Framing has begun. In fact, we’ve been so thoroughly neck-deep in framing, that Katrina still hasn’t found the time to write about it! Between making final decisions on wall placements, ordering lumber, and planning ahead for what’s to come, it’s been a busy two months.
Still, we can’t keep our readers in suspense forever. Below are some pictures from our framing phase, with quick commentary from me. Once things slow down a bit, Katrina may be able to provide a more thorough recounting of events.
First, from over two months ago: While waiting for our construction loan to process (e.g., waiting to have money to be able to pay workers), my dad, who had built his own house in Alaska, had kindly agreed to get us started.
First-story floor joists
The supports beneath
I came out to help on the weekends. Here, the Zlatkovskys doing what Zlatkovskys do best:
We each had our own approach for how to straighten an obstinate wall:
(Rest assured -- this was only for the photo!)
Some time later...
With the first floor walls done (and at this point, having closed on the loan and now employing a 4-man construction crew), the next step was the second floor. Because of our open-floor-plan design, this involved having two really long, really heavy steel beams (and a good number of wood ones, too). In the picture below, the steel I-beams is wrapped with wood to allow us to later attach floor joists to it.
The workers used two hand-crank lifts to lift the beams. It was quite a momentous occasion, so we all (including my brother) came out to see:
With the steel beams in place, they could attach other smaller beams to it. “Smaller” is a relative term.
And then the floor joists
On top of the joists came the plywood. This made for a nice flat surface to lay out the second floor walls on.
Raising walls is always the most rewarding part of framing (even if you’re not the one who’d built ‘em!). The crew was kind enough to let Katrina and I participate.
After the floor, which required a lot of preparation and work all to gain one foot of vertical building-height, the second floor walls went up incredibly fast. In literally a few days, we suddenly had all of our walls up!
(By the way, the hole in the middle of the floor is not an accidental oversight: it's part of the plan! As one of our neighbors put it, "I see you solved the Christmas Tree problem!")
Right now, the framers are working on finishing sheeting (laying plywood) on the newly-raised walls. With the plywood on -- and even as we wait for the roof trusses to get manufactured -- it’s starting to look like a proper house!
Katrina’s favorite part is our front turret (shown above from the ouside, and below from inside). The turret is where our staircase will be.
Looking up from the bottom of the stairwell
And down from the top of the second-story walls (granted, an unrealistic position for a human occupant... but possible now until we have a roof). Doesn’t this remind you of a medieval European castle?
And, let us not forget the other crown jewel of our property: