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HLS Framing Pt. 1



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First Floor, First Floor Walls, and Second Floor Framing…

With our basement walls complete and fully cured, our framing crew could begin laying the first floor joists and walls, and the complicated second floor framing. Above, Chris McCullough (center left) and Miguel Mendoza (center) finish installing a beam ledger over, and on the sides of, a steel beam over the Kitchen. Beyond (left) the rest of the crew works on installing joists over the Family Room. This complicated framing anticipates above it the southeast corner of the Master Bedroom (which will support a large glulam beam overhead), and is surrounded on two sides by an exterior deck.


Below, the first floor framing just prior to sheathing with plywood. We used TrusJoists for our primary floor joists, which are much stronger and lighter than solid lumber, are much stiffer, more dimensionally stable, and anticipate drilling for pipes, conduits, and wiring. We’re using 1-1/8” T&G sheathing, glued and screwed to the floor joists, for an incredibly solid and squeak-free sub-floor. Each joist run and bay was laid out in anticipation of recessed lighting, mechanical ducting, and plumbing runs, in addition to maintaining standard spacing for structural strength. Below right, Ely and Karl of K. Short Steel, along with Ken, complete installation of the steel posts and beam over the Kitchen.

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Snap lines and Plates…
With the first floor framed and sheathed, layout of the first floor walls can begin. In the photo below, the Stair Tower wall (center left) is just peeking above the first floor, ready for its second pour. The Covered Porch (lower left) and the Living Room (lower right) will have its own footings poured (and floor joists placed) once backfilling of the basement is completed.

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Layout begins with snapping chalk lines on the floor indicating wall locations, and cutting the plates (horizontal 2x’s) that form the tops and bottoms of our framed walls. On these plates, they’ll mark wall heights, and where posts, overhead beams, specific hardware, and each stud needs to be placed. They then frame the wall on the floor, and lift it into place. This process is amazing to watch because nearly all of the work they are so carefully and skillfully cutting and framing is in anticipation of something that is going to come later in the process—a wall above, or a column, or in many cases on this project, a roof rafter or glulam beam that’s going to be framed in the roof that’s
two stories above the floor they’re standing on now. It’s incredibly complicated, and requires enormous concentration, technical skill, visualization skills, and management foresight. Below left, Chris McCullough and Doug Ramos of DAR Construction discuss how they’re going to frame a corner of the first floor system, in anticipation of the second floor roof above it. Below right, wall plates and studs are laid out for a complicated wall assembly at the south wall of the Kitchen.

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Floor Joists and Beams…
Below, production in full swing. With all the second floor joists, beams, and posts overhead figured out and located, joist framing can proceed. Below left, Doug has set up a station cutting deck joists over the Family Room, and is feeding them to Jose Padilla and Julio Flores beyond. Below center, Justino Elias and Amado Pinzon finish work on the floor joists spanning the main hallway. Below right, Chris McCullough has set up a station cutting a ledger for the steel beam over the Kitchen, and is feeding it to Miguel Mendoza (whose feet you can barely make out overhead). They’ve already installed the main beam under the Master Bedroom wall, and the wood nailers (on either side of the steel beam) that will be used to attach the deck joists.

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Our hats off to Doug, Chris, Miguel, Justino, Amado, Jose, and Julio of DAR Construction for their amazing work figuring out how to build this complicated structure, and realizing our design into built form. Their pride in their work, and their skill and craftsmanship, is truly commendable. On to the second floor!

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