Monday, November 21, 2016

Construction - Second Story Floors (Permanent and Temporary)

Subfloor in place; the catwalk will join the bedroom in the
distance with the balcony office in the forefront; the open
space overlies the living room and reveals the vaulted
second story ceiling
As explained in a recent post, I elected to build the interior bearing walls ahead of the exterior walls which is probably something a contractor would never do. And the stick-built first story exterior walls will remain in abeyance until the second story is built clear to the roof.  The reason for this sequence is that the first story floor is weather resistant concrete while the subflooring for the second story is OSB that needs to be covered as soon as practical.  And the second story exterior walls support the roof so the floors have to be in place before the the walls and roof can be built. 

A temporary floor (light color) fills in the open spacethe dark wood in the next photo is salvaged lumber supporting a temporary floor
I use the plural form, "floors", because only about two-thirds of the second story floor is permanent, as described in a prior post. The other third is temporary in order to serve as a scafflod on which to build the south and west exterior second story walls before raising them.  One of the temporary floors was built soon after the permanent subfloor went in (above photo)  but the other had to wait until more beams had been erected.

More Beams and Another Temporary Floor
As the drawing shows, the second story west wall will be suspended over the master bedroom on beams. Their construction using LVLs was not unlike that described in a prior post. Once the beams were in place, I could then fill in with a temporary floor the space between the new beams and the permanent floor such that the entire second story now had a floor of some kind on which to work safely while building the
exterior walls and the second story roof.
Click on the drawing to enlarge for better viewing

Fortunately, I have enough lumber salvaged from several tear-downs to frame out the temporary floors.  I screwed down 1/2' plywood sheathing as the floor surface then painted it with exterior stain in order to protect it as much as possible since the plywood is not intended for exterior use.  I am hoping to be able to recycle it or sell it on Craigslist when the temporary floors are removed.

The plans specified a beam comprising two LVLs fastened together but, since the exterior wall resting on it will be 15" thick to match the other truss walls, I installed a third LVL such that the outer edges of the two beams were 15" apart.  Then I covered the beams with subflooring to add rigidity.
The three-LVL beam stained for temporary
protection from the elements

Stops for Wall Raising
In order to add a measure of safety for an eighty-something, agility-challenged DIYer, I added a couple of safety ropes around the periphery of the second story. However, the main purpose of the 2x4s supporting them is to act as stops to keep the second story south wall from slipping off the edge when it is raised. Consequently, I used construction screws to fasten the supports more securely than could be done with nails or drywall screws.  And I inclined them slightly outward at the top to be sure they would be out of the way of setting the wall later.
Temporary floor between beam and permanent floor stained
for protection until under cover

As described in the next post, the wall was controlled with ropes during raising and the stops were superfluous. But the ropes proved invaluable as I assembled the wall on the floor only a few feet from the edge. The ropes would have stopped, or at least, slowed any falls but I am inclined to think that their presence was more psychological than physical.  After they were in place, I could relax and work near the edge instead of being preoccupied and overly cautious about falling.
A view of the ropes and of the larger temporary floor after staining
The stage is now set for unwrapping the pre-made wall sections, stored in the background under plastic, and laying them out on the floor for assembly; the "boxes" strewn about on the deck, will be used to heighten the wall -- all to be described in detail in the next post.