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.

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.

 

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!!

We’ve Gone Insta!

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Here at Harrington Construction we believe that social media platforms are a great resource. As we continue to grow as a company we are trying to spread the word about what we do, why it’s great and why you or your parents, bothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors…any and everyone, should consider building a sustainable and efficient home! So check us out on Instagram, and follow along for spontaneous pictures of what we are up to!

https://www.instagram.com/harringtonconstruction/

Shou Sugi Ban in Nederland (say that 5 times fast!)

Have you heard of the Shou Sugi Ban style of wood treatment? Basically, it is charred wood. Traditionally the practice, developed in Japan, uses Japanese Cedar. The Cedar is burnt, cooled and then cleaned/finished with a natural oil. The practice is sustainable as it preserves the wood making paints or other sealers unnecessary, and also acts as a fire barrier. Commonly, we see its finished look as a silvery grey, like in the picture from Houzz below:

The method can, of course, be done to lots of other wood species, and can give a beautiful and interesting look and feel to a room. Check out this other photo here, also from Houzz:

We are up in Nederland, adding a utility shed and lanai..errr should we say, “porch” or “patio” for you mainland folks (some of us lived in Hawaii for a good long while and still use the local phrases…what can we say), to the Passive House we built last winter. The method of siding the homeowner wanted is, Shou Sugi Ban which we are doing on flat cut Beetle Kill Pine; which we picked up from the Forks Lumber Mill just outside of Fort Collins (most of the Beetle Kill the Forks Mill processes actually comes from the Nederland area, so it’s local, sustainable, and beautiful.).

Here are some photos of our Shou Sugi Ban work, along with the additions to the house features:

First a few up close pictures, to show off the look:

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Eric and Bryan welded up these handrails, and built/welded this robust barn door for the shed at the end of the porch!

psst, that welded track is actually meant to rust fast, giving it a nice rustic (see what we did there) look, per the homeowners request!

I don’t know about you all out there reading this but, SIGN ME UP!!!

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Above: Bryan, charring it up!

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There is still a shade structure to be built on this, South Facing, side of the house to optimize the summer shading and decrease the solar gain.

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The look of the Shou Sugi Ban, along with the Corten steel (developed to weather quickly but resist corrosion) gives this new home, a very rustic-been here for ages- mountain retreat-appearance. We like it, a lot! What do you think?

Here are a few of the interior photos. The homeowner has chosen to do a lot of the finish work himself, which is why we have not had many finished interior shots to share.

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Kitchen Cabinets Anyone??

These cabinets are looking pretty sharp, if we do say so ourselves…

Last week we left you with photos of the cabinet boxes being built, looking somewhat like the one below:

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Here’s where last weeks progress took us:

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Completed Assembly of the Almond Melamine Boxes. The Melamine boxes are all Carb2 compliant, to safe guard the air quality, while being easy to wipe down/clean and you won’t have canned goods or other products sticking and pulling up the finish.

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We are excited about the simplicity and understatement of this classic shaker design.

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Quinn, setting and adjusting the blum soft close door hinges.

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Bryan, assembling the natural finished, blind dovetailed, Alder drawer boxes.

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Jason, demonstrating the ergonomic height of the cooking peninsula for the homeowners, who are tall and were concerned about having a comfortable cooking and counter height. 

Let’s get Cozy, with Insulation.

Insulation (noun): the action of insulating someone or something.IMG_8878

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!

This Place About to Blow!! Cellulose that is…

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.

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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!