Step-by-Step: External Insulation

The Roxul Comfortboard arrives!

The Roxul Comfortboard arrives!

Previously, I described the unique wall system we designed for this house: a vapour-permeable wall using conventional materials and construction techniques. This week I got to see the wall go from drawings to real life as work began on the external portion of the wall (the internal portion is simple mineral wool batt insulation sandwiched between 2×6″ studs).

The first step was to put a layer of house wrap over the plywood sheathing. This particular house wrap is vapour-permeable but does not allow liquid water to pass. It is meant to protect the sheathing from any rain that might make it behind the cladding. It wasn’t necessary in our case since we have a 3-inch thick layer of mineral wool insulation between the sheathing and the cladding and we had already planned to put house wrap on the outside of those layers, but code requires it and since the membrane is vapour-permeable we didn’t feel it was worth the effort to get out of doing it.

First layer of house wrap.

First layer of house wrap.

Next, vertical 2 x 2 furring strips were nailed to the studs, and strips of 1.5″ thick Roxul Comfortboard were cut and fitted between them. One of the many advantages of mineral wool insulation is that it is not as “squishy” as fibreglass insulation and is therefore much easier to cut. More importantly, mineral wool does not loose insulative effectiveness when compressed. So the guys could make sure it fit nice and tight between the studs.

First layer of external mineral wool insulation.

First layer of external mineral wool insulation.

Next, horizontal 2×2″ furring strips were nailed to the vertical strips, and another layer of 1.5″ Comfortboard was placed between them.

On the right is the vertical layer. On the left is the horizontal layer going over top.

On the right is the vertical layer. On the left is the horizontal layer going over top.

First layer going up on the left, second layer on the right.

First layer going up on the left, second layer on the right.

Attention to detail!

Attention to detail!

Even the corners were covered.

Even the corners were covered.

The whole thing was then covered with a sheet of house wrap. This was taped to flaps of housewrap that had been laid under the sill plate (bottom of the wall) and the top plate during the framing process. The end result is the entire wall of insulation plus furring strips is encased in housewrap. Even though mineral wool is unaffected by moisture, the furring strips will probably appreciate staying dry.

The red tape attaches the outer layer of house wrap to the inner layer, creating a fully enclosed structure.

The red tape attaches the outer layer of house wrap to the inner layer, creating a fully enclosed structure.

The board and batten siding will be attached to the horizontal furring strips. In order for the guys to see them when the time comes (since they are covered in house wrap), special staples were placed along the nailing lines. The staples come with a rubber flange to seal up the hole created by the staple. The bright green colour makes them especially visible. They also used these to mark the window and door openings.

Green gaskets mark the staples that show where the nailing lines are for when the cladding is attached.

Green gaskets mark the staples that show where the nailing lines are for when the cladding is attached.

The walls are now ready for the windows to be installed. I can’t wait to see my beautiful windows out of the box!

 

 

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Step-by-Step: Polished Concrete Flooring

At the end of my last post in this series, work had begun on polishing the concrete floor. This process involves numerous steps. First, the concrete must be “sanded down” (that is not the technical term) until the surface is very smooth. This is done with diamond cutting discs that, like sandpaper, come in various degrees of coarseness. This process exposes the aggregate (little rocks) in the concrete, which were pushed down into the slab when the guys who pour it do their magic with the long boards to smooth it out and remove air holes from the surface layers. Personally, I love the look of the exposed aggregate – it gives it that look of raw, natural materials that I am going for in this home.

Before photo.

Before photo. The light brown bits are sawdust – the floor was washed before beginning the polishing process.

After "sanding". If you look closely, you can see the little "rocks" of exposed aggregate.

After “sanding”. If you look closely, you can see the little “rocks” of exposed aggregate.

