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Author Topic: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)  (Read 8903 times)

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Offline WindyAcres

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Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« on: January 04, 2013, 08:38:27 PM »
Hi guys,

I am getting ready to build my 26x30 two storey garage. 2x6 construction (2x8 floor joists, 2x8 rafters), metal roof. First floor will be a woodworking shop (9 feet high), second floor storage (8 feet high walls, 5/12 pitch). Some of the floor will be carried by beams.. I am not sure right now but I should have about 30 beams in the building.
My building experience is limited, so this is a very exciting project. I love timber framing (looks, craft, forestry behind it,etc.) and thought that the garage is a good opportunity to practice.

I did the foundation in September/October pretty much by myself (some help but not a lot): 8x16" footing, 4 feet ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) frost wall, 6 inch slab (double wire mesh). I was very nervous but I am very pleased with the result.

The lumber is all rough sawn (true dimensions, so a 2x8 is a 2x8) red spruce.

I cut the logs in December 2010. All the logs were straight, good quality, butt logs. I milled them 1 inch bigger (e.g. 9x9 if I wanted a 8x8) in the spring of 2011 and air dried them with 2x2 stickers. They were thrown on my mill again in September 2012 and went in my barn after that. I am rally glad that I did it that way. There was some twisting,etc. and I think the wood will shrink&move less now so the joinery will be tighter, also the dry wood will take linseed oil (I think I will go for that, not sure yet) really well. It will also plane well and easier to move around..

I have three questions, maybe somebody can help/has some good ideas.

Tedd Benson talks in his book the timber frame home about the "stud-frame dilemma". Is it true that studs can suffer a reduced life because moisture from air trapped in the fibreglass may cause them to rot? Around here, you need to have a vapour barrier on the inside of the wall. Now I am wondering what kind of sheathing I should use (I was thinking about 1/2 plywood). Would tongue and groove boards solve the moisture problem (if there really is one) because they are able to breath better? It would take me a little longer to install the t&g boards but that would not be a big issue as long as the t&g does a good job.
I want to cover the sheathing with Tyvek (a thin breathable membrane). After that I will nail strapping (1x3 hemlock) horizontally and go for board&batten hemlock (8 inch boards, 3 inch battens).

Another question.. I will build the first floor by myself. When I did the foundation, I put anchor bolts in the concrete about every 4 feet. My plan was to build half of the wall (e.g. 13 feet instead of 26), take my tractor and lift them on the anchor bolts. Now whats the best way of connecting these two walls in the middle? Just nail the studs together+add metal strapping?

What about the roof? 1/2 plywood or can I just use 1" green (1-2 months airdried) spruce boards? I would save a lot some money (I have my mill..)+ the whole thing would be able to breath..

This is how it started, a backhoe dug the trenches..


2x8s for the footing, lots of rebar, concrete.. had to do some wheeling.. well, the concrete was poured in 1 hour or so, saved 750 bucks or so for the pump truck so not a bad hourly wage for an idiot like myself :-) (the was lucky with the driver though, he was very good, helpful,..! I was glad my neighbour dropped in and helped too..)


ICF walls.. very simple, worked great!


I covered the ICF with a delta membrane to protect it from the gravel,etc. As you can see I put two concrete posts in the middle for extra support of the slab+there will be 2 8x10 beams sitting on top of them carrying some of the second storeys weight..
Also put some pipes in for drainage.. not sure if I will need them but it was easy to do it now.. If I decide that I have enough of wood and just need another house for my kids, it shouldnt be a big problem to do it..
The biggest job was acutally do fill this hole with gravel inside+outside. Rent a compacter..


This is the slab. Turned out good but in this case I have to say that I was really lucky that the weather was perfect (cool, cloudy, no rain), otherwise the slab would look horrible now..! Also, we just barely finished the slab with the last drop that came out of the concrete truck! Well, the foundation was around 10,000 CAD not counting the excavating (and of course not my labour) so I had enough of the costs and did not want to spent any more money.. stupid in a way but I just had enough of the expenses, did my calculation and hoped for the best..
This is me to the right.. I dont have a belly like that, its the wind! :-)


More pictures will follow as I go along.. Dont expect too much because
Cheers and a happy new year!
2011 Woodmizer Lt40 Hyd G28, Stihl Chainsaws, Tractor with Farmi Winch, Woodturning Lathe,....

Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 08:57:43 PM »
..dont expect too much because I try to do a good job.. Furthermore, I dont want to go in debt so I am just building as money comes in. In April, the roof should be up, all the sheathing nailed (+membrane+strapping nailed), all the windows&doors for the first floor in. I will probably need quite a break after that (financially, mentally, physically,..).

Oh, I forgot.. the slab is insulated (2 inch stuff..).. that way the concrete will act as a heat reservoir (heats up during the day time, releases the heat during the night time..).

I didnt bother putting infloor heating in.. I would love to have an outdoor furnace but I cant afford to spend another 10 grand or so for heat.. I will put a good size wood stove in the building for 1/12th of the cost..
2011 Woodmizer Lt40 Hyd G28, Stihl Chainsaws, Tractor with Farmi Winch, Woodturning Lathe,....

Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 11:41:15 AM »
it looks like you have a great plan and its coming right along.

i'm not sure if i just missed it or if you didn't cover the exact design of the building, but are you planning putting in the stick framing on the outside of the timbers or are you planning on putting the the framing between the posts? if so will they be exposed or completely hidden?

keep us updated

Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 12:42:00 PM »
Hi Jueston,

I have a plan but I am a little afraid to keep it up, everything is pretty tight.

I would love to have some real timber frame elements in there. I am sure I could build a nice timber frame but it needs to be signed by an Engineer and I dont have the money for that. So it will be an ordinary stick frame (everything 16 o.c.) with some timbers inside (exposed). But just really overbuild, obvious stuff e.g. I will have two 8x10 9 feet posts in there although I am sure a 6x6 would hold the weight.. I am using a 8x10 so that there is no doubt, no questions...  Besides that, the trees for the posts were over 100 years old.. so a completely different way off thinking in forestry. And it will look nice  ;D Most of the other beams and posts will be 8x8, I cut the braces 4x8 4 feet long, some 6 feet long.

Any ideas what to do with the walls/roof? Boards, tongue and groove boards, plywood,..?

Thanks
2011 Woodmizer Lt40 Hyd G28, Stihl Chainsaws, Tractor with Farmi Winch, Woodturning Lathe,....

Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 09:03:36 PM »
i don't think going from plywood to tongue and grove will solve any moisture problems, i'm not sure exactly what problems tedd is talking about so i can not comment on it, but structually, no sheathing is neccessary if your going to put on horizontal nailers and then board and batton. you can just put it up over the studs.

but if you want to/have to put up a vapor barrier then i would go with plywood it will give you something to attach it to, since its not structual really 1/2 is a good size.

Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 09:12:37 PM »
oh yea, and as for question #2. when you put up the 2 13foot wall segments just nail the studs together. that is standard stick framing and they ussually just load up with a lot of nails, but there is no need to go crazy with it, the best method is to make sure this seam falls in the middle of a sheet of plywood, that way the plywood reinforces the joint. i love timberframing, but i have much more experiance in stick framing, so i am more fit to answer those questions...

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 11:01:16 PM »
Nice looking foundation, Should be good and strong.

Are you following your regional building code, with a permit and inspections.
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Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 08:34:23 AM »
Jueston, thanks for your input.
I know, sheathing would not be necessary (not required by code). However, I feel it would make the two storey building more stiff (diagonally) plus give it extra protection from water/wind (my place is pretty exposed with lots of wind). My only worry is that it cant breathe and if I trap water inside the wall and it cant get out the studs start to rot (cant imagine because the plywood should be able to transport water to the outside?).

Thanks, sounds good with the two walls and the plywood that reinforces it.

@Losttheplot. Glad you like the foundation, it should be good and strong. I put a lot more rebar in than required but I think its worth it down the road. I own the property, I am building for myself, I have no intensions leaving so I want something that lasts. I bought some books like "Canadian Wood Frame House Construction" and talk to as many people as possible.. Yes, I pulled a permit (the building is very close to the road, would be hard not to pull one) and the foundation inspection passed no problem  8) I will try to keep it up and try to overbuild (the code calls for anchor bolts every 8 feet or so, I put anchor bolts every 4 feet e.g. also the anchor bolts were put in the concrete before it dried, so it will be very hard to pull them out  ;)) and hoping that there are no problems. We have a saying in German which kind of goes like this: "there is always an as@#$#e getting up in the morning looking to cause trouble"  :o.

