In New Builds

Your build is really getting underway now. You are going to start seeing stuff on your slab, walls are going up and things are going into the walls and stuff is going over the walls…And right about now you are glad that there are professionals who know exactly what Is going on. No need to feel overwhelmed or undereducated about the process. Here is what is really going on.

The Shell

Time to build the frame of your house. Sill plates will be anchored to your foundation. A Sill is the boFraming Your New Buildttom horizontal member of a wall or building to which vertical members are attached. Once the sills are in place the floor joists are fastened to them. The ends of these joists are boxed with something called joist headers. At this stage the work is being done by specialized rough framing carpenters. They will also do things like cut and assemble the lumber for floors and walls; add anchors and other vital support structures, and measure and attach studs for door and window frames. The floor systems, roof and walls are collectively known as the shell or skeleton. Once the shell is completed plywood or OSB is installed. This sheeting is covered with a home wrap. The home wrap is a protective barrier which prevents air and water from getting inside the house, yet it allows water vapor to escape thereby preventing mold. Home wraps also help in energy conservation and work with your insulation.

HVAC, Electrical & Plumbing

Now that there are some frames that will soon be walls, it is time to fill them up with all the stuff that makes your home work. Workers may be putting on roofing and siding while these interior processes are going on. These systems go in almost simultaneously. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) installation happens first because the stuff they put into the walls is the biggest and most inflexible. The sequence then goes; plumbing waste, mechanical, plumbing supply, and then electrical installations. Your house will have to be at the stage called “dried in” before the wiring is installed. This means that the exterior windows and doors are in place and the roof on. Now the electrician can put in the boxes (switch, outlet, and lighting) and will pull the wires into them. It seems to make sense that you don’t get any electrical wiring into the house if there is no roof. In between all of these steps you will also see bigger items like single piece tubs or showers going into your home. Some pieces may not fit once walls are built. This gives the works more space to maneuver these big objects.

 

What is Plywood Anyway?

Plywood is an engineered wood manufactured from thin layers or “plies” of wood veneer. Layers are glued together with each layer rotated up to 90 degrees from one another. All plywood is bonded resin and wood fiber sheets This changing of the grain is called cross-graining, this process reduces the tendency of wood to split; makes the strength of the panel consistent across all directions, and it reduces shrinkage and expansion. There is usually an odd number of plies — this reduces warping. Because plywood is bonded with grains running against one another and with an odd number of composite parts, it is very hard to bend it perpendicular to the grain direction of the surface ply.

Your builder is a professional, so they know how to execute this fine waltz and get all of these pieces done in the right order at the right time. To us standing on the outside it may look a bit chaotic at this stage, but hang in there it is all coming together.

To keep your house cozy, read my next article that covers the insulation process.

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