Saturday, March 8, 2008

ceiling joists reinforced, wetwall plans.

I just wanted to update the progress on the joists between the first and second floors and toss in a picture or two.

We just finished completing the reinforcement of the joists with 2x4s at the bottom of each of the 2x8 joists with a nail gun (nails about every 12" - which may be overkill, but should be stable) and in areas where there was bowing in the boards, we pre-drilled holes through the 2x4 and the joists and reinforced with lag bolts, then tightened the bejezzus out of them. After a few days, we climbed back up and tightened them again for the pure joy of it. In the case of a couple split and damaged joists, we also sistered 2/8 stock to them as well and used carriage bolts through joist, 2x4, and 2x8.

How much of the cross bridging we decided to pull down and what pipes are still existing in the joists determined which side of the joists we attached the 2x4's to, so they're not all on the same side of the joists. As you can see from the image, some are on the North side of the joist, some are on the South side, but they're all reinforced.

As a side note: we attached 2x6's to the floor joists that will be directly under the shower and tub on the second floor to handle any additional load from all the water while taking a bath. Overkill, I know, but when you have the opportunity to avoid disaster-- you take it.

The fun part is getting up on the second floor and jumping up and down. No more bouncy floors.

We still have to figure out how much room the HVAC guy is going to need to the left and right side of the chimney for the 8" round duct work he wants to install -- we have an idea, obviously, but we don't want to cut it too close and we don't want to lose any additional space if we can avoid it.

And of course, we can't finish the furring out on the rest of the West wall until we know exactly where the end of the chimney wall will be for us to measure out the 2' increments for the furring strips. So we wait until we hear back from our HVAC guy.

In the meantime, we started furring out the second floor, putting in the horizontal firebreaks at the top of the walls, just under the ceiling joists, and then attaching the vertical furring strips to the wall underneath.

Learning Moment: On the first floor, we tried attaching the vertical wall furring strips first, with the intent to attach the top horizontal firebreak/furring strip after the fact, which was, in the end, a bad idea. We discovered that just because you measure down 3 1/2 inches from each joist doesn't mean you can then insert a 2x4x10 evenly across the tops of the furring strips.

What we did originally was, after positioning each 2x4x10 against the wall (on top of the jig I made to adjust for the 2x4 to be attached horizontally across the flooring, plus an additional 1 1/2" gap for wiring) I used a 2x4 cut piece of block and held it up against the board, just under the ceiling joist to mark the length of the board to cut. It was a good plan, except that the ceiling joists weren't equal or level.

Since we used construction adhesive as well as tapcons to attach the furring strips to the wall, we ended up having to take the circular saw, adjusting the depth to 1 3/8 (just below the width of the 2x4) and cutting of the tops of a couple of the furring strips to make a long 2x4 fit above it. So, always fit in the top firebreak/furring strip in first.

We're now also preparing to frame in the wet wall on the first floor. We've decided to adjust the plans to allow for an additional 12" of space in the kitchen, so we're moving the wet wall to the South by one joist. Since the wet wall will only be 6" deep (with additional 5/8" drywall on each exterior surface) we'll be placing one edge of the wall on one floor joist and will need to add blocking under the floor to support the other side of the wall (since it won't be on a joist, which are approximately 14" apart.)

Also, in building the wet wall, we'll be using 2' x 2x4 horizontal furring strips on the West wall to make sure the wet wall and future dry wall has something to be attached TO. This means, starting from the top of the horizontal furring strip between the joists where the wet wall is to be built, we will need to measure down 2" and mark that point as the center of the next 2x4. This allows us to attach the wet wall anywhere vertically between the 2 ceiling and floor joists.

In the drawing (sorry, no pictures YET) I'm trying to show that (C) is the new wet wall to be built, (B) is the 2x4 horizontal furring strip/firebreak (that is always installed before the vertical furring strips) and (A)is the joist under the floor that will NOT have part of the wet wall built over it.

(1) shows the gap from the vertical furring that will allow for electrical wires to pass horizontally without having to cut through the furring. (2) is the horizontal blocking we'll install before building the wet wall, so we can attach the wet wall to the WEST wall. And (3) is the additional blocking we will need to install from the basement to support the side of the wet wall that is not over a joist.

More images to come soon....

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