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The House Building Blog—Wall Framing

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Building the Exterior Walls

Our framers are now laying out the bottom plates, studs and top plates on the subfloor, nailing on the plywood sheathing and then raising each wall into place. Once in place, they brace them temporarily with a 2 by 6. It's amazing how fast the exterior is taking shape and how we can now get a good feel of the spaces in the rooms and the views from the window openings. It's reassuring to see that it feels the way we had envisioned it in the design process.

how to frame a wall

Each individual wall is framed then propped up with a 2 by 6. The wall bottom plates are nailed through the subfloor to the sill plate on top of the insulated concrete form wall.

wall framing

In this photo, the wall corner top plates have been lapped and nailed together. Properly sized lintels span across the top of the window openings and trimmer studs support the lower window opening.

All studs are doubled up at window and door openings and multiple studs are nailed together at the corners. (In this photo, a piece of wall sheathing still needs to be trimmed above one of the window openings.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Interior Frame Wall

Interior Wall Framing

Most of the main level interior walls have been framed. Just the wall framing for the pantry right in the middle of this level remains to be built. The entry and the washroom are in the front right corner of this photo. The only other room with four walls is the playroom, which will someday transform into a den, at the left front of the photo. The kitchen will have a large window-like opening to the playroom. The kitchen, then dining room, then living room run from left to right across the other side of this level. The as yet unframed central pantry creates a division between the kitchen and the living room and helps define the dining area as a room. A hallway will run on one side of the pantry from the entry then past the stairwell (to the right of the playroom) then on to the kitchen and playroom.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Second Level Floor Joists

floor joists on top of wall framing

The subfloor for the second level being delivered.

In this photo you can see how the second level floor framing differs from the first floor. Here all the floor joists are attached by hangers to the central LVL that runs the length of the house (as opposed to bearing on top of it). This is so there will not be a floor beam dropping down into the main level (or the width between the main floor ceiling drywall and upper level subflooring be substantially thicker.) In the basement, we decided we didn't mind having a single beam dropping to the 7'4" level. At the left side of this floor level the floor joists change direction and are attached to an LVL running width-wise across the house. This is so we can cantilever a master bedroom balcony off this LVL. (The balcony floor joists still need to be trimmed to length.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gable Wall Framing

gable wall framing

The kids and I arrived at the site around 5 p.m. yesterday in time to watch the east side gable wall get lifted up into place. Mark was just finishing framing the wall with the wall lying down on the second floor sub-flooring as we arrived so the kids and I climbed up into the tree house for a bird's eye view. To lift the framed wall from the floor, Mark and Brad used some simple jacks attached to 2X6s to lift the 15 foot gable wall until it was at about a 70 degree angle. Then they nailed a few temporary lengths of wood to the outside lower story wall. These temporary supports poked up above the height of the upper sub-flooring. Next they pushed the gable wall up the remaining distance to vertical. They then nailed the gable wall to the supports. It was quite exciting to watch since these will be the highest walls.

The framing material for the roof was just delivered today. Roof framing will begin tomorrow. The weather has changed to cool and wet from the incredibly dry autumn we've been having so far. It will be good to see the roof on since already big puddles are forming on the sub-flooring.

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