Back in First gear

The cold and snow allowed the guy to finish the windows and doors all alone. Just waiting a extra deep threshold for the front door.

After getting plowed out Sunday evening and hiring two day labors to dig out paths to the house on Tuesday, way to much snow for the Gator.  The concrete guys could prep the porches for the pour. The forecast says there is a burst of warm weather coming,  three days next week, so we should be able to get the porch decks poured.


92 Snow 92 Porch Prep.   Porch is now  ready for the pour. Township inspection on Monday and pour on Tuesday.

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Bad News

Bad news.  The guys are installing the doors, but once they are done we will be idling.  The next step is to pour the concrete porches, but because of the cold snap we can’t.  The finished concrete has to have an over night temperature above 32 degrees to cur, and in the 10 day forecast there are none.  We need the porch floors in to set the height of the siding.   So the siding is on hold and the close cell foam doesn’t like the low temperatures either.   Better to just wait for the January thaw.

Window Trim

The guys are finishing the windows by installing the trim package. They are using a new synthetic material Boral Truexterior that Rob says is better the AZEK for a number or reasons. It’s properties are very similar to wood but it doesn’t have wood’s negative properties.  And it’s paintable. When spring comes the trim will be painted a dark brown to match the windows.

91 Window Trim


More Windows

Still working on the windows.  Chris from Klearwalls came down from NYC to answer some questions we had on the windows and doors. He doubled checked the fine adjustments of all the windows.

He told me that in Ireland and I think the full UK,  that all house are getting an energy ratings.  Old, very old and new, and the rating is published when a house is listed for sale.  That really adds value to an energy efficient house.

The attached photos are the windows in each stage of insulation.  Installing windows so that they are air tight isn’t easy.  Lots of steps and lots of care to get it right is a challenge.  Note all the tape, there is a tape for each function. Inside tape, outside tape………..  And finally the trim is added.

Now with all the windows in, and some sealed it’s amazing how warm the house is. Remember, it already has R-6.6 with the sheathing.


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They worked all week on the first floor windows, with great progress.  It’s nice being inside with the light.  The guys installing the window said Friday “nice windows”. They have never see a European style window before, let alone a window the meets the German Passive House standard.   One of the challenges with the windows is the big ones are heavy, and two they have to be sealed tighter the regular windows be cause of the tightness that house has to be to pass the Zero Energy Ready Homes standard. And third they have to be installed in the middle on the 10″ thick wall.


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Let there be Light

Today they started the windows installation buy cutting out the window holes. It was 9 degrees this morning (burrrrr) when they started. Also they worked on the first window installation, learning ho to install these European style windows, not an easy task.

Opening the window holes finally gave us a feeling of the amount of light we will get from all the windows.

And Dave my roofer started on the flashing.

Yesterday I was brush whacking trails around the 8 acers with a rented BobCat T300 track steer, But at the end of the day it blew a hydraulic line and was out of commission today.

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Blower Door Test

Yesterday Don from ReVireo  came out to do the first blower door test.  I was not sure what to expect, being my first blower door test I’ve seen.  We had sealed the house the best we could, but because of the big windows, bigger that a sheet of sheathing,  I was sure there would be some leakage.

I think the testing at this point is more “art” that “science”.  First Don tried the small fan, but that couldn’t move enough air, so he switched to the bigger one. With the vacuum setting, the fan sucking air out of the house, we got a 1.9ACH50. Which said the house had some small leaks.  We switched to the pressurizing setting, blowing air into the house, and took a smoke wand to look for any leaks. Had trouble finding any, none on the first floor. Only one in the basement: the basement  door, across the bottom,  was loosing air, but that stopped when I locked it.  On the second floor we found leaks along the main ridge board and the dormer ridge board. Which will get sealed a little later.

With that finding I consider the test worth doing and of value.  Now off to windows, doors, roofing & siding.  Shortly it will look like a real house.

87 Blower Door Trst (1) 87 Blower Door Trst (3)


Clear skys

Finely on New Years eve the storm moved out and we had clear sky’s.   Note first photo.

Was a busy day, the guys from Bethlehem Precast showed up with the front steps, the Guys from Lancaster Pole Buildings were there doing the garage floor and another LPB vender was here making the seamless gutters.

The house is ready for a once over on the final sealing of the framing/sheathing. No windows help because it’s so dark inside and you can see any leaks because the light comes in.

Monday is the first blower door test, the we can start to install the windows, roofing and siding. We have switched the schedule to do the close-cell foam after the roofing and siding.

In Clear Sky’s


A busy morning.


The front steps, one precast piece.

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The rain gutter, 48′ seamless, made on site.

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Pouring the Garage floor.