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I'm nervous about this process -- but with the books and articles I've been reading here, less than I was before.
Lisa in Fredericksburg, VA



Posted by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/5/2007

In a period of only two days, the beams and lumber were installed for the first floor.

The ICF contractor installed the beam pockets, but we had to do a fair amount of chiseling to get them to the right size. I have three beams running the span of the basement, and the longest one had to be spliced because you can only order beams up to 40' length. The largest beam was a 39' beam that was 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide, weighing about 1,800 lbs. We had a crane lift it to the back of the house. The framers lifted the smallest beam into place themselves, although I have no idea how they managed that. The beam posts were the wrong height, so temporary 2x6 posts were fabricated until Monday when the right ones arrive.

The process of setting the beams, installing the ledger, trimming the trusses, installing the trusses, installing the 2x4 ladder and installing the Strongback bracing took two days. In one more day they will have all of the plywood put down, glued, and screwed. Sometime mid-week my ICF contractor will come back to stack the main floor, pour the walls, and pour the basement slab.

I used Open Joist 2000 for the floor trusses. These are trimmable open-web trusses. The trusses are great because you can run your plumbing and HVAC inside them instead of under them so I can have a full 9' basement ceiling. The trusses are sitting on a 2x4 sill plate that transitions the ICF wall from 11.75" thick to 9.5" thick. We also had to add some flush LVL's to manage the load from upper floors and the roof. I went with Advantech flooring plywood because it is waterproof, and it will be at least two weeks before the house is dried in. It has already been rained on once.

It's been one month since we broke ground now. My goal of being dried in after 30 days was missed because of the soil remediation, but I am pretty sure we will be dried in by the time we hit the 45-day mark.

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