This has to be the most satisfying part of the project thusfar – seeing the walls raised and the building begin to take form.
The crew from Bronze Construction arrived today in force. In almost no time, they had the sill plates in place and the first wall established. It’s amazing to watch a team of experienced framers work together…especially when you consider the 26 degree weather (and did I mention wind chill?).
Fortunately, nothing slowed these guys down. In fact, things might have progressed a little TOO quickly when we realized the wall studs were nailed 16″ on center (as opposed to the 24″ we had specified). A BIG kudo to Bronze’s owner, Santos, for agreeing to make it right. His guys tore out the studs and replaced at the correct distance.
Why is this important? Well, for several reasons: first, less material means a slightly more eco-friendly approach to framing. Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, the 24″ centers allows us to use more insulation. Wood has a very low R-value, and the more you have, the less efficient the building.
And, speaking of efficiency, I’m glad to see my contractor, Rory Read, has made some great strides in reducing the amount of wood used throughout the project. One example is in the headers above the windows. By specifying metal brackets (instead of 2×4 jacks) we’re reducing the amount of wood in the wall and allowing for even more insulation. Rory’s actually done a lot of research in this area, and I’ll follow up with a post on some of these techniques. Our goal is to build a highly efficient building at a reasonable budget.
Here’s a shot of the building at 5:00: