Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On to the rafters

We got quite a bit done today. We started by cutting back the roof more to get better access to the ends of the existing trusses, then removed the nails holding them to the top plate of the back wall. Once the nails were out, we pounded on the hangers that connect the existing trusses to the new girder truss.

With the girder truss in place, we then positioned the common trusses and built a 2x6 beam and rafters onto the existing roof. This picture shows half of that, but we actually finished it before quitting for dinner.

The kitchen cabinets were delivered today, so they're sitting in the driveway under a canopy. Hopefully we'll make a lot of headway on the final beam and 2x12 rafters tomorrow so we can get our roof on by Saturday or Sunday. We have one last day of rain to deal with on Friday, so we'll probably have to get a large tarp at Home Depot in the morning when we place the order for the windows.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Starting to look like a house

We've made a ton of progress in the past few days. We finished standing up the remaining two walls, set the girder truss in place (big thanks to Erik, Trevor and Karisa!), and set the 19' beam.

Here's a shot that shows the east wall, comprised of the existing slider and two 36" fixed french windows, one on each side:

Here's a shot of the south wall with five 30" windows:

And here's a shot of the 19' beam we set today. Setting the heavy stuff is a pretty tricky operation, given how few people we have. Today it was just me, dad, Jen, two ladders and a motorcycle lift.

Our next challenge is to get the hangers installed so the existing trusses are supported by our girder truss. This will involve cutting back the roof to make room to work. I think this week will be full of ugly grunt work, but we should have the roof on by the weekend.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Walls? Yeah, we got 'em.

We started the day with a little disagreement about how to lay out the east wall. We had two competing influences, one being the 19' beam and the other being the tie-down in the foundation.

Specifically, the 19' beam needs to rest on a 6x6 post in the wall between the slider and the window to the north of the slider. The tie-down attaches to the wall south of the last window on that wall. If we wanted the 19' beam to be in-line with our kitchen wall, the tie-down would end up in the middle of a window.

After some lightly heated discussion, we agreed that the beam did not need to line up with the kitchen wall since it will not be visible. Instead, the post that will support that end of the beam will be located behind the last cabinet in the kitchen, in a little 12" pocket created where the cabinet is 24" deep, but the fridge next to it is 36" deep.

We stood the wall up a little at a time to about 45 degrees using sawhorses and multiple blocks. Once we got it to that point, the two of us hefted it up the rest of the way.

Then we turned our attention to the west wall. Before we could do anything there, we needed to remove the bedroom window and frame in the new window and closet door. So we started ripping and tearing...

I didn't get a shot of the final framing because it started sprinkling at the end of the day, and we had to get all the tools in and some sort of waterproofing installed.

Today, we're going to sheet and stand up the west wall that we framed last night. Then we'll lay out and frame the south wall. Hopefully some friends will show up around 1pm to help us stand up the south wall and set the girder truss.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ready to build some walls

Yesterday was another grueling day of laboring in the sun. We spent most of the day removing the existing siding and roof to make room for our new walls. This involved cutting off the truss tails where our new girder truss will attach, and then removing those sections of the roof. We burned a saw blade cutting through the asphalt shingles.

After a few hours, we had the wall all ready to go.

We had a minor standstill while we worked through a problem with the trusses delivered the other day. Because we're only using trusses on the first five feet of the addition and 2x12 rafters after that, there was a mismatch in the heel height. In other words, the rafters would create a roof that was about ten inches higher than the trusses.

We talked to the designer, the truss manufacturer and the engineer, and finally decided to have three common trusses made with the proper heel. One of those trusses will be attached to the girder truss to provide the correct heel without requiring the girder truss to be remade. The new trusses should be here Monday, which works great because we'll have our walls up by then, and they can put the trusses on the walls for us with the crane.

While this was all happening (and the electrician was replacing our panel), we worked on the roof of the shed. The nail guns from my dad's friend Ernie arrived a day early and made the job A LOT easier. At quitting time, we had the beam and rafters in place. Most of the roof is made from the deck we tore out on day one.

Tomorrow we'll finish laying out, cutting, assembling and standing up our three exterior walls!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's official... we're out of the ground

After some business stuff in the morning, we finished the wall sheathing on the shed, leveled out some of the dirt piles to make it easier to maneuver, then started laying the decking on the addition.

To ensure we have a solid floor with no squeaks down the road, we used glue and screws to attach the 4x8 decking sheets.

After swinging a hammer the entire previous day, using the hammer drills on the decking was a welcome change. By quitting time, we had laid all the decking.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shed walls are tipped up

We opted to work on the shed today so we can start moving our tools out of the garage. Because we won't have the nailer until the weekend, we're still having to hammer everything, which makes everything take about twice as long.

