Author Topic: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland  (Read 15148 times)

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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2016, 08:34:47 AM »
Here's a few pictures over the course of the winter...

I camped out at 12 F on a small lake one weekend while I was making a trail to the property. (EDIT: Actually it was -12 F, forgot who dang cold it was)


Here I discovered overflow while hauling in some pallets to the property.


We're loading some gravel from the material site at Lake Louise to our property 9.9 miles away.  The black tub on the right is my sled, which can hold about 1/3 yard.  Unfortunately it was wet and by the time I got it on site it was set up like concrete.


« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 09:32:39 AM by ChugiakTinkerer »
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2016, 08:47:26 AM »
My last successful haul was about 4,000 lbs of materials.  Mostly pressure treated lumber on the trailer, but some plywood and 2x4 studs too (for the outhouse).  The barrels are for buoyancy for the dock.


Hauling barrels and a canoe!  The trail was starting to go, you can see a huge bare patch on the hill behind the second snowmachine.  There was a puddle about 8" deep at the bottom of the hill that you could cross in the morning when it was frozen.  By afternoon you had to hope you could skim across and not get the drive belt wet.


Here's everything stacked and covered awaiting the summer.  You can see the fine front step we have for the Weatherport.  :)


On the final trip back to the truck we saw a pair of trumpeter swans on the middle of this still-frozen lake.  Picture doesn't really capture them, I need a decent camera for that not a cell phone.  There was also a bald eagle perched in the top of a spruce at the far end of this lake.  Along the way we spotted the tracks of a large wolf.  Sorry, no pics of the tracks - I definitely have to get better at documenting things with photos.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 09:34:27 AM by ChugiakTinkerer »
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2016, 09:20:43 AM »
Having issues with Imgur, images were there but now they aren't.  Will look into that.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2016, 09:40:34 AM »
Looks like images are posting now.

Here's the inside of the Weatherport.  That's a stove from Cylinder Stoves in Utah.  Can get a decent 4-hour burn from a full load of spruce and birch mix.


A beautiful day at Lake Louise.


A view of the lake we're situated on.


Here's a moonlit ride back to Lake Louise Lodge after a day at the property.


My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline nailit69

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2016, 07:24:03 PM »
@Chugiak... you get the award for the most extreme build... ain't nobody here doin it quite as extreme as you... I bow down to your badassery  Sir.  I can't wait to see some progress pics as well as some springtime pics.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2016, 09:07:35 AM »
@Chugiak... you get the award for the most extreme build... ain't nobody here doin it quite as extreme as you... I bow down to your badassery  Sir.  I can't wait to see some progress pics as well as some springtime pics.

Well thanks for the compliment, but I don't think I come close to what many others have already accomplished. 

    If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.   - Isaac Newton

We won't get back out until the summer, when a float plane can bring us in.  Until then I'll make updates as I consider design changes.
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Offline nailit69

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2016, 03:13:49 AM »
Anyone hauling in materials by snow machine, on a frozen river/lake for xx miles, and then having to wait for the thaw so you can fly in and build it is pretty Burl in my book, might be day to day life in AK but it's pretty friggin impressive in the lower 48.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Cribbing vs posts
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2016, 10:30:02 AM »
I'm heading out in a week for ten days at the property.  Can't wait!

I may have talked myself out of using the post and pad method of supporting the cabin and instead going with cribbing.  I appreciate any thoughts or ideas on the pros and cons of each.

Post and pad I was thinking along the lines of this cabin:

(photo courtesy of DirtofAK)

And cribbing would be similar to:

(photo courtesy of CCHRC)

Wood to be used in both cases would be 6x6 pressure treated for foundation.  I'm thinking that posts are less stable than cribbing when shaken by the earthquakes that happen up here with some regularity.  My two primary concerns are racking of the posts and rolling of the girders.  My design has joists will be resting atop the girder.
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Offline kenhill

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2016, 08:26:52 AM »
I like the cribbing for the type of soil you have a Lake Louise.  I have a friend with a duck shack across cook inlet and used 2 x 2 cribs like you show.  Has been stable for 30 years.  Might notch the crib for the beam to set in.

I made my dock with 55 gallon drums.  It sits pretty high.  Someone suggested putting some water in them so they sit lower and are more stable.  We pull the dock parallel to shore in the winter so the ice does not take it out during break.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2016, 09:15:31 AM »
Thanks for the feedback Ken.  I do like the fact that cribbing can distribute loads better than posts with piers or pads.  I do admit to finding it rather unsightly though.  To add to my indecision, I was going through some old posts on the forum and came across one where the post to beam interface was discussed.  I was raised on the mindset that beams sit on top of posts, but I'm contemplating the benefit of going with a narrower deeper beam and notching the post to accommodate it.  A built-up beam using two 2x12 can span 6'-1", which is closer than my original plan.  But it would allow me to notch the 6x6 post and through-bolt the beam.

