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Posted by Mike in Westminster, CO on 9/21/2010

With the basement slab poured, it was now time for the framers to come in and begin their work. The first day of work consisted mainly of layout and chalking the lines for the walls. This proved to be a more time-consuming process than I anticipated, and it took the framers the entire first half of the day to complete. The lead framer on the job told me that paying special attention to the layout was vital in making sure that the everything lined up properly with the trusses that would be set in couple of weeks.

Since the house has a daylight basement, the first walls to be framed are the walkout walls. But, just as the framers began to work on the basement walls, it began to rain, which sent all of them scurrying to their work trailers. So, the rain marked the end of the first day of work by the framers, which ended up being a short day. What's worse, the rain washed off much of the chalked lines that the framers spent the whole morning meticulously laying out. Many of those lines would have to be re-chalked the following day.

The following day we all arrived early to the work site. With no rain in the forecast, expectations were high for a lot of work getting done. Work began immediately on the 65-foot-long walkout wall that traversed the open end of the basement in the back of the house. The framers constructed the entire wall in one piece on the basement slab, and it took all 12 framers to lift it into place. But, with that piece in place, the rest of the walkout walls went up pretty quickly.

Up to this point, the steel beams and posts had not yet been set. One of the beams rested within one of the stepped walls of the walkout basement, which necessitated having all the basement walls constructed and in place before the beams could be set. Because I wanted as few posts in the basement as possible, I had the structural engineer design the beams in such a way that they would carry a greater weight load with a minimal number of steel posts. This meant that some of the beams would be of fairly-large size, which in turn meant that a crane would need to be brought to the construction site to lift those beams into place. One glitch in the process occurred when it was discovered that one of the beams was not measured accurately (by me) and was about one inch too long to fit within the beam pockets. Fortunately, the framers had a welder on site with his equipment, and he was able to cut an inch off the beam that was too long to make it fit properly. This is just one of the many annoying mistakes that pop up during the construction of houses, but fortunately the problem was quickly solved without too much precious time being wasted, since the crane operator was charging me by the hour!

Photos

The first walls in place!
The first beam goes in
All the beams in place



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