Getting Framed

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Camera room with most framing in place
Camera room with most of the framing in place

Sunday, May 18

There was more slow and tedious work in the new studio last week, followed by a quick flurry of activity that looks a lot more like progress.

The tedious work was doubling all the joists that hold up my office on the second floor, immediately above the camera room. When the building was originally built in 1928 they used 2×6 lumber to span more than 12 feet. The rule of thumb for that distance calls for 2×12 lumber. As a result the joists had sagged a lot over the years and the floor bounced when we walked on it. It took a couple of days, but now all the joists are reinforced, with new 2x6s on both sides of the original ones.

Dennis nails doubled joist into place.
Dennis nails doubled joist into place.

Where the joists meet the new glulam beam they’re attached with special hangers. The builders had to special order hangers wide enough for four pieces of lumber since the standard hangers are designed for one or two pieces of 2×6.

Doubled joists support second floor office.
Doubled joists support second floor office.

There’s one more step still to come on the studio ceiling to make it flat. The crew will attach 2x4s to the joists as a nailing bed for the drywall. That’s a lot faster and easier than other possible techniques to level the bottom sides of the ceiling joists.

The crew has started cutting and framing the window openings. They’ve also built much of the framing for the new interior walls. The original outside walls were framed with 2×4 lumber and current insulation standards call for at least 2×6. Because the building is old and nothing is square, they’re building new wall framing inside the old walls and we’ll fill the whole cavity with insulation. Again, this technique is faster than cutting shims to make the old walls flat and vertical.

Reception & sales room framing.
Reception & sales room framing.

The studio is now taking shape. The camera room feels nice and spacious, as I anticipated. The bathroom / dressing room will be roomy. I’d like a little more space in the reception and sales room, but it’s actually about the same as what I have currently in my Fairhaven studio and will feel warm and intimate when it’s finished.

This coming week we should get the rest of the framing done. The plumber is supposed to be here to do the rough-in on the plumbing, and the electrician may begin the wiring. I think we may get windows, too.

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