For your dock, what size is it and do you recall how many barrels you used?  I'm aware of using water for ballast, but am thinking that depth can also be controlled by using more or fewer barrels.  Would appreciate your firsthand experience.
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Offline kenhill

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2016, 12:12:28 PM »
I think it is 8 foot by 14 with 8 barrels, but I'll have to check.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2016, 01:25:18 PM »
I've been remiss in not updating from our excursion at the end of June.  I'll get some pictures up soon, but as usual I was lax in my picture-taking.  To start off, I didn't get the crew I had originally hoped for.  My daughter bailed completely, and my wife and son were only able to be there for four days.  My brother was kind enough to accompany me so I was able to get some of my to-do list accomplished.

The first item on the agenda was to build the outhouse.  We dug a decent sized hole and dropped a poly 55 gallon drum in it to keep it from sloughing in.  Top and bottom of barrel was cut off.  I did not pierce the barrel wall with holes at all, which in hindsight may have been a bad call.  The problem is that the bottom of the hole has lots of clay.  It does not bode well for draining the pit.  I may end up moving the outhouse much sooner than originally planned, depending on how the hole fares over time.

I got the outhouse framed and sheathed, including a 2x2 window that looks out on the lake.  I started the cedar tongue & groove siding that will eventually cover the building, but did not get to finish that job this trip.  The next item was a 12' x 12' deck for putting up a 10' x 10' tent.  This tent platform went up pretty quick.  It was the first time I have used deck screws with the Torx head, and I don't think I will ever buy Phillips screws again.  The Torx bit is so much better at keeping the bit in the screw.  Don't think there was a single instance of slippage, and my brother is not the most mindful of workers.

We have been getting in and out of the Weatherport using stacked up pallets as stairs.  This wasn't particularly safe so I put a 6' x 6' stoop on the front.  I added a set of stairs to get the three steps from ground level to the porch.  This has worked really well.  I almost wish I had gone bigger, because it makes a nice deck and is the only space currently to sit out and enjoy the sunshine.  My last item of note was the boardwalk at our lake landing.  We did not get even close to building the dock, but did get the first part done to get us to the water's edge.

In addition to the construction projects, we got the trail brushed out from the lake to the cabin site.  We sit about 450' from the shoreline and about 40' above the lake.  Finding and brushing the trail was a chore in itself.  While I was clearing with the chainsaw my brother took one for the team when an angry wasp/hornet/whatever decided to attack him.  He ended up with an ugly welt that lasted for a few days.  It was a good reminder to have Benadryl and bite ointment on hand.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2016, 01:35:43 PM »
Alrighty, got a few pics loaded.

Here's a view of the lake:



Outhouse pit and initial framing of the floor.



I also put a barrel in as a liner for the outhouse seat box.  It seems like it ought to be easier to maintain a clean appearance.



One of the ways to minimize odor is to separate solids and liquids.  Here's the urine separator as fashioned after a barrel composting toilet system.


The finished seat.

My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2016, 01:58:46 PM »
My brother and I flew in on the 25th.  We completed the outhouse, brushed the trail, and put up the tent platform by the 29th.  In addition, every day we were hauling stuff up from the lake shore that was brought in on the float plane.  And hauling up water to filter.

Here's the tent platform:



I started off using my stack of lumber as a work space.  It didn't work so well when it started raining, plus I was constantly drawling lumber from it.  So I rigged up a frame to support a tarp.  I used some scrap tarp pieces and attached them to the frame.  My brother calls it the meat-hanging rack.



Things get a little cluttered when you're building three different things at the same time.  Here's a shot from the tent platform looking north.  The lake is to the northeast, off to the right.  The green tarp on the left covers what remains of my stacked lumber.  You can see the framed outhouse center background.  Just to the right is my tarped work space.


I had originally planned for the cabin to be located just out of the picture frame on the right, just past the tarp area.  This area is a broad level bench that would be perfect to put up a cabin.  But for the soil.  So far we've encountered clay to some extent everywhere along this bench.  So I think I'm going to put the cabin on the very top of the hill, where the birch trees are in this picture.  It's not as level, but the soil is well drained and no clay in the limited digging I've accomplished.

Here's my wife and son coming in on the Beaver.  This is a gorgeous old plane that is a meat and potatoes aircraft in bush Alaska.  It can haul something like 1500 lbs, and after allowing for the pilot and floats that puts us in the range of 1100 lbs for passengers and cargo.


