Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Lower Level Posts

The first two walls in the basement went up very nicely. The building process was broken down into several steps; lay the pressure treated boards on the interior footings, assemble the posts with a series of 2x6s cut to specified lengths, attach a 2x6 plate to the tops of the posts, then raise the wall into place. The wall stood on its own, then we used sawhorses as scaffolding as we lifted the joists into place. The joists are 2x8s sandwiching a 2x4, and rest on the interior wall and the sill plate. On the ends of the two short walls, you can see a 2x6 cut longer than the rest. This allows the joist to settle onto it, essentially making a mortise and tenon joint out of dimensional lumber. It's a beautifully strong and simple way to build.

Here are a few of the posts for the West walls. They were built on prior days with everybody helping, and then Andy and Chris assembled the walls and joists on one day. One day of freezing rain, when nobody else wanted to help. Who could blame them?
The distance shot from the cherry tree, with the familiar sight of Andy's Subaru in the foreground. Without his Forester, our tools would all be stuck at the driveway entrance, some 750' away from the house.

Once we had the hang of things with the first wall, we kept going, laying tarps as soon as we could to stay out of the rain. At the end of the day, we had a 1,000 sq. ft. tent, supported by all of the basement framework. When you let your kids make blanket forts when they're little, I guess they never stop!

If this looks nasty and cold to you, you're right. This is how we left things after raising the basement walls that day.

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