Next, a “densifying agent” was applied to the concrete. This serves to harden the concrete and make it less permeable so that it won’t stain easily. We were told, for example, that if you spill a cup of coffee on the floor and wipe it up within a few minutes there will be no stain, but if you left it overnight it would stain. After that, the concrete was polished using steadily finer surfaces until we achieved the level of reflectiveness we wanted. I did not want something too shiny, so we had him stop at 800-grit. The next level up is 1500-grit which would have been more like a showroom.

Before I show photos of the finished product, I wanted to say that while researching this topic it was really difficult to get an idea of what colour, exactly, the floor would be when it was done. This is for two reasons: first, the materials used in concrete vary slightly depending on what part of the world you are in and where the sand and other ingredients are sourced. Second, taking photos of this stuff is really hard – at least for those of us who are not professional photographers! The light can change the look of the floor in a photo dramatically, even though when you are standing in the house the floor is a consistent finish. This is illustrated in the series of photos below.

In this photo, the colour looks almost orange, but in reality it is quite different.

In this photo, the colour looks almost orange, but in reality it is quite different.

Same spot as the photo above, but in a different light.

Same spot as the photo above, but in a different light. This colour is more true to the real finish.

This looks shinier than it actually is.

This looks shinier than it actually is.

 

This is a good representation of the actual colour of the floor. The roll of paper is a protective surface that was laid down after the floor was done and dried to protect the finish while all the other tradespeople come to do their bit (drywalling, paint, etc).

This is a good representation of the actual colour of the floor. The roll of paper is a protective surface that was laid down after the floor was done and dried to protect the finish while all the other tradespeople come to do their bit (drywalling, paint, etc).

I want to give a shout-out to Rami and Oscar of Concrete Evolution, who did our floors. They worked tirelessly to give us what we wanted, and were a real pleasure to work with. Rami explained every step of the process and helped us decide whether or not to go with added finishes like dyes or colour overlays (we decided not to because we wanted a more natural look).

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Step-by-Step: interior walls and the things that go in them

The last couple of weeks on the build site has seen a lot of work, but not much that is “photo worthy”. The main show-stopper is our metal roof, which is now complete.

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You’ll notice there is also a chimney. The fireplace folks came while the roof was going up to install the top portion of the chimney (the part that sticks through the roof). The actual woodstove will not go in until much later.

Inside view of the chimney section

inside view of the chimney section

Fireplace vent through to the outside wall.

Fireplace vent through to the outside wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the roof complete and the concrete floor fully cured, the framers arrived to put up the interior walls.

Interior walls going up. This is the wall to the family room, with a pass-through window to the kitchen.

Interior walls going up. This is the wall to the family room, with a pass-through window to the kitchen.

Next came the electricians, ventilation crew (bathroom fans, clothes dryer vent, range hood, and HRV system), and plumbers. It was a beehive of activity, and I was up at the site a LOT. This is the stage of many small decisions: I wanted to double-check on the location of the outlets, light switches, cable outlets, HDMI/ethernet cables, lighting, etc. although they provided lots of great input and ideas. My favourite thing is the separate electrical panel that will hook up to our generator. If we lose power (which does happen from time to time), we will still have a working fridge, running water (well pump), and a few electrical outlets to charge the essentials. My husband’s favourite thing is the two NEMA 14-50 outlets that will charge a future electric car or run some heavy equipment in the workshop. With everything wired in, the place is really starting to look like a house rather than just a structure.

The showers can't fit through the doors, so they had to be installed as the walls were being framed up.

The all-in-one showers can’t fit through the doors, so they had to be installed as the walls were being framed up.

The bathtub arrived with the showers, although it won't be installed until later.

The bathtub arrived with the showers, although it won’t be installed until later.

All the peoples!

All the people!

Wires and pipes and electrical boxes, oh my!

Wires and pipes and electrical boxes, oh my!

When they were all done, it was time to bring in the concrete finishing crew, who need the place to themselves for a few days. I’ll write more on that topic in my next post.

Polishing the concrete floors.

Polishing the concrete floors.

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Step-by-Step: concrete slab and metal roof

Leaving our mark on the laundry room floor.

Leaving our mark on the laundry room floor.

