Now that we have most (not all) of the foundation issues resolved,it’s time to start building something!
This is a long post because I wanted to show just how easy it is to replace those rotted out floor joists.
Materials arrive for the build. I specified open web trusses for the floor. You have three common choices for a wood floor system – dimensional lumber like 2X10″ floor joists, “I” joists which is a strandboard panel capped by 2X lumber on edge or the open web truss pictured. I selected these because I want to run all of the HVAC pipes and other mechanicals through the truss, not under, so that I have maximum space in the crawl area.
Here’s the start of setting the trusses. I used a carpentry crew for the rough build. I built the mudroom by myself and it took about two months – too much time to be without a roof on this structure. These guys will be here for a week and get it under roof.
The trusses are in place and the Solid Start rim boards are attached. Engineered rim boards were used because I had custom trusses made to a specific height to match the existing floor levels. This was to keep the sunroom’s floor on the same plane as the existing floor. You’ll see why that’s important (at least to me) in a latter post.
Now we can turn our attention to those rotten and termite eaten floor joists. I’ve replaced 20 or so of these, so I did develop a system that seemed to work for me. You see in the above photo that the existing floor joists don’t line up with the new floor trusses. This is a bad thing, and a good thing. Bad because they don’t line up – good, because we have to replace them anyway.
To remove the joist just cut it 3/4 the way up towards the top of the floor joist from below. I will say that you don’t need to jack up the floor unless it’s on the exterior wall, but you must do one at a time from start to finish. If you do have excessive sagging a temporary support wall will do the trick.
Since I install these by myself it’s good to have a clamp on one end to apply pressure – this way when you’re working on the other end it won’t bounce out of position. Here the clamp is putting pressure to the new floor joist. You just work it by hammering the joist until it is upright.
This is how the floor trusses are tied to the new floor joists. They are both sitting on the new poured wall foundation. The old floor level will have a 1/2″ plywood overlay before the hardwood floors are installed. The trusses will only have a 3/4″ subfloor and the hardwood will be applied over that. This will give a seamless floor transition from the kitchen into the sunroom. Once the floor joists are in place I fasten construction screws through the floor into the joist from the top every 4-6″ the length of the joists.
So we’ll just keep moving along. Stay with me – one day I’ll get to paint something.