After completing the roof, we began framing the walls. We started with the sill plates at the ground level. They bolt directly to the slab and provide a wood base for the rest of the framing. The main function of a sill plate is to help seal the building from the environment.

We used pressure treated lumber since it’s more tolerant of moisture. The wood is also treated with borate to deter termites and ants. We put a foam gasket under the boards and caulked the seams. For extra moisture protection, we’ll paint over everything before putting the siding on.

After installing the sill plates around the never-ending perimeter, we moved on to the girts. “Girt” is a strange word. It’s essentially the same thing as a stud but in the horizontal orientation. It has a less glamorous name than “stud” and starts to sound like a burp when you hear it all day. “Girt” is also one of the few words that doesn’t sound any better in an Australian accent.

The girts are 2×6 boards that mount to brackets on the steel columns.

Typically, people order hundreds of the same size boards and cut them all when framing a house. We are not most people. Trying to save some money, we measured every piece of lumber from the drawings and ordered the precise number of various lengths (10′, 14′, 20′, etc) to minimize wasted material. We had these monogrammed with Sam’s initials, “SDS”.

When it came to framing, we had to sort through our stacks of 2×6’s to find the appropriate length board for each location. Then we took precise measurements and cut the boards accordingly. You guessed it… I cut the girts and Sam and John measured and installed them.

Doors and windows require additional planning and measuring. They also get double the framing and hardware. “Do we really need all these windows?”

The steel building engineers came up with the idea to mount hundreds of little brackets around every opening. There are 12 nails in each bracket! The roofing nail guns can’t fit in the tight corners, and Sam didn’t have the patience to nail these by hand, so one more nail gun was added to the collection.

The hammers and the roofing nail guns didn’t get put away though…

We started to get the hang of things. Sam is becoming a skilled nailer.

A 20 foot tall board goes in each corner. It takes two people to stand one of these up!

Once these were installed, we could start measuring for girts on the short sides of the building (the North and South end walls).

I was looking forward to framing our living space at the North end, as it has the best views. Plus, rainbow season began last week, and I was tired of cranking my neck from my sawing station.

I love rainbow season! We’ve been seeing some good ones on our morning drive.

Back to girts…

As different views were getting framed, we concluded that we do need all those windows.

We were excited about our framing progress, so we put some plywood (OSB) up in one corner.

The building is taking shape!

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