After a bit of a lull, it is another exciting week on the build site.

On Monday the concrete guys arrived to pour the slab. They freaked out our builder, George, when they drove 3 metal spikes of rebar right through our oh-so-carefully designed sub-flooring (they use them as a mark for level in the middle of large sections). When he saw it, apparently George said (referring to me) “Omg you guys, she is going to kill me.” But he made it right – he removed them and filled the holes with spray foam and taped over the vapour barrier, and they were able to come up with a more unorthodox (yet still effective) way for them to measure the height of the pour. Between that and the “crazy-thick” insulation we had laid down, George was on the receiving end of some heavy (but good-natured) teasing from the concrete crew. But they have worked together on many projects so it was all in good fun.

A familiar sight by now: cement mixer and pumper truck.

A familiar sight by now: cement mixer and pumper truck!

The pouring begins: this was quite the operation, with guys moving it around, raking it flat, and troweling along the edges.

The pouring begins: this was quite the operation, with guys moving it around, raking it flat, and troweling along the edges.

Smoothing out the edges near an exit door.

Smoothing out the edges near an exit door.

They did a great job navigating around all the plumbing lines.

They did a great job navigating around all the plumbing lines.

Finished! Now it needs to dry.

Finished! Now it needs to dry.

This was our chance to make our mark: we woke the kids up and dragged them outside so we could leave our handprints in the floor of what will be the laundry room (see the photo at the top of this post). That’s my husband’s hand on the top left, and mine on the top right, my daughter’s in the middle, and my son’s on the bottom. I added the year, and my daughter added the smiley face. They didn’t get why this was so important to us, but they will understand one day, many years from now. My son summed up the experience by saying: “This is my life right now – I get woken up early to go outside and stick my hand in dirt!”, which gave us all a good chuckle.

Later that day…

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Power troweling: this was only 4 hours later and they could walk on it already!

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Closeup of the power trowel machine.

And while all that was going on, the metal roofing arrived!

Why metal? Two big reasons: first, it’s extremely durable so we will never have to replace this roof in our lifetime; second, you can harvest rainwater from a metal roof without fear of petroleum-based contaminants leaching into the water (such as occurs with asphalt shingles). With our dry summers and growing issues around water conservation, that was an important issue for us.

After much consideration, I chose a clear-coated galvalume roof (coloured metal roofs are made from the same material, but with a colour application baked on top). I love the bright look of silver, and the raw nature of the metal fit well with the rustic elements of the house design. While coloured metal roofs are beautiful, to me they are more fitting for a traditional painted home, or one in a suburban or urban setting.The raw metal will be the perfect complement to our rough-cut cedar board-and-batten siding and red windows. This image below shows a home with very similar finishing, and is the original inspiration for my choice of roof colour.

The photo inspiration for our exterior finishing choices.

The photo inspiration for our exterior finishing choices. Our home will have the same siding and window colour.

Close-up of our clear-coated galvalume roofing. The metal has a very subtle speckled appearance, and the colour changes with the light in a way that I find really lovely.

Close-up of our clear-coated galvalume roofing. The metal has a very subtle speckled appearance, and the colour changes with the light in a way that I find really lovely.

They started with the lower-slope areas (view of the west side of the house).

They started with the lower-slope areas (view of the west side of the house).

Working around the skylights (view of north side).

Working around the skylights (view of north side).

They expect to have the roof finished by Friday – I can’t wait to see it all done! Meanwhile, we had a visit from the local fireplace shop to measure for our freestanding wood-burning stove. And the polished concrete guy is coming this week to go over our choices for finishing the slab. Stay tuned!

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Insulated Concrete Slab Foundation

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I knew early on in the design process for our (mostly) one-level home that I wanted a concrete slab-on-grade foundation. There are many good reasons to choose slab-on-grade. First, it’s less expensive than wood floor joists; second, the thermal mass works in conjunction with the passive solar design; third, I wanted the house to sit on grade rather than be elevated up a step or two; and fourth, I didn’t need nor want a crawlspace.

