Each week I prepare notes for myself to review with the builders – we have a standing meeting at the site at 7am every Tuesday.  Since my transmission failed recently, getting across town at that hour has taken a bit of effort. Moving on –  I suggest if anyone else endeavors in such a project, to print an extra copy of one’s notes for the builders – they tend to want to memorize everything which does not work.   It’s an uphill battle to expect other’s to do paperwork – general rule.  Today the engineer visited to inspect the framing.  He called out a number of errors, some of which I already caught, but are now even harder to repair.   The highlights were:

1) splicing of 2×12’s at tall wall to get extra long studs is ok assuming proper nailing pattern and appropriate lap length.

2) hem/fir and spruce studs are not an acceptable substitute for southern yellow pine because they are weaker, softer, and have unpredictable respose to termites. The question is – where did that lumber come from anyways?   Solution options:

– remove incorrect studs!? (labor intensive, likely to make surfaces less level which could make sheetrock install more difficult)

– sister-on new yellow pine studs (not good craft, creates yet more thermal bridging in in addition to to the (4) top plates in the walls (not spec’d) and the additional roof rafters (built at 16″ o.c. rather than 24″ o.c.)

leave-as-is (may not meet code inspection according to engineer, not strong enough according to engineer, seems wrong!)

– add 2′ metal strapping at rafters over ridge (every 48″)

– add 2′ metal strapping at corner window headers to secure headers to built-up column

– rebuild beam pocket as drawn (as opposed to what was built which is nowhere close)

– blocking in various locations was missing.

The clear prize winner here is the incorrect type of lumber.  Quite frustrating, hopefully a solution will present itself soon….

On a positive note, framing on the Studio began today, they will likely finish with the framing tomorrow.  The pieces of wood are straight and dry which is nice.  The framers had some pretty clever solutions.    A few mistakes were made, the largest of which was the height of the threshold at the porch, was supposed to be 2″, but was built at around 4″.

So, I could add 2×4 sleepers underneath the decking so that the decking sits 1 1/2″ higher.  That may work. The problem is that the 2×4’s are dimensionally somewhat slim and I assume this will make them suscetpble to rot for the same reason deck boards often rot: due to the higher humidity levels in crawl spaces where air is stagnant and humidified by the saturated soil.  All that being said, I can’t think of another decent solution.

All this is important because as built it will be a tripping hazard – probably somepart of the code.  I’ll check that tomorrow.

Secondly,  the waterproofing detail where the porch edge meets the house was done entirely incorrectly, and needs to be reworked. The ledger is the edge of the porch floor framing that connects the porch to the house. It’s supposed to be installed over small bits of blocking that act as spacers, creating an air gap between the edge of the porch floor framing and the wall of the house.  This will allow any water that gets behind the siding to escape downward rather than being trapped against the base of the wall.  As built, there would likely be a total gap in the housewrap, and create a big oppourtinity for a leak – and right above a door!.  This is especially true at the second floor where this seem is very exposed to rainfall there being no roof over that porch.    Yikes, that’s hard to explain without pictures. I’ll try and upload those tomorrow.

So, one way or the other, the thing gets built –