Step by Step: framing the lower level
When we began designing our new house, we knew we wanted a rancher (a house built entirely on one level), but the land dropped away in the corner of the site where the previous owners had excavated into the hillside to make room for a garage (that got torn down a couple of weeks ago). So since we had to bring the foundation walls down to that level anyway, we decided to use the space for a walkout storage/workshop space. There is no access from the inside of the house, which is exactly as I wanted it (I loathe basements) but it’s a very useful space nonetheless.
Step 8: under-slab fill, lower level. I somehow missed getting a picture of the guys using the compactor. But from this photo you can see the fill inside the foundation walls, which was tamped down with a large vibrating machine. The plumber also arrived at that time to put in the floor drain.
Step 9: framing up walls on the lower level and attaching floor joists for the level above it.
Step 10: Plywood sheathing goes over the framed wall.
View from the south window, lower level. Pretty nice for a storage room!
Plywood subfloor for the area above the walkout. This will be the master suite: bedroom, ensuite bath, and walk-in closet. I had so much fun walking around up there!
The view from the master bedroom. It will look much better once the landscaping is complete and the pond is put in.
Preparing the upper level for framing. These boards are called “sill plates”. The framed walls will sit on these.
The sill plates sit on a gasket made of a thin foam-like sheet (it’s not easy to see in this photo – the edge is sticking out from under the wood). Under the sill gasket is a layer of house wrap. It makes for a nice tight seal against the top of the foundation wall, and also acts as a moisture barrier so that water from the curing concrete does not get up into the wall.