It has been really great to get out of the crawl space, and get the structural work done so I can get to the point where the interior of the cabin begins to get put together.

The interior framing work began in early December.  It was really fun to cut interior framing studs on the porch in 15 degree weather - not really.  But it got done.  

A lot of framing was required because the original condition of the cabin had flat ceilings.  I removed those ceilings and am using the original roof structure as the ceiling in almost all areas.   This required new framing up high to provide nailing surfaces for interior finishes and framing for new insulation.  Existing framing that was somewhat old and questionable got an upgrade as well.

In the photo above, I'll note the installation of new 2x6 floor joists that were 'sistered' with existing to reduce the floor deflection in the bathroom area.  This will help in keeping the future tiling in the shower and bath area from cracking as a result of floor deflection.  Additionally I dropped the new floor sheathing down to be level with the top of the floor framing to allow for the installation of a new mudset sloped shower above.

The shower floor framing will also allow for the installation of a linear drain and barrier free access.  Water will drain against the wall in the shower.

The finish framing in the bathroom is shown below.  There will be  a sliding door to separate the vanity area from the shower / water closet area with blocking to handle the sliding door hardware and provide additional stability to the new framing.

I have installed new interior framing in the new studio space for a number of reasons:
  • There isn't a square corner in the place
  • The walls are neither plumb nor level
  • I needed space for new electrical without chopping into the existing structure to make that space
  • New framing allows me to install new insulation to make the space more thermally efficient.

If you look closer at this photo you will see where there has been sealant applied to the cracks at the existing roof sheathing.  Sealant was also applied behind the rigid insulation (silver material in the photo) to seal the cracks a the original structure.  The new rigid insulation (3/4" polystyrene with a foil air barrier facing the interior of the space) adds additional insulative capability to the structure...and it is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.  The rigid insulation is behind the framing allowing for the installation of new electrical (yellow wiring) and new cat-6 communications cable (white wiring) for video, internet and intranet communications within the structure.

The new framing is also plumb, and square.  The sills and headers were all aligned with a laser level so visually there is harmony in the space.  While this is a lot of work it will pay off when the drywall gets applied. 

One additional benefit of the interior framing is that the window cavities will be deeper with deeper sills and greater architectural character - which as an architect I really like.

Finally, the new crawl space access was activated in the new utility area.  The new opening provides a 3' x 3' opening into the crawl space with a new access ladder so a new furnace or any other piece of equipment can be removed and installed - EASILY - without having to open the old ratty panel that was directly in front of the kitchen sink.  

The existing floor framing in the kitchen was reinforced including the installation of new ledgers along the existing concrete foundation to provide additional bearing for existing and new joists.  The framing at the old crawl space opening was awful.  The floor is much more structurally sound now than before.  

Thanks to Ron Hedrick - Hedrick Construction - for loaning me the roto-hammer used to install the new wedge anchors for the new ledgers at the foundation wall.

That old opening - while not yet completely removed is not active and will receive new sheathing and wood flooring when complete. 

I must note the crawl ladder sits on a small concrete pad secured into place with field crafted metal straps that were installed by my daughter.  I will digress for a moment.

Every now and then on a jobsite when you do it the way I am doing I get an opportunity to introduce my daughter to more construction.  In this case concrete.  Late in December we poured the last concrete in the crawl space.  Becky wanted to learn how to do concrete and we did just that.  We schlepped 10 bags of quikrete into the crawl, a wheelbarrow, shovel, hose and trowels and poured concrete.  

It is really fun to watch the light go on when a young person gets introduced to concrete for the first time and watches it turn from sandy aggregate to liquid mud to stuff that is hard as a rock. 

I then showed her how to cut and bend a piece of Simpson metal strapping to set into the concrete so it could be used to secure the base of the new crawl ladder.  I held the ladder in place while she set the straps into the concrete...and voila, the new ladder is now secure.

Coming soon...the new tankless water heater and plumbing, and more on the systems.