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August 3, 2007
Interior walls: approaching the center pole

Gail measures the height of the center pole and its knee braces, as we try to figure out how to build around it

As we continued constructing interior walls during our full week up on the mountain, we got closer and closer to the inevitable point when a wall would run either into the center pole or one of the knee braces. As it turned out, one wall actually hit both at the same time.

We had avoided this problem for awhile. The bathroom door frame came so close to hitting the knee braces that we couldn’t have planned it any better. When we measured it out, the top header brushed right up against two knee braces, just touching them.

The hall bathroom door frame wall fit perfectly under the knee braces. We couldn't have planned it any better, but it was just coincidence and dumb luck.

We would not have such luck with the laundry room door frame. From the time that Russell had mapped the floor weeks ago, we knew that this section of the hallway would actually straddle the center pole. In addition, we knew that – because we had to move the wall seven inches over in order to cover the center pole – it would also run directly into a knee brace. Furthermore, we had to configure the construction to accommodate a door rough opening that was almost as wide as the wall itself.

The big challenge: the laundry room door frame wall – moved seven inches over to accommodate the center pole – would hit both the center pole and a knee brace overhead

Gail and Russell spent several days brainstorming how to construct this wall so that it could avoid all obstacles, let alone stand up vertically plumb with no real support. In the end, Gail made a comment that sparked an “Aha!” moment in Russell, and he set to work with his pad of paper.

The solution was carefully planned:

The laundry door frame wall, in the process of being constructed

Russell did the mathematics and Gail built the wall. On Thursday August 2, when we finally lifted it into place, we were amazed to discover that it actually worked! The knee brace holds the wall solidly in place with no wiggle room, while also setting it perfectly plumb.

The laundry door frame wall in place: solid and plumb

Russell considers this one of his best logistical feats so far. Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet. Russell still has to figure out how to attach the wall on other side of the center pole, as well as how to construct ceiling joists through this whole area. Further down the line, Gail will have to figure out how to cut and install drywall here as well. But those challenges can wait for another day…

Can you tell that Russell is proud of this particular wall?


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