Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The rest of the story

After the slab was poured, we started getting lumber delivered as we needed it. We have a local Ace hardware that delivers for free and they are giving us a contractor's discount. It is much nicer than trekking to Home Depot or Lowes every time we need lumber. The first lumber delivery was the sill plates and the lumber for the load bearing wall in the basement.

First load of lumber

Of course, it RAINED the afternoon of the first lumber delivery. Plus it's been raining the last couple days and it's still in the forecast. I'm all for ending the drought, but can't it wait until we have a roof and some house wrap?


The load bearing wall will support the floor joists for the first floor. We decided to do a load bearing wall, rather than span the entire width of the addition (28 feet) because the joists would have had to be 18 or 20 inches tall instead of 9 1/2 inches. That would have meant we would have had to dig deeper or have shorter ceilings, because the floor of the existing house and the floor of the addition WILL LINE UP. It was a step down into the "subtraction" and that was annoying and slightly dangerous for babies and the elderly.

The kids helped install the sill plates by putting the washers and nuts on the j-bolts.

Need some nuts or washers?

Daddy's helpers

The sill plates all installed.

Sill plate installed

Then Frugaldad started building the wall. He built it in two pieces. This guy is amazing! I can't believe he knows all this stuff. He knows how to build a house, write amazing software, work on cars, you name it.

basement wall, 1st half

Second half

basement wall, 2nd half

Two pieces put together

Connecting the two pieces

Then in the midst of the wall-building, we had some plumbers come out to give us bids for the rough plumbing of the bathroom in the addition, and also some HVAC guys come because we'll need a new air conditioner and furnace and ductwork in the addition. We had a concrete cutting company come and cut a big hole for the ducts. Frugaldad spent a couple nights framing the opening to support the joists. And he dug out under the foundation so we can run plumbing to the septic tank. We're doing this stuff now while the access is good, before we cover up that area with a floor.

Cutting concrete

The piece of pipe is just for size reference
hole for plumbing

You've seen what the wall looked like when it was finished and the rim joists were installed. Next came floor joists.

About half of them set into place but not fastened.

Floor joists going in

We are glad to support a local business.

Support your local businesses

All the joists in place, looking up from below. It was really cool to be in the basement under the joists. The ceilings are the highest in the house, which was built in the energy-efficient 1970s. When the floor and ceilings are finished they will be around 8 feet high.

In the basement under the floor joists

Monday night we got almost all of the floor decking installed. It's been rainy so I don't have a good picture yet. Check back soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A weekend's work

I'll fill in the details soon, but for those of you who just can't wait, I took this picture a couple minutes ago. Frugaldad and Frugalboy finished in the dark last night after a 12-hour day.

And for the record, this is what it looked like on Saturday morning. The rim joists were installed the day before.

Hey! I thought this was a frugal renovation blog!

I'm sure you're starting to wonder--if you are going to save so much money by doing this addition yourself, how come all you've done so far is hire people?

A valid question, my friend.

The work that has been done so far has been the stuff we couldn't do ourselves because of the complexity. We don't have a backhoe, nor the skills to drive one, for excavation, and while we probably could have called in the concrete pumper truck ourselves, we don't own concrete forms for walls and such.

From here on out, most of the work will be done by Frugaldad with assistance from me and Frugalboy, who, at not quite 9 years old, has already proven himself worthy of pounding nails and moving sheets of plywood. The girls are quite adept at fetching water for the workers.

When we had the hole dug, we had to take out the valves for the backyard sprinkler zones. Once everything was all backfilled, Frugaldad rebuilt the sprinkler valve box. If he would have purchased a ready-made manifold, it would have cost about $40, plus it wouldn't have fit into the largest access box that they make. Instead, he went to the plumbing aisle and spent less that $10 on bits and pieces and built a custom manifold for the 5 sprinkler zones and a hose bib.

We were able to locate all the pipe for the zones, it was just a matter of reconnecting them to the new manifold and valves.