It has become very popular in recent years to install radiant in-floor heating into the slab. In cold climates, I’m betting this system is a delight. But my research suggests that in our climate, where the winters are relatively mild (and short), the hefty price tag of such a system (~ $20,000) would take decades to recover in terms of saved heating costs. Also, during the “shoulder seasons” we can have days where you need heat in the morning and evening but not during the day. In that case, a system that requires heating a large thermal mass may not be very efficient – it takes time to heat up all that mass, and time for it to cool down – so turning it off an on throughout the day is not an option. Finally, if the heat source is in the slab, you need to add extra insulation under your slab so that you aren’t paying to heat the earth below your home. For all these reasons, we decided not to go with in-floor heating, and instead spent a whole lot less money just insulating the slab properly.

Inspired by this article, my design called for 2 inches of rigid foam insulation under the slab and 2 inches around the vertical edges of the slab, as shown in this image:

In the diagram above, the walls are shown sitting partially on the vertical rigid foam insulation, which is not allowed under our building codes and I can see why – I would not be comfortable with that either. Our exterior walls must sit squarely on the foundation walls. However, since we were planning to have polished concrete flooring throughout most of the home, that 2 inches of vertical rigid insulation around the slab edge would be visible around the edge of our finished floors. I was willing to live with that to ensure a warm and comfortable slab, and we have a few ideas for how to cover it up when we’re done.

In the image above, there is a step built into the inside of the foundation wall for the foam to sit upon. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between myself and the framers, and our step ended up being too shallow. Instead of a 6-inch step (to accommodate 2″ of insulation plus 4″ of concrete slab), we ended up with a 4-inch step.

To remedy the situation, it was suggested that we lay the under-slab insulation alongside the bottom of the step, rather than having it sit on the step itself. But that would create a thermal break along the bottom edge of the slab, as shown in this fancy diagram I made:

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I knew from my research that the edge of the slab, which sits aboveground, loses a significant amount of heat, because the outside air can get colder than the ground in winter. So this was not an acceptable solution.

Instead, our builder came up with this solution:

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With this setup, there is at least 2″ of insulation all around the slab. The upside is that we were able to take advantage of a deal on EPS foam from our local building supply store and get 3-inch thick boards for the whole slab for only $500 more (with the original plan, we would not have been able to accommodate an extra inch). We used the more expensive XPS foam for the slab edge insulation, because it has a higher R-value per inch than EPS. The downside of this setup is that the slab itself will be only 2 inches thick around the edges, and that might make it more prone to cracks. I’m not too worried about cracking, because with polished concrete floors you can have cracks polished over and they add a nice patina to the flooring. But to be safe, the builders added a layer of wire mesh around the slab perimeter, as shown in the photo below.

The slab install thus proceeded as follows, after tamping down the drainage rock (as you would do with any slab installation), the EPS foam was laid down and sealed with spray foam (see this post for more photos of that process). Since the ground is not perfectly level, but the top of the foundation wall is, the next step was glueing the top 2″ of XPS insulation to be level with the top of the foundation wall. The middle layer of XPS was then sandwiched in-between the top layer of XPS and the bottom layer of EPS, and any gaps were filled with spray foam (which has a higher R-value than the rigid foam, by the way).

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This photo shows the EPS foam (white) and the top layer of XPS (pink), which is level with the top of the foundation wall (hidden behind the house wrap). On the left you can see part of the middle layer of XPS.

When all the rigid foam insulation was in place, a vapour barrier was laid over the entire thing. It seems that in some regions it has become common practice to place the vapour barrier underneath the insulation. This article explains why that is a very bad idea. In short, concrete holds a lot of moisture, even when dry enough to use, and that water will try to exit through both the top and bottom of the slab. Placing a vapour barrier below the insulation will result in the EPS foam sitting in a pool of condensation, and although EPS foam is pretty moisture resistant, it was not designed to be continuously wet. With the vapour barrier above the insulation, the moisture will end up going out the top of the slab (and since my house has breathable exterior walls, that won’t be a problem).

