Structural Framing of the Video Production Studio

January 28, 2010 - We met with several framers and decided to go with Danny Spann.  Danny had a good price, but it was his attitude that sold me.  Building a commercial building from shipping containers is filled with challenges, and I have found craftsman that are excited about solving them are the best ones to deal with.  Danny looked at our drawing and questioned how we were planning to affix the roof trusses to the containers.  We were planning to use angle iron and a 4" flat plate of 3/16" steel.  Danny said he thought there was a better way.

He suggested we use two 2" x 6" boards stacked on top of each other and placed around the top perimeter of the containers.  The lower board would be bolted into the top of the container, and the upper board nailed to the lower board.  This will give us a nice surface to mount the trusses on. What sealed the deal for Danny was he agreed to install these base plates for the price he already quoted for the framing and truss installation. Danny said his crew would be ready to start work at 9:00am on Friday morning and would have the wall installed by the end of the day. It seemed like a lot of work for just four guys to do.

The day prior to the start, Pro-Build lumber delivered what we had estimated we would need for the frame out. Their truck arrived with a "Spider" which is a three wheeled fork lift truck that could place the load of wood directly on the floor of the video production studio. This saved at least 30 minutes of back breaking work. The quality of lumber these days leaves a lot to be desired.  What was once a utility grade board is now a #2 grade board, and a #2 board is now a #1 board.  Utility grade boards are really the dregs of the mill. 

Construction activity on the frame out begin with a frenzy of activity. This crew has worked together for some time, and everyone knew what they needed to do. In less than 10 minutes, one carpenter built two saw horses, while the others began cutting the lumber to size. Danny laid out the job making his marks directly to the floor of the big room. The weather was just about perfect - cool enough to be comfortable, no rain, and no humidity.

By 4:30pm the crew had just about used up all of the lumber that was delivered the previous day.  Danny helped us make a list of materials he would need to complete the framing and the skinning of the wall, and we placed another order for ProBuild. You can order from them up to 5:00pm, and it will be delivered in one of two shipments leaving their yard (at 5:00am and 7:00am.  You can also place an order up to 9:30am, and get it delivered that afternoon.  There is no charge for delivery, and their prices are better than the Home Depot. 

We also finalized the design of the roof and we ordered the trusses from ProBuild in Carrollton, TX.  David Cox pulled some strings and they agreed to deliver the trusses in 5 days!  This was a good week - we made some great progress on the job.