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

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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The Ledger Board all bolted up.

Ledger Board

Into Second gear

Yesterday they poured the porch decks, very nice work.  Rob’s guys are finishing up the doors and some framing errors we found.  Designing all the details for a custom one off house the has such insulation requirements isn’t easy, nor having framers follow the drawings.  On the second floor a couple walls didn’t get doubled. And when we looks at attaching the ledger board we saw we couldn’t and we wouldn’t have been able to get the right amount of insulation because of the placement of TJI under the pointed end of the family room. I’ll take some photos tomorrow.

Most High Performance; Passive House; and Net-Zero house are two story rectangular in design.  The second story the same size as the first, this makes lots of things easier.  Our is not, thus some implantation challenges.

Yesterday and today the parking lot was full: plumber, Heat and ventilation guys, Rob’s guys.  Everything is moving forward quickly now.

I’ve told the guys that nothing goes in the outside wall.   Only things that are absolutely necessary and can’t go in an inside wall.  The integrity of the “insulation envelope” is top priority.  The plumber had some pipes that had to go in the inside wall.  The HVAC guys put some of their pipes there too, but I had to get them to move them to inside walls.

Yesterday Photos:


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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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