Framing Parte Tres: Return of The Framer!

So with the walls of the house sorted, It was time to work out the roof. The roof was made up of 3 layers of shingles plus the original cedar shakes. 

So the first order of business was to order a roll off dumpster, and take off the old.

My sister Lydia stopped by and sweated in the dirt for a couple hours.

As well as Wes.

With all the shingles off it was time to sort out the roof framing.

The roof was made up of 2x4s on 32ing centers, covered with skip sheathing (1×4 strips). To bring this up to code, We sistered 2×6 to each of the original 2x4s. Then add a new 2×6  in between the existing rafters. 

My friend John came over and helped me put in the ridge beam.

With the ridge beam in place, I started cutting rafters.

Once all the rafters were in place, we started to throw up sheating. And tar paper.

With the tar paper on, I took down the rest of the tung and groove on the interior. I was able to salvage a lot of this old heart pine. I stacked it up, and i hope to use it later for my flooring.

So clean.

With the roof frame sorted, I framed up the rest of my interior walls. And installed the front door, good feelings.

Framing Parte Dos: Revenge of the House!

So with the  “Side shed” framed up, I finally got around to the front of the house. the house is originally 850 sqft., so I was on the hunt for any extra square footage i could find. I talked to the county, and they okeyed me bumping out the front of the house to what was the front porch. this this bought me an extra 100 square feet. and let me fit the front office/bedroom into the house: so far so good.

The first thing that needed to happen to build onto the front was remove the porch roof, and siding. I rented a roll-off to put the old lumber in. After i finish with the front, I will start framing up my walls, so i went ahead and stripped all the old siding off the house to get access to the studs.


So the guys who built the foundations for the porch must have had an off day. The builders had the front porch angled off from the rest of the house, I made for some creative framing, but in the end I think I was able to get it lined up.

The county wanted me to add additional studs in the walls, so I took the opportunity to frame up my windows where i wanted them.  then sheathed the whole thing in OSB.


After the front was done I moved around and did the same on the back.

So now all the foundation, floors and walls are all in good shape and up to code, the only thing left is the roof.

Frameing Parte Uno: Some New Hope!

So the framing of the house is a cool mix of full 2×4 mill cut lumber, and 4x4s. There was a fair bit of bug damage to the some of the framing so it was necessary to shore up the wall and replace certain timbers piece-meal.

So with timbers coming out of the wall  and the need to put into place new door openings, I put up a temporary wall to support the roof while framing everything up.

This wall is one of the main load barring walls, so I added some OSB to give it a little more shear strength.

Before I finished off the sub-floor, I spray foamed the crawlspace walls all the way to the rim joist. Then laid down the rest of the plywood sub-floor.

Now with the floor in place, it was time to get cracking building the “side shed” back onto the house, this will hold both bathrooms and the utility closet.

My friend Wesley stopped by and helped me get the roof on.

Finally after having the side of my house open to wind, water, and predjudciual looks, I finally got it closed up.

Next up: Tackling the front bumpout.

“With the way clear, our heros continue. Unaware of their inpending doom.”

So with the foundation built, the engineer inspected the foundation one last time, then sent a letter to the county saying I was good to move on with the build.

I Stubbed up my plumbing, then started to seal off the crawlspace. 


I layed down a 6 mil plastic and taped the seams. On top of the plastic I layed down sheats of polyiso insulation.



The Idea behind the insulations is to keep heat loss into the cold soil durring winter, and from preventing condensation on the cold plastic durring the summer. It a bit work for limited gains, but Im hopeing this detail in addition to several other small details will add up to a significant  effect.

With the insulation down, i layed down a second sheath of plastic to cover the insulation, the started to my two main beams for my floor.



The beams were made from three 2x8s nailed together. Then i layed my floor joist between them.



Afterwards I framed the small area on the side of the house, and my extension to the front wall.






Now with the floor joist in I put in my plumbing drains and supply lines.

Now I’ve done a little plumbing before, but wasn’t sure on all the details, so I picked up a couple books on plumbing just to play it safe.

I after much reading and thinking I learned the I am not a plumber.  And plumbing is much more involved than I thought.

As insightful as this epiphany was, I still had the issue of plumbing my house. So I thought “What the hell.” And decided to give it a try.

After many day of getting high in PVC cement, and many hours spent meditating in the plumbing issle of lowes, I finally called the building inspector for my inspection.


He showed up and quietly started the inspection.

After 20 minof near silence broken only by an occasional question, he pulled out his pad, tand signed off on my work.


Design Part I: Shapes, Volumes and Demensions

So now that im waist deep in this project, I think it might be good to take a moment to reflect on what I actually want to do with this project.

Technically I think the seeds of this prodject started when I told my realestate agent I was interested in buying this house.

After going through the “are you serious?” “Are you crazy?” “You will never get your investment back.” Routine, he sat back for a little while and then asked what were the demension? As i told him, he reached for a pad of paper and started sketching.

Now all the load bearing walls are on the exterior of the house, so there was good bit of freedom in the interior layout, and with great input from my Uncle and others. Ideas started to go down on paper.

I went through a lot of design ideas, in the process, all the details from roof-lines, window placement, doors room sizes, materials, storage, churned through different iterations.


eventually the plan finally settled down with a two bedroom, two bath design.


The master Bedroom is towards the rear, with an office/second bedroom at the front. An open kitchenand living room area in the middle, and master bath and guest bath, in the shed structure on the side.

Now trying to sqeeze two bedrooms and bathrooms into 916 sq. ft. has been an interesting challenge. a couple of times its come down to matter of inches wether or not it was possible. And with trying to intergrate the old structure into the new, these plans are still flexible and I think the finally details will most likely come together as the house is assembled.

But this is the out line of the scope of the project, and hopefully it will keep everything on tract.

Catch ya later folks,


Practical Sadism Or: How to Lay Concrete Block

So with the newly poured footings it was finally time to lay some block.


My friend Wesley offered to help me pick up my block from home depot. We used the Home Depot truck and after the concrete block triggered the over-weight alarm on the truck (yes they have those, who knew) we suddely came to the realization, that like most of the project, this might be a bad idea.

Fortunately we were able to get all the block transported over to the house with minimal  casualties. We were, however, reminded how well T-shirts work as bandages.  (Some people were injured in the makeing of this house, primarily me, but still.)

With the block in position, there was just some measuring and marking, then we moved on to laying  block.



That’s when this got complicated….

Now im doubt many of you are perfecional block masons, but i do think you probably have a little idea one would go about laying some block.

Lay out some mortar, set down a block, plume, level, boom bada-bing, move on to the next one.

Yeah, try explaining that to a concrete block.

About 10 block in to my foundation I had already cussed in three different languages.


You have no idea how finicky it is to lay concrete block.


Finally me and the block came to an understanding: I would try to lay block, they would put up a fight, we would struggle for a half an hour then they would settle down into something that looked like a wall. Not a good wall mind you, but something between an autistic monkey, and a brick mason makeing a bad artistic statement (“I call it: The Collapse of Man Kind”)


The piers on the inside


Finally i got the block layed. With ripping out the old foundations, i had a bunch of historic brick left over, and since i didnt like the look of the concrete block, i decided to to back the old brick as a veneer over the concrete block.



Unlike concrete block, brick is a wonderful material, that is fantastic to work with and highly rewarding.



Im going to do a “sealed” crawlspace,  so with a little bit of the left over brick, I closed off the access hole in my foundation.


Thats all for now folks.

Catch ya next time.