Trusses

This week we put down the bottom sill plate for our first floor and today we began marking out truss locations, and bringing  trusses into the house to set in place. It is exciting to be starting the framing, as lots of people stop by to ask us what we are doing.

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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!!

Dirty Thoughts

How often do you think about your septic system? I mean really think about it, dive into it, somewhere between the top layer of fats and oils and the bottom layer of solids and consider just how important it is to our health and environment.

First and foremost, your septic tank is more than just a waste holder, it’s a biological wonderland. Just the word “septic” refers to an anaerobic bacteria environment for decomposition. Bacteria from our bodies, our food, and products we use all end up in the tank playing a role in the decomposition of the wastes we “flush”. As we all remember from biology class, anaerobic bacteria work without oxygen.  In the septic tank then, anaerobic bacteria are working to get rid of nitrates that would otherwise cause algae blooms in the water shed. We have seen how disastrous an overabundance of nitrogen in water can be. One particular example is the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico caused by fertilizer run off in the Mississippi river. Nitrogen found in the fertilizers (along with other chemicals) have caused algal blooms on the surface of the water, removing the oxygen in the water that is important for plant and animal life. We are talking specifically about nitrogen in water, and not nitrogen in the soil, and even more specifically about issues with industrial agriculture.

Looking inside the septic tank, one would see three developed layers: fats & oils, water, and solid waste. As your household waste enters the tank a series of bacterial processes occur to break down whats coming in. Fats, oils and solids are not broken down by the bacteria in the tank and are known as sludge. Sludge stays in the tank and has to be pumped out. What the bacteria does breakdown is added into the water that makes up the middle layer, and is then sent out of the tank into the drain field. The drain field is comprised of gravel, coarse sand or plastic chambers, and pipes. As the “clarified water” is leeched out, it runs across a filtration surface and is further separated and broken down by aerobic  bacteria found naturally in the soil. These bacteria work to finish breaking down waste and destroy pathogenic organisms that could cause serious health problems. This is why septic system design and implementation is so heavily regulated.We depend on our septic systems to function properly so that we have safe, clean water for human and animal consumption and agricultural purposes; and so that our land does not become a health hazard or worse: inhospitable. The picture in my mind is like something out of Mad Max, people with extra or missing limbs/organs or serious health problems and land that can’t support life.

 

Last Friday, the septic tank for our Loveland site was delivered. Check out some of the photos below:

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