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My Garden Room Build - 9m x 4m

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Molynoox

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Hi Robin,
that's an interesting point you make, I hadn't really thought about the fact that some of the deflection (dead load stuff) occurs before the doors are in place, and the rest of the deflection (dynamic - such as snow, people etc) occurs after the doors are in.
I didn't separate out the dead load deflection and dynamic load deflection in the spreadsheet, but it would be easy enough to do. My calcs show a combined (dead + dymanic load) deflection, representing worst case.
This still allows me to compare all the options and help me select best solution for my application. Or at least it convinces me that I'm selecting the best solution - a big part of me still thinks that a doubled up 6 x 2 with a 10mm gap above the door would be absolutely fine for 2.4m, despite me going a different route.
Martin
 

Tealeaf

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Fabulous write up here Martin with some tremendous detail. I love the thought process and prep you have put in here. I'm looking forward to the next instalments!
 

Molynoox

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thanks Tealeaf, appreciate the feedback - I'm glad its useful / interesting for you (y)
 

Molynoox

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Jun 2021 - Base (insulation)

Time to start installing the PIR into the base.

Utilisation
As I mentioned earlier, the apertures in the wooden frame are deliberately sized at 400mm so that (in theory) I get 6 x 400mm cuts per PIR sheet with no wastage (PIR sheet is 2400mm x 1200mm). My joist length was just over a metre, so I wasn't able to maximise the 1200 width of the PIR, but the 100mm off cuts I ended up with did get used in other places. PIR about £45 per sheet at this time.

Battens
The first challenge was making sure that the PIR stayed in place - it's not going to be effective if it drops down to the floor, it needs to stay put for it's life therefore I wanted something reasonably strong. There are a few different ways of doing this but after some thought I decided that the best option was to run long strips of batten underneath the frame. This stuff is pretty cheap and comes in 4 metre lengths so I thought it could be installed pretty fast too.
Challenge 1
I didn't predict this but it was surprisingly tricky getting the 4m long battens in place underneath the frame. Next time it would be better to put them there before building the frame, but not a huge deal, just took a bit of faffing to thread them through the groundscrew maze underneath the frame
Challenge 2
My 4 x 2 bearers are 95mm and the PIR is 100mm. If I nail the battens tight underneath the frame the PIR will sit 5mm proud of the surface. I spent a lot of time wondering if this would be ok, and if the floorboards could be screwed down on top and simply compress everything down flat. But I decided that was too risky, because if it does create problems it's quite a major fix to reverse out of it. In the end I used a simple spacer jig which I made in order to keep the batten 6mm away from the frame when I nail it in place.

Spacer Jig
I was pleased to discover that it was easy enough to hold the jig in place at the same time as pulling the batten upwards towards the underside of the frame, and then nail in from the top with a nail gun to fix it. I initially used 50mm nails for this, as battens are only 25mm, but in the end this was a rubbish idea because the 'toenail' method I was using meant that the screws were nowhere near long enough. I switched to 90mm and after a little experimentation with placement and angle, I was able to reliably get the nails in perfect. It was also very fast to do and I managed to do the whole lot in about 30 minutes (from memory).
Note: a 'jig' might seem excessive but I initially just used a scrap of 6mm ply and I kept nailing it to the frame by accident (sometimes the 90mm nails shoot off at weird angles when they hit knots). This turned out to be quite irritating, because it was quite tricky rescuing the ply spacer once sandwiched in between frame and batten. So the rebate on the jig allowed me to line it up with edge of the 4 x2 and keep the spacer part away from the nailing zone.
IMG_20210614_164844.jpg


IMG_20210614_164855.jpg


Cutting PIR
Anyway, once the battens were in place, I could focus my attention onto my next science project / exercise in overthinking which I like to call "how many different ways can I cut PIR?"
The candidates were as follows:
  1. Jigsaw with specialist 'wavy' PIR blade
  2. Method #1 but with additional home cooked blade guide jig
  3. Non-specialist universal hand saw (rusty specimen found in the shed)
  4. Specialist Bahco wavy blade hand saw
  5. Specialist Magnusson drywalll hand saw (recommended by the internet)
  6. Japanese pull saw

Items I considered but didn't test:
  • Table saw with normal blade
  • Table saw with specialist blade (the one that looks like a frisby with holes in it)
  • Festool jazzy cutter (ISC240)
  • Bread knife
  • Hot knife
Note: I don't own a table saw and therefore option 1 and 2 would have required some investment to test it, hence why I didn't test it
Note: I had bought 10 or 15 bottles of spray foam because I intended to foam it all in place and try and get near perfect insulated panels . This means that if the pieces of cut PIR were too small it wasn't such a big deal for me, as the foam easily fills it. But if too big, you have no option other than to hack away at it and trim it down, which takes time, creates loads of dust and just generally sucks.

