Reclaimed Corral Wood

We look at old barns, corral fencing and snow fencing and find beauty in the patina of the weathered wood, the chipped paint, the old knots and the rust stained nail spots. We see structures that stood the tests of time, kept livestock , stored equipment and fodder and delineated boundaries and we think to ourselves, “that wood is really something”, and we seek it out, giving these old timer barns and fences that have become dilapidated, abandoned or unuseful a new purpose. Restoring vitality.

Reclaimed wood can have some very interesting qualities to it making it an ideal wood for cladding. For the most part, much of the early barns and fences were built from wood out of slow growth forests. The most common early building wood came from pine, oak and chestnut. The trees from these areas grew taller and straighter and typically had much denser grain. After they were harvested, milled, affixed and matured their resistance to rot and insects increased as did their strength. Reclaimed wood is having it’s day, as more architects and builders look toward “greener” practices and incorporate it into their designs.

Reclaimed Corral Wood out of Montana, sourced by Western Hardwoods in Wellington, CO

On our Steamboat Springs project we have had the opportunity to work with Western Hardwoods out of Wellington, CO for our exterior siding and interior ceiling finishes. For this project we are installing reclaimed corral wood, coming out of Montana. Looking back to last spring, the addition project we did incorporated reclaimed snowfence from Laramie, WY as the exterior window cladding finish. On our Steamboat project, the wood fits so perfectly with the outdoor environment that the mountains continue to be the focal point of the space and the structure itself looks like it has been there for generations. On our addition project last year, the stucco color and overall design/shape of the house incorporated with the snowfence fit perfectly into its prairie surrounding. There’s so much to appreciate about good design and making a new structure fit right in with its natural surroundings!

Reclaimed Corral Wood out of Montana, sourced by Western Hardwoods, being used on the Siding, Sofit and Fascia of our Steamboat Springs Project
Reclaimed Snowfence out of Laramie, WY as the finish detail around the windows of our Fort Collins Addition Project

Have you checked out Western Hardwoods? Every time we stop by it’s to talk about a project, but before we leave we get plenty of lovin’ from the shop horses…I mean the Great Danes ūüėČ and we get to check out all the new creative things taking shape from their talented crew! From custom doors and furniture to mantles, beams and siding there’s a lot of cool things going on all the time over there! I’ve attached a link to Western Hardwoods website, if you’re interested in reclaimed lumber for your next project check them out! https://westernhardwoods.com/

Building Seasons

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.

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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!

Summers End

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Summer is quickly coming to an end. We are happy about the cooler weather, and how well our project in Loveland is progressing. We are looking forward to new projects moving along in their stages of planning and we look forward to hearing from you-when you’re ready to build your dream home.

Energy With A View

When we think of solar installations, we generally think of those big black panels that dot the roofs of homes, buildings and sometimes the roadside. But what about windows?

When Robert Clarke from Alpen HPP LLC (our window supplier), called us up and asked if we would be interested in meeting the VP Sales Rep from Solaria about a new BIPV ¬†(Building-Integrative Photovoltaic) technology they were working on for residential homes, we said yes! Solaria has been talking with Alpen to produce highly efficient windows¬†with a solar grid in them. Not only would you/potential customers be getting a high performance window, but also one that is going to generate energy for your home. The windows have already been installed in larger commercial buildings, one specifically in Japan, you can find the link to the article below.¬†Currently their BIPV glass panels, used in conjunction with standard glass windows are taking the idea of being “green” and “sustainable” to a new level. The panels not only collect solar energy, they provide glare control, thermal performance and effective daylighting (Solaria).

The idea of combining solar windows on a home, while also getting the benefit of daylighting, thermal control and glare reduction desired in a window is exciting. The fact that these cells are unobtrusive to the view is a huge positive. We are looking forward to seeing  how Solaria and Alpen continue to work out the details of making these panels for residential installations.

Here’s Jason, holding up the sample pane Scott Hoover brought over (the image has been edited to show the outline of the cells better. Had this image not been manipulated, you the reader would have thought Jason was just standing there with his arm up for fun-not something he is¬†particularly¬†known for)

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Link to Solaria’s BIPV System in Japan:¬†ASAHI GLASS COMPANY AND SOLARIA ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO DELIVER ADVANCED BIPV SOLUTIONS TO THE ASIAN MARKET

Link to Alpen Windows: http://thinkalpen.com/

 

Summer Hustle

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IMG_4693eThese three have been staying busy; unlike the tiny boss chilling in the wheelbarrow above.

Once framing and sheathing wrapped up, we quickly got to work on air/water/vapor sealing, and installing windows, doors, trim and siding.

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The design of the homes exterior incorporates wood, stone and brick. The homeowner had two colors of wood that she stained, one very dark and one very light-you could say it’s black and and white in appearance, but up close there is a lot more color variations including tones of brown and green that help give the homes exterior a very rustic country look.

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Here is a corner photo of the two stains side by side.

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As you can see, there is a lot of character and variation in the color of the siding depending on light and where a person is standing.

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The white siding has also been used as an accent color under some windows. The Cupolas along the roofs ridge provide a bit more character along the gable.