Sorry I didn't get any more shots of the porch or the boardwalk.  The weather was good and the bugs not too bad.  We did have an issue with the water filter getting clogged up.  Used a Katadyn BaseCamp Pro 10L gravity feed filter, which should be good for 1500 liters of filtering.  I got about 250 liters with my last cartridge, but sediments in our rivers take a toll.  Something in the lake water is clogging the filter cartridge much faster though, as after about 30 liters on a new cartridge the filter slowed to a trickle.  I see the need for some sort of pre-filter or flocculent to extend the useful life of a filter cartridge.
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Post and Frame Construction
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2016, 10:06:35 PM »
I've been thinking about how the post and pad system will leave me with a potentially wobbly foundation.  Couple that with the fact that framed walls above 10' are beyond what is standard in the IRC and I'm beginning to ponder the post frame construction method.  This is the way pole barns are built.

Conceptually, the structure would look like this:


There would of course be braces as well as sheathing to provide rigidity.  The posts would be sitting on top of timbers sitting on the gravel pads.  A design like this would resolve some of concerns but raises more in how to construct it.  I'm chewing on this idea, might be a while before I digest it fully.  Will update as I get any clarity in my thinking.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2016, 09:20:03 AM »
I do like the thought of this. The full height posts are braced by the walls that they extend out of. The posts are under both a bending and axial load, that is a complex set of interactions to try to calculate sizes from. I would try to model it as a cantilevered beam for initial design but recognize that it is under more load than that, be very conservative.

What kind of snow and wind loads are you looking at?
Take a look at Simpson HUCQ hangers for beam to post connections;
http://www.strongtie.com/resources/literature/wood-construction-connectors-catalog
Can you post the skp file somewhere?

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2016, 09:31:58 AM »
Snow loads are 70 lbs psf, wind is 90 mph.

SKP is here: http://mtaonline.net/~brose98/Cabin_16x28_PostFrame_01.skp

It's just a mockup, I haven't done anything more than start looking at how it would go together.

Edit: Based on http://windspeed.atcouncil.org my winds values are:
ASCE 7-05 Windspeed:
  91 (3-sec peak gust in mph)
ASCE 7-93 Windspeed:
  70 (fastest mile in mph)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 12:35:35 PM by ChugiakTinkerer »
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2016, 02:02:40 PM »
I've gone through some of the calcs for a 16' post rough sawn 6 x 6.  My axial load estimate on a side post is 13,020 lbs whereas for a corner post not supporting the loft it is only 7,100 lbs.  Using the TimberToolbox column calculator, a 6x6 passes for axial load, with no bracing whatsoever.  A S4S post with 5.5 inch dimensions fails.  I then looked at the wind load calculator at http://www.buildingsguide.com/calculators/structural/ASCE705W/ and plugged in the numbers for my structure.  I assumed complete covering on all walls, which won't actually be the case.  Looking at the loads generated I plugged in a lateral load of 1,200 lbs for the combined axial and load calculator and it passed.  I then added the axial load due to wind pressure on the roof, and this was enough to cause the 6x6 to fail.  I've been using mechanical properties for dry Alaskan white spruce.

The calcs were for an unbraced column 16' long.  That obviously won't be the case when the structure is built, but I wanted to see what the worst case calculations would be.  I could probably get away with using 6x6 rough sawn timbers considering the bracing that will be provided by the structure and sheathing.  But I think I will proceed with the margin of safety you recommend and look at designs using 8x8 timbers.  I'm not familiar enough with the wind load calculations to think I've got a firm grasp on the design parameters.  But given the huge jump I get going from 6x6 to 8x8 I'm comfortable with using that as my starting point.

Edit: Hmmm, I bet I could easily get by with 6x6 posts if I used a ridge beam and rafters rather than using trusses.  With the trusses all the roof load is on the wall posts.  I'll continue with that design for now, but I do want to see where I end up with the ridge beam and interior posts as in my original plan.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2016, 02:35:21 PM »
I was writing while you were researching... looking for info along the same lines and found the wood frame construction manual online.  Kaching, I paid about $750 for it with the AWC engineer teaching. I'm not saying my grasp of it is firm at all.
They keep dinking around with the windspeed numbers. The stuff stays pretty much the same they just label it with a different windspeed in ASCE 7-10 ::) (if it ain't broke, fix it till it is). I took the class for the 2012 this is the 2015
but looks to be the same with some corrections that were addendum after the '12.
http://www.awc.org/pdf/codes-standards/publications/wfcm/AWC-WFCM2015-ViewOnly-1510.pdf

The main thing there is watch your year cites when using tables across different documents. For instance in the 2012 &2015 WFCM the 90 mph 3 second gust of ASCE 7-05 becomes 110 mph 3 second gust at 700 year return in ASCE 7-10.

