On to the Second Floor

Now that we have the bottom floor in and the walls leveled, the top floor framing moved along fairly quick. Normally we’d install floor joists on top of the lower floor walls, but we wanted to make sure we were bracing the walls properly and we didn’t feel like trying to install rim joists on a 15 sided building.

We decided to install ledger boards around of the top of the outer walls and hang the floor joists off them. We’ll also run 2×4 studs up underneath them to transfer the weight of the top floor to the foundation so we don’t have to rely on the shear strength of the screws in the ledger boards.

We also framed in the opening for the windows, door, and stairs. Installing the subfloor on the top level was a lot more straight forward than the bottom floor. With the bottom floor, we had to measure and cut the right angles, while for the top we just installed full sheets and then cut the edges to the floor profile.

At this point, we figured it would be a good idea to get the fish tank inside. It won’t quite fit once we install the door. I’d like to point out that up to this point we made a lot of mistakes and had to redo many things along the way, but we got the stairs right the first try! We’re pretty proud of that.

The stairs aren’t quite standard to code for riser width, because we wanted to make sure we had enough head room and an adequate landing up top. Code would be something around 10″ riser and 10″ tread, but these are 10″ riser and 7″ tread, so they’re a tad steep. Coincidentally, our home is from the 1970’s and our basement stairs have a 7″ tread, so we’re used to it.

We have a few things to wrap up before we start assembling the dome. We need to seal the exterior and get the utilities squared away so we can start backfilling.

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