Friday, January 13, 2012

Framing: Second Floor

Significant progress has been made since a week ago. The second floor is up and I can walk on it!

A structure rises from the ground
One of the first things I noticed is that there is a big difference between the quality of framing in this house versus one from a standard spec house that I'm used to. The framing is composed of mostly engineered lumber, which has a few benefits over standard lumber. It's resistant to warping over time, is very level, is stronger, and has very predictable and consistent properties. Of course, all this is more expensive, but a house like this is designed to last at least a century.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL).
I-joists to support the floors. My spec house used 2x12 lumber instead of these
Let's take a closer look at what's been done. On the first floor, we have the future media room.

Overview of the first floor
I'm standing in the bottom of the stairwell looking in. A half-bath has been framed on the left, a storage room on the right, and a hallway in the middle leads to the bonus area. The bonus area will remain unfinished, but I plan on turning it into a separate mother-in-law unit.

Inside the bonus area
The bonus area is directly below the 2-car garage, so that's why there is a beefy support beam in the ceiling. It will have one window so that it won't look like a cave.

Stairway to the media room
These stairs lead up to a landing area with a sliding door that opens up to the ground-level patio. Stepping through the opening for the sliding doors and moving back, the structure is revealed.

View of the house from the northeast corner of the lot
All of those openings will be filled with windows and sit underneath the cantilevered portion of the house. And finally, walking up onto the second floor you see this:

Supporting structure for the second floor
I'm standing on the garage floor looking at what will contain the main entry area, a coat closet, a hallway leading to the bedroom and office, and a stairwell.

Standing on the second floor
This photo is taken from the office area looking out toward the entry and garage. The empty area to the left is the stairwell leading down to the first floor.

The framers are doing a great job. These are experienced guys, but this is the most unique and challenging project that they've ever done. Once they move on to the third floor and the outer walls, the level of difficulty will increase. That's all for this week!

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