So I am afraid that there will be problems, I am still shivering from the fight we had coming to Canada. However, I have learned to fight (we have a 1 month old daughter now so one reason more to fight).. I am continuing putting money back for a lawyer too.
2011 Woodmizer Lt40 Hyd G28, Stihl Chainsaws, Tractor with Farmi Winch, Woodturning Lathe,....

Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 06:12:44 PM »
i guess what i don't understand about your concern is this -- if internal vabor barrier, studs+insulation, sheathing and then siding in that order cause moisture problems, then it seems every house build in the last 60 or 70 years should have the same problem...

when i worked residential remodeling we did a LOT of stucco remediation. the stucco creates a watertight layer on the outside of the house, eventually water gets in someplace, ussually from bad flashing around a window or roof, but sometimes from internal sources like bad venting from a bathroom fan. once the water gets between the stucco and internal vapor barrier the water can't escape, so it just festers and rots and molds untill we showed up and removed the stucco, dry it out a little, and then removed rotten framing, replaced windows, and buttoned it back up for the stucco guys to restucco.

the problem was that the stucco or eifs created a watertight layer outside the house, i don't think board and batton siding will be water tight enough to cause this problem. plywood and siding should give the moisture a chance to escape before things go to bad, and if there is a large amount of moisture then that is the problem that needs to be addressed, but i think your just worried about the moisture in the air, and that will be able to slowly work its way in and out of the insulation as the seasons change.

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 07:05:46 PM »
If you pulled a permit isn't the building envelope detailed on the plans you submitted?
Your lucky you can change your plans as you go along

On this side of the country board and batten siding would need to have a "rain-screen" installed before the horizontal strapping went up, to meet code. Vertical strips of 3/8ths pressure treated plywood installed on top of the outside moisture barrier.
I personaly prefer 2 layers of 30 min tar paper over tyvec style products, however the tyvec style is quicker to install as it comes in wider rolls.

If you don't have plywood sheathing on the outside you may have to use let in braces to resist racking due to wind load etc..

If you use T n' G boards  for sheathing they should be installed at 45 degrees to help prevent racking. They should also extend from bottom plate to top plate.

Don't forget a sill gasket under the bottom plate to keep the droughts out and separate the wood from the concrete.  ;)







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Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 10:58:05 PM »
Jueston, good point about the houses from the 60s. I agree with you, moisture should be able to work its way out (like you said, at least before things are getting too bad)? But with T&G sheathing moisture shouldn't be a problem at all? The material costs are very similar, but the boards are a lot more labor intensive..

@Thelostplot
Thanks for your input.
You can make some changes, but you have to follow code (yes, sill gasket e.g. which makes a lot of sense to me, just like using treated wood for the bottom plate, not sure if it is code but I will do it anyway) and pass the inspections. I know a guy that build his own house.. he changed his plan quite a bit- turned out just beautiful! But he was very determined too.

You have twice as much rain, don't you   ??? I have to say though, we had about 80-100 mm or so of rain in one day in September! Caused lots of damage (brides washed out, dams broke,..)
I would go for sheathing (either 1/2 plywood or t&g boards, I would either use treated plywood for the first 24 inches or so or treat the t&g boards for the first 24 inches), Tyvec, horizontal strapping hemlock, board and batten hemlock. I am not sure what you mean with rain screen and vertical pressure treated plywood?
What do you think about Plywood/ T&G boards? What about boards for the roof instead of plywood?
- Yes, 45 degree t&g boards and extending it makes sense, I have seen it on older buildings a lot (not even t&g, not even reinforced with metal strapping but still good sound buildings). I think this would make a pretty strong building already but I would reinforce it with metal strapping for extra diagonal strength.

Have a good one
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Offline Geeg

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 11:02:28 AM »
Great looking project you have going there!