Method 1 - jigsaw and wavy blade
So this was very impressive and it cut through the PIR like it was made of erm... very non-dense things. There was almost no resistance as I pushed the jigsaw through the cut. I used this method for quite a while thinking I had stumbled upon the best thing ever, but then I started to get inaccuracies in the cuts. This was due to the long wavy blade wandering away from the cut - the top line along your mark was bang on as you just guide the saw on your mark, but underneath on bottom side of PIR it's very hit and miss. It usually starts very square to the cut, but as you get to the middle and end of the cut, any blade wandering gets worse and worse, and you can end up with an 80 degree blade angle by the end instead of 90 degrees. This means some parts of the workpiece can be 10, 20, maybe even 30mm out, and sometimes its 20mm too big, and sometimes its 20mm too short. So this was annoying me quite a bit, but I thought I could rescue it.

This is the jigsaw blade:
jigsaw blade.jpg


Method 2 - jigsaw and jig
I tried lots of ways of keeping the blade at 90 degrees, by building ever more complex jigs, and in the end the best of them (two timbers underneath the PIR to sandwich the blade) still wasnt good enough. The main issue was that I could get the blade to run at 90 degrees, but I couldn't get the PIR to stay perfectly in place, which it needs to if you are using a runner underneath. Also, it was a bit of a faff to line it all up top and bottom. I tried using clamps and timbers on top and stuff like that to hold the PIR down but in the end I just gave up and went back to method 1, before then getting frustrated and trying out method 3....

Below you can see my final attempt at a wavy blade jig. There is a timber on the floor that I was using as a clamp, and also some support blocks either side of the PIR which support the clamping timber. The two timbers in the middle create the groove for the blade.

IMG_20210612_131717.jpg


Method 3 - hand saw
OK so this worked pretty good! Very fast and very accurate. Can't fault it other than one big problem; it creates loads of dust which gets everywhere (but it particularly likes eyes and mouths - those are it's favourites).

Method 4 - wavy hand saw
This saw is basically a big, manual version of the wavy blade I had in the jigsaw. I think this would work OK on maybe 50mm but trying to cut 100mm was way too much effort. Too much friction as the saw passed through the PIR. The good part of this method is the minimal dust (that is also a nice advantage of method 1 and 2). But overall this didn't work for me because it just didn't cut very efficiently

Method 5 - drywall saw
This was a recommendation from a forum post about cutting PIR, and the results were dissapointing, basically exactly the same performance as the rusty hand saw from the shed, except it was more flexible so actually wandered in the cut more than the rusty saw.

Method 6 - pull saw
I thought the thin blade and fine teeth could be advantageous, and hence worth a shot, but this method wasn't as good as the normal manual push saw.

Conclusion
So after all that, in terms of accuracy and speed, the best way to cut PIR turns out to be a rusty hand saw.

Note: for fiddly bits (like cutting notches, grooves etc I used a padsaw in addition to the method used for the straight cuts
Note: I used respirator and goggles at all times, apart from when i wasn't using them, and in those cases I got PIR dust in my mouth and eyes and promised myself to never remove mask and goggles. Until next time.

Pictures

The battens nailed in place
IMG_20210614_164920.jpg


Some spray foam action
IMG_20210614_190234.jpg


Done
IMG_20210615_183421.jpg


Water and waste pipe detail
IMG_20210615_183447.jpg


Martin
 

xLrc

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This looks fantastic and very well thought out. I've been watching a lot of garden room videos recently so seeing all stages of the build is really interesting to me.
I don't know if you've considered it, although at even more expense, it might help with the PIR insulation to get a really tight fit. https://gaposhop.com/
I saw Robin Clevett using it on a video and it really does look useful.
 

