Building a new house in Palo Alto

Building a new house in Palo Alto

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome to our home! (Framing, Part 1)

Cisco, with his keen cocker spaniel guard dog instincts, has managed to find the front door.
That was quick, eh? Yes, that's the beauty of framing. In a matter of days you go from a shanty town to the Taj Mahal. Suddenly we have something that resembles a house and if you're a clever dog like Cisco, you can begin to imagine the doors and windows.

A skeleton crew builds the guest room while we wait for the rest of the lumber to arrive.
Overall, the framing stage is one of the most thrilling phases of the construction process. Each day the house looks different and it's exciting to finally see your house plans spring to life. We initially got off to a slow start (which I barked about because I have the patience of a 2-year-old) because we were waiting for a lumber drop. To keep things moving our general contractor picked up some lumber himself, but we limped along until the full order arrived.

Lesson 1:  Construction is taking off in the Bay Area. Order your supplies well in advance.

Lumber is pre-cut, sorted by size and ready to fly up into the walls.
Once the lumber order arrived the house practically built itself. Okay, it was a little more complicated than that, but the team sure made it look easy. With the exception of the skeleton crew photo above, all the pictures in this blog post are from a single day of construction. One of the brilliant investments that our contractor makes is ordering pre-cut lumber. It's a few cents more per foot but it's cut to size before delivery. This makes it easier for the crew to focus on building and cuts down (yes, pun intended) on frame day mistakes.

Lesson 2: Ordering pre-cut lumber speeds up the framing process but it takes longer to prepare. (Now repeat Lesson 1 after me, order your supplies in advance!)
Assembling walls on a level surface (like the subfloor) makes framing go faster. Mini-cheerleaders help too.

Raising the living room wall into place requires a little extra manpower.
Wow, a lot can happen in a day!


  1. This is SO exciting!! Our backyard is 99.9% done too as of yesterday! Fountain, fire pit, lights, things are looking good and ready for friends! Time to plan another grill night for sure.

  2. PS Love the mini cheerleader. Bubble thoughts are so effective in motivating the crew.