Friday, April 10, 2009

How to! Part 5

First, I remeasured my deck and decided where I was going to place the walls, and made small pencil marks for layout, since I can't use the indelible red chalk on the decking. I also measured how tall the wall would be, and subtracted 4.5 inches for 1 bottom and 2 top plates. You use 2 top plates both for strength and trim, in this case.

Then I came back to my cut station, and cut the bottom plate and the first top plate. There are vicissitudes to layout, and I will only touch upon it here. Truss, stud, joist or rafter layout is usually done in one of 3 patterns:
16 on center
2 foot on center
19.2 or 'diamonds'
Instead of choosing a layout (since I want a nice, even screen pattern), I chose to start from the center, working outwards in three sections on the long walls, and two sections on the short wall. It is very close to a 2 foot layout pattern:


In order to make both plates the same, by the way, you might want to line the plates up, mark your spots with a ^, make your line across both boards with a speed square, and put an X on the side of the line you want to put the stud.

Okay, then I carried all the walls over, and attached the bottoms to the deck with deck screws (easier than pulling nails if there is a mistake.) I also put a screw in the end stud to attach it to the house. I stepped back and took a look:


Aside from the dorky looking house, I noticed a problem. The deck is level, but the house isn't--and neither is the house plumb. And so my screws into the end studs were pulling my fresh walls out of plumb. I checked them with a level, and indeed this was the case. I needed to pull the tops of the walls out about 3/4 inch (with the bottom still tight) to make them plumb. If this was getting sheathed, I would have just nailed the end studs tight and brought the top plate out from the wall--but this is not an option, because I have to create square screen frames. So luckily I still had the second top plate to make.

I pulled the screws out and let the tops loose, and they came right into plumb. Then I measured specially for the second top plates. I made them weave together, so that the walls lap and hold together at the joints. To do this, I made the short wall have a seven-inch longer plate, and the long walls had plates that were short 3.5 inches each. And then I installed them:


There will be a trim discrepancy, but it was the least of all evils. Hopefully I will be able to disguise it before Tina goes: "why is there a gap here?" So then I decided to go a little further and try a ridge beam:


Once again, I measured the height (and I had toyed with the idea of making it lower, since good roofing requires it to be about a foot lower for the ice/water shield, and the flashing, and drainage... but that would have made a really low ceiling--and I thought, what the heck! It's a playhouse. I will do my very best to ensure that no ice-dams form in the winter--I plan on using ice/water shield and flashing, but in a much smaller space. Next, rafters...

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