Molynoox

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This looks fantastic and very well thought out. I've been watching a lot of garden room videos recently so seeing all stages of the build is really interesting to me.
I don't know if you've considered it, although at even more expense, it might help with the PIR insulation to get a really tight fit. https://gaposhop.com/
I saw Robin Clevett using it on a video and it really does look useful.
thanks! appreciate the positive feedback.
I've watched a fair few garden room videos myself :D I will keep making my write ups and by the end we will have a little book reminding me of all my mistakes.
thanks for the heads up on the gapotape, appreciate that - I also spied Robin using it (I am a huge Robin fan, he really is the king of carpentry isn't he) and actually I did plan to use it, but only in the roof to hold it in place. For the walls, I spray foamed those in and they are every bit as airtight as they could be. I didn't use it in the roof in the end (for various reasons that I am sure I will expand on by the time I get to that chapter :D )

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Jun 2021 - Base (floor boards)

The floor boards I bought were 22mm Cabershield, 2400 x 600mm, tongue and groove. Egger Protect is a very similar thing from a different company. I also bought a few tubes of the recommended Caberfix D4 PU adhesive (but I suspect any PU glue would work). It's a nice product, both sides are waterproof but the top is grippy to prevent any banana skin moments and the bottom is slippy to make it easy to slide into position. The T+G joins are just exposed chipboard and are not waterproof.

Notes on build sequence
I decided to build the floor next, rather than later once the walls are in place.
The reasons being as follows:
  • I bought a weatherproof flooring that in theory can be exposed to the elements for up to 60 days
  • I wanted to have a large flat surface for building the walls (I figured that if I didn't put down a floor, trying to tiptoe around on top of the frame and trying not to stand on the exposed PIR would be next to impossible)
Laying the floor
I knew the base was perfectly square (having measured the diagonals) so I was hoping that the boards would fit together perfectly. It turned out to be pretty straight forward to lay the floor, apart from the one fiddly bit near the water pipe and waste pipe, but even that was pretty simple. The glue gets applied to the tongue and groove, and also the timber frame before placing the board down on top of it. One thing I learned with the glue is it was really hard work squeezing it out of the tube and I was getting hand cramps doing it for hours on end. Then I realised I could cut a bigger hole in the end of the tube... Duh! That made things a whole load easier.
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't worry about placing the joins of the boards on the joists or the bearers. The board is 22mm and is plenty strong once glued together. Well, at least I think it is but time will tell.
You will notice that I left about 100mm of the frame 'un-boarded' at the front. This is because I planned to sink the door frames down below floor level. This effectively gains me 22mm of building height, sort of (I only have 2500mm to play with under Permitted Development). Little details like that can all add up and make a difference because I planned to have a vented cold roof (with 100mm PIR), and for that I would need 50mm more height than if I just did a 'hybrid' roof for example (no air gap above PIR). So you need to get creative and think about ways to gain that extra height, or more accurately you are trying to control the height build up.

IMG_20210622_193018.jpg

IMG_20210622_114302.jpg

Wasn't expecting that to work.....
IMG_20210622_115953.jpg

IMG_20210623_145710.jpg

IMG_20210624_175516.jpg

Glue detail
IMG_20210623_120301.jpg


Waterproofing
I did make quite a few attempts to keep the structure dry during the wet weather using a series of tarps, I had some success but I would say I had about an 80% failure rate; most days I would take the tarp off to find it waterlogged underneath.
It's not easy with a totally flat floor because the water just sits on top of the tarp like a pond and if there is even a pin prick sized hole in the tarp then its party time for the water and the entire surface will be soaked underneath. I think the problem is that the tarps, which were about £30 from screwfix, were not strong enough to withstand normal use - when I was moving them into position they would sometimes snag on bits of the structure like the corner of boards for example, and then the tarp is effectively ruined - even if you can't see the hole, it's there! If I did it again I would think about buying a much thicker tarp - the problem with that is that it would be quite a big object when folded up and where are you going to store it?...
So it's either a strong tarp, a big gazebo, a scaffolding structure, or just leave it exposed to elements and cross your fingers.

