By the beginning of February 2021 we were just about finished with framing. There were still a few interior bits and pieces to be done, like framing out the fireplace and the kitchen pantry, but we wouldn’t finalize them until we got some of the stuff out of the living space so we could walk around and finalize the placements of the fireplace, kitchen island, and kitchen pantry.
The Steel Frame
As you may recall, the biggest delay in finishing the second story framing was the steel we needed to add to these sections of the house to allow for the wide garage door opening and the wide window wall.
First it took some time to source the steel – all $12,000 worth. Then it took some time to get the welder on-site. And then it took some time to schedule the crane. But once the garage beams were in place, we were able to get the garage floor on. From there, it didn’t take long to get the monolithic frame in place for our big wall of glass.
The Rest of the Walls
With the frame up, the rest of the walls went up quickly. Since the framers had the crane coming back for the rest of the steel frame, they were able to do the walls in big sections since they would have the crane’s help in getting them up. The big walls also involved some big, expensive, composite 2x6s to ensure everything was plumb and structurally sound.
The Rest of the Roof
The rest of the roof trusses were already onsite, so they went up once we had walls to put them on. The “step-down” truss that allotted for the 2′ step on the roof wasn’t quite as-ordered, but a field fix involving a ton of 2x4s got it into place. With the roof on and sheathed, it was really starting to feel like a house.
And finally it was time to frame out the big windows. The windows really feel like the “eyes” of the house; nothing really feels done without them in place. To get everything set, the framers needed to essentially build wood boxes around the existing metal frame. The windows would be built with a 2′ knee wall, followed by a 2′ opening window, then a 6′ solid, rectangular window, and then the top trapezoids. The views are going to be pretty rad.
It’s a House
With the windows framed and sheathed in our zip panels and the panels taped up, our house took its final form. It was pretty exciting to see the whole thing. Much like our floor plan, it looks about how we imagined it would look, though the living room is a little bigger than I probably expected. The views are great, and the space gives enough feeling of enclosure to not feel exposed. That sense of enclosure will also be enhanced once we add on the deck, which will help screen the road. Overall, things were looking good.
With that, the framers had a few more odds-and-ends to finish up, like the staircase, and then it was on to the mechanical and electrical systems. Meanwhile, our roof underlayment (ice and water) was on, and the roofers were waiting for a break in the snow to finish off the rest.
A couple more quick mini reviews:
Modern House 2: Case studies of modern homes, with a focus on the modern glass box architecture style (not just homes built in the past 20 years). Some great ideas if you like the style, but if not, this book won’t be up your alley.
The Iconic House: Architectural Masterworks since 1900. Some solid background reading on “important” modern houses. Not such a big focus on glass boxes. Interesting reading, though most of it isn’t “actionable” for most people.
Pure Color: A Pure Style Sourcebook for Colour Inspiration: A nice break from scrolling through instagram or pinterest for color inspiration. Not a heavy design book, but lots of photos of various color combinations that may be inspiring.