The vapour barrier was taped to house wrap, which was installed underneath the sill plate when the framing began. This creates a continuous air barrier that starts under the slab (poured concrete is effectively airtight), goes under the wood framed exterior walls, and up around the exterior insulation (which I’ll describe in a later post). [note: in building terms, being airtight is not the same thing as being vapour resistant; you can have a wall that is draft-free but still allows water vapour to pass through]

The foundation wall error ended up costing us a bit more in labour and insulation, but overall it was a relatively inexpensive mistake. I enjoyed the problem-solving process, and I’m happy with how it all turned out. We ended up with R=10 perimeter insulation and R=12 under the slab (recommendations for our climate zone are R=10 and R=5, respectively). We won’t know until we start living in the house whether all my research and planning will pay off, but I’m feeling pretty confident that my feet will be happy next winter!

 

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Step-by-Step: prepping the roof and floors

This past week the framers finished putting the plywood sheathing on the roof and they attached the fascia boards to the side gables. Meanwhile the floor crew finished tamping down the dirt, laid out the rigid foam insulation and vapour barrier, and taped it all up in preparation for the slab pour on Monday. I’ll be writing a dedicated post about our slab insulation setup, but for now I’ll just post some more photos!

Roof sheathing is done!

Roof sheathing is done!

The fascia boards are 2 x 8 cedar planks.

The fascia boards are 2 x 8 cedar planks.

This view shows the "pop-out", an architectural feature that I added for interest. I'm very happy with how it turned out!

This view shows the “pop-out”, an architectural feature that I added for interest. I’m very happy with how it turned out!

Three-inch thick Type II EPS rigid foam insulation (total R = 12) is laid down first.

Three-inch thick Type II EPS rigid foam insulation (total R = 12) is laid down first.

Spray foam is used to fill any gaps.

Spray foam is used to fill any gaps.

XPS rigid insulation was used around the perimeter.

XPS rigid insulation was used around the perimeter.

Vapour barrier over top of the rigid foam insulation.

Vapour barrier over top of the rigid foam insulation.

The slab is 4 inches thick except along the edge where it steps up to 2 inches thick. We added wire mesh to help prevent cracking where the slab gets thinner.

The slab is 4 inches thick except along the edge where it steps up to 2 inches thick. We added wire mesh to help prevent cracking where the slab gets thinner. The house wrap that went under the sill plates is folded over the edge. 

The roofing membrane is almost done, and the skylights have been installed.

The roofing membrane is almost done, and the skylights have been installed.

Monday will be a big day as the slab will be poured. On Tuesday the metal roofing arrives, so by end of next week the roof should be finished!

 

Categories: New House Build, Step by Step series, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Window Pains and Other Little Mistakes

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It’s probably impossible to build a house without making any mistakes, especially when it’s your first time embarking on such a project. Although we have a great crew and I tried to be as thorough as possible, some mistakes have cropped up. Fortunately, they have been relatively minor ones, and not too costly either.

The first error that came to light was a mistake in the window order. During all the weeks I spent planning out where each and every window would go, how they would open (casement vs. double hung vs. awning), how high they would sit above the floor, and how wide they would be, I wrote down all the rough opening dimensions as H x W. Well, it turns out that the industry standard is W x H. So when I placed the order, I tried to make sure I reversed the dimensions for each window. I received a copy of the order, and I should have gone over it carefully to double-check each window, but I never got around to it.

When the framers started putting up the exterior walls, they took the rough opening dimensions from my order sheet, and it was then I discovered that two of the smaller windows had their dimensions reversed.

These two windows were supposed to be the same height. When I saw these rough openings I discovered the error in my window order.

These two windows were supposed to be the same height. Turns out the one on the right had been ordered with the height and width dimensions reversed.

