Sunroom

June 10. We built two 10-foot high wall sections in the house for the end walls of the sunroom. After we built the first wall, we pushed it outside to make room for the building of the second wall. Here is the first wall. You can see three holes in the bottom plate where the wall will fit over tops of the J-bolts sticking up through the sill plate:

Two wall sections up, level and plumb:

The south wall sections will have lots of windows and a couple doors. That means lots of cripple studs and headers. The first south wall section was difficult to stand up. It is top heavy with the long triple 2x10 header. Here it is:

June 11. The next wall section has an opening for a 6-foot wide sliding door:

You can see the corner wall section on the floor in the house.

June 15. All wall sections up, top plates on. We left the headers out of the big window sections because top heavy 10-foot walls are difficult to stand up. The headers will be framed in place:

June 16. Headers framed, ceiling joists going on:

June 17. We finished the ceiling joists. Then we threw 1/2-inch plywood down on the ceiling joists to stand on, to prepare for roof rafters:

The rafters will hang on a ledger board in joist hangers. Here is the ledger board. It is 2x10, though 2x8 would have sufficed. I happen to have a lot of 2x10's on site so I used them:

The ledger boards are screwed into every wall stud using 5" lag bolts. Here is the top of one:

Here is the first rafter. There are rafter hangers with a variable angle tab on the bottom but they are expensive. Building code allows a notch up to 1/4 the depth of the rafter at the rafter end so I made a small notch and hung the rafter on a standard joist hanger:

June 18. 19 rafters up. The long overhang (2.5 feet when the fascia goes on) will prevent the summer sun from coming into the sun room:

This close up shows the end rafter nailed into the end of the ledger board:

June 20. All rafters up.

With all the walls up, it's time to order windows. I went through the house and made a list of all the windows.

June 22. 2x6 trim boards nailed to the end rafters and the fascia:

I made a crude drawing with all the windows drawn and labeled:

From this I made a table so I could shop for windows at the local lumber yards.

item model number hand glass
window C245 2
low e, smart sun
window CN24 6
low e, smart sun
window CX145 2 left low e, smart sun
window CX145 1 right low e, smart sun
window CX14 4 left low e, smart sun
window CX14 1 right low e, smart sun
window CR125 1 right low e, smart sun
window CW14 1 right low e, smart sun
window CW14 1 left low e, smart sun
window CTCX1 2
low e, smart sun
window C35 3
low e
window CN16 2 right low e
window AW3251 3
low e
sliding door NLGD60611L 1
low e

total 30

Windows are expensive. The price for these, and I quote Bing Crosby, is somewhere between "ouch" and "boing!"

June 23. We put on nearly 2 rows of plywood. It's much like nailing the floor only you feel like you are in the Riddler's Lair with the floor tilted.

The plywood runs wild in all directions. I will fix this with the circular saw. Here is a view from the second floor:

During the heat of the day, I worked inside doing odds and ends. I put cripple studs in all the smaller windows on the first floor. I cut out window and door holes. I moved ladders around. Here is a front view with new holes:

Still more window holes to cut out.

June 24. We finished the roof. Here I am nailing on the third row of plywood:

The sheathed roof. I left about an inch opening where the roof joins the house. This is the ridge vent:

The sunroom so far. It still needs to be sheathed:

August 18 - 19. The basement steps must be repaired and built up to reach the height of the future concrete slab. Here is the block stairwell before. See the broken block on the far corner:

I dug around the broken block, chipped it out with a hammer drill and the maul. Replaced the block and started the wall:

Two courses done, starting the third and final course:

Finished stairwell:

August 21. We sheathed the back wall:

Clean up needed badly. See that here.

September 8. We can't finish the sunroom floor without first putting in a sewer pipe. We dug a trench for the sewer pipe, a trench that I started with the backhoe. Here is the inside trench with a piece of pipe in it to test for slope. The pipe must slope 1/4" per foot and it must be the correct depth to meet the septic tank (not installed yet) and drain field. One thing at a time:

The outside trench. To easily measure the slope, I made a special level with a 2x4 to which I taped a level. I marked the bubble indicator with two marks at the correct slope:

I had to bore big holes in the basement wall and sunroom foundation wall. As I was drilling the basement wall with my little hammer drill, my carpenter friend stopped by with his truck full of tools. He lent me his big hammer drill:

With the big drill bit, I drilled out the circumfrence of a 5" circle, then cleaned it up with a chisel bit. A test fit in the sunroom:

In the basement, the pipe looks like this with a cleanout fitting on the end and a 3" Y coming off the top:

I bored a 4" hole in the sunroom hollow block foundation wall with my little hammer drill:

September 9. I lay the pipes in the trench for a test fit and cleaned up the trenches to make sure the pipes would line up:

I glued the cleanout fitting to the end of the pipe in the basement, then glued the pipes together in the sunroom:

September 11. I sealed up the holes on both sides of the two walls with Great Stuff foam after pushing the pipes into place. Here is the sealed pipe and fitting in the basement:

Then we buried the pipes using soil and sand free of stone.

September 12. I met a man from a concrete company at the house to look at the sunroom before proceeding. He recommended leveling out the mounds of earth so he could give me a good estimate and suggested building a form for the stairwell out of plywood and 2-by lumber.

September 14. Here is the plywood form on the third try, nearly ready:

September 25. Miles Concrete came and back-filled most of the sunroom with a gravel mix. They left the sewer pipe area clear so the plumbing inspector could look at the pipe.

September 26. The plumbing inspector OK'd the pipe under the sunroom so the hard working concrete guys back-filled the whole sunroom using shovels, a power tamper and laser level:

Then they put down 2" of foam insulation and covered that with plastic vapor barrier. They drilled holes in the walls and pounded in rebar pins that will support the slab:

They also cut and fitted a piece of 1.5" PVC pipe that will connect to the sump pump under the basement stairs:

Here is a close up showing the back fill and insulation:

Early this morning, they poured about 3" of concrete in the basement giving us a new basement floor:

September 27. With a long blade on the sawzall, I cut out the bottom plate and sill plate where the doors will sit:

This view shows one of the rebar pins:

When the slab is poured, they will top up the block holes with concrete.

September 29. The slab is poured. Here is the mason doing one pass over the floor with a trowel:

He did this several times. Here are two more views after more passes with the trowel:

Here is a close up of the 3' doorway, like we have x-ray vision:

Next: Porches.