A thousand brick or so staged on the scaffold for the last day of structural masonry massing.
A view of the southwest corner of the house showing clerestory windows with granite header and tapered battering.
It’s essential to wrap the rafters that will be secured directly against the gable walls with a water proof barrier — this will maximize the long term staying power of the roof system. After centuries of performance, this issue is one of the most common causes for structural failure in masonry based buildings (especially with floor joist). The masonry acts as a conduit for moister when direct contact is allowed with wood. Over many years the effects of this compile as the wood elements tend to wick minute amounts of moister from the mass walls that can eventually add up.
View of 2 x 10 Yellow Pine rafter securely wrapped and bolted to the mass masonry gable wall.
Carpenter, Justin Jordan, using hammer drill to install ‘RedHead’ fasteners, through the rafter, into the side of the masonry wall. Establishing anchors within mass masonry can be challenging so it’s important to allocate an appropriate amount of time for the process. Having a clear understanding of the materials to be used and the way they operate is equally important. There are several ways to approach this particular aspect of the construction and finding the ideal solution was complicated further by the cored brick. Justin had a hunch, and we consulted Master Mason, Fred Nowicki, in Chicago concerning the use of the RedHead system. We agreed that if holes were drilled between the lateral mortar joints of the brick which are approximately 3/8″ thick and 1/2 inch bolts were applied this would insure that the slip mechanism of the RedHead would bite effectively against two rigid brick surfaces within the drilled hole.
View of east gable rafters nailed to ridge beam and securely fastened to mass walls.
Exterior view of east gable from scaffold. Along the rake of the gable, opposite of the applied 2 x 10 shown here, a 2 x 5 treated Yellow Pine freeze board will be anchored to the wall in the same fashion as the interior rafter. The freeze will be stained and will serve both as an architectural accent and as a structural asset. The rafter and freeze will follow the roof plane in parallel and act as nailers for the decking material. In addition, this will establish a reference to further mortar the top of the wall and level out the rough stepping. The ‘leveling out’ will introduce a surface to insulate and seal against before the roof decking is applied.
View of ridge beams raised to their required heights and gable rafters securely fastened to the interior of the mass walls.
Mason, Filiberto, laying header course of lead to northeast corner of house.
The original Coweta County Court House is a structural masonry municipal building raised in 1886. This beautiful old artifact is located in one of the many small towns between Atlanta and the build site just north of Columbus, GA.
Post have generally been running one week behind real time to allow plenty of room on the schedule for commentary and image downloading. But we wanted to go ahead and share this vid and a few quite recent shots of the progress. The remaining ‘Masonry Days’ up until now will be posted shortly.
Wonderful view of the west gable with completed chimney in back ground.
Ridge beams and second story granite window headers at the front of the house are shown here in place after the 5th and final crane lift. The crane work went without a hitch and was completed within 2 hours.
Mason, Clay Chapman, shown here looking at the progress of the structural masonry construction.
A twilight view of the Adams House and the interesting play of evening light with a thunder storm closing in.
Chimney’s masonry completed. The next step will be capping the top with concrete.
Concrete cap now in place. Note that the surface is pitched significantly to shed rain water and protect the concrete from spalling.
View of completed chimney and house from the ground.
A young Anole along the scaffolding. This one was just a couple of inches or so long from head to tale.
During the design phase, before actual building begins, it can be difficult to anticipate topography and the way various elevations within the landscape can effect the design. The chimney more often than not is a missed architectural opportunity. The potential for this wonderful element as a visual anchor is huge, and though code only requires a smoke stack to be 2 feet higher than the highest point within 10′ feet — the Adams house chimney will probably end up being raised 9 or 10 feet above the ridge. Mason, Clay, is shown here simulating the ridge of the house with a length of string. Grasping the composition of the house, landscape, elevation and foliage as a whole will help him make an informed decision concerning the ideal height of the chimney.
Passo and mason, Clay, are shown here slowly lowering the last 140 pound flue tile onto the small fireclay mortar bed that’s been laid along the rim of the previous flue. This will allow the tile to be ‘tapped’ into plumb and will serve as a gasket between the two tiles. Masons, Filiberto and Benito, are shown assisting from below.
Mason, Clay, shown here checking the plumb of the last flue tile.
Staughty Chapman reciting ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost
Just got back from SW Michigan last night — met with design team and members of the Potawatami Indian Tribe about building a cultural center. Thought I was there to observe and offer feed back – informed the morning of I had been slotted to speak for two hours about design/build philosophy and head up discussion! Introduced the notion of permanence which seemed to resonate strongly. Asked the tribe members to consider not simply leading their people — lead America! I was so incredibly moved by what they are striving to accomplish. Margot Mazur, Creative Director, has made great strides in bringing the values of the tribe to the fore — values which in no way should be isolated. So much to be learned. No stone will be left unturned in these deliberations and given the level of talent being compiled I have no doubt something very important is going to happen here. Many thanks to the Potawatami for allowing me to participate, and to Master Mason/Fred Nowicki, Botanist /Jerry Wilhelm and Designer /Margot Mazur for the invitation.
Reverse corbeling at chimney base as the column exits the roof. At this point the chimney structure is transitioning from a nominal 12 inch triple wall to a nominal 8 inch double wall.
View of recessed front entry and dining windows.
Completed west gable shown in fore. Crew raising chimney in background.
Mason, Filiberto, checking chimney corner for plumb.
Beginning the corbeling for the chimney’s bearing ledge that will support the main ridge of the house.
Ridge ledge completed after reaching a depth of 5 inches.
Scaffolding adjustments to allow for the increasing heights of the work at hand.
Additional view of the chimney progress to date.