Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 13 - Main Floor Joists

Back before we started, when I thought about the idea of a owner-assisted build, I was envious of Jay, knowing he would be building all day and I would show up occasionally and help here and there.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine strapping on the tool belt and helping each day for 6-8 hours!  It really is a dream come true and each night as I fall into bed exhausted, I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to live this dream and to Mr.W for working along side us, crazy as we are!

Once again, today was a hot one!  I don't think I would voluntarily spend that much time in those high temps if it wouldn't be to build our house!  Lying in the sun is one thing, using power tools and cutting joists and hauling them around and all the other things required to build a house is quite another!

Knowing the crane was arriving at 8am this morning, I hustled the kids out of bed and raced to the site to see the crane holding the steel beam in place.

I raced the kids to a safe viewing distance and grabbed the camera.  It was remarkable to me to watch that crane lift that steel beam and all those joists and the lift of plywood.  What would have taken us all day and way too much energy (or, in the case of the steel beam, we could not have done it at all), the crane could do in less than 1 hour. 

What is even more remarkable was AJ's first comment after watching it for a while, "Now I know I have been drawing it wrong all this time!"  Yes, he is an artist and loves to draw machinery so he quickly grabbed his notebook and pencil and started drawing it correctly so he would always know how it was supposed to look!  I love that boy and how God designed him.  Through an artistic lens, he sees the littlest details most would overlook.

Today was a continuation of yesterday with the installation of the floor joists.  This time, instead of cutting them on the ground, I was cutting them on the top of the wall.  A little precarious and really tough on the knees but not a problem at all.  Mr.W created a jig to ensure those joists were cut easily so away I went, cutting joist after joist after joist.  A circular saw is not my favorite tool - actually one that I was the most apprehensive to use - but after all those joist cuts, I am much more comfortable using it.  Comfortable but still respectful!

Jay had to grind down some areas of the concrete wall that were curving too much - both areas appeared over top of the windows.  The curve was too much to "hide" anywhere so Jay had the privilege of grinding it down to create a straight line.  Really dusty work and I am so glad he was smart enough to use a mask!

Finally, there are 2 areas in the floor plan that cantilever, which means that the wooden floor extends past the concrete wall beneath it.  One is the fireplace in the living room but since that cantilever runs in the same direction as the joists it is simple to deal with.  You just extend the joists past the wall the correct distance.  The other cantilever is for my china cabinet in the dining room.  However, that cantilever runs the opposite way the joists do so my design for the recessed china cabinet creates more work for the framers.  Since we are the framers, Mr.W "allowed" me to cut those short joists and attach them with joist hangers.  He said that since I created that work, I could do it!  I said absolutely!  (And before you get any ideas in your head about Mr.W, he is one of the nicest, most encouraging people I know and he said it all with a smile on his face!).  While I was cutting joists and making the cantilever, Jay was helping Mr.W and Mr.B move and install all the joists.  For an amateur group of "carpenters" (I am excluding Mr.W because he is most certainly not an amateur), we are doing a pretty good job!

While we were placing the joists, the inspector showed up again to approve the drainage system around the foundation before we backfill.  It was approved so sometime Friday Jay will fill in all that space around the house and we can be working closer to the ground!

So, when we quit at 2:30ish due to other appointments, all but 4 joists were in place (well, okay, looking at the photo, maybe a few more but the majority are done).  Tomorrow they will start sheeting the floor while I stay home for the first time to work on paperwork.  I know I will be completely jealous they are out there working in 30C+ weather but I figure that if I get completely caught up on the paperwork, I can ignore it again for a few months and get back to the real fun!  :) 

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