Saturday, December 31, 2005
We re-evaluated where to place our first building that we would move into. We decided to place this building as close to the transformer as possible to lower the cost of getting electricity . A building must be at least 15 feet from the transformer.
Before we even started the building we had the utility company come out and tell us our options for the project. We were told the first time that the wire could bend , but when we had another person out as we got closer to ground breaking we were told that it had to be a straight line from the dip pole (this is the conduit that carries the hot wire from the utility pole down into the ground and connects it to the underground conduit that runs to the transformer.) to the transformer. (the transformer actually trans forms the high voltage carried from the utility company down to the 120 volts that goes into your house)
So we had to figure the path of the wire to figure where we would place the main breaker box which also holds the meter. We found this extremely important to think from the end, meaning you have to know what your end plans are in order to plan everything else that happens before that, making sure it is possible by the limits you are not aware of because it is hard to know all the details of every situation unless you have done it before.
We started by placing stakes at each corner , measuring where the outside of the building would be, keeping in mind that we had 10 foot roofing. So we calculated we wanted a 1 foot overhang on each side, so the building was 8 feet wide and 19 feet long on the outside , because that is how many sheets of roofing we had. The setting of the stakes square (true 90 degree angle, determined by the Pythagorean theorem :3'/4'/5' triangle at the corner. An excellent book that goes into great detail is "Measuring, Marking & Layout A Builder's Guide" By John Carroll.) and level (not always level with the ground, the best way to accomplish this is with a "string level") is the most important thing, this determines the rest of the building. If you don't start out square and level this affects how the rest of the building comes together.
I measured this building level with the ground and it was off by 1/2" all the way up!
We then placed batter boards at each corner to determine exactly where each post would be placed in the ground. This seems like an unnecessary step but it is important , it allows you to use the strings as a guide for the placement of the post.
We cut boards 8 ' long and secured each end, then with a "post level" making sure the post was plumb (level side to side) we connected the posts to one another on the length. These boards also determined the roof line.
We did not cut the posts until the roof line was determined.
We then framed out where the windows and door would be, We bought these prior to starting the construction so we knew the exact size of the openings. Always measure three times so you only have to cut once!