Alright, I figured I had a choice between Googleing or Usenetting first, and you guys seemed to be a better place to ask for help. I didn't think dealing with building inspector requirements is a easily reachable topic on google, and I haven't advanced this far into my studies yet. In other words, I'm about 2" from being in over my head in the first thing I'm doing in the "real world". This is my rationalization behind not following #'s 2 and 9 on the FAQ as posted by Don on the 12th of June.
So, imagine a small (38'6" x 20') single story lakeside cabin made of CMUs. Now, I want to add a light wood frame second story to said cabin. I've been finding out what the building inspectors want by trial-and-error (highly inefficient, I know). So, after finally getting a clear idea of what he wants, I've some questions that haven't been answered enough in classes I've taken so far:
~ Best way to secure the second story to the load bearing first story walls? Both "Building Construction Illustrated", 3rd ed by Ching and "Fundamentals of Building Construction", 4th ed by Allen, don't really answer my questions to my satisfaction. For connecting wood platform floors to masonry walls, it's just that- the walls are masonry top-to-bottom. Nothing for this specific situation. Best way I can deduce from both books is to pretend the second story is sitting on a foundation wall, and for that I'd attach a 2x8 sill plate to the tops of the CMU walls of the first story, and attach the floor joists to that, and the walls to the floor. However, that just seems a little... "Polish" to me. Is there a better way?
~ How in blazes would I estimate the weight of said addition? I've tables in my textbooks on what structure is needed for a given estimated weight I need to support, but I don't know how to estimate said weight.
~ Where and how would I go about specifying specific parts? For example: windows. Would I, for example, simply just go to the Anderson window company website and use model numbers and such from there? Or is there a central clearing house for said information? Or do I just say the generic type of window (such as type, glass type, and opening dimentions) and let the contractor figure it out?
If you've any other pointers that might help out, I'd appreciate it. I'd ask my professors, but they're busy partying with, er... "teaching" the grad students in Rome right now.