Blower Door Test

Once the closed cell foam was applied the house should be tight, so we could do a blower door test.

The front door is blocked and a fan in installed.  The fan sucks the air out of the house to a difference the house pressure at negative 50 Pascal. Pascal is a measure of pressure.   A typical existing home might leak at the rate of 15 air changes per hour at 50 pascal.   Our test It came out 780 CFM at 50 Pascal or 1.0 ACH50. That’s 1 air change an hour at a negative 50 Pascal.  That’s tight, but……I was hopping to get it lower, a 0.5.

To achieve a Passive House rating 0.7 ACH50 is the target.   I’m not shooting for a Passive House certificate but I’d like to get to a 0.5 ACH50.  But most Passive Houses are box on box construction. My house is far from a box on box.   In going over the house it was easy to see how all the roof lines make it extra hard to seal the house as if it were a box on box.

Finding leaks is more art than science. The fan is reversed, pressuring the house. We then look at likely places for leaks hold a smoke wand in the area looking at how the smoke behaves.  We found some small ones but no big holes.  We are going to do some research and give it another try before the cellulous is installed.


Moving inside

With the weather improving and the siding going on we could let the trades start. HVAC, plumber and electrician. And once they completed their rough-in work,  finally we could let the installer spray the close cell foam.    See the attached photos

96 Closed Cell Foam (1) 96 Closed Cell Foam (2) 96 Closed Cell Foam (3) 96 Closed Cell Foam (4) 96 Closed Cell Foam (5) 96 Closed Cell Foam (6) 96 Closed Cell Foam (7)

Porch Pillars & Columns

Once it warmed some more and the siding installation was underway the mason could start work on the masonry pillars.  First chimney blocks were mounted on the porch deck, filled with concrete, and caped.  The columns are put in place and the roof is strapped to a rod imbedded into the pillar.

95 Pillar 95 Pillar (2)

Again, not every thing lines up like the drawings.  The beam on the porch roof wasn’t center on the columns and need building up.  See photos.

95 Column (2) 95 Column

And almost done.

95 Columns

Siding time

With the porch deck poured we could start the siding and get it looking like a finished house.  But again the cold weather got to us, so cold the siding was brittle and would brake.  The siders had to take a brake and come back after the cold snap moved on.


94 Siding 94 Siding (2) 94 Siding (3) 94 Siding (4)

Ledger Board

Building a custom house isn’t for the faint of heard.   All looks good on paper until you put the pieces together. Then you need a plan B or C.

We went to attach the deck ledger board and walla, it couldn’t be done.  See photo.

93 Ledger framing Note that the floor joist are parallel to where the deck will be attached.  But that end has a point.  Because of the point and the parallel joists we couldn’t reach behind the joists to bolt the ledger board. Also, getting the insulation in would have been a big problem.

Solution:  sister the third joist and install perpendicular joists.  See photo.

93 Ledger framing (4) 93 Ledger framing (2)

The Ledger Board all bolted up.

Ledger Board