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  • future structural advice

    Hello gentlemen,

    Late this summer or early fall I intend to begin a fairly large carpentry project (for me its large anyway) and am hoping to get good advice here. As a professional Plumber/Gasfitter working with other tradesmen for decades I have a very good idea what I want to do and what the finished project is going to look like. But I hate asking the professionals I work with for free advice, they depend on their knowledge to put food on their tables and it would be rude to ask them for free knowledge.

    Since this site is dedicated for knowledgeable people to help each other it is my hope that I can get the help I will need here.

    My home is located in the bluffs along the Mississippi river and as such the topography is going to allow me to build a quasi conservatory/pavillion on top of my flat roofed garage. The fellow who built the garage did it in such a way as to allow the roof to accept the weight of a fully loaded work shop so the base structure is certainly sound enough for my project. There are a couple of joists that will be replaced and a short section of the band board will also be replaced. Have already replaced the parts of the sill that were bad. Thats all easy enough to do. (the flat roof had a leak which instigated the repairs mentioned.)

    I have circular saws, chop saws, reciprocating saws and hand saws out the wazoo, but for this project do you fellas think it would be worth my hard earned money to get a table saw or mitre saw to help with the angled cuts? If so what is the very best one? I dont mind spending a few hundred extra for top quality as long as its top quality.

    This structure will span 32x 25 ft., would you guys reccomend pre made trusses or build your own? The pitch will be along the 25ft measurement.
    I am thinking steel roof for ease of installation. Plus I wont have to mess with shingles and felt.

    Do you guys think 6" per foot slope is good?

    Would you use screws or nails?

    Also I would like to have an almost competely screened area for fresh air and the outdoors feeling but need to be able to shut it up during heavy thunderstorms. Any suggestions on the best way to proceed here would be greatly appreciated.

    I hope to put a circular fire place in the middle with a natural stone surround. I know the deck (original garage roof) must remain water proof as it will recieve some moisture during the course the seasonal cycles. Any ideas on water proofing the floor while allowing for heavy foot traffic? I will build a four foot flagstone circle around the fire place to protect the floor from escaping sparks.

    I will have a bar in one corner and would like to build a nice grill that I will vent through the roof also. These will be added later.

    There will be four sky lights, two on each side, has anyone here had experience as to what brands are the best? If possible I would like these to be able to be opened with screen protection from summer insects.

    I will also have two ceiling fans for air movement and to help prevent summer heat build up.

    As I begin and progress through this project I am going to have a lot of other questions. If providence allows, by the following spring I will be enjoying a very nice indoor/outdoor recreational spot that I can use 9 or 10 months out of the year. So hopefully you guys can enjoy by proxy my progress and not be frustrated to tears by my lack of woodworking knowledge.
    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

  • #2
    do you fellas think it would be worth my hard earned money to get a table saw or mitre saw to help with the angled cuts
    Doubtful on the table saw. There is little use for a table saw in framing. Depending on how you do the siding/trim it might be useful to rip trim boards accurately. The miter saw is slightly more useful, but most framers don't bother with it. They are skilled enough to make cuts with a CS. Again you might get some usage with trim/siding.

    This structure will span 32x 25 ft., would you guys reccomend pre made trusses or build your own? The pitch will be along the 25ft measurement.
    Assuming you mean span of trusses would be 32ft. You can't make your own trusses as far as I know unless you have them engineered. You could frame it conventionally but with the spans involved it would cost much more.

    Do you guys think 6" per foot slope is good?
    Thats a good pitch - low enough to work on comfortably but high enough to minimize potential for leaks (as you found out with flat). But it should integrate architecturally with the rest of the house. If the house is a simple 5/12 hip I'd go with that.

    Would you use screws or nails?
    Check with code office. I don't think you want to pay for the grade of screws that would be required for framing.