By that time it was too late to change the order and we couldn’t make them fit where they were, so I had to order two replacements. I figured I could try to sell the incorrectly-sized windows, but the dimensions were a bit weird. However, I ended up finding a use for them. I’d ordered two big windows for each of the kids’ rooms, but when I saw them framed up it felt like too much window for such small rooms. So I replaced one big window in each kid’s room with one of the smaller incorrectly-sized windows. I was pleased with the results, and it had the added bonus of providing more wall space for furniture. And the bigger windows should be easier to sell as they are a more standard size.

The second mistake was actually made early on in the process, but I didn’t catch it until later. I wanted the slab foundation to be thermally isolated – surrounded on the bottom and all around the sides by rigid foam insulation. The stem walls of the foundation were designed with a little step on the inside, onto which the rigid insulation would sit. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between myself, the project manager, and the framers and the step was not made deep enough.

The little step on the inside of the stem wall ended up 2" too shallow, but we were able to compensate with a slight change in plans.

This little step on the inside of the stem wall should have been 2″ deeper, but we were able to compensate with a slight change in plans.

After a brainstorming session, our project manager came up with a great idea that ensured the slab would be properly insulated all around, especially along the sides where a good deal of heat loss can occur. As a bonus, we were able to add another inch to the under-slab insulation(see this post for a detailed explanation of our solution).

The final error had to do with the roof trusses and my own lack of understanding of how they are built. I drew my design based on certain assumptions (that turned out to be incorrect) and, as a result, the dimensions I gave to the truss manufacturers were slightly off. The net result was twofold: first, the change in roof pitch (to give it that “farmhouse” look) happened a bit higher up on the roof than I would have liked. It’s one of those things that only the designer (me) would notice, but I was a bit depressed about it at first until I got used to it (now I think it looks fine).

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The change in pitch on the right side of this truss was supposed to take place where the guy in the red shirt is standing, rather than further up towards the peak.

The second consequence was that the roof overhangs ended up higher and shorter than I had wanted (I like big overhangs). But I was at least able to have them extend the overhang on the centre “pop-out” feature, and I’m very pleased with how that turned out. We’re even going to put some dummy rafter tails there to make it look like traditional exposed rafters.

with how it turned out!

We’re lucky that the mistakes were minor ones, and the added cost to fix them was relatively minimal. Hopefully my luck will hold out for the rest of the build!

 

 

 

 

 

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Step-by-Step: putting on the roof

The manufactured trusses arrived last week. Seeing the roof go up was particularly exciting for me, because back on the day we were originally ready to submit the building permit, I went and changed the roof design (you can read all about that decision here). Was the delay worth it?

Watching the crane was fun!

Watching the crane was fun!

 

East side showing the "farmhouse" roofline.

East side showing the “farmhouse” roofline (that’s our crappy mobile home in the foreground). I’m very happy with how it turned out, and so glad I changed the roofline from the original boring (and somewhat flat) gable!

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It was pretty crazy watching the guys laying out the trusses – but they were surefooted and fast!

It looked really pretty from the inside, too!

It looked really pretty from the inside, too!

Back porch.

Back porch.

North side; the roof sheathing is going on.

North side; the roof sheathing is going on.

Love this roofline so much!

Love this roofline so much!

It's a lot darker in here now. Too bad I can't just cover the trusses in glass! But with drywall things will brighten up.

It’s a lot darker in here now. Too bad I can’t just cover the trusses in glass! But with drywall things will brighten up.

Looking more like a house now!

Looking more like a house now!

 

I had them extend the overhang above the living room windows by another 18" so that summer sun won't be blasting far into the room when the hot weather comes.

I had them extend the overhang above the living room windows by another 18″ so the summer sun won’t be blasting far back into the room when the hot weather comes.

Skylight for the main entry (foyer).

Skylight for the main entry (foyer).

Another skylight, from the outside, all framed up. There will be three skylights altogether: family room (the one shown here), entry (previous photo), and the walk-in closet.

Another skylight, from the outside, all framed up. There will be three skylights altogether: family room (the one shown here), entry (previous photo), and the walk-in closet.

