Saturday, March 22, 2014

Week 11 - First floor framing completed

Don, the carpenter, got a lot of work done this week. He said he had help for one day, but I’m impressed. The second floor subflooring is in place and you can see the boards for the second floor walls up on the roof. I forgot to ask how they got up there, but I’m guessing they used the excavator. I took some pictures earlier in the week as everything came together — it’s neat to see how the frame is setup.

Beams and joists

Starting with the ceiling over the kitchen, a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beam provides support for the horizontal 2 x 8 boards, called joists, onto which the second floor flooring will be placed.

Looking from the front door, you can see how the LVL beam spans the width of the kitchen. Off in the distance, by the way, is Mount Norwottuck, directly accessible from the trail across the street. The diagonal posts are there for stability — they’re temporary.

Subfloor is done

By Tuesday, most of the joists were in place and Don was getting started on the subflooring, which consists of OSB panels. By Friday, he was all done.

Beams over windows

Another LVL beam is placed over the large windows in the dining room, to keep pressure off the windows — you don’t want them to buckle over time and loose their seal.

Joist brackets

Another way to support the joists is to use metal joist brackets, shown above. This is right over the stairs. They don’t look that sturdy, but I guess they do the trick.

Double joists for the bathroom

The image above shows the double joists underneath the bathroom. See how the joists look thicker: there are two of them. If the bathtub is full of water, you’ve installed tile everywhere, and ten people are crowded inside to see how nice it looks, you want extra support under the bathroom. Also, bathrooms tend to have pipes under the floor, requiring holes through the joists, which can compromise the strength of a single joist.

Floor joist blocking

The little 2 x 8 boards running perpendicular to the joists are called blocking. They serve to even out the floor load and to provide something solid to nail the upstair wall into. Staggering the blocking allows you to nail straight through the joist into the blocking.