Posted to The-Ridges by Brett in Logan, UT
on 7/31/2008 12:58:18 PM
I can't believe it has been a month since I entered anything in this journal. I apologize to anyone who was watching with interest. I'll go ahead and give an update on things here, and then I'll post some pictures later.
Anyway, we got the ground plumbing in finally. The ground was so full of 6-10" rocks that digging the trenches was a chore. But in the end, the guy I've got helping with the plumbing did a great job, and the ground plumbing lined up in the basement walls perfectly. We had to install a couple backwater valves because the nearest upstream sewer manhole was a couple feet above our basement floor in elevation. If you are doing your own plumbing, make sure to remember this. Otherwise, if the sewer floods, your basement will flood first. The price we got on the plumbing supplies was great. 30% less than I had anticipated. A couple key points for ground plumbing.
- Review the layout multiple times, even if the basement will be unfinished.
- You kinda need to have an idea of where drains will be for basement bathrooms and kitchenettes. they are hard to adjust later and it is minimal cost to locate them correctly for future use.
- Follow my other guidelines for digging and locate the hole correctly the first time and things will go much smoother.
- Make sure the DWV pipe coming up through the floor are located exactly where they need to be. You won't always be able to move the wall over to match a mistake there.
- This is especially true if using panelized walls.
We got the basement slab poured, which was a bit of an ordeal compared
to what I would've liked. All of the problems have come from the
setback issues that we had originally. If I had done the excavation
differently, then all of these problems would be gone. We smoothed out the dirt under the slab by hand and dug the interior footings. The depth of compaction wasn't high, so we just used a plate compactor and a bit of water to get everything nice and firm. Then we called in a gravel slinger to get everything to grade. Best money we ever spent on that, just make sure to budget for it. I had them drop the slab down even with the top of the footings so that we wouldn't lose any ceiling height. That saved us from having to do 9' ceilings, but our next house will just be 9' ceilings anyway.
We went ahead and took care of the basement framing ourselves. Panel companies won't do basement walls because it is impossible to account for irregularities in the slab height. The basement framing went smoothly except for one wall that divides the U-shaped staircase. Turns out we had it marked on center, but we placed the wall to the side of the mark. This resulted in the upper string of stairs being 3.5" wider than the lower string. Not a big deal as the stairs were 4' wide anyway.
Once the basement framing was done, they delivered the floor trusses for the main floor. This was a huge hassle. If you remember, I had decided to go with trusses for the main floor so as to be able to place the ducts up inside them. There were just a few really big issues. The truss guys are supposed to come out and measure the foundation to make sure that it matches the plans, which it never does. So they are supposed to match the trusses to the foundation measurement. Turns out our foundation was about 1/2" short in one direction.
When the trusses came, they didn't account for that 1/2" so the trusses were hanging off the side of the foundation. This means that we had to shim the panelized walls to match it. But, that wasn't the biggest issue. There were two girder trusses over the basement hallway that eliminated the need for beams hanging below the ceiling. The trusses hangers used to tie the trusses to the girders take up about 1/4" each and we had 4 of them on each length, not to mention a bit of twisting of the girder. All in all there were 3 trusses in the middle of the house that ended up being almost 2" too long. Problem is that they are engineered trusses and aren't supposed to be modified on site. So I had to get the truss company to send site mod instructions, which we then used to shorten the long trusses. We ended up losing about 3 days because of the floor truss issues.
In the mean time, I had ordered delivery of the main floor walls. They showed up with me still needing to put down about 4 sheets of subfloor. So Amber and I were scrambling to get it ready for them. Luckily, these wall guys knew their stuff. It was great to see the walls go up so fast , and these guys were very professional. We were able to compensate for the floor issues, and it all went smoothly except that they wanted to stand the garage walls and I wasn't ready for that yet.
It then only took three of us about 2.5 hours to install the rest of the interior walls without any problems and that was a huge relief. I only have a couple things I would do differently on the panelized walls.
- Get a good bid on materials from the cheapest lumberyard in town, and then take that to Lowes or HD.
- They won't beat the lumberyard price, but they will match it.
- It is a hassle to work with the box stores when compared to the lumberyard, but they have much higher quality lumber.
- Box stores can't afford to throw away half of a shipment after people pick through it, so they get select choice lumber.
- Tell the panel guys that you'll be having the box store deliver to them and that you only want them to use the lumber that you ordered.
- Otherwise they will just get started with whatever lumber they have sitting around from another job which might be poor quality.
- I would also ask if I could supply the nails for them to use, and I'd get ring shanked nails. It'll cost you an extra $100, but the walls won't work loose during transport and installation.
I then rented a backhoe for 2 days and moved a ton of dirt and did all the necessary backfill. In the end I think we moved about 450 yards of dirt. It took about 20 hours of machine time to get everything filled and graded right. The only snag was that we accidentally hit the water line from the meter and broke it. It took a few minutes to inspect it and get an underground splice done.
During the past week we have just been finishing up some of the post and beam framing on the main floor, as well as getting the second floor on. The I-joists are a dream to work with as compared to the floor trusses. Not sure what I'll do next time. We'll see how the HVAC goes in with the floor trusses. Also, the wall guy is working on a partnership with a truss company so that they can coordinate the dimensions better. That would've eliminated most of the hassle.
Second floor walls should be going up on Monday. I'll post pictures at that time.