|Volume 15 Issue 10|
Welcome to Dave's Shop Talk's Home Improvement Newsletter of questions from our members on their construction projects, a Tip of the Month and a home remodeling article, both from our website at http://daveosborne.com.
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Save nylons (panty hose, etc.) for straining paint.
Use WD-40 to remove paint transfer from a vehicle bumper after a slight scrape.
Usually, in a modular they have low rise trusses. You should be able to tap the ceiling to feel for the spacing - probably 16" or 24" centers. Adhesive alone will not do it, try to get at least 1" of screw into the wood truss or ceiling joist. A handy tool for finding studs, joists is an electronic stud finder - good name!
Thanks for the pic, it helped, lots.
Make sure your 4x4 posts are sitting on concrete blocks. You can purchase these "deck blocks" at building supply stores. They have a place for the 4x4 to slip into. Unfortunately, these may lift with the frost and thaw cycle, especially in your area, but going down 8' is extreme. I lived in a place where the temperatures got below zero and the frost level went to 8', as well. I built a slab on grade, for a shop, with 2' deep concrete perimeter. I would bank up the first snowfall around the perimeter and didn't have any trouble. Snow is a good insulator!
You should be able to put insulation under the porch, between the joists, then just strap it with strips of plywood, etc to keep it from falling down, or box it like you say - depending on the amount of R-value you want. Do not put poly under the insulation to hold it in place. Floors usually don't need a vapor barrier above the floor, the flooring acts like one.
For the walls below the deck, use a pressure treated bottom plate and studs, just above the dirt and use the metal siding/roofing as is existing. This would be good to pile the fresh snow against as added insulation. If you have any specific questions as you progress, just email me.
Hope this helps, a bit. You seem to have a good handle on your project.
Sorry about the screw pile - I missed that. I never have used these. How hard is it to screw a pile like that down 10'?
It seems a shame to remove the aluminum soffit/ceiling, but the only way to insulate, if that is necessary. I'm thinking the ceiling comes about 7' out from the house wall. If you have access to the attic space you should be able to spread some vapour barrier to the gutter edge. You won't be able to get right up to the inside gutter edge, but close enough to get the vapour barrier in position with sticks, etc. then lay the insulation on top by sliding it on top of the VB.
Another thought: I don't see the point in covering the walls with drywall. I personally would side the walls with the same or similar vinyl ( it looks like vinyl in pic) as on the house wall. This is an outside enclosed porch, which in my opinion would look good with siding on the inside, as well as the outside - eliminates the problem of cracks in drywall or worst still moisture and humidity causing other problems over time.
I learned something with this discussion - screw piles. Have any of our readers used these before?
Do you know how I might find information on building the walls and roof of a residential home from cement as they do in commercial construction? This seems like it would be an extremely strong and inexpensive building.
Concrete is not really inexpensive. The forming material alone would be the cost of the conventional framing. The roof slabs would require beams and posts to hold them up for 28 days. An engineer would have to be involved since it is not conventional. Forming pockets for plumbing and wiring through the walls and roof would have to be considered. Attachments for windows and doors would have to be allowed. Once built, it would last forever, though.
Most of the industrial buildings that I worked on were structural steel buildings with suspended slabs of concrete for the floors, the roofs were mostly steel as well. The buildings that were made totally of concrete were built that way for the structural strength required to support primary crushers and the like.
Commercial buildings including schools were built of concrete block with steel or timber roofs. I worked on high rise buildings that were mainly concrete construction. These are very expensive structures to build.
All things considered, I wouldn't advise building a residence out of concrete, there are too many better products out there. Concrete is best left to the footings and foundation walls.
Roy read the above article in last month's newsletter which brought forth his old memory:
I would be upset, as well. We take photos of the install now, which is acceptable by some of the inspectors.
How times have changed!
(taken from our website: DaveOsborne.com)
Carpenters don't refer to the angle of a roof, such as 30° or 45°, but to the pitch of the roof, which is just the ratio of vertical to horizontal measurements. I say this because it's quite an important distinction. Angles are pretty hard to measure, but roof pitch is simple. An average and easy roof pitch to work with is a 5-12. The 5 refers to the rise of the roof and the 12 refers to the run of the roof. With the framing square (also called a rafter square) we can use these numbers directly without having to compute angles.
In your example of a 6' span or a 3' run (half the span) we could use a 2x4 for the rafters and a 1x6 for the ridge board. Refer to my article How to Use the Framing Square for some background information. For a 5-12 roof pitch take your framing square and with the 5 on the tongue and the 12 on the body with the heel of the framing square below the rafter, scribe along the tongue to give the plumb cut. From this point along the top of the rafter, measure 3'-3" and put another plumb cut at this mark.
Now measure back up the rafter 3/8", which is half the thickness of the ridge board. On the face of the rafter, square off a line from this last measure. This is the outside wall line.
For a tree house of this size a 6" overhang should be enough. So come down from this outside wall line 6 1/2" and scribe another plumb line. Scribe another line the thickness of your rafter trim, usually 1 1/2", parallel to this plumb line to shorten the rafter. Now go back to the wall line and scribe the bird's mouth and cut it out. This is the pattern for your rafters. Try two out first before you cut the rest.
The above was taken from our article: Roof 2: Calculating a Roof Pitch
Thanks to all the questions sent in this month. Hope I was able to answer yours, as well.
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Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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