Construction Problems, Solved at DIY Network Blog Cabin 2016

Meet the challenges posed by local building codes, structural requirements, an HVAC system and rotting wood.

Photo by: Anderson, Chesney

Anderson, Chesney

By: Peter Walsh

As with any new or remodeling project there are bound to be challenges that come up and solutions to solve them.

Problem: Not Up to Code

At DIY Network Blog Cabin 2016 the major issue was that FEMA maps had been changed for the location where the house was sited and the structure no longer complied with the new requirement.

“Although the house was built higher in 1992 than was required at the time,” says Dylan Eastman, design/build manager on the project, “FEMA redid the flood map and now the house was too low.”

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Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

Photo By: Anderson, Chesney

To remedy the situation, a set of steel beams were placed under the structure of the house and using hydraulic jacks, the entire structure was lifted 10 inches and placed on brackets on the existing stilts. The result was that the bottom of the lowest horizontal members were now at 20 feet above the ground and met the new FEMA maps.

Problem: Unbalanced Beams 

Another issue was discovered that originated from the initial build in 1992. “Beams were cut during framing to accommodate site changes but the loads weren't properly supported,” says Eastman.

To fix it, an I-beam was installed under the floor to take the load and correct the sag. Now the floor would be level and the remodeling could continue.

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Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

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Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

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Photo By: Adam Cohen

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Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Photo By: Adam Cohen

Under the second floor, an I-joist had a large hole drilled in it to accommodate ductwork for the HVAC system. While it had held up for more than 20 years without a problem, Eastman decided to add beams there to avoid any future issues.

Problem: HVAC Gone Bad

On the second floor, the existing HVAC system provided efficient and adequate cooling and heating for the upstairs bedrooms but a mini-cassette system that hangs on the wall was added to augment the temperature control in those rooms, says Rod Moeller, certified building contractor and owner of Mallard Cove Construction Company, Tallahassee, Florida, who is working on the project.

Floor Plans

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First Floor

Ground Level

Second Floor

Now warm or cool air could be blown directly into the upstairs bedrooms on chilly or warm nights when they are in use. The new units can be shut off when the rooms are not in use saving money on utility bills.

Problem: Damaged Wood  

To comply with current building codes, the exterior roofing and siding was removed to determine if there was any damaged or rotting wood that needed to be replaced.

Once repaired, the sheathing under the new metal roof and cement infused siding board was nailed on in the updated pattern using ring shanked galvanized nails spaced 3 inches apart along the perimeters of the sheeting panels and at 6 inch intervals elsewhere.

This building requirement will help protect the house during a high wind storm. “Meeting wind speed requirements won't lift up the edge of the roof and pressurize the attic where it would tear the house apart,” explains Eastman.

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Meet the Experts

Learn about the design and build team responsible for DIY Network Blog Cabin 2016.