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The rough plumbing and electrical have been completed and we are getting ready to start blowing insulation.

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Just look at that light switch box! We really appreciate the work both the plumbing and electrical contractors have done!IMG_4695e

Here is a photo of the tenting around the fire sprinklers. This is a mandatory step before insulation can be installed. What we are doing, is creating a barrier between the sprinkler line and the cellulose; which will help to prevent/minimize the chance of the line freezing. The netting seen above the line will also be tacked to the studs along the walls, and cellulose will be blown in and dense packed.

Loveland Project Framing Tour: Exterior

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Today we are trying out something new, a video tour of our current project. This video in particular is of the exterior framing. The goal is is give our readers an idea of how the home is shaping up and to also start getting videos out there. It’s all a work in progress! Next week we hope to have a second video of the interior spaces posted.

*This video takes a moment to start playing from the time you press play.

Sprouting Up

Aaahh, spring has arrived in Colorado…or at least it seems that way on a bi-weekly basis. One week sunny and hot, the next cold and wet.

As promised, in the previous post a look into how the framing has been going. We have brought on, J & D Builders from Greeley to help us out, and we are really enjoying working with them.

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Profile view. The Kitchen area has trusses on. The garage is being sheathed for the second floor.

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Tilting up walls. These guys have had no problem working with our double wall framing system.

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Looking out the Dinning room window, that tiny person was placed there for scale. The homeowners wanted big windows to really capture the view they have of the buttes and Horsetooth Rock from the North side of their home.

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Jason and Bryan standing in the Kitchen.

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Looking out from the Kitchen into the rest of the first level. The “tiny person for scale” is standing in the Master Bedroom. The beam is situated over the Living Room.

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Here our scale model is standing under the beam and in front of her is the wash room and access to the garage. There are high ceilings throughout. The beams and columns for this project are Beetle Kill Pine, milled from The Forks Lumber Mill, whom we used for the Nederland Home.

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Here’s a look into the wall cavity. Soon we will be dense packing a whole semi load of cellulose into these cavities. One the ground is our vapor barrier. Just as on a roof, we must maintain a dry environment for the durability of our materials and the house as a whole.

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Scale Model standing in the Garage. Above the garage will be bedrooms.

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Here’s a look at some amazing custom made brackets we had done for the home from Charles Lefkowitz at, Sculpture and Functional Metal Work. We will have an upcoming post with more photos of the brackets we are using.

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There last two photos are of the column brackets, one from the side, and one from the front. These brackets are giving structural stability and a very modern and industrial look to the home.

 

That Brindle Look

Have you missed us? We’ve been busy but have some exciting update posts on the way to show just how things are progressing!

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We’ve poured the concrete floor, and remaining walls on our Loveland site. We had some really strong winds Tuesday while we poured the walls, making for a lot of fun with the pump truck and hose. The following day was much calmer and hotter, and we started bright and early. The pour went smoothly, thanks in part to great team work from everyone and having a good pump operator…and a tiny person to keep¬†everyone¬† in check!

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Hammer-Wielding Tiny Girl Boss

The slab is going to be stained, and to give it a nice look, we’ve burnished it. The slab is also fitted for radiant floor heating.

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Quinn (above) stripping forms where the outdoor fireplace will be. The concrete was poured in several locations with the board formed look, giving it a rustic and also modern feel. 

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Later in the afternoon, we began stripping the foundation forms and Jason started making saw cuts the following day.

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In the next post, we will be showing off how the framing is going. We’ve had a few stall days due to rain (and snow) but it’s moving along and we can’t wait to post about it!

The Day no one said Cheese.

Yesterday we poured 1000 sq. ft. of garage floor concrete. That might explain why no one said cheese, or “oh it’s you…again…” or “hey, hold my drink and watch this”… Everything went pretty well, except for the weather, which couldn’t decide if it was going to be sunny or cloudy with rain…or sunny with gusts of wind..or… And then there is the tale of two cement truck drivers-one who was on par with hand gestures and one who wasn’t… In the end, it all worked out and we got the work done!!IMG_4308IMG_4318IMG_4320IMG_4323IMG_4326IMG_4332IMG_4340

Strip, Backfill and Pour (repeat)

We’re still working on the foundation at our Loveland project. We’ve completed the footings, poured the walls and next week we start pouring the floors, beginning with the garage. Things are progressing quickly.

Last week we removed the forms on the larger back walls.IMG_4262IMG_4267IMG_4275

Did we forget to share photos of the wall being formed?? Of course we did!! So hey, why not add them now, because this wall really does deserve some attention…and they were already edited for a post but just like the missing pairs of socks after a run in the dryer…well…

Looking good, right!! We agree, it is.

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Custom dog door. Lucky dog.

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Custom kid in dog door. Lucky kid.

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Bryan, working his Bobcat magic and backfilling the foundation!

While Bryan backfilled, Eric, Jason and Quinn sat around in chairs…I mean placed chairs down under the mesh…for Monday…yes that is what I meant.

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At the end of the day we had a strategic meeting for Monday’s main event: the garage pour.

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Cheers to the weekend!!