Saturday, December 29, 2007

Garage Building in the UP of Michigan, Part 4

Monday morning was another 8 below zero start. We planned to be finished on this day but we had a lot of work ahead of us. To finish we had the fascia to put on, the fly rafters (overhang) to nail together and install on the back of the garage, the flying gable overhang on the front of the garage, sheet the roof and put on the felt paper, and frame and sheet the gable ends.

The first thing we did was nail on the 2x6 fascia. We set up a 20' aluminum plank on ladder jacks to span the snow that was piled up along side the garage walls to make the installation easier. We let the fascia hang past the last rafter at each end of the garage two feet. This was to have something to nail the tails of our fly rafters and our flying gable rafters to.

I had cut the fly rafters and their blocking the day before. Tony and Jim nailed these together to get them ready for installation. These would be pretty heavy being they were made up of two 2x6's 16 feet long with six 2x6 spacers to make them 24 inches wide. While Tony and Jim worked on these I cut the rafters for the flying gable.

We installed the fly rafters first. Tim and Tony passed them up to Jim and I on top of the ceiling/floor joists. Tony then joined Jim and I to help hold and line up the fly rafters flush with the tops of the last rafters. After we nailed the fly rafter on one side, Tim would nail the tails to the fascia board. We repeated this procedure on the other side of the gable. I then nailed the plumb cuts together at the ridge to complete the installation to give the garage its 24 inch overhang on the back gable.

For the front gable we set up a scaffold under the ridge to be able to nail the flying gable rafters to the ridge. There were six rafters to make up the flying gable, three on each side of the ridge. Tim passed the rafters to Tony and I. Tony would nail the rafter tail to the fascia and I nailed the plumb cut to the ridge. The last rafter angled from the fascia, which was two feet passed the wall, to the ridge, which stuck out four feet passed the gable.

With the fascia on and our gable overhangs on, we could now sheet the roof. Tim got the plywood (OSB) ready by stacking it on horses and leaning it against the fascia. Tony and I snapped a line 47 1/2 inches up from the rafter tails to start our first course of plywood. This lets the plywood lap over the fascia without hanging out beyond it. Jim and I tacked the sheets down while Tony nailed them off behind us with a nail gun. After we got the first course down, we nailed a 2x4's flat across it for a toe board. This was for a little insurance to keep us, tools and plywood from sliding off the roofs 7/12 pitch. Between passing up plywood and toe boards, Tim also made any necessary cuts that had to be made for us.

The plywood went down without a hitch on the first side and went even quicker on the other side of the gable. We followed the same pattern for our plywood layout since it created very little waste. Even the numbers for Tims plywood cuts were almost the same.

With all the plywood on the roof, Tony and I started putting felt over it. Tim and Jim cut the felt to length for us rather than take the whole roll up on the roof. Tim probably won't shingle the roof till spring so he wanted to help protect the sheeting over the winter with the felt. Hopefully it will snow on the felt so it won't blow off.

It got dark on us quick so we had to quit. We still had to felt the other side of the roof and frame and sheath the gable walls. We would have to stay one more day to finish.

Next: Day 4, Finishing up

Mike Merisko

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Garage Building in the UP of Michigan, Part 3

Day two started out at 8 degrees below zero, but like the previous day there was no wind. It seemed to warm up rather quickly this day and was able to ditch the Carharts by 10 o'clock.

We started the morning with Tony and Jim Installing the garage door header and framing and sheathing the front wall. Tim helped me stack and mark the 2x8's to get them ready to cut into rafters. The roof was a gable roof with a two foot overhang on the back gable and a two foot overhang on the side walls. The overhang on the front of the garage was 4 feet at the ridge and tapered back to 2 feet at the side fascia.

To get my rafter lengths, I used what I like to call my "bible". My "bible" is the rafter table book, "The Full Length Roof Framer", by A. F. J. Riechers. All I have to do is go to the 7/12 pitch span tables and look up the span of the building, outside of wall to outside of wall, and this gives me the length of the rafter from the ridge to the back of the birdsmouth. Add four more feet to the span and I have the length of the rafter plus the overhang before deducting for the ridge and fascia.

As I finished cutting the roof, Tony and Jim finished the header and front wall and straightened and braced all the walls, getting them ready for the ceiling joists and rafters.

Tony and I nailed the ceiling joists to the tops of the walls with Tim and Jim handing them up to us. Because Tim wanted attic storage, the joists were 2x10, 24 feet long, 16 inches on center. Once all the joists were up, we ran two courses of OSB from front to back for a platform to frame the roof. We framed the roof with Tony and Jim working the walls while I worked the ridge. Tim handed up the rafters as we needed them.

