Building a Farmhouse: Framing & drying-in

The foundation is set & now we’re ready for the fun part: framing! This is where the house actually starts looking like… a house. It is absolutely amazing to see a few pallets of lumber transform into a house. Kinda felt like a giant set of Legos!

A semi delivering the materials for our new house!

Now for a few technical terms for those that are curious about what exactly supports the enormous weight of a house. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short & sweet!

First, the top of the block foundation was covered with what is called a “sill plate.” That is basically the technical term for the lumber that covers the cinder block foundation where the exterior walls will rest. We used 2”x8” treated lumber that was bolted to the cinder block foundation as our sill plate.

The sill plate lines the top of the block foundation. Girders are already in place & the crew is installing I-beams on top of the girders.

Then 2”x10” treated lumber was used for the girders which span from one end of the house to the other. The girders support the engineered I-beams, which are pre-made to support the floor.

The I-beams are in place!
Subfloor is installed

4’x8’ sheets of plywood were secured to the I-beams to act as the subfloor. We’re finally ready for walls! The walls were built on the ground then lifted into place and secured to the subfloor.

Walls are going up!

It was pretty amazing seeing how fast the walls were assembled then lifted into place. The house soon became a maze of 2’x4’s.

A maze of 2”x4”s
Squaring up the walls

Next item on the list: make sure the walls were squared up. This was done by using (lots) of 2”x4” boards to brace the walls. They would later be removed once the walls were permanently secured. So if you see your builder nailing up random 2”x4”s all over your house & think ‘this isn’t how they do it on HGTV’, don’t panic! They do this stuff on HGTV too but it just doesn’t get as much air time as demo day.

2’x4’s were used to brace the walls.

After the first floor framing was complete, the exterior walls were covered in plywood. The interior walls will be covered by Sheetrock at a later time.

Plywood around the exterior

The house is going to be 2 stories tall so we ordered pre-made trusses for the second story. The trusses were huge & heavy so they had to be hoisted on top of the first story of the house with a crane.

Trusses being lifted into place with a crane

It was amazing to watch the second story of the house come together so quickly!

Placing the last of the trusses!
Attaching plywood to the trusses.

Now that we had the framing complete we needed to ‘dry-in’ the house. Drying-in means getting the roof, windows & exterior doors installed as well as wrapping the house in house wrap to keep moisture outside where it belongs. This is important since most of the framing is made out of wood that is not treated & therefore won’t hold up very long to wet conditions.

A passing storm

Unfortunately Mother Nature threw a few storms our way before we could finish drying in the house.

Freshly washed floors, compliments of Mother Nature

With the help of a leaf blower, broom, & a few days of sunny weather, the house completely dried out & you couldn’t tell that it had been rained on at all.

The roofers, a welcome sight!

We breathed a big sigh of relief when the house was finally dried in from the elements. Our roofing was finished, the house was wrapped & all windows & exterior doors were in place. It suddenly looked like we would be finished & moving into the house in no time! Of course my husband (the voice of reason & experience) kept reminding me that we were nowhere close to the finish line. We still had a million things on our to-do list before the house would be habitable. Stay tuned…