First attempt at waterproofing
IMG_20210616_174914.jpg

Second attempt at waterproofing
IMG_20210617_202556.jpg

Problems with the floor
The floor did get affected by the weather unfortunately. It was a little swollen at the joins where the rain had penetrated into the chipboard and caused some expansion. I had to use a power plane to flatten this all, and in the end I got it flat, but this took me 2 or 3 hours to do and was pretty messy and noisy. We did have some incredibly heavy rain during June and July this year and as a result the floor was getting pretty soaked so I guess that contributed. The other thing is that the company that make it (Norbord) recommend scraping off the excess dried glue ONLY once the structure is watertight, but I did it straight away because I wanted the flat surface to build on. I don't think it is practical to leave the glue in place because it creates quite big ridges in an otherwise flat floor, which as I say I needed to build the walls. The only things that I can think to try next time is:
  • try a different brand flooring (Egger) and see if it is any more weatherproof
  • try pushing the boards tighter together so the join line is thinner and less vulnerable
  • leave the glue in place until structure is watertight
  • buy much better (stronger) tarps
  • hope for less rain
Mistakes
Storing the boards by stacking them at the right hand edge of the base / frame was problematic because I had to move them halfway through laying the floor - no trivial task! I should have stored them at the front edge. I couldn't simply board the right hand side last either, because I was using the offcut from each run to start the next run, if that makes sense.
This seems to be a general theme for me, not fully thinking through where I am storing materials and why. Storing something 2 or 3 extra metres away from where it is needed doesn't feel like a big deal at the time, but when you are carrying 50 items those extra metres walked all add up....
 
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xLrc

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thanks! appreciate the positive feedback.
I've watched a fair few garden room videos myself :D I will keep making my write ups and by the end we will have a little book reminding me of all my mistakes.
thanks for the heads up on the gapotape, appreciate that - I also spied Robin using it (I am a huge Robin fan, he really is the king of carpentry isn't he) and actually I did plan to use it, but only in the roof to hold it in place. For the walls, I spray foamed those in and they are every bit as airtight as they could be. I didn't use it in the roof in the end (for various reasons that I am sure I will expand on by the time I get to that chapter :D )

Martin
Really looking forward to seeing more updates. Fantastic work!
Agreed, Robin is a true craftsman honestly makes everything look effortless. Spray foam seems to also be a decent option and probably more cost effective option, I think I might have used the tape on the ceiling just to avoid getting showered in PIR dust from tapping it in :ROFLMAO: I'm sure this thread will prove extremely useful for anyone undertaking anything similar
 

Molynoox

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yes I think the foam is cheaper which is a shame because if they could sell the Gapotape for just a little less I would prefer that - I think your advice to use it on the ceiling is quite wise by the way, that PIR dust is a nightmare when its above you.... maybe next time
 

Cooper

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You will notice that I left about 100mm of the frame 'un-boarded' at the front. This is because I planned to sink the door frames down below floor level. This effectively gains me 22mm of building height, sort of (I only have 2500mm to play with under Permitted Development). Little details like that can all add up and make a difference because I planned to have a vented cold roof (with 100mm PIR), and for that I would need 50mm more height than if I just did a 'hybrid' roof for example (no air gap above PIR). So you need to get creative and think about ways to gain that extra height, or more accurately you are trying to control the height build up.
This is probably a really stupid question but where is the 2.5meters measured from? Our garden slopes down and then has a raised portion. Where I built my workshop is right beside the raised bit (About 60cm, I suspect previous owners covered the remains of an air raid shelter) but from the ground it stands on I've exceeded 2.5 by quite a lot. At the time I was under the impression I was permitted a maximum height of the pitch of 3 meters, which I did. A case of ignorance is bliss. Fortunately the neighbours never said anything.
 

Molynoox

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It is measured from the highest point of the land adjacent to the building, this means that some parts of the building could be much higher than 2.5m from ground level if your slope is quite severe. Mine is 2.45m above the ground at one end and about 2.75m at the other end, which is acceptable according to the guidelines.
The permitted development guidelines are reasonably clear for this (but there are some grey areas), here is an extract from the chapter on class'E':

planning dev - height max.jpg


I can help you find the full document if you want it.

Your maximum permitted height depends on how close it is to the boundary and the design of it (flat or dual-pitched roof) - as you can see from the extract above. Hope that helps.

