Over the weekend, the stair openings were nearly 100% completed. The report from the structural steel inspection was delivered and there are only a few, mostly cosmetic, fabrication details left.
Having power at the house has certainly helped speed a few things along, although some of the projects are still being done with batteries. There are two windows that need installation and they are in metal framing. All of the remaining windows are big, which means difficult to manage, especially for one person. 5.5′ x 6′ double pane, laminated windows have some weight. Fortunately we were able to use the forklift we rented several weeks ago to get them to the correct floors. The fabricators helped load and stage them. I have moved them into place and test fit them. With that much weight and no way to stand outside to hold them in place on the third floor, I had a big fear of them falling out the other side during installation. I resolved this concern, took care of some cosmetics, and added to the weatherproofing by coming up with a simple solution. I used some exterior trim, similar to Hardi plank, cut it down, and mounted it to the inside of the metal frames. They are also sealed up on the seams and screw holes filled. I got some exterior paint to coat them and then I will seal the windows in place (with no fear of them falling through the frame). Surprisingly almost all of the videos I have seen online about windows in containers don’t use a heavy duty frame for them. I have 2×4 or 2×6 steel welded in as my window and door frames. I assumed that most were done this way, but based on what I have seen, not so much. Maybe this method is commonplace, but I was unable to find anything online that showed windows in metal framing being addressed this way. It hasn’t rained in a while, but once these windows are in, this will keep most of the driving rain out.
The other big project I tackled was the roof. As one of the top level containers has a bad roof (warped and sagging), I had to address that. The simpler solution would have been to get a better container, but it was too late for that once the problem was realized. I will eventually write a post detailing the mistakes that have been made throughout the project, but for now this one is about solutions. I knew all along that the container roofs would not be used as the exterior roof, so the plan was to have either trusses or joists on the roof, which would hold roof decking and ultimately a rooftop deck. Instead of trying to prop up the roof from below and weld beams in place to fix the sagging, I came up with another idea. The plan is to have foam sprayed on the container roof, in between the joists. This will fill in any low spots, add another layer of waterproofing, and add insulation value. I have seen this method done where the foam is actually the roof coating, which is then covered in a coating to protect it from UV. Since this will be covered by decking material, it will never see UV, so I am going to bypass that part. After a pretty grueling weekend, I got all of the joists mounted. Handling more than thirty 16 foot long 2×10’s by yourself will give you a workout. I still need to attach the hurricane ties, but it is now ready for foam. Then it will be decked, then a layer of roofing material, probably EPDM. That will essentially give me 3 separate waterproof roofs: the container roof, the foam coating, the EPDM over the decking. It will all be worth it in the end, when I have a huge rooftop deck overlooking downtown.