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June 15, 2008
The downstairs framing is… not finished

Russell tries to figure out how – and where – to construct joists around all of the downstairs plumbing

As the weather turns from “cold” to “hot” (somehow bypassing “nice”), we continue to work on constructing our mountain home in anticipation of the next inspection milestones. In May, Russell was able to finish the upstairs interior wall frames.

Although the downstairs has fewer interior walls, a lot of the framing work requires two sets of hands. Gail was not available to join Russell up on the mountain the weekend of June 14-15, but luckily our friend Steve was.

On this 90-degree hot weekend, the three downstairs framing tasks were to:

  1. Install a drop-ceiling over the southwest to cover plumbing,
  2. Install a drop-ceiling over the pantry, and
  3. Install a drop-ceiling over the bathroom

On previous trips, Russell had installed some of the smaller joists, and Russell and Steve had waterproofed the exterior-facing walls with paint and caulk. We were now at the point where we could attach a cross-beam and install the remaining joists. The process was straightforward and was completed Saturday morning.

The southwest ceiling section, at various points of joint construction – the wall had to be water-proofed before we could attach the cross beam to it

The construction of the drop-ceilings over the pantry and bathroom was a little more complex, only because:

  1. The rooms were being used for storage and had to be emptied out,
  2. We had to work around all of the plumbing that had been installed, and
  3. The rooms were barely large enough to fit a single ladder in, let alone two guys with power tools

Once again, Russell tried to do as much of the one-person work as he could. This enabled Steve to continue bleaching and painting walls on the inside. Steve also went out and stained walls on the outside, enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.

In the pantry, there was barely enough room to maneuver. In the bathroom, Russell stood on the toilet tank and Steve stood on the sink cabinet.

We finished the pantry on Saturday evening and the bathroom Sunday morning.

The completed north-east ceiling section, showing the drop-ceiling. The pantry is back-left. The bathroom is back-right.

Russell had to get creative with some of the joists, such as here in the bathroom where the pipe actually protructed just a little bit from the wall

In addition, Steve was able to stain six of the eight lower exterior walls. The southern walls have the unfortunate plight of getting the most exposure to both sun and rain. Steve recommends that we put at least two more coats of stain on these walls before we consider them finished.

Unfortunately, the downstairs framing is not yet finished either. We still have to figure out how we want the center chase to intercept the ceiling, for both the drop-ceilings and the raised ceilings. In addition, Steve pointed out another section where a pipe runs lower than the raised ceiling. We’ll have to save those tasks for another trip, as Russell and Gail need to figure out what they want to build before they can actually build it.

Not quite finished yet: as Steve pointed out to Russell's disappointment, there is another pipe that runs below the raised ceilng on the south section

Still to be determined: how the vertical chase should intercept the horizontal ceiling, especially where the plumbing is exposed


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