The Super Bowl of Framing

14 02 2011

The weekend of February 6th will be one to remember for some time.  My parents spent the weekend at our house and we watched and celebrated joyfully as the Green Bay Packers won their 13th NFL championship and 4th Super Bowl, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy victoriously and bringing it back to Green Bay for the first time in 14 seasons.

On an equally monumental, and certainly just as grueling a scale, our basement got framed out by the blood sweat and tears of the Matson boys.

My brother Christopher and my dad, along with my mom, came over on Wednesday night, and we worked from Wednesday night until Sunday putting my several months long plan into action.  Melissa was out for the weekend on business, and my mom was busy cooking for her boys and enjoying the company of my dog, while the three of us spent the better part of three straight days in the confines of my basement.

The work started out a little ominously.  I had borrowed a framing nailer from a friend, but the nails I bought for it caused it to jam.  I returned them to Menards and got the closest things I could find to the type of nails the nailer indicated it used, but still, it jammed.  Luckily, I had a nailer on reserve at the local True Value, so I ran over there Thursday morning and got it.  It worked great.  (on top of this, Christopher dropped a nail on the compression hose causing it to spring a leak; fortunately we were able to tape it up good enough and it stayed sealed the entire weekend).

But the work went smoothly.  There were a number of tools that we had that were absolutely worth their weight in gold for making things go as good as they did.  My dad has a table saw that made cutting the couple hundred 2x4s an absolute breeze  (I now have a box of about 300 3 to 5 inch 2×4 scraps).  And, it even has a vacuum attachment on it to keep the sawdust at a minimum.  Also, the framing nailer and air compressor were a huge help, as we found out later when we returned the framing nailer and had to build a couple of walls with just nails and regular hammers.  We also had a big ol’ sledge hammer.  What for you ask?  Well, some way or another, our measurements kept being off by a few 8ths of an inch or so.  We would build the walls on the ground and then tilt them up and lift them into place.  A number of the walls were just a bit too tall to slide easily into place.  Thanks to ol’ Sledgey, we would get the frame in as far as we could push it ourselves, and then the mall would do the rest.  Three tools that probably prevented a lot of cursing before it even started.

We had to make one trip to Menards to get more lumber, as I miscalculated the number of 8 foot 2x4s we needed for the vertical studs; we had to get 60 more on Friday.  My finest achievement, however, was my calculation for the number of treated 12 footers I needed for the bottom plates.  I bought 25 12 foot treated 2x4s — the ones that were going directly on the ground — and after we were all done I think we had a total of about 24 inches of treated lumber left.

Locked and Loaded

Christopher manning the gun

Progress is made

The area that will be our main living room and bar area

Looking into the bathroom

Looking into the bathroom

Down the hallway

Looking down the hallway, furnace room to the left, bedroom to the right, closet at the end of the hall

Into the bedroom

Looking into the bedroom (through the wall) from the living room

If you look at recent blog posts, it mostly follows floor plan number 5.

Our next step is to figure out the plan for electrical.  I know I can save a ton of money by doing the wiring and as much of the electrical as I can myself.  I know I have the will to do it, but the question is whether or not I can figure it out.  That will require some homework.

But for now, I can bask in the greatness of a more finished off basement.  We went through roughly 2500 nails, put up over 300 2x4s, and gave our basement the structure and shape that it will share heretofore.




One response

14 02 2011
Andrea Sutherland

Way to go, Scott! Looks great!

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