Sunday, May 3, 2009

Preparing the floor system

In preparation for the frame raising, we decided to focus on finishing the floor system for the studio. The first step was to brush and paint the foundation steel. It turned out looking great. Two coats of Rustoleum should help preserve this metal, even though it will not be directly exposed to the elements.

I used a natural tone stain on the sill plate timbers. These timbers will bare the brunt of exposure to the elements, mainly water. We decided to really coat these timbers with a liberal amount of protecting stain in an effort to preserve them better. These timbers will need periodic maintenance over the years.

The stain darkened the wood somewhat, but they look very good. We decided to leave the sill plate timbers rough-cut (not planed and sanded). The salvaged piece of Douglas Fir turned out looking very rich and dark.

After setting the timbers onto the piers, we found that the sill plates were essentially perfectly square! I guess it really pays to test fit in the workshop!

We drilled holes through the timbers and through the metal. Into these holes we placed 1/2" anchor bolts. The J portion of the anchor bolts rests on top, and we chiseled a small groove to recess the top end of the J-bolt. This allows us to tighten the nut on the bottom.

Here is Peter drilling holes in the timber.

The sill plates look pretty good once they are all put together:

We hung 2x8 cedar floor joists between the larger sill plate timbers. We used cedar due to city code: all floor joists on a pier foundation must be at least 18" from grade...unless you use treated joist lumber or naturally rot-resistant joist lumber (then they have to be at least 12" from grade).

The city ran the span numbers and found that Western Red Cedar would work on this span, assuming we used a 3/4" plywood subfloor. We went that route.

The joists were hung in such a way that the plywood will sit perfectly flush with the tops of the sill plate timbers. We need to special order an additional 2 cedar 2x8 joists to finish the floor system, which will happen prior to raising day!

Less than 5 days until raising day. I think we're going to make it!

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