Construction 1

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    Once the pad was finished, we ordered the entire bill-of-material for the garage.  That came to about $4000 for the framing, the sheathing, the shingles, the doors, and the vinyl siding.  The whole bundle was dropped in the back yard in early October.

    The next thing we found was that the anchor bolts were in the wrong place.  Just about every one of them ended up directly under a stud.  Rather than cut them off and drill holes for red-heads, we decided to just move the studs.   That was another mistake that me made.  With the now non-standard stud spacing, the sheathing could be a real problem to install.  But we thought it wouldn't be all that bad.  We were wrong.

01Gar_Jane1.jpg (48781 bytes)   Jane nailing the wind brace to a wall section.  (some of those new tools I spoke of earlier.)  The original plans just called for insulated black-board on the walls under the vinyl siding.  I wanted to add OSB sheathing at the corners of the walls (nailed and glued) to add stiffness the the framing.  Jane said if it was important to stiffen the corners, we should use OSB over the entire wall.  It was only a few dollars more and would add tremendous stiffness to the structure.  So we did it that way.




05Gar_First Halfwall.jpg (51530 bytes)Our first half-wall.  Finally something vertical.

    Jane and I posing with the first section we stood up.  We had all the sections built and lying on the pad.  We had followed the original plans and built each wall in two sections to make it easier to lift up.  This was a really big event after all the horizontal construction.  [The entry door is leaning against the house in the background.]






06Gar_2walls.jpg (83030 bytes)Two walls up; two to go.

We had bracing for each section.  We tried very hard to get everything straight. Here I'm running a string-line along the top plate and adjusting the bracing.  The small, between-the-doors wall sections are in the foreground.






04garage topless.jpg (47442 bytes)All the walls up. 

    This was just after the hardest part of the whole framing stage: lifting the headers into place over the door openings.  These headers are made up of 10" x 3" micro-laminated beams about 10' long.  They weigh a couple of hundred pounds each.  The real problem with getting them up and into place was that I was too worried about Jane.  I worried that she would not be able to hold up her end.  Once I just let her do it and concentrated on my end, things went smoothly. 




07garage roof1.jpg (53295 bytes)Jane's in the trusses.  We've only about 4 more to get up there.

    The trusses were pre-engineered and delivered fully assembled.   We just had to get them up on the walls and into place.  I had seen a line-item in the bill-of-materials that mentioned 'truss bracing.' But there was nothing in the plans to indicate where that bracing was to be place.  So I hit the web.   I found most of my answers at They showed what was needed and where it was to be placed and why.  Most of the people I talked to didn't think I needed all that bracing.  But what the hell.   For $30 in additional 2x4s I could do it 'right.'

    To support the first truss I erected a kingpost along the outside wall and swung the truss into place against it.  Then I placed temporary braces on the top of the first truss.   In those braces (10' 2x4s) I had placed nails every 2' and left them standing proud about 2".  That way, as we swung a truss upright, it would bump up against the nails and stop.  Then we would nail down through the temporary braces into the top chord of the truss.  Once we had three trusses in place, we constructed the permanent internal cross braces that made the three a very rigid self-supporting section.  Then we just worked our way along the roofline.  Jane in the trusses, me on the ground and on the ladder.  As soon as a truss was up and in place, Jane would make it plumb and nail it to the permanent braces.  Now we could see the final shape of the garage.


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