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Jun 2021 - Walls

Quite early on in my planning I came to the conclusion that walls were an essential feature, I've not seen any garden rooms without them so who am I to buck the trend :D
Success factors for the walls as follows:
  • studs spaced to accommodate sheet goods without unnecessary cutting / waste (400 centres for me)
  • plumb, flat, level
Centres
400, 450 or 600 - those are the main options. I chose 400mm because its the strongest, and because it is compatible with metric boards either 1200 or 2400. You could use an imperial spacing also if you were using imperial boards, this would be expressed in inches for example 16 inch or 24 inch. I have already talked about metric versus imperial so I won't open the box again. OK, just a little bit... Just to make life fun for us all, plasterboard typically comes in metric sizes and OSB typically comes in imperial sizes. Those constraints represent a perfect combination for screwing up all our careful planning. I've already mentioned my plan in this regard earlier, but I will recap it briefly below:
  • metric sized sheet goods
  • 400mm centres spacing for studs and roof joists
  • metric plasterboard on inside
  • metric OSB on outside
if you are happy with 11mm OSB then you can get it in metric, yay. In the end I bought cement boards for the back wall and two side walls (in metric, 2400 x 1200), and I used the 11mm OSB boards for the front wall.

Plumb
Regarding the 'plumb' success factor this is super critical, particularly for studs that accommodate the sheet 'joins'. The reason being that each sheet you fasten to the studs (ply, plasterboard, cement board) will share a stud which is probably about 47mm thick. This gives you about 23mm for each sheet to fix to. If your stud is not plumb then you are going to create huge issues for yourself because sheet goods are famously 90 degrees square, and if your studs are not plumb then they are not square to the floor and hence won't be compatible with the sheet edges (which are very square). You end up with a taper instead of an even strip:

10mm spacing error results in a tapered target to fix to
angled studs.jpg


I didn't fully appreciate sensitivity of this factor when I was building the walls, but realised it later once I was attaching sheet goods to them. Fortunately I am quite obsessive about details, often unnecessarily so, and hence spent some time getting the walls perfect, so I ended up doing a pretty good job of it as luck would have it.

Note: in reality you are not building the studs 'plumb', because you will most likely build the walls flat on the floor and then lift the wall up into position. You are in fact building the studs accurately and equally spaced top and bottom (where they attach at top plate and bottom plate), and then you can make the entire wall plumb once its upright. If your spacing of the studs is accurate top and bottom this will make each individual stud plumb and square once the whole wall is square.
Note: if you are just 10mm out on the stud spacing then you end up with only 13mm to fix to and that would also force you to screw into the sheet edge which is a weak point, particularly for plasterboard. Disengage lecture mode.

Marking
You can either mark the centres or the edges of the studs. You would also probably want to mark multiple studs at the same time to speed things up (might also help with accuracy)

Centres
It is easier to mark the centres, because you can simply hook the tape on the end of the bottom plate, and then mark every 400mm using a tape measure. The only issue with this is you have to then judge where the centre of the stud is when lining it up with your mark. It's not exactly difficult but it can introduce small errors.
Edges
It is arguably clearer and more accurate if you mark an edge, because lining up the edge of a stud with a pencil mark is less ambiguous and requires almost no judgement. But to do this you need to use a tiny bit more brainpower because you are not marking 'round' numbers. You will still be marking every 400mm, but with an offset of half a stud width which is about 23.5mm. 400mm minus half a stud width = 376mm, so you would be marking at 376mm, 776mm, 1177mm.... Instead of 400, 800, 1200mm.

Here is a diagram to explain because the above is totally unclear, even to me:

Marking centres
400mm centre marking.jpg

Marking edges
400mm edge marking.jpg


If you mark edges then you may want to also add an 'X' mark or something - this stops you accidentally fixing the stud to the wrong side of the line. Obviously I've never done that ;-)

My method
I was marking the centres of the studs, but then as a second operation I was also going around with a little jig I made to mark both edges of the stud. This took a little bit more time, but it meant that I had error proofed things a bit. I dont have a picture of this so here is an artists rendition:

Yes its just an offcut with the centre marked in sharpie but I'm calling it a jig
jig for marking edges of studs.jpg


Alternative methods if marking 'edges

23.5mm spacer
I suppose you could cut a bit of 4 x 2 in half to give you a 23.5mm spacer and hook the tape over that before hooking it over the edge of the bottom plate, I've never seen anybody do that however so it's probably a terrible idea :-D You would probably have to clamp it in place which means extra faffing, there is probably a reason that nobody does this. Artists rendition below (note the use of an 'X' so you know which side of the line to fix the stud):
spacer for 400 on edges.jpg


