Saturday, August 6, 2011

Really Pretty Plumb

Today we feel like Master Framers. Seriously.

We got all four walls finished last night after finally making a door decision. We has issues with our ideas about doors. We scored these totally awesome french doors on craigslist, for free, about a year ago and I was very excited to use them. We failed to tell the guy doing the foundation and so the opening was slightly smaller than we wanted it to be. Oops. The next problem was with the height of the doors. Part of their charm is the fact that they are 94" tall. This raised problems with the height of the walls and the cap plate that has to go all the way around and tie all the walls together. John and I hatched a plan that would put the header above the cap plate, but it would nearly certainly not pass inspection. We thought about cutting the doors, but they are mostly glass and cutting would have compromised the integrity. So, we bought new doors that fit and are already pre-hung. But not before we spent two days trying to get the free doors to work.

With that settled we were able to get all the walls framed out last night. So today we arrived ready to plumb and align the walls and then install the cap plate. We had in ingenious little system to align the walls. It looked like this:

  Look real hard at the photo and you can see a green string. (Or click on the photo and it gets bigger) We put up blocks on each corner and in the very center. Then we strung a string across the blocks. When the string was touching the middle block the wall was plumb. Voila.

Once all the walls were plumb and the cap plates in place, tying all the walls together and making sure to always overlap the joints, it was time to sheath. We somehow thought this was going to just FLY up. I think we thought that because it seemed like such an easy task compared with learning to frame. You know, just nail up 4x8's. Done. It was not that easy. We messed up somewhere in the framing ( to be analyzed at a later date) and so the ends did not end on studs, as we thought they would.  So each piece had to be held up in place, leveled and marked, and then taken down and cut to a custom length. After a few we got into a really nice rhythm and did succeed in getting half of the 4x8's in place. It really shored up  the walls and the shop is really starting to look like a building! Yay! Here we are at the half-way point.

Tomorrow we will put the second set up and then we get to think about the ridge beam and rafters. Now, THAT is going to be fun.  Also, our wedding will be happening very very soon on the property and we have to figure out how to make it look like less of a construction site.  We still have failed to take picture of our finished house foundation but, I swear, it is coming!


  1. That's too bad about the doors, but CONGRATULATIONS on your wedding!! Post lots of photos!!!

  2. I'm impressed with your building- good on ya!

    You should not worry about leaving the place looking like a construction site, and here is my reasoning: you guys are building a life together. I can't think of more appropriate decorations, can you? Loop some damn flower garlands all over everything and call it done.

    Don't lose site of the fact that you two are the most important thing here, and everything else is just dross.

  3. Not to mention that the folks you invite to said wedding are family and friends- they know what you're up against. Relax and have a good time at your wedding so that everyone else will too.

  4. ..looks sweet! Nice and big. It is amazing how quickly framing can go once you get the hang of the basics!