Here you can see the air/vapor barrier (white plastic) was
installed before the floor system. This assures that air will
not leak at this junction. Later, the air/vapor
barrier installed on the wall will be sealed to this.
Engineered wood I-beams and 7/8" thick Tongue and Groove
subfloor sheathing, make a solid, quiet floor system.
In the garage, these floor trusses clear span 24 feet,
and are tied into a balloon framed wall that supports the
Air/vapor barrier installed where an interior
bearing wall meets an exterior wall. Note
the "hollow" header over the window that allows
for an R-38 insulated header!
A unique truss to frame a super-insulated
angled ceiling. These trusses will provide for
an R-75 ceiling, packed full of cellulose insulation
Trusses mesh together to form a dormer
Factory-primed, knot-free exterior trim,
carefully joined and finished.
Careful work being done with Ice and Water shield
to prevent leaks.
Using Engineered wood components for stair stringers
makes for a stronger and quieter set of stairs.
Careful joining of the aluminum "Rite-Flo" drip edge
Architectural roof shingles are carefully flashed against a wall.
Tyvek housewrap will cover and be sealed to this flashing.
Valleys are neatly woven.
Lots of Ice and Water membrane in the valley.
Ice and Water membrane and detailed flashing around skylites.
Guaranteed not to leak.
Preparing to do inside work.
Baffles made from scrap material are placed between the trusses
to keep the insulation from falling into the soffit. The Proper Vent
(in pink) is used to channel air from the soffit to the attic.
The baffles are sealed with spray foam to keep cold air from
the soffit from "washing" into the insulation.
The next series of four photo's shows the detailed work done
around windows to keep water out.
Here the Tyvek is cut around the window flange.
On an Anderson casement window, the window flange is an
integral part of the exterior cladding with no seams that
Hi-grade, Polyurethane caulking is applied to the
edge of the flange.
Vycor waterproofing membrane with an adhesive backing
is applied, sealing the Tyvek to the window flange.
The finished job. The window is now prepared for the
installation of the trim. This method of waterproofing
around windows is a very effective means of reducing problems
down the road.
A vent that will later connect to a bathroom fan,
sealed to the exterior sheathing, all joints taped.
The vapor barrier is installed around the window opening
prior to installing the window. This assures that we can
properly seal the vapor barrier to the window.
This is where the "tire meets the road" when it comes
to air tightening a house. The detailed work now, will make
all the difference later. Every last little hole is sealed.
Iron gas piping being installed.
After the vapor barrier is sealed, the walls and
ceilings have 1 x 3 strapping installed.
The interior wall framing is nailed to the
strapping. Note that the vapor barrier is complete
behind the interior petition and the strapping.
The next series of photos shows the installation of the
ventilation ductwork for the air to air heat exchanger
All seams are carefully taped and sealed
The ductwork is concealed within the house
frame. It gently and quietly distributes fresh air
to bedrooms and living areas while removing stale air
from bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry areas.
Careful routing of the ductwork means the system is
almost invisible, yet it consistently keeps the air in
the home fresh and healthy.
Central vacuum piping is installed at this stage.
Placing mortar under a tub gives the bottom a solid
feel and helps the heat from the radiant floor reach the bottom.
Electrical wiring is done at this stage. Note the
electrical box is in front of the vapor barrier secured
to the strapping. This keeps the boxes from leaking air
or moisture. A quality detail rarely employed by other builders.
. . . and the insulating begins.
30" of cellulose in the attic. That's over R-100!
These customers will never need to add more.
We used 800 bags of cellulose in this house,
that's over 20,000 lbs!
The 12" deep, R-45 wall cavities are filled with cellulose insulation,
installed under pressure. By reaching a high density of
3.5 lbs./cubic ft., the material will never settle. It takes a
lot of time and material to insulate this way, but the investment
is worth it.
Cellulose is fireproof; and installed at a high density,
there is little air in the wall to support a fire. Cellulose is
made from recycled materials, making it a good choice for an
environmentally friendly home.
Notes from testing that we conducted on two different brands
Interior walls insulated for sound reduction between rooms.
Main electrical panel
Very little heat is needed on the second floor of
our homes, so instead of ugly baseboards or a costly
radiant floor, we build our own in-wall convective heaters.
Just before drywall
After all the mechanical work is done and the insulation is
complete, it's time for drywall and plaster.
The exterior trim is installed and painted before the siding
goes on. This is clear, finger-jointed pine with factory applied
primer. All exterior trim is carefully joined, filled, sanded,
and finished with two coats of paint.
The heating system tucks neatly under the stairs.
The heart of the system is the Voyager condensing boiler.
Very high efficiency, quiet operation, sealed combustion,
stainless steel tank and exchanger, electronic ignition,
self diagnostics; A truly modern water heating appliance.
This unit is so efficient that the venting is done through a
2" PVC pipe, and the Carbon Monoxide measured in the vent stream
is less than a quarter of the amount safely allowed in
the air you breathe!
The first coat of "mud" goes on.
The ceilings will be skimcoat plaster.
As the drywall is being taped inside, the siding
is being installed outside.
On this house we're using factory stained cedar shingles.
The exterior siding nears completion as we prepare inside
for the finish work.
The walls are all painted now. This photo shows the hand-textured
plaster ceilings. This stays a natural bright white.
Interior doors are installed after painting the walls.
We always use solid, rabbetted jambs for the solid wood doors.
In this home, some of the doors are louvered, but most are
six panel pine.
Time for vanity sink base cabinets. Often times we
raise these vanity cabinets to a more comfortable height for adults,
remove the toekick panel, and leave a finished space beneath the
cabinet where a night light is mounted.
The garage makes a great workshop area to begin trim work.
Extension jambs of 9-ply birch plywood, and 11" deep sills of
solid hardwood birch.
Our crew installs the ceramic tile floors.
The next series of photo's shows the steps taken to assure that the
ceramic tile will not crack when installed over a wood subfloor.
A wire lathe is secured to the subfloor. . . .
And then a mortar bed is trowelled on.
Once this reinforced "thin slab" hardens, the tile will be
installed over it.
The upstairs bathroom. Notice the cabinet raised to a more
comfortable height and the light underneath.
This is a custom built-in cabinet/bookshelf.
This is a sealed combustion, high efficiency gas fireplace with
a tile surround and recessed mantle area.
A finished window showing the deep, solid hardwood birch sill and
the hardwood birch casing trim. All casing is biscuit joined,
sanded and finished to a furniture-grade joint.