Posts under ‘3. Framing’

Framing Begins

June 8th, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing

Framing is a blast, because framers are fast and progress is obvious. My framer is Jose Magana (Magana Construction), who has framed a couple of houses for my “general coordinator” Steve Kotsenburg (more on that arrangement in another post).

Jose Magana and Steve Kotsenburg on Day 1 of framing.

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Engineered Lumber

June 16th, 2010 by KTU | 5 Comments | Filed in 3. Framing, Park City Mountain Modern

In stark contrast to the materials I used in the Vermont Mini-Cabin, much of the structure of the Park City Modern house is engineered lumber.  The entire floor system is framed from “I-Joists,” or “TJIs” as they are called informally. (The I-Joist was pioneered by the brand TrusJoist Inc., thus the acronym TJI, I think.) The brand is now called iLevel, and is a division of Weyerhauser. Other companies make similar product. The main floor system with the TJIs in place is shown in this photo.

Main floor system framed with I-Joists (TJIs).

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Mid Framing

July 9th, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing, Park City Mountain Modern

Here are a few images from framing. This is week 6 of framing and week 10 from breaking ground.

We hope to have the roof on next week and the framing completed the following week.

Framing the garage. 6x14 purlins extend out the front to support the rafters.

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Roof Decking

July 23rd, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing

The roof decking went on in what seemed like about an hour. Incredible.

Roof decking almost finished.

One of the reasons it goes so fast is that framers have lots of tricks. Here are a few.

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Window Installation

July 23rd, 2010 by KTU | 1 Comment | Filed in 3. Framing

I am using Windsor Pinnacle windows. They are very nice and about 25% less expensive than Pella, which is the other brand I’ve used recently with good results. These are aluminum-clad wood windows, with double Low-E glass. I picked one of the six stock colors (black). The interior is clear pine, which we’ll finish to match the color of the trim as closely as possible.

A shout out to Tim Snyder at Contractors’ Window Supply. He really knows his stuff and made the whole process go very smoothly.

These are big windows…but only one of them has to be field mulled (put together on site). If you can handle the windows during installation, having these big windows mulled at the factory is great.

To calibrate on costs…There are 65 distinct panes of glass on this house. The total cost of these windows was right around $30,000. So, a good rule of thumb for these windows is to budget $450 per pane. Again, these are big…and that includes three patio doors as well. That cost is everything (tax, delivery, hardware, screens).

Window delivery. They usually go right in the garage. The window guys unload.

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My Steel House

July 23rd, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing

When the project is completed, I’ll give a more nuanced reflection on the use of steel in residential construction. At this point, I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome, but the process was pretty painful. The short version of the process is (a) the architects create a beautiful form, (b) the structural engineers are asked to make it work, (c) they have to use lots of steel to realize the vision because of things like seismic requirements and snow loads, (d) a steel company “details” each part from what can only be characterized as a suggestive design by the structural engineers, (e) someone checks it carefully (me, in this case), (f) the steel shows up, (g) the framers integrate it into the structure, and (sometimes) (h) the welder comes out to fix mistakes on site.

We had only a few mistakes, and they were the supplier’s errors, so were fixed at no cost to me. What’s challenging about steel is all the coordination and the inability to adapt much during the process. On the other hand, the stuff is remarkably inexpensive, really strong, and looks nice when exposed (in my opinion).

In the interests of completeness, I should also add that a lot of the steel in this house is architectural in addition to structural. We are using tie rods, beams, and channels as aesthetic features. They’re really nice features, and worth the cost. I have no reservations about our use of steel in this way. My main regret is that we didn’t do a bit more creative problem solving in steps (a) through (c) to find design solutions that did not require as much hidden steel…which is expensive with no visual pay off. (The structural engineers point out that having the house survive a heavy snow fall or an earthquake is a pretty important design requirement. Agreed. But, in some cases with a bit more coordination, the architects could move a window three inches to fit two more 2×6s  in the wall and thus eliminate an expensive, tricky piece of steel.)

Some of the visual steel. Loft beam, channels girding the top of the wall, tie rods.

View of the channels at the top of the great room walls, integrating with the tie rods and rafter trusses. See all the hidden steel around that window?

Detail of tie rod pin. This is cool, no? But all that stuff up in the rafter bays will be hidden. See the 12 3/4 inch bolts. The framers had to install these in 12 places. Yikes.

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Steel Stair

July 23rd, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing

I love the steel stair. The architects designed it conceptually. I worked out a bunch of structural details. The detailer at the steel company created the detailed design. We iterated three or four times to get it right. This stair cost about $3000 for the steel. Waaay less than having some fancy pants stair company do the design and installation. We’re going to use big, chunky treads (3-1/2″ x 11-1/2″), probably out of reclaimed douglas fir (although they were dimensioned such that pieces of a glulam beam turned on their sides would also work).

The railing still needs to be welded in place…but I love it, even in its rough state.

Steel stair with open wood treads (temporary treads in place now).

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Pre-Staining Rafter Tails

July 23rd, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing, 5. Exterior Materials and Finishes, Park City Mountain Modern

My framer’s 15-year-old son has been on the site this Summer. I proposed a win-win arrangement in which he pre-stained all the rafter tails and purlins for the roof before his dad and crew put them up. This mostly worked well. (In a few cases, one of the framers had to go up and brush a timber or end of a cut rafter.) I paid him $500, which I consider a screaming deal for both of us. This is the only exterior finish that will have to be done on this house, because we’re using reclaimed barn board siding. I used Cabot semi-transparent oil-based siding stain (Slate Gray). I think it looks excellent and matches the barn board very well. I never plan to restain…I’m hoping that even with stain applied, these rafter tails and purlins will weather gracefully.

These rafters, timbers, and purlins are the only exterior surfaces that require any finish.

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Dry-In

August 5th, 2010 by KTU | No Comments | Filed in 3. Framing, 5. Exterior Materials and Finishes, Park City Mountain Modern

As soon as the framers got the roof decking on, the roofers came by to do the “dry in.” Normally, this step would comprise laying down “ice shield” (a self-stick membrane) at the eaves of the roof and then “underlayment” (30 lb. asphalt impregnated felt paper or Feltex, a modern polymer equivalent). In our case, we laid down ice shield on the whole roof. It cost about $1000 more in materials, but is another layer of insurance against ice damming. Once the ice shield (or ice shield and underlayment) is put down, the house is dry. It can survive several months of weather with no problems. I’ll be happy to get the real roof on in a week or two, but it’s nice to know that weather is no longer an obstacle to progress on the job.

The house from the front after dry-in was completed.

The house from the back side after dry in. The framers were also still fussing with a couple of windows, but basically the house is now weather tight.

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Front Awning

September 25th, 2010 by KTU | 2 Comments | Filed in 3. Framing, Park City Mountain Modern

The house will have an 8-foot-deep nearly flat roof over the terrace. It’s kind of like a store-front awning. The architects designed it to be supported by four tie rods, which gives it a cool look, and avoids using any columns to support the edge of the roof. Of course the problem is that this structure has to be designed to handle all the snow from the roof above landing on it in an avalanche. So, it’s incredibly beefy and ties into big steel columns in the walls. This feature of the house probably cost about $10,000 more than a conventional “porch roof.” Still, I can’t imagine a better use of $10,000 in giving the house a distinctive quality.

The first one is always the hardest. Jose and NeNe get it done. (Isaele hidden.)

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