What is one of the most exciting, most fulfilling, most…most…acchhoooo.
Oh, excuse me.
Cellulose is one of those materials that, once you start blowing you just can’t wait to be done, honestly. From recycled paper materials in your hair, nose, ears, and tucked into every nook and cranny of your clothing to heavy bales, a heavy hose you end up holding over head for minutes at a time, and a remote with the behavior of an erratic woman (hey, it’s a woman writing this post so that can be said with confidence), blowing cellulose can be tedious and messy. That being said, dense packed cellulose really adds to the comfort of each home we build as well as the sound quality.
It has been quite interesting in our Fort Collins project to go from frigid rooms throughout the house to comfort even with no doors and those winter winds and chill passing through. We started blowing on the third floor, and while netting, stapling, gluing, and blowing we ran a few small heaters. After we got the bulk fill done in the ceiling and walls it was incredible how much warmer the third floor stayed, just from those two small heaters. Comfortable enough, that even on the very cold days where the temperature outside didn’t go over 20F, those working upstairs were in their long sleeves and no jackets. That of course wasn’t the case for the machine loader on the “basement” level who was wearing snow boots, snow pants and a winter jacket while working. The proof of it’s efficiency in reducing drastic thermal changes was very apparent even from third level to main level. As one descended the first string of stairs, the temperature difference at the landing between the two, if one had to guess, was within 40F to 50F degrees-meaning the fellas in only their shirts were quickly going back up for their jackets before they ever made it to the second string of stairs (about 10 steps to a landing) and the woman dressed for a blizzard was finding it necessary to remove layers! It’s incredible what 40,000lbs of cellulose will do for a home.
We are just starting to blow cellulose into the basement level and up next is getting the drywall in, then flooring and cabinets as well as exterior finishes. An interesting feature we look forward to sharing on the main level will be the trimless drywall and beautiful natural oak doors along with all the steel. Things are shaping up and the house continues to be a sightseer for passersby.
Lets get caught up! Our last post was about some of the features on our Loveland Project. So much has happened since that post. The homeowners have their C.O. and have been moving in and getting settled. We will be back to get some photos to show off just how great it looks at a later time.
It’s funny how each project takes shape like the seasons. The beginning of the project is like Spring. There’s so much to look forward to. There are plans, visions and a lot of enthusiasm. As the project progresses you get to a point in building where there are subs everywhere and things are happening very quickly-much like being in the heat of the Summer. Once the subs have finished, there are finishes to look forward to, it takes shape like Fall-where golden leaves and kitchen sinks, bathtubs, flooring and wall colors bring about a renewed sense of excitement. The last season of building is the final finishes work and then stepping out of the project completly-Winter.
Just like the seasons in Colorado, sometimes we are in winter at one project and spring at another and isnt that just the beauty of it all? Of being a part of so much change and growth!
Currently, we are in Berthoud, CO and the season of building is Spring. Our foundation work is complete, we have framed the floors, walls, set trusses and are ready to start sheathing the roof and start siding. We are gearing up for summer, both figuratively (see earlier mention) and literally. We have another project in Fort Collins that is just about ready to start breaking ground.
It’s exciting to be doing what we are doing. To know that at the end of day, the homes we are building can withstand the seasons providing quality and comfort for its homeowners. We are excited and thankful that people continue to reach out to us and are interested in building a highly efficient passive home with us! Cheers to the seasons, may they keep on coming!
Insulation (noun): the action of insulating someone or something.
This is probably the face you make when your home is either too hot or too cold, because you don’t have proper insulation….
There’s a lot of options available to home builders and owners in the area of insulation. Why? Because it’s so important to the comfort and the efficiency of your home. Think about the last time you were in a home, in the middle of winter and the insulation was say, sub-par. You probably considered making a face similar to the one above. Why? Because who wants to be cold in their home, in the middle of winter? What cost is there to having a poorly insulated house? Well, there’s the personal comfort cost. You may spend those cold months layered in thermals, jackets and blankets or more than likely, you spend a lot of money every month firing up the heater every time it gets to chilly. Likewise, in the summer months, you’re plugging in that cooler and running it just to deal with a sweat box…unless you’ve taken it to LEVEL EPIC and just moved the kids’ swimming pool into the living room, just kidding. But let’s face the facts, insulation is important to the efficiency and integrity of any home.
In our last post, we shared pictures of the insulation install on our current project. We blow loose cellulose made locally by Applegate Insulation, and practice the “Dense-Pack” method. Dense packing is an effective way to decrease air flow through wall cavities and coupled with our separate air barrier strategy this creates a robust redundant air sealing approach. It increases a homes R-Value significantly (when properly installed) helping to minimize the thermal bridging experienced in most simple stud cavities. It also helps to decrease the movement of fire through wall cavities that would otherwise act as chimneys, and it is a renewable resource (made from recycled paper products). Some even feel that the borate (think old borax soap) added to the insulation for fire protection helps to protect the wood structure underneath. Recently, an article in the Journal of Light Construction reported on a multi-year test comparing thick wall construction types on the east coast. The study found a higher than optimal moisture content in the different insulation types. The wall humidity tracked higher than thirty percent during portions of the the test period. This year, the test walls were opened up and mold and fungal growth was absent, in the cellulose walls.
We are really excited about insulation and energy conservation as you can see and don’t want our customers making a face similar to the one pictured above!
We have finally arrived at the stage of building where the homeowner says: Wow! and the employees say “yeahhhh” and everyone who has been in the home up to this point notices a significant change. What change is that? The change brought about by cellulose insulation. Suddenly the cold shell of the house feels warmer, quieter, and more like a home.
After dense packing the cellulose, we will hang drywall. The homeowner has decided to install American Clay as the finished look for the walls, and will be doing the work himself, as he has chosen certain parts of the project he would like to be involved in. We are basically done here,after drywall installation, while the homeowner finishes his projects and finals the home. Our next projects are coming up quick and we are excited to be moving forward!
Check back for a follow up post about Cellulose Insulation!