11 November 2007
Over the loft
If you go back and look at my pencil sketch for the cross-section you can see that the ceiling would have to change over the loft area in order for there to be enough head room to stand up at all. This is one of the places where J.'s expertise really helped me plan and execute properly. He worked out the math so that I'd have maximum height on both the ground floor and loft. I should note here that I was working with a maximum overall height allowance of 16' to meet building code regulations for a garage/workshop structure.
The best way to make this work both economically and structurally was to go with pre-fab trusses for the main room and hand-cut trusses for over the loft. That's why, in the next-to-last post, the pre-fab truss work stops where the loft begins.
Here, you can see J. and his lovely assistant finishing off their hand-cut truss work.
One thing I would have done differently is to leave maximum overhang of eaves. J. gave me the option of leaving any length of overhang and suggested a maximum. My roofer recommended a minimum. I went for a happy medium because I was concerned that a big overhang might interfere with light and not be in keeping with the other architecture in the neighborhood. In retrospect, I would have preferred a deeper overhang for more protection from the rain.
This was one of many instances of my own inexperience causing stress and confusion about decisions I had to make on the fly without enough time to really reflect on the consequences. Fortunately, none of these confusions created any structural problems. They just contributed to my own stress and tried the patience (understandably) of the workers. As one of the electricians said (while I was trying to decide on the placement of the track lighting or one of the switches or something), "It's like watching a tennis match."