Monthly Archives: June 2013

Raising Walls


We have progressed as far as raising the walls.

Heating coils

With help from son Wayne and wife Bobbi, I was able to run the heating coils for the floor.. This is a much larger, and more difficult, job than it appears.

You will notice that I used cross bracing, instead of blocking,  between the floor joists. This avoids pulling pipe through holes drilled in the blocking. When installing this type of bracing, fasten the top only, until after the floor deck is down. This allows you to adjust joist spacing as you fasten the sub-floor. We used construction glue (PL400) and spiral nails to fasten the deck. Neighbor Bill helped me and this was only a short days work.

When framing, I use two air nailers. A coil framing nailer holds more 2 inch nails for applying sheathing. It saves time by not having to change nails in your gun. I have a Paslode coil nailer that I purchased used for 50 dollars. My Mastercraft nailer is a new one purchased at a yard sale for 40 dollars. I am pretty certain that I can get my money back when the project is finished, if I so desire.

Subfloor installed

Sub-floor done and ready for walls

One of our next steps was to apply waterproofing to the foundation. In this case it was likely not really necessary, considering soil conditions and the type of foundation, but it is always better to err on the side of caution. This is my son Wayne and myself preparing for the job. Needless to say, I let  Wayne get splattered with the tarry stuff.

Foundation waterproofing

Let the tarring begin

The rubber boots I am wearing has been a wardrobe necessity lately. With the historic floods occurring in Alberta right now, I am glad we are high and and a little drier.

I am beginning to need a haircut rather badly, but hate to take the time. I guess I am lucky to have hair at my age.

Once the waterproofing was done we began building walls

Building a wall

Building a wall

The two longest walls have been built and I am preparing to raise one. Notice that I am installing stops to prevent pushing the wall too far. Necessary when you have little help.

The bottom of the wall is toe nailed to the floor to prevent it sliding off. Just a few nails are necessary.

Preparing to raise a wall

Preparing to raise a wall

Nieghbor Bill helped to raise these two longer walls. With jacks, it is possible for one person to acomplish this but it is faster with two.

A wall is raised

A wall is raised

Don’t skimp on bracing. I have several times seen walls blown down, due to insufficient bracing.

These are the jacks that make raising a wall possible without help.

Tools to raise a wall

One person can raise a wall with these

The two side walls are up.

Raising walls

Side walls up and laying out the end walls

The headers over the window and door are two 2 x 10 and a 2 x 6 with insulation in the middle. These walls bear the weight of the roof, so adequate headers are essential. A bit of overkill doesn’t hurt here.

Window header in bearing wall

Window header in bearing wall

The end walls going up. You may note that the end walls are not completely sheathed. This allows for sheating to tie the walls together. Considerable strength is added. Sheathing is also applied to allow for tying the wall to the top foundation plate. Just a little more wind resistance.

Raising an end wall

End wall going up

Raising an end wall

Raising an end wall

The toe nails holding the wall were mostly pulled out and this wall was still threathening to slide so I put in a few more for insurance.

We acquired a supervisor this week.

Our cute dog helping out

Our new supervisor

Oh,oh, It is too hot out here. I think I will find some damp floor in the shade.

Puppy in the shade

It is hot. Must find shade

Headers are not really required in non bearing walls. I do like to add some strength without providing too much thermal bridging. This has been done here by ripping 2 x 6 to 5 inches and making a header box faced with 1/2 inch OSB. This allows for full insulation with the minimum of thermal bridges.

Header in non bearing wall

Header in non bearing wall

The walls are up and Bobbi is surveying her living room

Living room

Bobbi in her living room


A view from our bedroom window

By using our imagination, we can now get a little feel for what our house will be like.

I love this type of work. The results are so obvious.

I would like to do the backfill but it has been too wet to use equipment on site. I have not even been able to get the foundation drainage to inspection stage. Well, it is bound to quit raining eventually. There are always things that can be done in spite of the weather. This is one of the advantages of doing all your own work. You are seldom stalled for long. You are not likely to get any breaks at all, unless you just arbitrarily take one

Overall things have been going very well. I did fight with one of my nailers for half a day, until I realized it worked much better with the right brand of nails. No other real problems were encountered.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Footing, Foundation and Floor Progress

The footing ,foundation and floor is in progress.

I have been very busy, and working this old body nearly to exhaustion. The progress has been very satisfying, though. Luck has been with me, and material has been arriving as needed, with no delays or need for make work.

I have had very little time for writing, but I will to try and update a little.

Footing forms

Ready to pour footing

Finished the footing forming with the help of my son, Wayne, and poured concrete on Monday. The crew consisted of myself, friend Don, niece Corrine and her son Cody. Bashaw Concrete Products Ltd. delivered the concrete. The driver was very considerate of our old and inexperienced people. It went quite well with only a couple of wheelbarrow spills.

Concrete footing

Pour finished

Note the keyway and reinforcing used to tie the foundation to the footing.

Delivery of forms

Forms delivered

Having a pleasant conversation withe the delivery driver. As with a lot of other folks, he had his own house building stories.

Installing foundation forms

Foundation forming

Foundation forms

All standing

These forms were all assembled the same evening they were delivered. There was a long days work ahead. The entry needed to be framed, corner and top bracing was installed, the forms were glued down with low exspansion foam, and the last of the re-bar was installed. Unfortunately I ran out of camera batteries and have no pictures of this. For some reason, we didn’t think to use the cell phone.

Concrete pumping truck

Preparing to pump concrete

A concrete pump makes the pour much easier.This type of forming would be very difficult to fill without it.

We poured with only a crew of three, myself, Don and sister Karen. The average age was over seventy. A bunch of tough old coyotes .It took less than two hours, but we hurt a bit when finished.

The boss

The boss is smiling

The boss looks scary enough when he is smiling. Imagine if he is upset.

Floor joists

Starting on the floor system

It is raining just a bit this morning, so I can take the time to write this post. I need a little break anyway, after working through the weekend.

The next week will be used to install  piping for underfloor heating and to build the floor system. I will attempt a better job of taking pictures. The footing, foundation and flooring is progressing as planned. And surprisingly well.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter