Pre-Construction

If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to purchase your AYFRAYM Construction Plans, which will allow you to purchase the kits we have available, This is the first step to building your AYFRAM.

If you don’t have land lined up already, it’s OK! You can either purchase land separately or as part of a Construction Loan for your AYFRAYM.

In addition to everywhereco.com/land, some of our favorite sites to find land are BillyLand for incredibly cheap land in great locations, or there’s Land Elevated which is similar to BillyLand but a bit more sophisticated. There’s also LandWatch is an incredibly deep resource for finding land as well.

Since the AYFRAYM is already designed and ready to go, you’re going to save so many headaches that many others buying or building a home have to go through! Here’s a decent video on how to go about getting a building permit. Since we have our construction documents, we can skip ahead to step 5 and you can submit your plan to the city for approval.

The city must determine that the AYFRAYM is in compliance with population density, urban aesthetics and zoning laws. The state must also determine that the AYFRAYM will be safe in the event of a fire, storms, blizzards or earthquakes. Certain departments will need to sign off on the plans to ensure that the AYFRAYM will cooperate with existing services.

Often, site preparation and foundation work are performed by the same crew, but this may not be the case with a wooded lot. Using a backhoe and a bulldozer, the crew clears the site of rocks, debris and trees for the house and, if applicable, the septic system. The crew levels the site, puts up wooden forms to serve as a template for the foundation and digs the holes and trenches. Footings (structures where the house interfaces with the earth that supports it) are installed. If your home is going to have a well, it will be dug at this point.

What you need:

  • Backhoe
  • Bulldozer

Video Instruction Links:


Foundation Types

We’ve purposely left a specific foundation type out of the AYFRAYM Construction Plans so that your build is adaptable to any climate you could imagine. For example, warm climates might be perfect for a Pier & Beam Foundation but a colder climate in the winter would call for a Slab on Grade foundation to ensure pipes don’t freeze. We do have Pier & Beam foundation plans available. Check out all the options below:

Ground-bearing slabs, also known as “on-ground” or “slab-on-grade”, are commonly used for ground floors on domestic and some commercial applications. It is an economical and quick construction method for sites that have non-reactive soil and little slope.

For ground-bearing slabs, it is important to design the slab around the type of soil, since some soils such as clay are too dynamic to support a slab consistently across its entire area. This results in cracking and deformation, potentially leading to structural failure of any members attached to the floor, such as wall studs.

Levelling the site before pouring concrete is an important step, as sloping ground will cause the concrete to cure unevenly and will result in differential expansion. In some cases, a naturally sloping site may be levelled simply by removing soil from the uphill site. If a site has a more significant grade, it may be a candidate for the “cut and fill” method, where soil from the higher ground is removed, and the lower ground is built up with fill.

In addition to filling the downhill side, this area of the slab may be supported on concrete piers which extend into the ground. In this case, the fill material is less important structurally as the dead weight of the slab is supported by the piers. However, the fill material is still necessary to support the curing concrete and its reinforcement.

There are two common methods of filling – controlled fill and rolled fill.

  • Controlled fill: Fill material is compacted in several layers by a vibrating plate or roller. Sand fills areas up to around 800 mm deep, and clay may be used to fill areas up to 400 mm deep. However, clay is much more reactive than sand, so it should be used sparingly and carefully. Clay must be moist during compaction to homogenise it.
  • Rolled fill: Fill is repeatedly compacted by an excavator, but this method of compaction is less effective than a vibrator or roller. Thus, the regulations on maximum depth are typically stricter.

Proper curing of ground-bearing concrete is necessary to obtain adequate strength. Since these slabs are inevitably poured on-site (rather than precast as some suspended slabs are), it can be difficult to control conditions to optimize the curing process. This is usually aided by a membrane, either plastic (temporary) or a liquid compound (permanent).

Ground-bearing slabs are usually supplemented with some form of reinforcement, often steel rebar. However, in some cases such as concrete roads, it is acceptable to use an unreinforced slab if it is adequately engineered.

One of the most popular foundation designs today is the pier and beam foundation. Pier and beam foundations provide a number of advantages for homeowners interested in new construction or foundation repair. Take a look at how pier and beam foundations work and what their advantages are:

 

  • Pier and beam foundations are constructed with three primary components. First, a reinforced concrete footing is buried deep underground, which anchors the entire foundation of the building in the ground to prevent shifting in volatile soils. Next, piers are constructed and attached to the footing. Piers are typically made from concrete or brick, and are similar to pilings used in other types of construction. The piers come out of the ground and support beams, which are directly connected to the floor joists beneath your flooring.
  • There are several advantages to having a pier and beam foundation. These structures perform better in areas with dry soil. The footings are buried deep underground, so they are unaffected by changes in the soil at surface level. This ensures your home will stay very stable. Another advantage to pier and beam foundations is that homeowners have easy access to electrical and plumbing components that would otherwise get buried under a concrete slab foundation. This makes repairs easier and less expensive.
  • Many homeowners also find pier and beam foundations aesthetically pleasing. These foundations sit 20-30 inches above ground level, making the homes they support look bigger. Homes with pier and beam foundations don’t have basements and typically have crawlspaces that can be accessed from the home’s exterior.

 

Useful videos:

Most crawlspaces are musty, damp, and full of bugs or critters. This video shows the best way to build a Conditioned (non-vented) crawlspace on a Pier & Beam foundation. This is the best way to build a crawlspace including Vapor Barrier recommendations & tips for insulation.


INSPECTION #1:

When the curing process is complete, a city inspector visits the site to make sure foundation components are up to code and installed properly. This inspection may be repeated depending on the type of foundation (slab, crawl space or basement). Your builder will then remove the forms and begin coordinating step No. 2, the framing phase.


Framing

Framing materials for your AYFRAYM build can be found in our DIY Kits. Whether you want to purchase an All-in-One Timber Framing or All-in-One 100% Stick Framing, or you can purchase the Timber Framing and Stick Framing kits individually and order each kit a la carte style, as you build over time.

A floor’s framework is made up mostly of wooden joists that run parallel to one another at regular intervals. Floor joists are typically 2 by 8s, 2 by 10s, or 2 by 12s; ceiling joists are usually 2 by 6s or sometimes 2 by 4s if it is an older home. Some newer homes have manufactured, I beam–shaped joists.

Floor joists, spaced on regular intervals, span the areas between supports such as walls, foundations, girders, and beams. Normal spacing is 16 inches “on center” (from center to center), though some floors may have joists on 12-inch or 24-inch centers. Joist sizing and spacing are determined by building codes, which are based on engineering requirements. Joist headers run perpendicular to the joists, capping their ends.

Joists are spliced over beams or other supports. They may be butted end-to-end and connected with plywood gusset plates or lapped. Solid blocking or metal bridging prevents joists from twisting and helps distribute loads evenly.

Wherever an opening occurs, such as for a staircase, joists are doubled up at the perimeter and capped with perpendicular headers.

Subflooring provides a base for finish flooring and also serves as a platform during construction. It may be made of boards laid either at right angles or diagonally across joists. Or the subfloor may be made of plywood or other panel products that are laid perpendicular to the joists.

A plywood subfloor has panels that are laid in a staggered fashion, with the ends and edges butted together; the panels are nailed (and sometimes also glued with construction adhesive) to the joists.

The thickness and stiffness of the subfloor determine the types of finish materials that can be laid on top of it. If your house is built on a concrete slab, the slab can serve as a base for almost any type of flooring. But, if your home has a plywood or board subfloor, it’s important to check out the type and thickness of the material you intend to use to determine what your limitations are. For instance, a floor that is slightly flexible or springy is not suitable for rigid materials such as ceramic tile and stone because the grout or materials will crack with movement.

The AYFRAYM utilizes an outer shell frame that can be built by utilizing timber framing if you have experience or can hire someone that does, or stick framing using 2×6 studs. The latter option being the best for DIY projects. Please review sheets S-2.1 & S-2.2 in the Construction Plans for details on Outer Framing.

PICTURED: THE OUTER SHELL OF THE TIMBER FRAMING

Included in the Construction Plans are details for Timber Framing along with cut lists for the dimensional lumber. In addition, the All-in-One Timber Framing Kit and the Structure Kit with Timber Framing are available for purchase. The kits will be packaged and shipped to you. Available in most countries!

 

PICTURED: THE OUTER SHELL OF THE STICK FRAMING

If you’re not comfortable with Timber Framing, a better route to go for a DIYer might be the stick framing option which should be manageable by two people. Stick Framing is available as a kit purchase in the All-in-One Kit with Stick Framing or the Structure Kit with Stick Framing.

The Inner Framing of the AYFRAYM uses 2×4 studs and the Construction Plans include all wall section and detail views, along with a full cut list to make it easy! Please review S-3.1 to S-3.5 in the plans for details on Inner Framing.

PICTURED: THE AYFRAYM INNER FRAMING


Exterior Details & Weatherproofing

If you’ve reached this phase, you can purchase our Doors & Windows Kit as well as the Exterior Finish Kit. Roofing materials will be purchased locally through a metal roof supplier.

Sheathing & Vapor Barrier Materials can be found in any of the following kits; All-in-One Kit with Timber Framing, All-in-One Kit with 100% Stick Framing, Structure Kit with Timber Framing, Structure Kit with 100% Stick Framing.

In very general terms, ‘sheathing’ is a covering or supporting structure that has a similar function to the sheath of a blade; that is, it acts as a cover or case.

In the construction industry, the term ‘sheathing’, or ‘sheathing board’ can be used to refer to a layer of board or panel material that forms a part of floor, wall and roof assemblies. The outer sheathing board strengthens the assembly, provides a surface for other materials to be applied to and may give some degree of weather resistance.

The materials most commonly used for sheathing include; engineered timber, plywood, gypsum and oriented strand board (OSB).

Floor sheathing is typically a tongue and groove material that carries live loads down to the floor joists beneath. It is generally installed after a floor frame and been built but before the walls have been built up.

Wall sheathing can be structural or non-structural and on external walls can help protect against wind and water penetration.

Roof sheathing is generally structural as it helps to brace the roof frame. A covering is generally applied over the top of the sheathing.

Vapor Barrier

A vertically-grooved surface provides added protection against water, by enhancing drainage away from the wall assembly. designed to provide enhanced drainage in areas subject to extreme, wind driven rain. It combines the superior air and water resistance, vapor permeability with a vertically grooved surface, to help channel water safely to the outside.

There a five main benefits to having a Vapor Barrier:

  • High level of water resistance — to help protect the wall cavity from water that can get behind the cladding.
  • The optimal level of vapor permeability — to promote drying in wall systems and help prevent rot and mold.
  • High level of air resistance — to help prevent drafts, resist the flow of moisture-laden air though wall cavities, and ultimately help reduce energy bills.
  • Durability — to withstand the rigors of the construction site, and provide the ability to maintain a constant drainage rate, even after repeated wetting and drying cycles.
  • Improved drainage — to help guide water away from walls to the outside.

Once the AYFRAYM has been wrapped with the vapor barrier, you’re ready to install the Double Hung window in the front bedroom.

We recommend Board & Batten Siding for the AYFRAYM, but we understand you’re doing this is a DIY project so you’re free to decide what siding choice you’d like to make.

Board and batten siding is a terrific exterior siding technique. Not only it is the perfect rustic modern look, but it’s easy to install, relatively low cost and very durable. And installing board and batten siding is surprisingly straightforward and within the scope of most do-it-yourselfer’s

Board and batten siding is made up of wider vertically installed boards with overlapping narrower battens. Nailing allows boards to move as needed.

Please view the video below for more details on how to install the siding.

Installing the exterior front door:

 

Installing the sliding doors:

Exterior 4-Panel Sliding Door (Please refer the Door & Windows Schedule (D03) in the AYFRAYM Construction Plans for exact specs)

Once the roof has been installed, you’re ready for your roof window installations.


Electrical, Plumbing & HVAC

Once the shell is finished, siding and roofing can be installed. At the same time, the electrical and plumbing contractors start running pipes and wires through the interior walls, ceilings and floors. Sewer lines and vents, as well as water supply lines for each fixture, are installed. Bathtubs and one-piece shower/tub units are put in place at this point because there’s more room to maneuver large, heavy objects.

Ductwork is installed for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and possibly the furnace. HVAC vent pipes are installed through the roof and insulation is installed in the floors, walls and ceilings.

After the roofing goes on, the house is considered “dried in.” An electrician then installs receptacles for outlets, lights and switches and runs wires from the breaker panel to each receptacle. Wiring for telephones, cable TV and music systems is included in this work.

Note that HVAC ducts and plumbing are usually installed before wiring, because it’s easier to run wires around pipes and ducts than vice versa.


INSPECTIONS 2, 3 and 4:

Rough framing, plumbing and electrical and mechanical systems are inspected for compliance with building codes. Most likely these will be three different inspections. At the very least, the framing inspection will be conducted separately from the electrical/mechanical inspections.


Insulation

Insulation plays a key role in creating a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate while significantly improving a home’s energy efficiency. One of the most important qualities of insulation is its thermal performance or R-value, which indicates how well the material resists heat transfer. Most homes are insulated in all exterior walls, as well as the attic and any floors that are located above unfinished basements or crawl spaces.

The most common types of insulation used in new homes are fiberglass, cellulose and foam. Depending on the region and climate, your builder may also use mineral wool (otherwise known as rock wool or slag wool); concrete blocks; foam board or rigid foam; insulating concrete forms (ICFs); sprayed foam; and structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Blanket insulation, which comes in batts or rolls, is typical in new-home construction. So is loose-fill and blown-in insulation, which is made of fiberglass, cellulose or mineral-wool particles. Another insulation option, liquid foam, can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected or poured. While it costs more than traditional batt insulation, liquid foam has twice the R-value per inch and can fill the smallest cavities, creating an effective air barrier.

Fiberglass and mineral-wool batts and rolls are usually installed in side walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings and basements. Manufacturers often attach a facing such as kraft paper or foil-kraft paper to act as a vapor barrier and/or air barrier. In areas where the insulation will be left exposed, such as basement walls, the batts sometimes have a special flame-resistant facing.


Interior & Exterior Finish Work

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FINAL INSPECTION:

A building-code official completes a final inspection and issues a certificate of occupancy. If any defects are found during this inspection, a follow-up inspection may be scheduled to ensure that they’ve been corrected.

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