Monday, August 10, 2009

Truss work begun

I took today off from work so I could be onsite when the trusses were delivered. They were supposed to be there at 7 am, but ended up running late and didn't show up until 10am. The crew filled the time with odd jobs, and I was even handed a hammer so I could take down some of the temporary bracing that was no longer needed; then I went around hunting for sheathing nails that had missed their stud, and pounded these back out so they could be fixed later.

One of the odd jobs was securely attaching the earthquake straps. Previously when I had seen these straps, I figured they'd get 5-10 nails and that would be good enough - wrong! Check this out:

Every strap is nailed like that. Paul mentioned that crews don't like these straps, because they cause "bulges" that show through the finish siding that will be sided later. It's unavoidable due to code requirements though...

Another odd job that got worked on was installation of all remaining exterior sheathing (I think it's all on now). At one point Paul checked the plans and noticed that our interior "TV wall" was designated as a "shear wall". This means it gets extra sheathing reinforcement:

Another odd job was drilling holes and attaching foundation bolts through the walls\subfloor:

This is a somewhat exploratory process: the guy above drills a hole in approximately the right location, and another guy below guides him if he's not exactly in the right spot (hence the second hole in the picture above).

The truss package was big enough that two trucks were required. The first one had a crane and a smaller sized-load:

The small trusses on top are for the rear porch. The iLevel Edge Gold plywood on the bottom will provide a floor for the attic areas over both house and garage. Other than this, the entire rough framing package has been delivered.

The second truck had the bigger trusses, so I'll save pictures for that phase. Since the second truck was late, Paul put the crane on the first truck to work. Here they're installing the rear porch-roof support beam:

If you look at the far left of the beam, you can see that it's been cut into an "L"-shape, and you can also see the beam "pocket" on top of the wall intended to receive it. Everything aligned perfectly: the guys had the beam in the notches and were taking the chains off the beam within sixty seconds after it had left the ground - nice work! They also used the crane to lift a bundle of roof sheathing to the second floor.

The second truck was the momma load, containing all of the big trusses for the house and garage:

I watched many bundles of trusses get hoisted up to the house and garage today; it's wonderful what modern big machinery is capable of. While I can't share all of the pictures, this one is pretty good:

That was a big bundle of trusses; the crane operator guesstimated it weighed ~4500 lbs or so. He said it's not uncommon for the rear wheels\supports of the truck to leave the ground when moving such a big load over a long "reach" like this. Fortunately nothing bad happened today. Here's how it looked after the truss guys left:

After a short lunch break, the crew started standing up trusses. One of the first things to go up was the half-trusses that go over the rear porch roof:

The full-sized trusses are more of a handful. My impression of the process is that the first one (esp. on a gable end) is always the tricky one, then the rest go smoother. This is the gable-end over the kitchen; it has been toe-nailed to the top of the wall so it can be stood up later without kicking out, and is being supported horizontally with boards so it can be sheathed first:

After sheathing and being stood up and braced:

More of the kitchen roof trusses:

Kitchen roof area from the front (crew is working on breakfast nook roof area):

Garage trusses in progress:

I should not have tempted the rain gods with my dreams of a dry house during the framing phases. Our wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime Seattle summer was finally interrupted today with the arrival of our normal drizzle. Sigh....(although Paul told me not to worry, a day or two of dry weather and everything would dry out just fine). My wife and I drove out to take a look at the final truss progress for the day, mainly more trusses setup over the garage:

Oh yeah; on Paul's request, Brad came out and dumped some gravel in front of the garage. This is to give the crew a nice place to walk in and out of the house, so that dirt traffic in the house stays manageable. Sure gives the place a "homey" feel, being able to drive all the way up to your garage. :-)

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