Was curious as to why you used ICF for the foundation when there is no basement? is this just for extra insulation properties? I just received my plans for my shop and will be using block, no ICF and laying 2" foam before the floor is poured. I thought that this would be fine, however plan on using in floor heating. I thought that ICF would add much more cost to the construction?
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Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 04:32:02 PM »
Hey Geeg,

Insulation always adds costs to the construction :-) But most of the time, you save a lot down the road! Everything is getting more expensive every day and I am convinced it will continue to do so plus I am not getting younger, so I wanted a half decent insulated building. ICF is really easy and fast to put up (be careful though, it needs to be build/signed by an ICF guy, you need to show that to the building inspector.. at least thats what I had to do..).

As I said, I will use my slab as a heat reservoir (heating up in the day time, releasing the heat at night), you dont want to lose your heat to the outside walls, so everything should be insulated. My foundation is sitting on 4 feet deep undisturbed ground (no frost,etc.) and the whole foundation is insulated for half decent efficiency. I would have loved to put infloor heating in but I figured that it is too expensive in my case. A good building and a wood stove is my best bet.. Plus you need a second heat source for backup like a heatpump, electric, oil or whatever..

But thats me, you might already have an outdoor furnace, lots of hardwood to burn and you dont care if you burn 1/2 cord more a year.. so your blocking will do the job..  I am not an expert, I dont know much about this stuff and/or about your situation. I think a very good bet is always to talk to somebody (a neighbour) that is using infloor heating.. Look at how their house is build,etc. and what they pay then you should get a good idea..
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Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 04:51:29 PM »
Great looking project you have going there!

Was curious as to why you used ICF for the foundation when there is no basement? is this just for extra insulation properties? I just received my plans for my shop and will be using block, no ICF and laying 2" foam before the floor is poured. I thought that this would be fine, however plan on using in floor heating. I thought that ICF would add much more cost to the construction?

ICF's are used underground because they save on labor, building plywood forms takes time and plywood, using metal ones means either you buy them or you rent them from the pros, and then the labor to place the forms, and to remove them later, and a truck with a crane to move the forms. it depends on the location but often using ICF for underground concrete work can save as much as 10% after the cost of labor and materials are added up from all 3 options.

its also very DIY friendly, since many ICF companies even offer free training to contractors and homeowners. but like windyacres said, sometimes you need another inspection.

Offline Geeg

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »
Thanks for the insight guys! I guess I should spend a little more time researching the options that may be available.
Airbus 380 Captain, living in the Middle East, counting down the days till retirement. Timberking 2200,  Kioti RX6010PC,  Nyle Kiln KD250, Polaris WV850

Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 06:47:56 PM »
I spoke to as many people as possible, read books,etc. I did not have any concrete experience.. if you have a friend that does, you could do really well! It took me about 10 days to do the foundation. The foundations cost me about 10,000. If a contractor would have done it, it probably would have been twice as much, so I basically made/saved 1000/day. I dont have a job where I make that kind of money (not even close) so that might be something worth checking into (but you have to be serious, you dont want to play with concrete..!).
If I were to do the foundation again, I would basically do it the same way again. Just a lot quicker and less stressful (because I now know how it works..).
All the best
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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 07:11:42 AM »
The weather isnt really cooperative but things are slowly coming and I am really happy with it so far. Just two pics before I go outside again (putting the floor joists up).

The hardwood spline is yellow birch, so are the pegs. The timbers are red spruce. I cut them in 2010, milled them in 2011, resawed them in 2012 and put them in the barn and now put them up in 2013. They will be finished (sanded and treated with linseed oil) once the building is weathertight..





Cheers
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Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2013, 09:16:57 AM »
looking good, i especially like the curved braces, you did fine work on them.

Offline WindyAcres

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2013, 05:41:08 PM »
Hey Jueston,

thanks, I am quite happy with it (would do it the same way again)! I cut the curve with a chainsaw :-) It was a 4x8 brace (overkill but I like it that way  :)) I cut it down to 5" in the middle.. It will be beautiful once it is finished..

The walls are 9 feet (thats why I put the blocking in between) high. I have about 1/3 of the floor joist up.. Keep you posted.
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Offline jueston

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Re: Building a garage (timber frame hybrid for experience..)
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 09:54:37 PM »
nothing makes the frame exude strength and stiffness like over sized diagonal braces. upon close inspection I can see the chainsaw marks, but at first I assumed you band-sawed them out like most do, you must be pretty good with a chainsaw, there wouldn't be much left if I went at a brace with a chainsaw.  :D


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