Second Floor

March 22. Starting the second floor. We put a few 2nd floor joists up, then nailed the band joist to the floor joists:

March 23.

Wooden blocks are nailed to the joists mid-span to keep them from twisting and to make the floor stiffer. Everyone helps:

March 28. With the second floor going up, we needed a stairway. Here is the landing and L-opening above. The landing needs more support but this will suffice while building:

March 30. Subfloor is nailed onto the second floor, as it was on the first floor:

March 31. Even before all the subfloor was nailed down, two second floor wall sections built.

April 2.We built three more wall sections and nearly finished the subfloor. See a time lapse movie showing the building and raising of a wall section here:

Back view at the end of the day:

April 6. All second floor exterior walls built and raised:

April 7. Windy day. We built the middle load-bearing wall:

Later, I was going around the walls, checking them with a level, adjusting them if necessary. The walls in the far corner in the picture above were secured by one nail pinning the two corners together. When I removed the nail to adjust the walls, the wind came up and started to pull the south corner wall section. I held it at first, but had to let go to pick up a brace. In that instant, the wind blew the wall section off the house and took the middle section along with it. I called for my son to come help me hold the east corner while I braced the wall. Even as it happened, even as I looked at the two wall sections on the ground, I couldn't believe it and I said so, along with some other words I'll not repeat here. You can see the two wall sections on the ground in the picture below:

I broke apart the corner wall section. It had a cracked top plate. I took the pieces back upstairs and rebuilt it with a new top plate:

The other section, 16 feet long, was intact but too big to bring upstairs whole. I cut it into three pieces, four of us carried the pieces upstairs, I added a couple new studs and we reassembled the wall. A day lost.

As we reassembled the wall, my son said, "Shaka, when the walls fell." Only my son and I understood, while the others stood around like the crew of the Enterprise, not understanding the Tamarian language.

April 10. Second floor walls framed, with top plates. Ready to start the third floor:

April 11. My brother came by to help finish the windows. They needed jack studs, sills and cripple studs.

April 13. The second floor ceiling goes on.

Next: Third Floor and Rafters