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Hurricane Katrina

New House

First Grandchild

Second Grandchild

Joe's Pages

Gulf Coast House
(Destroyed by Katrina)

Building our
new home
-- Walls going up --


on Friday, 29 February, Chris's framing crews started putting up the walls of the house and the concrete contractor prepared to pour the garage floor and the slab for the storage shed/workshop.  Here are several pages of photos of what was done today.


Viewed from the street -- the long wall facing the camera is the front wall of the house.  The short wall with holes in it is the right side of the house -- the holes are where windows will go -- the round hole is a round window that will be in the guest bathroom.  The green material that forms the wall is a product called Zipwall -- more about this later.

This is a rear view of the front wall.  Let's take a minute and see how a wall is built -- check out the next photo.

This is a view of the rear wall of the great room taken from what will be the inside of the house.  Note the labels -- this is how a wall is constructed:

  •  Top plates:  Two horizontal pieces of lumber that run the length of the wall and hold it together at the top.  These are 2X4.

  •  Header:  Double pieces of 2X10.  Headers go over openings in the wall -- windows and doors.

  •  Stud:  Studs are the vertical members.  There are three types of studs:

    •  King studs: Run from bottom of the wall to top.

    •  Jack studs: Shorter than king studs.  Look at the openings in the wall -- two windows, one door.  The jack studs run alongside the king studs but stop short of the top of the wall -- the headers rest on the jack studs.

    •  Cripple studs:  These are the short studs at the bottom of the window openings.

  •  Bottom plate:  Horizontal piece of lumber running the length of the wall and attached to the sub-floor.

  •  Sheathing:   This is solid material -- either plywood or oriented strand board ( OSB ) that forms the outside part of the wall on which siding will be attached.

This is a close-up photo of the wall sheathing.  This sheathing is a material called Zipwall.  Look closely the next time you pass a house under construction and you will see the walls are wrapped in a plastic material, usually called "Tyvek" -- Tyvek is the copyrighted name for house wrap made by DuPont.  The purpose of the house wrap is to enclose the house in a barrier that allows moisture to pass out from the house but that prevents moisture from entering from the outside.  The problems with house wrap are:  (1) takes a lot of labor to install; (2) wind will whip it around and tear it; and (3) workmen often are not careful about sealing the house wrap around windows and doors.

Zipwall is oriented strand board with a layer of house wrap bonded to the OSB, thus, there's no need for the extra step of wrapping the house in house wrap.  The Zipwall system consists of the OSB with moisture barrier applied and neoprene tape -- the tape is applied over joints in the Zipwall thereby creating a solid moisture barrier, better than house wrap and using less labor.


Return to new house first page
Go to walls, page two



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