The saga of our building a foundation after we built a house continues…in this latest episode, our heroes are positioned to build a wooden wall atop the block wall that they completed in our last episode. Will they get splinters? Will the Mrs. pummel the Mr. because of his stupidity? Stay tuned viewers and find out!
Ok, so we built a wall on the back side of the building. Of course, the idea is to eventually frame in all four sides with wooden framed walls on top of the block base. We could have blocked the walls all of the way up but we both decided that we do not like lifting blocks any higher than we have to and that I am better and faster with wood. We added a sill plate on top of the blocks and secured it with j-bolts embedded in concrete we used to fill in the holes in the blocks. On top of that, we used treated 2x4s to build a traditional wall. I made the fit tight for the wall boards so it will, in fact, provide a level of support to the entire structure as well. The bulk of the weight of the building will remain on the posts and piers but the outer walls will have additional support.
Did you know that the outer walls carry the bulk of the weight of a building? All of the weight of the roof (in our style building, anyhow), is evenly spread between the outer walls opposite the gable ends? I learned all sorts of stuff building this house, and, in particular, the way loads are carried and how to balance the weight of the house. In reality, the house is not all that heavy. Of course, you wouldn’t want to be under it if it fell, but spread out over its base, the pressure in a given area is not as bad as I expected when I first started ciphering on this place. There are all sorts of calculations one needs to do related to live and dead loads, soil bearing capacity and component strengths when you build a house. I had no idea but it’s pretty interesting to read and makes sense when you even realize these things are indeed things.
Anyhow, we finished the tallest of the “basement” walls and have blocks laid for half of each side wall. We now need to dig additional footer space at the front of the building and the remaining halves of each side. It should not be a terrible job but it will have to be done by hand as the excavator arm will not fit under the building in the remaining spots.
Our heroes have an interesting (not really) weekend ahead of them. Stay tuned to our next episode…”Human backhoes”