Here's a shot of the first wall before we tipped it up:

We almost finished the walls before it was time to quit. Tomorrow, we'll finish the last piece of sheeting and work on getting a roof on it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

TJI palooza

We didn't make much visible progess yesterday because I spent most of the day running around (and then snuck out for a dive last night). We had to rent a concrete grinder to lower a couple spots of the wall that were a little high.

Note: Adequate ventilation, eye protection, and a really good respirator is an absolute must when grinding concrete. It makes a TON of dust very quickly. I recommend waiting until you have a decent breeze and your neighbors are at work.

One of our problems is the SW corner, where the back wall form was about 1/2" too short. This is the part of the wall where we step down 3", and it's the only part of the project that hasn't been spot-on.

So basically we were ready to start tipping up the TJI joists at the end of the day yesterday. We met with the inspector first thing this morning, and he cut us some slack on the 7/8" all-thread tie-downs we were supposed to install. Because of the way the existing foundation was poured, we'd need a 36" concrete bit to do it per plan. Instead, we'll use a steel strap on the side of the existing foundation (which will require ANOTHER rental of the hammer drill).

I had some business stuff to take care of after that, and then the form rental driver arrived to pick up the forms. We helped him load everything onto his truck, and then zipped down to Lumbermen's in Fife to firm up the window order. After lunch, we finally set up the rim joists and started in on the TJI's. Soon this view looking down out our back slider will be gone:

My dad's buddy from Alaska was supposed to send us his nailer, but it's not arriving until Friday. That means I spent all day swinging a hammer. When we quit for dinner at 9:15pm, we only had two more 28' TJI's to stand up. Here's how it looked about an hour before we quit:

Tomorrow, we'll finish up the floor joists, then frame up the shed since all that wood is sitting on top of our flooring and needs to be moved anyhow. Hopefully we can backfill soon before one of us breaks a leg from climbing in and out of the hole!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Getting ready to frame

We started the day by stripping the forms and piling all the form stuff in the driveway for pickup on Monday. It was a little tough separating the panels from the concrete, and then each panel had to be scraped clean.

Once that was done, we tore into the lumber package and moved all the TJI joists and treated 2x6 bottom plate to the backyard. We got most of the plate ready to install, but there are two issues that stopped us:

1) Astrof forgot to give us washers for the galvanized bolts
2) One side of the foundation wall is about 1/4" higher than the existing floor level

We had to quit a little early to get my parents to some party in Ballard, anyhow, so we decided to tackle these issues tomorrow. We'll go to Home Depot first thing to get the washers and rent a concrete grinder. As long as we're going to Home Depot, we'll rent a hammer drill to sink the two 3/4" tie-downs (per plan) and some galvanized all-thread to create a couple anchor bolts within 6" of our plate joints.

Here's how our foundation looks now, sans form panels.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Foundation... complete!

Wow, what a busy day. The pump truck, concrete truck and lumber truck all showed up at the same time. While the pump truck guys were setting up the hose, the lumber guys dumped our framing package in our driveway.

Here's a shot of the concrete truck set up to dump mud into the pump truck's hopper.

The pump truck guy was totally cool (and a diver!), and he offered to run the hose. After pouring the footing the other day, I gladly accepted. I helped lug the hose around behind him instead.

This time they brought a hook, which made filling the forms relatively easy. We filled them about halfway all the way around, then let it set up for about 5 minutes. After that, we worked our way back to where we started, filling the forms up to our grade line.

Once the wall was complete, we poured the pad for the storage shed. Dad and I screeded with a 12' 2x4 while the pump guy poured the mud. When the pad was full, we went back and set the anchor bolts before working the surface smooth.

It feels REALLY good to have the foundation done. This should be the end of the really dirty grunt work. We'll strip the forms tomorrow and then tip up the TJI joists in preparation for Monday's inspection!

Ready to pour concrete again

Yesterday was another full day. We worked a little on the forms in the morning, then went to Costco to get a Little Giant ladder and Simple Floors to order our African Black Walnut flooring. When we got back, we finished setting up the stem wall forms.

Once the forms were done, we leveled the area where the 12x12 shed will go and set up some forms for that slab.

Here's a shot that shows where the shed will be located. If you continued the east wall of the foundation southward, it would line up with the west side of the shed. This way the shed will provide a natural boundary for the patio area and lawn area.

The inspector should be here in an hour or so, then we should be pouring concrete around noon. The lumber package is being dropped off today, too, so we should be framing this weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can't wait to get out of the ground

Our goal for today was to get the forms set up to pour the stem wall. We started by cross-measuring to get the exact position of the wall, then we snapped our lines. Next, we nailed down all the panel cleats.

When we started adding the second row of panels, however, we discovered that we had no snap-tie wedges. So we called Astrof, and they delivered them within a couple hours. In the meantime, we made our final dump run and had lunch. After that, we resumed assembling the forms.

