Advanced Framing & Home Slicker

The "net-zero" home in Durham that we have been working on is not only trying to reduce their expenditures later by utilizing energy saving construction but they are also saving money during the framing process by using advanced framing techniques.   Advanced framing techniques (also called Optimum Value Engineering) start with a well thought out framing  design that considers common lumber and sheet sizes. This reduces waste, minimizes cutting and consequently material and labor costs. Advanced framing also leaves more room for insulation and eliminates cold spots, thus making the house less expensive to both heat and cool. This home has given us an opportunity to try out a new product, Home Slicker.  You may have seen a home under construction and noticed that the home was being wrapped with black paper or Tyvek.  This is done as an added barrier to keep moisture out.  We'd originally planned on creating channels for rain to drain behind the siding with wood strips until we found the Home Slicker product.  In the picture below you can see the channels allowing for drainage built right in!

Radiant Floor Heat

One of the most cost effective ways to install a radiant heating system is to embed the tubing in a concrete slab. Here you can see the hydronic lines over the insulation boards. After the lines were placed it was time to pour the concrete.

The concrete will be smoothed and prepared for a polished finish.  A polished concrete floor is a gorgeous alternative to other floor coverings allowing our homeowner to make the most of their radiant floor heating system.

The Curved House is Complete!

It’s done! It’s been a great experience all around. The curved features of the plan for this home required some thought and coordination not necessary in most projects. But, the extra time and attention to detail has paid off. The impact of the curves on the exterior is clearly apparent as you approach the home. It’s obvious why the curve was needed now, as you look at the finished house against the landscape. It fits in perfectly. The impact of the curve on the interior finishes is dramatic as well. The curved walls, handrails, cabinets, counters, and trim pull it all together. This was really a project that required a lot of “synergy”…and we’re all proud of the outcome! Click the image below to view a slideshow of the completed project.
Curved House Slideshow

Finishing the Kitchen!

The custom kitchen cabinets went in this week. Installing these too were tricky, owing to the curved south wall. But they are solidly built and look terrific. Diane is an artist and has been doing this for many years.

I’m giving two and a half weeks to get the interior trim and stairs in. We’re simultaneously installing the ceramic tile and most of itshould be in at the end of this week.

We’re also templating for the granite countertops. The weather has been very cold but the kerosene heater inside allows us to continue staying warm and on schedule.

To read more about this project click here.

Interior Trim & Flooring on the Curved House

We’ve started interior trim this week after installing the heartpine floor over Christmas week. The heartpine layout is tricky: there are “rays” coming off the north wall and extending across the great room to the more expansive south wall. They’re layed out approximately every 5’ where we’ve installed steel columns that support the elevated walkway on the north side. Then we infilled perpendicularly between the rays. The floor guys installed in half the time I expected. Two days vs. four!!

The carpenter we have doing the interior trim is taking care of the stairs, too.

The handrailing mirrors the curve of the exterior wall. Lots of progress on the interior this week!

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