It finally felt like we were making progress once our first floor framing got started in earnest. Once the concrete work was finished, the next step was to install the wood I-beams that would frame our first-story floors above the crawlspace. Once those were in, the framing crew sheeted them with our first-floor subfloor, resulting in a big dance floor. We managed to get onsite while things were still in dance floor mode, and it was surprising how much the view improved with the four feet of additional height.
Framing the Dance Floor
It’s a little tough to tell in the photos, but the framing crew had already marked out the locations of the first-floor interior walls. Walking through the space, things felt pretty similar to how we had expected them to thanks to our sidewalk chalk experiment. One wall seemed like it was not in the plans; we flagged it for Shaun so he could confirm the framers weren’t going to build an extra wall in the middle of a bedroom (later, it turned out they had marked it so that an adjoining closet would be square to the rest of the structure).
While we were onsite, we also talked about a couple of other tweaks, like going light on the in-floor heating under the stairs, since that would likely be a wine “cellar.” We also wanted to expand the crawlspace access a bit so that we could use it for storage. Finally, we mapped out space onsite to store a new raft trailer and generally allow for parking.
The Walls Go Up
The next part of the process marked the beginning of the most productive-looking piece of the process: seeing the walls go up. Compared to the rest of the homebuilding process, walls probably give the impression of the fastest progress. Once they were in, we got to see the spaces take shape.
With the interior walls framed, we were happy with the amount of space we had on the first floor. It generally matched with what we expected to see from the floor plan and from our walkthrough. An unhappy development was that thanks to the combination of hurricanes and COVID 19, framing materials were about double what they had cost the previous spring. But there wasn’t a lot we could do about it at this point.
One nice tidbit to hear was that the crews liked working on our site, even as fall gave way to winter weather. The south-facing lot served as a sun trap, so crews were working in shirtsleeves in the afternoon even while there was snow on the ground.