Still making progress

We haven’t posted about the inside of the house in a while, but that doesn’t mean we’ve given up. Slow progress is still being made on the future master bedroom. After the window was installed, I started on some structural details. This picture provides an overview:

The green boxes highlight straps. These are six 16 gauge metal straps that I added to connect the base of this wall to the top of the first floor. In the event of an earthquake, this will help hold the two levels of the house together. I added some doubled studs in the wall to provide more nailing surfaces around these straps, and added blocking at the middle point of the wall (highlighted in red). At the base of the wall, highlighted with a blue box, you can see insulation and more blocking. Our house has decidedly non-standard construction around this area (called the band joist), so this arrangement of insulation and blocking is probably unique to our scenario. With the straps in place, I caulked holes and then proceeded to add fiberglass insulation:

As I’ve mentioned before, our primary construction goal is a “super insulated house”. I still haven’t written up an explanation of the complete design, but suffice it say this fiberglass is the first of three layers of insulation that will comprise the final wall. With the fiberglass up, I then nailed up OSB panels:

The OSB adds shear strength to resist lateral forces from wind and earthquakes. The panels were staggered down the wall, and all edges were nailed off into blocking using 2.5″ ring shank nails. At the corners, nails connect these OSB sheets into the same studs that support the knee wall bracing.

Next up: Foam insulation

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7 Responses to Still making progress

  1. Lynn says:

    Hey, it’s getting there! Isn’t it tough to live in the house as you are renovating it? That is my biggest challenge. We are moving very slowly on the interior house work, much slower than anticipated…

  2. Benita says:

    So, do you have many earthquakes there?

  3. Ron says:

    It looks like you guys did an awesome job of installing that fiberglass. Done right, it works well. But you can’t hire that kind of quality.


  4. lee says:

    Lynn – Yes, after hiring out the roofing and some structural work, it’s amazing how much slower things progress when it all depends on you. It’s almost counter-motivational, as illogical as that seems.

    Benita – Oregon is has regular small earthquakes and a small chance of some very large earthquakes. The state government started retrofitting the bridges on the I-5 corridor several years ago because none of them met code requirements for earthquakes. Oregon and Washington are on the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which produces 8.0 to 9.0 earthquakes every 200 to 1000 years. Geological evidence suggests the last major earthquake occurred about 300 years ago (written records only go back to 1790).

    Ron – Thanks. My experience with fiberglass so far is limited to the knee walls and that end wall. The original framing has randomly spaced studs, so a lot of the batts had to be trimmed length-wise to fit without bulging. Very itchy work. ­čÖé

  5. Leigh says:

    House stuff does seem slow doesn’t it? Still, you’ve got a lot done!

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