Gable Wall — Side, Trim, and Raise
Taking care of the siding, trim, and paint at the uppermost gable peak before raising the wall saved time
Last week, we framed and sheathed the rake wall. Once the exterior insulation was delivered, we could insulate, side, trim, and lift a nearly finished wall.
The east-facing gable-end rake wall is a saltbox style. One slope starts about a foot off the floor deck and rises 16 ft. to the ridge. The rear (south) slope starts at the full 8-ft. second-floor rear-wall height and rises to the ridge. The distance from grade to ridge is about 36 ft., so it made sense to apply as much of the exterior insulation, siding, and trim as we could while the wall was lying flat on the floor deck rather than setting up staging later.
First, we installed 2 in. of Roxul insulation over the Zip System sheathing. We screwed 1×3 furring strips over the Roxul to create a rain screen and nailing base for the TruExterior bevel siding. We couldn’t install the siding on the entire wall since the windows haven’t arrived yet, but we could install the siding above the window head. The siding went fast. Gravity worked in our favor; we could place each course in position and saw off the excess. There was no need for measurements. The Boral TruExterior bevel siding is fabricated to the same proportions as cedar bevel clapboard. But unlike cedar siding, the TruExterior can be be top-nailed rather than face-nailed.
After the siding was nailed off, we rolled and brushed on the finish coat of paint. Then the 1×10 Boral TruExterior rake boards were installed, capped off with 1×4 rake shadow board, and painted.
Lifting the gable end took a couple hours. We started first thing in the morning while the wind was calm. The wall was heavy due to the TimberStrand PSL stud framing, Roxul insulation, and Boral TruExterior siding and trim. We used QualCraft wall jacks to do the work. To avoid being crushed beneath the wall, we installed safety bracing with every few feet of lifting; that’s what made the process take so long. One risk when lifting a wall is a gust of wind pushing it over the end of the building.
To reduce this chance, I installed a 5/16-in. steel cable to the top of the wall down to the floor deck. I calculated the diagonal distance of a plumb wall to the floor deck and secured the cable. With safety braces preventing the wall from falling backward and the cable preventing it from toppling off the second-floor deck, we could focus on jacking.
When the wall neared plumb, we installed braces to the floor deck along the 8-ft. wall line and at the ridge peak. After we nailed the bottom plate to the floor deck, Bruce nailed off the sheathing to the studs below while I laid out the next gable end to frame, side, trim, and raise.