Alright, now you can stand back and see the perfect circle in your square tray. I know it seems strange to have the blocks sticking out like that, but it is a lot easier to nail the blocks in before the ring is hung.
The last step completed was cutting the top plate to act as our backing as the struts are put in place.
Step 5 - Hanging the #1 and #2 Struts
All the struts are labeled "strut" and have a number on the nailing face. There will (2) #1 struts and (2) #2 struts. Place the #1 struts so the ends butt together and are centered on the top plate. Nail them in place. Now lift the three connected pieces into the opening and rest them on top of the outer ring. Center the struts against the center marks on opposing sides of the framed box, check plumb and nail into the box sides. Place the #2 struts so they butt perpendicularly to the #1 struts. Check plumb and nail into the top plate and the framed box.
Step 6 - Install #3 and #4 struts
Now that you have the experience of hanging the #1 and #2 struts, the #3 and #4 struts will be pretty easy to put in place.
The #3 and #4 struts will be long.
Take (1) #3 and put it in place, between any #1 and #2 at a 45' angle. It WILL hang over the back side of the outer ring. Mark the #3 at the point of contact with the outer ring. Draw a line across the face of the arch 1 1/2" below this mark on the end opposite the #3 label. Cut off remaining material and discard. Use this as your master for sizing the other #3 struts. Nail all #3 struts into the top plate.
Take (1) #4 and repeat the steps above. You may need to use shims between the strut and top plate (or a larger top plate) depending on the size of your dome.
Now you are probably asking yourself how to keep the struts in place for dry wall.
Step 7 - Securing the Struts
Nail all the #3 and #4 struts to the back of the outer ring. Add some blocking to the back side of the struts for added structure.
Step 8 - Installing the light ring
Take the Light Ring pieces and line them up with the seams on the outer ring, check flush (plumb) and nail them into the previously installed blocks. We would recommend that you always secure the top plate to a bridge built across
the top of the dome. Use a pair of knee walls and a box beam to assure
stability and to support the weight of a light fixture or
Now, admire your newly installed dome. If you plan to hang a light fixture or want added structure and stability, build a bridge across the top using two knee walls and a box beam. This way future homeowners can hang a light with a winch, confidently.
Today I will start the overview of Dome installation. I do this as a resource to some builders who may have questions or prefer to have online access rather than the printed materials we send with each kit.
Each Dome Kit is exactly that. It is a kit with a number of pieces that range from 10 - 244 (Big Valdosta Dome - pictured below). Each component is labeled - Outer Ring, Light ring and Strut.
Before you can install a dome, you need to frame a box in the ceiling. For the purposes of our discussion here I have a 7' box framed for a 7' dome with a 24" rise.
Step One - Lay out your components. Separate the Outer Ring pieces from the rest and install 1 1/2" blocks about every 12 1/2".
Step Two - Mark the center of each side of the framed box.
Step Three - Install the Outer Ring. Line up each end of the Outer Ring with the line you just made on the center of the beam. Put one nail in one end and check level. Now finish nailing (3 nails per side should work). Repeat for each piece of the Outer Ring.
Step Four - Cut your top plate material Before you can hang the struts, you will need to cut a piece of ply or lumber to make a top plate. 1" ply or rim board works very well. Cut it to about 12" x 12" or better 16" x 16".
In the next post I will talk about hanging the struts of your dome.
Every so often I encounter a builder who claims "I get my arches for free." Up until yesterday it had been at the International Builder Show, but it happened again and I can bet it will happen at least once more.
First, let's start off with some things we know to be true. Curvature adds warmth and character to your homes. You put the arches in either because they are on the plan or you know that if there are arches it will sell, call it the Field of Dreams approach. It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice to be able to build a quality arch in the field.
Second, ARCHES ARE NOT FREE. Any subcontractor who tells you this is either a lousy business person or thinks you are. Trust me no one lifts a hammer for free on a job site. The arches are in the square foot price or (more likely) your sub is going to hit you with overages to cover "last minute changes".
All right, now let's talk about why you should use Custom-Arch. Every time you bring in a component product you put the power of building back in your hands and away from the subcontractor. You wouldn't have them build doors, stairs or cabinets, would you. The materials (and Waste!) used to build the arches can be better allocated to their intended purpose. Every day you save in construction gets you to closing faster.
Our arches are built to your plans. Every arch is built to a perfect radius. You eliminate arch related rework, warranty and buyer dissatisfaction issues.
Custom-Arch arches are easy to install. We turn orders around in a few days. We deliver at dry-in. No orders are too small.
To those builders who claim they don't pay for arches...sometimes you get what you don't pay for!!!
And this costs a whole lot less that the rework on the above pictures...