I had to bail at 5pm to go diving, but we couldn't get an inspection until Friday anyhow, so now there's no hurry. When I got back from diving, we epoxied the stem wall tie-ins and made a quick run to Home Depot. I returned the laser thingie I bought the other day and rented a transit instead. The transit was only $38, as opposed to the $74 United Rentals wanted.

We might try to line up concrete for Friday after our inspection, just like we did for the footing. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Footing complete, hedge-beast gone

The inspector showed up this morning and put a gold star on our report card, so we called to confirm the concrete delivery at noon. We then made a quick run to the dump with a third of the hedge-beast. Once the concrete and pump truck showed up, we were pouring concrete in about 30 minutes.

For those of you who think pouring concrete in shorts in stupid... well, you're totally right. I started out without safety glasses, and promptly got a big glob in my eye. I'll be wearing something entirely different when we pour the stem well in a couple days.

Once the concrete was poured, we smoothed it out with 2x4's and trowels. Most people just leave the footing rough, but we took the extra time to make the top of the footing smooth. Hopefully it will make setting the stem wall forms easier.

When the footing was complete, we turned our attention back to the hedge-beast while the footing cured. We made the second dump run after getting an adapter so we had brake lights and turn signals. Then we came back and loaded up the last of the hedge. We'll take it to the dump in the morning.

We stripped the forms from the footing after dinner and stacked them up nicely in the driveway. I'll try to get a shot of the finished footing in the morning.

We passed the footing inspection

The inspector left about 20 minutes ago after signing off on our footing forms. We've got concrete from Corliss and a pump truck from Wes-Mar showing up here at noon, so we should have the footing poured by about 2pm. Then we'll strip the forms around 5pm or 6pm and get them out of the way.

Here's a close-up of one of the tie-ins to the existing footing. There are four pieces of #4 epoxied into the existing footing 12" OC. Then, there are three pieces of #5 laid parallel to the existing footing. Seems like major overkill to me, but I'm just a software guy.

Here's a shot of one of the outer corners of the footing. Note the spreaders nailed to the top of the form, as well as the 2x2 we're using to hold the vertical hooks in place.

And here's the whole enchilada. There's a single bar of #4 running through the whole footing, with vertical hooks 48" OC. The footing is 8" tall, except for the tie-in pads, which are 10". Finally, there's a 24"x24" pad (the cardboard box) that will be the 12" tall pad for the beam directly above.

It's a little tricky because the existing footing slopes down to the west, and the existing stem wall is stepped in the middle. Our footings all come out from the house level, and our end footing slopes to match the existing. We'll step our stem wall down in the SW corner.

Our stem wall falls right in the middle of the access hole in the existing stem wall, so we'll fill that and tie it in at the top. I'll post details of that when we get the forms set up tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just about ready to pour the footing

We finished up the forms first thing this morning, then I ran down to United Rentals to return the non-leveling transit and pick up a hammer drill. My dad's smaller hammer drill gave out on us yesterday after we struggled to drill about half the tie-in holes. The big one I rented today made finishing the holes pretty darn easy.

Here's the forms all set up and ready to pour:

Here's some of the holes we drilled into the existing foundation for the rebar tie-ins. After I eat lunch, we're going to epoxy in the rebar, then we'll schedule our first inspection!

In case you were wondering, cats do NOT make good helpers.

Hedge and root palooza

We finished digging the hole yesterday and began setting the footing forms. Since the excavator had to go back today, though, we decided to yank out the hedge next to our driveway, as well as the roots left over from the tree we had removed. Here's the hedge-beast:

Here's the pile of roots we pulled out. Our front yard is totally torn up now, so we'll have some landscaping to do when the addition is complete.

When we couldn't find anything else to destroy with the excavator, we inhaled some dinner and went back to work on the forms. We had them just about done by the time it was too dark to work anymore, and here's what they looked like this morning:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is there a back doctor in the house?

Wheelbarrows can be fun sometimes. Like, if you're moving cotton balls or helium-filled balloons around. When you're moving chunks of concrete patio uphill in the sun, however, the wheelbarrow is decidedly NOT fun.

We started with this:

Then we realized we didn't have enough room to put the dirt we needed to remove for the foundation. The words "we gotta wheelbarrow it out front" were spoken, and my fate was sealed. Apparently "we" means "you" in dad-speak. A few hours later, I felt like I was going to collapse, but the concrete was nicely stacked by the curb.

Now, when I first starting thinking we should do all the work on this addition ourselves, I was imagining swinging a hammer, setting cabinets, painting walls... the fun stuff! I'm pretty sure wheelbarrowing 200-lb loads of concrete for hours on end never entered my mind. For the record, this is really the kind of construction I like to do:

At any rate, we managed to get the hole dug today. Tomorrow we'll get the footing forms set up and ready for inspection. Unless we have problems drilling the holes for the tie-ins to the existing footing, that is.