Check pg 11 for current windspeed in that document and then go to pg 68-69 for a sense of how that relates to lateral loads that the cantilevered posts will need to resist.

I'm hoping your unbraced length is less than 4'

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2016, 03:26:04 PM »
...

I'm hoping your unbraced length is less than 4'

That all depends as what counts as a brace.  I'm thinking 2x6 framing between the posts.  I need to allow for doors and windows so it will look rather like conventional framing, but I can see that blocking at 4' intervals will be critical.  Or turn the framing on it's side and run the studs horizontally as girts and block them as needed.  The framing will be flush with exterior of posts to allow for sheathing across the entire wall.

One thing I'm wondering is the sheathing sufficient that I don't need knee braces where there is sheathing?  Different sort of bracing, I know, but it helps me figure out how the 2x6 framing will go.

Thanks for the link to the WFCM.  It looks like the 3 second wind gust on page 11 is 115 mph in my area.  I'll note that in my working docs and look at it when I feel I have a better grasp of the wind issues.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2016, 07:17:02 PM »
Yes, the sheathing counts as the bracing... it is actually stronger than a kneebrace IF, and here is the reason for studs, if the sheathing cannot buckle out of plane. The studs keep the ply or osb flat when the wall is racking. If that is successful then the brace created is 4'x8'. If the sheathing is fully blocked on all edges then the wall approaches having a giant X brace across it.

 If you extend say treated ply sheathing below the floor and framed behind it to keep it from buckling, that skirting braces the post.Starting around pg 190 or so the wfcm gets into wall sheathing, etc.

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2016, 11:56:48 PM »
Wow, the WFCM has it all.  Thanks again for the link.  One thing I've already picked up is the need to nail roof sheathing every 6 inches including in the field when the panel is within 4' of the roof edge.  High winds won't be bothering me!

Somewhere in my internet wanderings I came across the Connecticut Post & Beam outfit and their T-Rex connectors.  To my simple caveman mind this looks like a nice way to join timbers without having to call in the Keebler elves.  Has anyone seen these before, and maybe even has some experience with them?

http://www.ctpostandbeam.com/t-rex-connectors/
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2016, 03:30:15 AM »
... can you or a buddy weld?
Hit their resource page, Firetower is very well respected those are good numbers. Compare the capacities to that Simpson connector. Unless there is an exposure reason I don't see it. Simpson also has a line of concealed connectors that are similar. There are also others out there. I've welded up beefy beam hangers out of 1/4" angle as well.

Yes, the WFCM is a great all around resource... notice the front half of the manual is for engineers and the back half is prescriptive, so start in the back half looking for solutions. It does make it easier to understand the thinking with both paths.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2016, 05:50:06 PM »
I dropped the gable end tie beam under the plate that is supporting the roof trusses. There is really no need to try to line those up most of the time and it makes assembly easier... or something different to think about anyway.



timbertoolbox.com/sketches/Cabin_16x28_PostFrame_02.skp

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story in a Winter Wonderland
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2016, 11:04:02 PM »
Don_P, thanks so much for taking the time to try to teach this old dog some new tricks.  I've got what I think is a somewhat viable plan.



I took your change and beefed up the truss girders to 8x10.  Using some conservative numbers for Alaska white spruce I was getting beam failure with 8x8.  Joinery and/or connectors is yet to be determined, but the structural elements look to be all there.  I think.  There will of course be framing and sheathing to get the full diaphragm on the walls and roof.  I've got knee braces on the cross members supporting the loft.  I also added a beam that is essentially a rafter tie.  I felt like that part of the side walls needed some reinforcement.  It's colored olive green to make it stand out.  Do you think it's necessary?

Another other thing I'm still working on is bracing the posts below the floor.  Best practice in permafrost areas is to not put skirting around the base to ensure adequate air flow below the cabin and minimize any warming of the ground.  I'm good with 4x4 knee braces going from the bottom of each post up to the floor rim board (currently drawn as a 3x10).  But how do I brace the interior?  I'm contemplating a 4x4 running at floor level parallel to the BCI joists, and then shoring those up with 4x4 knee braces.  Is that a good thing to do, or might it be overkill?  I don't have that in my sketch yet, as it just occurred to me as I was typing this.

My sketch is at mtaonline.net/~brose98/Cabin_16x28_PostFrame_03.skp

Oh yeah, I show the interior wall as well.  My intent is to make that a shear wall.  Because Alaska has earthquakes.  We just had a 4.1 yesterday.  So probably I can't do anything that constitutes overkill.
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