Monday, February 20, 2006

New Steel

Okay! We have fabricated all the steel posts that the house will sit on and have set most of them but not all. Some of them are just sitting where they go but are not fastened down yet. As you can probably tell, the house will sit kind of high off the ground. The tallest post is about 7'-6" and some of the shorter ones are 3'-6" to 4'. There are several reasons why we did this. Our original idea for the house was that it would be a pole frame, and it still is technically, but the poles are steel instead of timbers. Usually pole foundations are cheaper than tradtional (which was one of the reasons initially that we wanted it)but I don't think this one is going to be. Anyway, we did the foundation this way because: 1. It does not disturb the landscape as much as leveling an area to dig continous footings. 2. It elevates the house more which helps to catch breezes. With the passive cooling design (dogtrot) this is very important. 3. Aesthetics; you get a nice view of your property from inside the house.

This is just some of the steel before we put it together. It doesn't cost too much just to buy it like this. If you have to have someone else fabricate the designs though that's what cost you.
This is me welding the columns up! All women should learn to weld. Seriously. It gives you alot of confidence in yourself.
Because of the mud, you can't really see the footing that this pier is sitting on but it is there. I am going to have a rock wall underpinning the house on the front and one side so we poured a continous footing across there. We primed the bottom of the posts before setting them and I will prime the rest of them as they are standing. Much less messy that way.
For those not familiar with construction methods, this is an example of the wedge anchors we used to bolt the columns down with. Now, so far we have been using more commercial construction methods of building rather than residential methods. Anyway, you drill an appropriate size hole (width and depth, depends on the size anchor) and then drive the anchor down in the hole with a hammer. It had better be where you want it too because it ain't coming back out! When you tighten the nut down on the plate of the column, it pulls up slightly on the anchor and those little prong-like things and collar you see on the end wedge the anchor in tight.
There are also chemical anchors but they are expensive.

9 comments:

Rurality said...

Ok I am adding "learning to weld" to the list of things that you're going to have to teach me one of these days!

edifice rex said...

Anytime! You know I've had several local women that have come in my shop ask if I would ever teach a welding class just for women. Maybe I will one day now that I have some good equipment.

Trix said...

I'm here via Rurality and am looking forward to reading about your home-building progress. I own a passive-solar house myself, in Northern Ontario.

edifice rex said...

Hey Trix! Thanks for coming by! Are you happy with your solar house? I don't know many people that have one so I'm curious about various aspects of the design.

pablo said...

Wow, you look so HOT in those coveralls. It must not have been a very cold day. (Ha ha ha. Just joking.)

edifice rex said...

You know that's just what the guys say....oh wait, I think you meant something else.. ;) Ha! now I'm kidding! I am a wienie when it comes to cold weather and it was about 35 degrees that day. And despite what alot of people think, welding does not keep you warm.

Shannon O in Oneonta said...

I am so inspired! We have welding equipment and there is no reason in the world why I shouldn't learn to use it! If you offer that class I'll be first in line to sign up. (I love my dear husband, but don't think I want him to try to teach me) BTW I found you through Rurality who I found through a search of Oneonta Al

Shannon O in Oneonta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
edifice rex said...

Yes, Shannon, you should learn to use it!! Maybe after we get the house mostly done I can teach a class or two.