Story Stick
You could make a marking stick - or 'story stick' (for example a length of batten) with all the stud placements marked on it - those measurements could easily be transferred to your bottom plate . The only issue I could predict with this would be ensuring it doesn't move once lined up with the edge of the bottom plate - with a tape measure you can keep pulling it tight as you are marking out to check its still aligned perfectly, but with a stick, you never really know if its still lined up at the other end :) I guess you could put a lip on the end of the story stick, that would help with error proofing and would also speed things up. Sketch
story stick.jpg


Nail gun or erm, hammer
I used a nail gun, a green Hikoki (I just hear hokey cokey in my head). I spent a little time trying to decide about this, its £500 for a nail gun and I couldn't figure out if it saved enough time to justify it. Because I was on the fence, it was something quite small that swung the decision for me.... I realised that it isn't just a time saver, its also a functional improvement, its essentially a one handed hammer + nail. This means you can hold a workpiece with one hand and nail with the other - you cant do that with a hammer (making the assumption you have just the two arms). I have no regrets investing, it took me about 30 minutes to build each wall section, which is much quicker than if I had done it manually, but I really like the one handed operation, I can line up the stud with the top / bottom plate and press a button and its fixed, in exactly the place I wanted it.
I feel that gas nail guns are a bit outdated now but they still have their followers. With gas it can be problematic in cold weather, and more importantly for me, you have to keep buying gas - this just seems archaic to me. They are a bit lighter however. Anyway, as far as I know there are only two real options for first fix if you want to avoid gas - Hikoki and Milwaukee, these both work on just a regular cordless battery, and in my experience with the hokey cokey it works flawlessly. Not a single issue in 2850 nails (I have 150 left in the box). Air is the other option I suppose, but then you need a bulky, noisy compressor - way too much faff for me.

Building the walls
Very straight forward, lay all the timber down on the floor, mark out where the studs go, line them up, nail them all in place, stand the wall up. I used either 2 or 3 nails in each stud, depending on how I was feeling, sometimes I was in a 2 nail mood and other times I was in a 3 nail mood. Absolutely no science behind this one at all, I figured that the nails aren't really doing all that much anyway for the walls. (studs are in compression vertically).
Once the wall is upright, use a spirit level to get it plumb in both directions (left/right and front/back) and then fasten diagonal braces in place to keep it fixed in both axes.
IMG_20210625_183759.jpg


Alternative construction method
At this stage, you have to make a decision about how strong you are and how heavy a wall you think you can lift, bearing in mind the embarrassment / annoyance if you go too big and cant lift it :-D Basically, you get more material efficiency and more time efficiency by building either wider walls on the ground, or more complete / complex walls on the ground.

Wide +
If you build them wider then you need less wall sections and less joins and that means one less timber stud per join (and a few less nails / effort too). If you are joining subframes together you also need to think about the spacing as that will throw out your 400mm centres if you dont plan ahead and think about what you are doing - not exactly complex but its an extra thing (or 47mm) to think about, and an extra thing to go wrong.

Wide versus non wide walls
wide plus.jpg


Complex +
If you build them more complex its quicker because doing things flat is easier than doing things upright. This is the reason why we eat our dinners off tables, and not walls :-D What I mean by complex is adding more stages / materials. For example:
  • OSB sheathing
  • battens for the cladding
  • house wrap / vapour barriers.

These can all be attached on the ground when wall is flat. House wrap is a great example... if you think about how easy that is to attach to a wall which is flat on the ground, just roll it out and staple it, 2 or 3 minutes work. Then think about how you might try and do that in vertical position with a 100m roll that weighs 15g - not as straight forward as you might think and could take a few hours to do the full building on your own. So the more you can do when the wall is flat, the better, but you need to be able to lift it. I was working alone so I defined (guessed) my maximum as a 5m wide wall (just the frame, no sheathing or anything else). But if you have access to some additional muscle power (more people) then you should consider adding as many elements as possible before raising it up into position. This 5m width turned out to be about my maximum, I only just managed to shoulder press it up to vertical. My walls are 5 x 2 thick and spaced at 400mm centres so its quite a bit of wood and I'm glad I didn't try and push it any further, like 5.01m for example.
Note: this is a decision you need to know at material ordering stage (do you buy 5m + 4m lengths to get your 9m building width (2 wall sections) or do you buy 3 x 3m lengths (3 wall sections).