Meanwhile, while all the action was happening up above, the guys were finishing the under-slab prep.

Using the tamper to pack down the under-slab layer.

Using the tamper to pack down the under-slab layer.

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Step-by-Step: exterior framing and sheathing

More huge transformations at the building site this week! (note: I was late getting this post published – this was current as of a week ago)

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The “west wing” of the house. This part contains the two kids’ bedrooms, the kids’ bathroom, family room, and laundry room.

My daughter's bedroom is in this corner.

My daughter’s bedroom is in this corner.

My son's bedroom, and you can see the "back door" that will lead from the carport into the family room.

My son’s bedroom, and you can see the “back door” that will lead from the carport into the family room.

Next up was the sheathing. This adds structural integrity to framed walls. Some people use OSB, or oriented strand board, but we used plywood which is higher quality. OSB doesn’t handle water well – it swells and peels apart. And although we don’t anticipate having any water hitting the sheathing, we accept that we live in a very wet climate and that water has a way of getting everywhere. So we used plywood and have received approving nods from all our site visitors!

North walls are framed and sheathed.

North walls are framed and sheathed.

West wall.

West wall.

South walls.

South walls.

Panoramic view of the north side of the house from the inside.

Panoramic view of the north side of the house from the inside.

Panoramic view of the south side, from inside the house.

Panoramic view of the south side of the house from the inside.

We have a trail that leads down through our property to a community trail network. When I go for a run, I always return via this trail. As I emerge from the woods, I have a lovely view of the house site. Check out the transformation thus far!

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

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Step-by-Step: framing the exterior walls

This past week saw some massive transformations on the building site. I felt like a kid at Christmas! I had so much fun wandering around inside the house, staring at the views outside all the windows, pretending to walk around the various rooms, and standing in front of what will be my sink (and admiring the pretty views I will have out the dining room windows while I’m washing dishes).

Early Wednesday morning these big piles of lumber got dropped off for the framers.

Early Wednesday morning these big piles of lumber got dropped off for the framers.

Exterior walls for the master suite.

Exterior walls for the master suite.

That's my bedroom up there!

That’s my bedroom up there!

Interior walls for master suite are framed.

Interior walls for master suite are framed.

Master bedroom. Our bed will fit perfectly between those two windows, which are high enough off the ground that nobody from the street can see in below our heads (walking around half-naked ftw!).

Master bedroom. Thanks to my meticulous calculations (and obsessive 3D modelling), our bed will fit perfectly between those two windows, which are high enough off the ground that nobody from the street can see below our shoulders (walking around half-naked ftw!).

Standing where the bed will be. The little corridor is where the entrance to the master suite is located. The two doors on that right wall are (from L to R): walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom.

Standing where the bed will be. The little corridor is where the entrance to the master suite is located. The two doors on that right wall are (from L to R): walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom.

Snakes have invaded the building site! While the framers were doing their thing, the plumbers were laying all the water lines.

Snakes have invaded the building site! While the framers were doing their thing, the plumbers were laying all the water lines.

All clearly labelled.

All clearly labelled.

To the left of the master bedroom is my sewing room, which also doubles as an office and guest room.

To the left of the master bedroom is my sewing room, which also doubles as an office and guest room.

The central architectural feature of the house gets raised into place.

The central architectural feature of the house gets raised into place.

Dining room exterior wall (on the left).

Dining room exterior wall (on the left). The tall section is the living room, which will have dual sliding french doors and a row of smaller windows above it. 

View from the dining room.

View from the dining room.

Door on the right is a glass door that leads into the dining room/kitchen. Door on the left leads to the laundry/mudroom.

Door on the right is a glass door that leads into the dining room/kitchen. Door on the left leads to the laundry/mudroom.

End of Thursday. The entire south wall is framed and mostly sheathed.

End of Thursday. The entire south wall is framed and mostly sheathed.

Categories: New House Build, Step by Step series | 1 Comment

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