Building a home addition can be challenging to most homeowners but not impossible. Depending on the size and complexity of the addition design anyone with good carpentry skills can build an acceptable end product. I suggest you do not try a multi-story six room addition on your first try however. A simple single story addition of a dining room or bedroom with either a crawl space or full basement can be done on weekends but it will take considerable time to do so. The more difficult addition will have a full basement. Basically it is the same as a crawl space, only deeper. When looking for a independent building inspections in Sydney, the team at have many years of providing safe and quality house inspections Sydney wide.

Excavation must be done by a qualified excavation contractor as the pouring of the new footings is critical to making a good foundation. I did have a client who hand dug an entire house foundation and back filled it by hand as well. To add insult, he hand dug the entire septic system to boot. I do not recommend trying it. A good rain storm during the excavation work can quickly ruin all your work. You need an excavating contractor and a concrete or block mason to install the foundation itself and pour the floor as quickly as possible. Once back filled, weather cannot hurt you too bad causing only a day or two delay in the work in most cases. Start the work by cleaning the anchor bolts or spreading the strap anchors left by the foundation mason. Install a layer of seal seal and also a termite shield if one is required in your area. Next comes your pressure treated lumber sill plate. Usually at least a two by eight is used. The plate is bolted down or nailed to the straps to secure the addition to the foundation. Once done the framing begins. The rim or perimeter band joist is next. The rim joist is installed around all sides of the foundation and tacked into place. Next come the floor joists. Following the approved plans the floor joist layout is called out on the drawings. If the addition is fairly small, perhaps twelve feet wide, a single joist can span from one side of the basement to the other. The size and species of lumber used will also be called out on the drawings. (SPF, Douglas Fir and so on).

Floor joists in conventional lumber are usually placed at sixteen inches on center apart. Once all the floor joists are installed, the plywood decking comes next. Today 3/4″ tongue and groove plywood is the normal material used. A good floor is installed using a bead of construction adhesive on top of the joists as well as being screwed into place. Basement stairs should be installed during the floor framing process. Wall framing is next in the order or work. All four walls are framed and depending on the framers style, I have seen walls sheathed, windows installed and tyvek paper installed before the walls are stood into place. The walls are plumbed and temporarily braced. Ceiling joists are now installed and they will help tie the exterior walls together. Ceiling joists may be fairly light lumber size of two by sixes. If a second floor is to be installed, these ceiling joists become floor joists for the floor above and would be much heavier and larger in size. With the ceiling joists in place, roof framing is the next thing on the agenda. If trusses are to be used two men can install them in a couple of hours. If the roof is to be framed, a third person is a necessity. Two men can erect the ridge board and brace it while the third man on the ground cuts the lumber pieces for them. Climbing up and down once again is possible but very slow and laborious. A set of rafters will be installed at each end of the addition roof to hold the ridge board in place. The rest of the remaining rafters can now be installed for the rest of the roof. All framing is now nailed into final position. Installation of the roof sheathing plywood comes next. Again some added hands will certainly make this work go much faster. If you can get the lumber yard to boom the plywood to the roof so much the better. You may want to pay a couple of dollars extra to have the shingles, weather shield and felt paper rolls boomed to the roof as well. Your back and legs will surely thank you later. Installation of the ice and water shield, drip edges, felt and shingles becomes the next most important item of work. This will make your addition dry and weather no longer sets you back to zero work output days. Exterior doors if any, can be installed and as long as the Tyvek paper is nailed in place your addition is OK to proceed with the interior work. Exterior siding can be done on nice days and not under pressure. Once dried in the normal sequence of work is rough wiring, rough plumbing including HVAC ducts or heat piping, insulation, drywall, painting, trim work and floor finishes.

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Pete is a 30+ year building inspector with experience in both public and private construction industries. From schools to treatment plants, from private homes and condo projects, to large residential landscaping projects, he has worked both in the building design areas and field construction in the Eastern US. In 2006 he formed along with two other building inspectors, Wagsys LLC which produced software for municipal agencies in the fields of building departments, planning boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals.

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