Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Starting at the Bottom

We stalled out a little bit on the house.  I took an unexpected trip to Iceland, we've been working a fair amount at the local restaurant/bar, and have been side-tracked by a few other projects.  It's still pretty early in spring, though, and that's all done now.  We took today, our first full day of building together since I left, to bust straight through that bump in the road.

Where's the house at now?  Well, it has a total elevation of 4''.  

While that may seem like a puny first step, it's pretty exciting for us.  Our house has gone from a whimsical dream, to a concrete slab, and now, something you can actually trip over!

The strata of that 4'' goes like this:
Layer 1 - A thin foam sealer
Layer 2 - Sill plate: Pressure treated 2X6s wrenched tight to the concrete with the imbedded J bolts
Layer 3 - Base plate - plain old 2X6 lumber, which marks the beginning of our walls.

It was a tedious process getting everything cut and laid down.  We had to double, triple and quadruple check ourselves, because any mistakes this early can cause real headache and heartache further down the line.  To complicate things, our slab was poured slightly out of square, and a few J bolts were askew.  The price you pay for getting a great price on a poured slab, I suppose.  

Holding the plates down are some pretty substantial washers.  They're required by code because of our earthquake-proneness.  Those, combined with J bolts which are slightly too small, lead to us, well, Christy, spending the better part of today chiseling the washers in flush to the plates.  Tedious work.

Over the couple of days we're going to draw all over the base plates.  First, we'll mark where all the doors and windows will go.  Off of those we can draw the trimmer, king and cripple studs associated with them.  After that, we'll mark the rest of our studs from the corners in, making sure to stay at most 16'' on center, and land a stud at every seam of the 4' OSB that will eventually sheath the walls.  We learned the importance of that from building the shop.  The hard way, that is.

This way, the base plate will the serve as an easily-referenced road map for when walls start going up!
Soon soon soon.....


  1. I'd wait until the dwelling is higher than 4" before I would put the roof on if I were you...like 7" might be better. On a serious note..keep up the good work! Crappy about the short jbolt..but at least it is done!

  2. Inch by inch ... the house will grow. The foundation is always worth spending extra time on... true in life as well as in constructing things. Cheering you on from not too far away!