Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now is not the time to visit.

About six weeks ago I was working on re-organization and cleanup of tools for the thousandth time and as I walked over to the tool box I found myself much like a trapeze artist who misses the wire, dangling with one leg on each side of the rope. Everything is fine, though I can now sing half an octave higher.
With the winter I have finished the exterior shell of the structure to the extent that I am able. The walls are relatively straightish and sort of vertical, but most importantly they are structurally sound. There is no more rot on the bottom edges of the studs, no more cutouts without headers. House wrap has been installed as are the windows and the vast majority of the construction debris has been cleaned out and removed.
The next stage of the project is to adjust the interior framing to be reasonably straight, parallel, level. Also I am going through very carefully to make sure that the fire damage is repaired well and appropriate fire blocking is installed. I am working from the basement up as any adjustment made to make a floor level will effect the floors above. The basement girders/beams are very close to perfectly planar (I think that one corner was about 1/32" off) and the floor joists are bearing correctly on the girders. However, since the lumber has a large amount of variance, there are joists which are 1/8" difference in height from the adjacent joist. This calls for patient endurance.
The major sections accomplished on the main floor joists I spent a good deal of time inspecting the sub-floor to make sure that it would be able to be used for installing wood flooring on top. I was not at all satisfied and so while the cost is not too substantial (less than a grand) the time certainly is. I am going through very carefully, removing a single 4x8 ft segment at a time, shimming the joists if required, and installing new sub-flooring (3/4" osb) with glue and screws. In this way there are going to be far less structural stability issues, although it is rather inconvenient to replace the floor under a load bearing wall.
With all of that said, now is not the time to visit with small kids.