all the beams were up Doug had to run off for a few hours to volunteer at a prior engagement.  This did not stop me from cutting out the hole for the new stairwell and making sure it was cleaned of nails and materials.  I also decided to take a break a few hours into this endeavor when one of my boot laces became tangled up on a nail which in turn caused a miss-step through a gaping hole in the floor.  I got off easy though with only a bruised knee. All things considered, far better than the other potential outcomes.
   By the end of the day not only did we have what we set out to do finished part of next week's schedule was taken care of, and we had enough energy left to clean up the site before deciding to break for the day and get a beer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Working without a lynch pin

This was the first weekend of construction I have attempted solo.  Doug is off at an art opening in Chi town and Lynch has departed on his sojourn of walking the Appalachian trail.  I didn't expect to move as quickly as the last few weeks, but still had expected to do more than ended up getting done.  It seems to be the case though that one can tell how the work will go prior to commencement.  I had planned on getting some things in place on Friday after work, however purchasing materials took about an hour or so longer than expected since apparently Home Depot decided to stock everything except effective helpful employees and the lumber that I needed.  It didn't help either (the progress or my mentality) that Michigan decided to dish out an "beautiful" misting and windy forty degree day.  I can hands down say that working by myself is ok, but not anywhere near as fulfilling as working with the man I work to emulate and a very good friend.  There were really no arguments, or shared successes, just lonely construction and indeed construction continued.  One side of the house is now equipped with window sealed and framed.  The nicest part about this is now work can continue inside without floodlights during the day or the removal of the temporary ply over openings.  Ah well, I guess after the prior progress that there were a few slow days in line to even things out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I like to call it "The Ladder, Scaffolding, Ladder System"

Well There have been quite a few pictures with no explanation of progress of late and what could be better than typing up an explanation of the "Ladder, Scaffolding, Ladder, System".  Not only is it probably safe it also kind of works and will most likely hold together while I get the last 4-5 pieces of plywood facing on. Though for the past few weeks Lynch, Doug and myself have been trying to get the work requiring multiple people done before he (Lynch) went south to hike the Appalachian Trail for the summer.  So from the pictures it is evident that all in all we got the mission accomplished.  There is very little sheathing to be done and what is left can be done with one or two people.  With that said it marks almost a milestone in the project, the completion of framing should be done in the next few weeks.  All that remains for the "Framing" part of project is a few pieces of exterior plywood, a few rows of floor cross ties and a new set of 10' 2x6's under the floor on what used to be the three seasons porch.  Home Depot will have to figure out another way of getting their pound of flesh once my paycheck isn't put into lumber, but I hear that, doors, windows, plumbing, trim, flooring etc are more than willing to step up the war against my savings account.  However, when framing ends it is in deed a milestone because the permanent parts of house are done and I can hire an electrician to drill and saw through all my carefully placed columns.  Thanks to the tax credits the electrification should be covered by my uncle Sam and the house will have a safer source of electricity than a jack-knifed extension cord shoved into a 20A breaker switch.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Breakneck speeds with out the implied injury

Today ended up being a construction day where everything just worked.  The measurements were all right, tools were where you remembered leaving them, or still in you belt, and most of all it was sunny and warm!  The morning started out with a phonecall from the Menards delivery man who had 15 sheets of treated plywood to drop off.  Generally I pick up my own materials instead of having them delivered (because it is free that way, and im super cheap), but the sheathing weighs about 120-130 lbs per sheet and it would have taken four trips cross town to get, so I figured that a saved back and not running errands for half the day was worth 39.99 extra.  I helped the man unload the plywood and bought him a cup of coffee in the interum between when the order arived and when Lynch was supposed to get there.  The first order of the day was to get the remainder of the windows installed on the old porch-face.  Supprisingly 4 out of the 5 of them went in without any problems (frames not being square, spaces too small, etc), and all the 5th one needed a little shaving off the edges.  With the windows sealed with foam and locked into place with temporary pieces of trim we broke for lunch.
Generally the day winds down after lunch, we pick up the mess, gather tools and either shut the project down entirely or prep a bit for the next day.  However today it did any thing but slow down.  Refuled and rehydrated we removed all the siding and "weatherboard" (truly an awful construction material) from one of the sides on the second story and started putting in new columns.  We ended about seven with a beer and will be back at it again tomorrow morning bright and early for hopefully another day that goes as well.