Last weekend we were finally able to make it up to our future homestead and begin framing the outhouse! Yahoo! My biggest fear has been that some creature would find his way through our barriers and fall to it’s demise into the pit! Wouldn’t that be a nightmare!
There was concrete evidence 😀 that our neighbor’s dogs were snooping around after we poured the concrete. We had to leave and go back to our home in the valley long before the concrete was dry. I had worked so hard to get the surface of that concrete just right, so you can’t blame me for being just a little upset! Oh well, nothing can be done about it now. I suppose we can count our blessings if this is the worst thing that happens! Besides, I hear you have to pay twice as much for that designer Mexican Saltillo tile with the kitty-cat footprints on it!
The first task at hand this weekend was to put on the sill plates. We are using 2 x 6 lumber for this part of the framing simply because it is stronger and in the end won’t cost that much more than regular 2 x 4’s. Also, the top layer of concrete blocks were 6 inches wide, so the 2 x 6 sill plates fit perfectly! We measured the proper length for each sill board and cut to fit, then drilled a hole so the J-bolts that had been embedded into the concrete in the block wall foundation could protrude through the sill board. With a washer and nut over each J bolt, the sill plates were all fitted on.
Now we had to take them back off, one by one, to build each wall to the sill plate. Once each wall was done, we erected the entire wall (yes, it was heavy), again placing the J-bolt through the drilled holes in the sill plate, tightened on a washer and bolt, and – et voila’ – one wall was done! Then to the next.
Once we finally got all of the walls up, we plumbed two sides and a corner, then nailed them together; then went to the opposite two sides, plumbed them and nailed them together also, and so on. We knew that we wouldn’t get it exactly perfect, but fairly close was good enough. Besides, we knew when we put on the top plate and lateral roof supports, that would help to plumb it up also!
So next we fastened the 2 x 6 top plate along the roof, and once that was on the walls were really sturdy. For the final roof framing we placed 2 x 4’s on edge on the outside of the 2 x 6 top plate (screwed in from underneath and lapped on the corners for stability) then placed eight lateral support braces from front to back. This should be heavy duty enough to withstand the occasional snowstorm we have on our property. At this point, the framing was done! Now it actually looked like a building!
The final task we finished on the outhouse this weekend was to wrap the building with asphalt impregnated paper. This is a great underlayment for the siding we chose to use, which is cement impregnated Hardiboard, manufactured by James Hardie. We put the same siding on the tool shed, except on the tool shed we used planks. On the outhouse we are using 4 x 8 sheets. This material is fireproof, and along with the metal roof and the concrete blocks for the first 18″ of the wall, this building should be fairly fire resistant.
Next week we hope to get the siding up and the metal roof on. If we don’t run out of time, we would also like to get a door installed, so the entire building will be secure and I don’t have to worry about critters falling into the pit anymore! (shudder)
Thank you for any advice or suggestions you have!
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