Building wisdom 1 March 2012

Design-build tip: the staircase

  |   Design, Newsletter

From Daizen News 1 March 2012

We have built many different styles of stairs in the past. Here’s one we recently installed.

The challenge in building a staircase is not the actual fabrication; rather, it’s getting it to fit well into the house. Over time, the walls, ceilings, and floors of existing houses tend to move out of plumb and square. Even on a new house, those planes usually have a period of settling that occurs even before the residents move in.

Two things to consider:

  • If the stair is “hung” from the wall, the wall surfaces must be square and plumb to very exact tolerances, a task that is not trivial even on a new house. Following the plan closely and measuring carefully, sometimes after the frame has settled a little, is key.
  • Another option is for the designer to be aware of potential settling and design the stair as free-standing. A free-standing staircase can add much interest to the design, as well as saving the client money, since less frequent measuring is needed. The greatest cost savings comes if we can eliminate the staircase-measuring visit entirely!

Other Daizen staircases

For a closer look at these staircases and the houses they fit into, you can download a full-color PDF by clicking the link in the right column on the Daizen website.

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Free Tickets!

  |   Newsletter

From Daizen News 1 March 2012

For the upcoming B.C. Log Home, Timber Frame, and Country Living show in Abbotsford March 10 and 11, we were given 10 tickets to give out to you. This is quite a show—besides the builders, the over 100 exhibitors include amazing artists in wildlife bronze, stone sculpting, and other media; furnishings and collectibles; marine items; resorts; and other surprising

people.

Call us (250.679.2750) for your free tickets—on a first come, first served basis.

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Dai goes to the source

  |   Newsletter, Techniques

From Daizen News 1 March 2012

Part of an exchange Dai had with Max Closen, of My-Ti-Con Timber Connectors.

“Hi Max, at December’s CWC engineer workshop in Kelowna, I was surprised by your placing of anchor screws from the main posts. I would always insert screws from the floor beam side, like a spike, but your method makes more sense.

I believe others think as I do. Can you explain for my readers why it’s better to send the anchor screw in from the main post that receives the floor beam?”—Dai

Max says,

Here’s why. Fig. 1 below shows a typical joist-to-beam connection with ASSY structural wood screws installed at an angle. Installing screws on an angle uses their strongest property: withdrawal resistance.

Fig. 1. Insertion, at angles, of ASSY wood screws.

Commonly, screw-type fasteners are not driven into the wood on an angle but instead positioned perpendicular to a member’s surface. In perpendicular insertion, the weakest property of a screw-type fastener, its dowel action, is in force. A simple experiment can explain the difference.

Experiment:

  1. Take a ¼ x 4-in. wood screw and drive half of its length into the wood. Now bend the screw over. Notice how easy it was to bend the screw.
  2. Take a second screw and drive it into the wood under the same conditions. Now try to pull that screw out. As you saw, the screw didn’t want to come out from the wood. The same principle applies for the connection shown in Fig. 1, where the screw is driven in on an angle to the wood grain of the joist.

The two blue arrows in Fig. 1 indicate the correct direction for screw installation in order to maximize its capacity in this connection. The starting point of installation—whether from the top of the beam or the bottom of the joist—is up to the installer.

The red arrow indicates the least efficient installation direction. Installing the fastener as shown in red will not put the screw in tension and therefore will not use the screw’s high withdrawal resistance.

The range of the installation angle  between the wood grain of the joist member and the screw axis is typically  (Fig. 2). Here you see an application of the basic trigonometric functions we all learned in high school (a2 + b2 = c2).

Fig. 2.  Definition of angle  .

I caution against installing screws at angles smaller than 30°. As the angle decreases between the wood grain and the fastener axis, end grain application occurs and reduced capacities must be considered.—Max

ASSY structural wood screws are made in Germany by SWG Production, a  member of the  WURTH Group. Statements made here are to the best knowledge and understanding of the author and shall be confirmed by the structural engineer of record of the project. My-Ti-Con Timber Connectors Inc. and its owners assume no liability.

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Timber accents: brackets

  |   Newsletter

From Daizen News 1 March 2011

The new Daizen timber accents system is proving out very well. Our Timber Accents Design Guide has been much-requested and well-received.  Accents available include beam ends, brackets, and trusses. Here is a look at the brackets section of the guide.

For an idea of how to use it, here are a few excerpts from the Brackets section. The page above shows the four basic bracket designs available; once you choose the bracket, you then choose from a wide variety of sizes, and from five different beam ends.

To order a bracket, you simply specify (1) the bracket design, (2) the size you want (for your convenience, recommended sizes are included), and (3) the beam end type.  We do the rest.

What a great way to incorporate timber into your project with the least amount of extra work. For a PDF of the Daizen Timber Accents Guide, email dai@nulldaizen.com.

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Daizen at BUILDEX Vancouver

  |   Newsletter

From Daizen News  1 February 2012

BUILDEX Vancouver is one of Canada’s largest tradeshows/conferences, with over 13,000 design, construction, and real estate management professionals each year. This year it happens February 8 and 9.

Daizen will be at Buildex Vancouver with the BC Wood Specialty Group, in booth 1809. We are launching our new timber accent system and will be displaying this exciting new product at the show.

There’s always a big crowd, so it’s a good idea to register in advance. The show is free for attendees if you sign up before February 6, but you must register too. (You can register online.)  UPDATE—when registering, put in discount code BXV12 for free admission to the trade show.

See you there!

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Nanoose: a study of elements

  |   Newsletter

from Daizen News  1 February 2012

The 20 units in the Nanoose townhouse development (Vancouver Island) were spruced up with timber elements that Daizen supplied to the site. The accents added rhythm, perspective, interest, and the beauty of natural timber without costing an arm and a leg.

Exterior elements include a header on the garage and some porch details.

Knee braces are traditional joinery: mortise and tenon pegged through the horizontal member. To make on-site work clear and easy, the assembly screws into the wall.

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Our new timber accent system launches

  |   Newsletter

From Daizen News  1 February 2012

Timber accents are a great way to add value to either a new house or an existing one. But creating the design and specifying details can be tedious and difficult—and, therefore, expensive.

Here’s where Daizen is stepping in.

We have invented a system of design components to adorn the façade of a building that still offers the flexibility to modify them as your project demands. You simply choose accent type (end, bracket, beam, truss), style, size, pitch (if appropriate), and quantity. We do the rest.

Here’s a quick look at our system.

This is the perfect use of your time. The designer, contractor, or building owner can select and order building components with ease. More complex requirements are an indication that

the variety of timber needed has “graduated” to a custom design. In this case, just send us your plans and we’ll develop a custom proposal for accents.

The Daizen Timber Accent System is fresh and new. We’ll be refining it for a while, so please visit our web site frequently to keep informed.

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