We didn't quite get as far as I would have liked this day, but under the conditions we did okay. Each day we would stop and go inside to warm up and have a hot lunch.
Because we had only eight hours of daylight, we did about 7 hours of work, allowing for an hour lunch.

Day 3: Overhangs, Fascia, Plywood

Mike Merisko

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Garage Building in the UP of Michigan, Part Two

Woke up Saturday morning thinking it was gonna be warmer than the night before. I couldn't have been more wrong! The temperature that morning was 11 below zero! Fortunately I anticipated cold weather and packed my Carhart coveralls, long underwear, my insulated boots and spare gloves. What we had going for us was the fact that there was no wind. Don't think we could have built the garage if we would have had wind chills of 20 degrees below zero or more.

There was a good foot of snow on the ground but the 22x24 slab was already cleared of snow. All the lumber was there and was covered to keep it free of snow. It was stacked in the order we were going to use it except for the ceiling joists which were on the bottom and had to be dug out to be cut before being nailed in place.

When building a detached garage, I sometimes like to build the walls, stand them up, and then sheath them. I plumb the framing and let the plywood or OSB lock it in when its nailed on. Because of the snow piled around the slab we weren't able to do this.

After laying out the treated sill plates for the anchor bolts and drilling them out with a 5/8" spade bit, I marked our stud layout on them. I started the wall layout on the side walls from the front of the garage on 16" centers. The one sidewall had a 36" service door in it so I marked it for a 38" rough opening, then laid out my 16" centers. The back and front walls would be laid out from the center of the wall. Later, my gable studs will follow this layout and put a stud right under the ridge board.

Because of the snow, we would have to build the walls on the slab, just like you would when building a house. After they were framed, we squared the walls by measuring them corner to corner, racking the frame till both measurements were the same. We also wanted to keep our bottom plate straight. We did this by keeping the plate edge on the line we snapped for the sill plate, checking to make sure we stayed on it as we nailed the OSB on the frames.

While Tony and Jim (one of the locals and friend of Tim) framed and sheeted the walls, Tim and I dug out the 2x10 by 24' ceiling joists so they could be cut to length and have the roof pitch cut put on them.

As Tony and Jim finished framing, sheeting and wrapping a wall with Tyvek, we would all help stand it up. We laid 2x4 cutoffs flat on the slab near the anchor bolts. We raised the wall onto the 2x4's and lined up the 5/8" holes in the sill plate with the anchor bolts. With minimal lifting and persuading with a sledge hammer, we removed the 2x4's one by one as the holes fell over the bolts. We tapped the wall in place to our chalk lines with the sledge and bolted it down. We held the wall up with a-frames since the ground was too frozen to drive stakes into it.

While everybody was busy with the walls, I cut the ceiling joists to length and put the pitch cut on them. This cut is so they don't stick up above the rafters and get in the way of the plywood sheathing.

After I finished cutting the joists, Tim and I pulled out the two 18 foot, 12" microlams that would be used for the garage door header. I checked the opening in the concrete for the opening and it was 16 feet on the money. I wanted to put double cripples under the header so I cut the microlams to 16'6".

The first day we got the side and back walls up, the joists ready and the garage header ready. It was cold but as long as you were working you kept warm. I was able to takeoff my Carharts by noon as it had "warmed" up to the teens.

Tomorrow day 2

Mike Merisko

Monday, December 24, 2007

Garage Building in the UP of Michigan

Been a while since I posted any articles, but its been a pretty busy fall.

I was recently approached to build a garage in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It wouldn't happen till the middle of December so I was a bit hesitant to take on the project. After some thought I decided what the hell, I'm not that busy at that time, and committed to doing it.

My first move was to recruit some quality help. My first choice backed out because of the possible weather conditions (couldn't blame him). My second choice caught the flu the day we were gonna leave. Fortunately I found a replacement (Tony) at the last moment, just hours before we were scheduled to leave.

We met at the homeowners house (Tim) in the west suburbs of Chicago and left on a Friday afternoon for a six hour drive to the UP. As we drove northward, we could watch the temperature fall in the rear view mirror of the vehicle. When we left Chicago it was in the upper 20's. By the time we got to our destination in the UP, around 9:30, it was 0. I was thinking that wasn't bad, at daybreak when we start building, it has to be warmer. Boy was I wrong!

Tomorrow I'll tell you how our first day went and the conditions we had to work in.

Mike Merisko