Noggin spacing
Noggins stop the studs or joists twisting over time. To fix the noggins to the studs you have two options:
  1. Place them 'in line' and use toenail fixing method
  2. Stagger or 'offset' the noggins and allow nailing from the sides
I am not a fan of toe-nailing, I use it when I have to but it feels like a bodge, and if you get the angle and placement wrong it can make a bit of a mess. So I decided to use the staggered method so I could shoot nails in from the side at 90 degrees.
In terms of placement of the noggins (and I have not seen anybody else doing this - oh ohh, we know what that normally means don't we) but... I decided that if you are staggering the noggin placement then you may as well do it with a useful placement. What made sense to me was to have at least one 1200mm aperture (I can't have two because my walls are only 2.1m tall). So you will see from the pictures my really weird looking noggin spacing - maybe it will catch on.... :-D
2021-09-30 22_57_13-IMG_20210711_164937.jpg ‎- Photos.jpg

Anyway, future self has informed me that this spacing has turned out to be a bit of a masterstroke because it's one less PIR cut to make per stud spacing (uncut PIR is 1200mm wide) which means less dust in your eyes and mouth, and also less waste, which = more beer money.

Note: I know that the noggin would logically go in the centre of the stud, and mine are offset, but actually not by that much, only about 200mm, so I do think this is robust enough, certainly once you factor in the PIR + spray foam mega stiffness combo, oh right that's in the future....

opps, I've hit my 10 picture maximum again, I will put the pictures in the next post.

Martin
 

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Molynoox

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June 2021 - Walls (part duh)

Can you spot the mistake?
IMG_20210628_130923.jpg

I think this wall was the heaviest one and there was much grunting. Oh yeah, the mistake was the fact that I built this as if I was looking at the wall, you know, window at the top etc. But of course when you rotate it upwards into position everything is upside down :ROFLMAO: but don't worry, that isn't the daftest thing I did.

Waterproofing attempt 3
Yep, having a wall gave birth to another waterpoofing attempt. Result = dry on the right, wet on the left. Not bad.
IMG_20210625_185512.jpg


Wet ground = home made path
IMG_20210628_175412.jpg

IMG_20210701_191959.jpg

IMG_20210701_192025.jpg

Running a string line to ensure the wall is straight
IMG_20210702_094430.jpg

Header for french door and windows in
IMG_20210702_184316.jpg


The PIR tower of shame...
IMG_20210625_192031.jpg

- that insulation has been sitting there for months because I ordered it at the very start with all the other materials, one of my first mistakes but one of many.

Well I think that is it for the walls. Notice that all the noggins are not in at this stage, and the cripples / supports under the windows are also missing. I will cover the bi-fold header in a separate post because that is a bit more interesting... well it is to me anyway :ROFLMAO:

Martin
 

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When I got out of high school my first job was as a framers helper. When laying out the top and bottom plates for the studs etc we put a few nails in them (not all the way so we could pull them quickly) and marked them together. The framing squares that have been in use here forever have the shorter tongue an inch and a half wide, the thickness of the studs. Lets you mark the stud spacing without as much thinking or the need for a jig. ;) We also installed all the headers and sheathing while the wall was on the flat. When a wall was a little to heavy for the three of us to lift the call would go out to other framers nearby or other trades to help with the lift. Multiple walls would be ready for the raising. Now they are using jacks or boom forklifts.

I'm enjoying your progress.

Pete
 

Molynoox

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Haha that's cool about the framing squares! 😃 Like the first time you realise a hand saw has a 90 and 45 degree guide built into the handle....
 

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Yup and the 1 1/2" leg is 16" long and the 2" wide leg is 24" long. Hey that the standard stud spacing! 😁 There are a lot of Duh moments you discover when you are a do it yourselfer. Usually when you are just about done.😉

Pete
 

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Haha that's even funnier, I have one of those as well, never realised. I just use it like a big square.
 

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Jul 2021 - Bi-fold Beam

You will see from one of my earlier posts that I elected to use a flitch beam above the larger of my doors, which happens to be a bi-fold. It is a 2.4m wide opening and the beam is intended to give the door a stress free life and in return will reward me with a nice smooth trouble free operation throughout it's life. In theory.