    Also I would like to have an almost competely screened area for fresh air and the outdoors feeling but need to be able to shut it up during heavy thunderstorms. Any suggestions on the best way to proceed here would be greatly appreciated.
    Unless you plan on some very large columns running all the way to the ground the addition will need diagonal bracing. If it's all screens, the bracing will need to be large (like 4x4s) due to length. It's probably best to put ply/osb sheathing on some of the walls so you can have clear views in windowed/screened areas. I'm building a screened porch right now and I just got a quote on some porch windows. They are maintenance free single pane sliders with fixed screens. You can just open one side or easily remove both glass panels for full opening. They qouted me about $160 for a 3.5' x 4.5'. I don't think you could mess with making screens and storm windows for that (without haveing to paint them anyway). Don't forget you will need guards/solid walls below the 3' level.

    I hope to put a circular fire place in the middle with a natural stone surround. I know the deck (original garage roof) must remain water proof as it will recieve some moisture during the course the seasonal cycles. Any ideas on water proofing the floor while allowing for heavy foot traffic?
    You'll probably need some sort of vinyl membrane for that. Can't help you there as I've never dealt with that.

    There will be four sky lights, two on each side, has anyone here had experience as to what brands are the best? If possible I would like these to be able to be opened with screen protection from summer insects.
    Only used Anderson so far - pricey but no callbacks. The windows are not usually so much a problem as the flashing/roofing job. I really don't think they would add much light with the walls mostly windows/screens.

    Many questions. No more time. Hopefully other will chime in.

    Comment


    • #3
      ByteButcher,

      Thanks for your input, I had hoped to justify buying more tools but if they are not needed it would be foolish to spend the money.

      The truss span will be 25 feet with 12 1/2 feet each falling from the center.

      I had toyed with the idea of running 6x6s down through the roof into the corners of the garage and along the side and then putting column covers around them to give it a "Roman" flavor. Then at about four feet from the roof/floor installing a horizontal rails around the perimeter and then running deck style pickets around the bottom of the rail for fall protection. I understand what you are getting at with plywood on the corners but would like to stay away from that on the front at least. In the back I want to have a section that can be secured to use for storage so plywood is probably a good idea for that.
      If I make the bottom solid then your idea of removable windows makes a lot of sense. (I'll have to do some reconsidering and cost exploration there)

      I had hoped zinc coated deck screws would be good enough for framing but thanks for suggesting checking with my cities code dept. It would be a shame to have them red tag a project over something like that.

      You make a good point about the skylights, that might be overkill. [img]smile.gif[/img]
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Solved the waterproof deck/old roof dilemma.

        I think i will go with a ceramic tile floor. That way it will be water proof and flame proof from the fireplace. Plus I wont have to figure out how to make the flagstone circle without it being a tripping hazard.

        Also I think I will have the little "pickets" put on a lathe or some other working tool so they match the Roman or Greek style column covers I would like to go with. This should give a Parthanon look to the whole project. When it comes time to make the pickets I know I will need help from you guys.
        Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

        Comment


        • #5
          PLUMBER, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT ALTHOUGH THE CERAMIC TILE MIGHT BE WATERPROOF, THE GROUT JOINTS ARE NOT. THINK ABOUT A VINYL/PVC LINER AS USED IN SHOWER PANS UNDER THE TILE.
          THIS FLOOR IS GOING TO BE HEAVY WITH THE ADDITION OF WONDERBOARD/ HARDIBACKER. IT'S ALSO GOING TO BE NOISY UDERNEATH WHEN WALKED ON, UNLESS YOU INSTALL A SOUND DEADENING BARRIER.
          I LIKE THE 12'' SLIDING COMPOUND MITER SAW. IT WILL CROSSCUT A 2X12''. GREAT FOR CUTTING YOUR ANGLES AND MULTIPLE CUTS TO LENGTH.

          Comment


          • #6
            PlumberRick,

            I park vehicles under where I am adding my recreation area so noise is not a consideration. Thanks for mentioning the grout but I think I will have the floor coated with polyurethane after it is put down. I might even install a thin sheet of lead under the ceramic tile, this will also allow me to convert the garage on the bottom into a short term fallout shelter. (lots of very unfriendly people and countries getting big bombs) The building has been built like a tank so weight, while always a concern, is not a factor. 3/32 sheet lead under ceramic tile would be both waterproof and offer limited fallout protection.

            I agree that a miter saw might be useful and rationalizing the purchase of a very good one will probably come easy.

            Also there are some really nice looking tile and masonry cutting tools out there that would be fun to play around with.
            Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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