Components
Here is the flitch beam in puzzle mode:
IMG_20210705_150903.jpg

A flitch beam consists of 3 main structural components (sometimes 5, but mine had 3): a flitch plate and two timbers (which sandwich the flitch plate). Together they become a flitch beam. The whole assembly is bolted together. The flitch plate is made to order so you have to get your measurements right. It has a weather resistant coating on it, but its not exposed so it doesn't really matter. It took me a while to find a place that could make one for me, and the delivery costs were about the same as the cost of the flitch plate itself, so I drove over there and picked it up. I think it was 2.9m long to give an overhang on each side, although I would probably make the overhang bigger next time. I took care to select the straightest timbers I could find from my big pile too.

Drilling and bolting
I had to drill holes in the timbers that exactly mated up with the ones in the flitch plate (so that I could get bolts all the way through) - I did that in the most obvious way by placing the flitch plate on top of the timbers and then drilling down through them (with auger bits). I had to also create rebates for the bolt heads on one side and the nuts on the other using a forstner bit so that they don't protrude. Is rebate the right word for circular recess like that? Is recess the right word for a cyclindrical cavity like that? Is cavity.... never mind.
Tip: drill the forstner holes first, then follow up with the through hole, otherwise the forstner bit centre will be spinning in air and it wont centre itself. Actually, I think I screwed up when I did it, and had to make a jig (yes another of my famous super complex jigs) which enabled me to drill the forstner hole after I already had a through hole. Its basically a hole in a piece of wood that guides the bit. But its still a jig.

Once all the holes were made in the timbers, I then mixed up all the parts so that I didn't know the correct orientation of each part - that gave me a fun puzzle to work on in the rain. Next time I would definitely label the parts with a left, right, front and back, because as it stands there were 4 ways for each timber to be oriented, and I tried all 4 before finding the right one. The holes were a tolerance fit so everything had to be perfectly aligned for the bolts to go through. I did a test fit of the bolts and then disassembled it, but only after labeling all the parts. Because the flitch plate was pretty heavy, the plan was to assemble it in position, and not on the ground.

Lifting the beam into position
As per usual, I am too stubborn to ask for help, and ended up lifting the parts into position on my own. Turns out the flitch plate is pretty heavy, certainly enough to summon 'grunting man' and it was nearly heavy enough for 'swearing man'. Once I had the holes in all three pieces lined up I pushed the bolts through and tightened them up with my impact driver and socket. Probably used some washers too. I definitely used a big hammer. Once the beam was assembled and in the right place I fired about 20 construction screws into it from underneath to tie it to the building structure. Then I did the obligatory 'jump and hang' manoeuvre to check it for strength, the equivalent of kicking the tyres. Not in any way empirical or meaningful but it made me feel good so I don't care.

Wall thickness and spacers
the two timbers plus flitch plate added up to a thickness which was less than the thickness of my wall (which is 5 x 2). This means I had to use a spacer to get the beam flush with the rest of the internal wall. I think I was about 20mm short so ended up using two bits of OSB cut to size or something like that. I cant actually remember. I had to do the same above the french doors too, except that was a different thickness because I used two timbers there, without a flitch beam.

Pictures
Partially assembled
IMG_20210705_160724.jpg

Fully assembled (a roof has mysteriously appeared also, which is weird)
IMG_20210705_192220.jpg

View from the front (roof has gone again)
IMG_20210705_161827.jpg

Screws used to fix beam to building
IMG_20210705_164113.jpg

Oh look, labelled parts! (and the roof is back)
IMG_20210707_152249.jpg


Time to put the roof on.....
Martin
 

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" Is rebate the right word for circular recess like that? Is recess the right word for a cyclindrical cavity like that? Is cavity.... never mind." I call them counterbores. If just a touch deep or providing a perpendicular to hole for an angled surface I call them spot faces. At least that what the aircraft world calls them.

The "spot the mistake in post 53". Is the window at floor level or is that a cat door? I ask because when one builds a wall the sole plate is at the edge of the floor to stand it up.

I guess with working alone putting construction adhesive on both sides of the flitch plate wasn't in the cards eh?

Pete
 

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What can I say Pete, the lengths I go to just to make a little quiz for you, I deliberately built it upside down of course. After all... nobody would make a mistake like that.

Liking the hole lingo, I have entered counterbore into my memory banks as the chosen one.

Is construction adhesive a real thing?

Martin
 
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