Steamboat Studio Timber

For the Steamboat Studio Project we have had the opportunity to team up with Traditional Roots Joinery and watch as they build using the techniques many of our ancestors used to build homes: with large beams and precision mortise and tenon joints. The framing of this project went smoothly, thanks to months and months of planning and the many hands that came together with years of knowledge and expertise.

Matt and his team do such beautiful work and this frame fits just perfectly on this scenic homestead property. You can tell that Matt takes great pride in his craft, he is humble and generous, always happy to answer questions, explain the process, eager to talk about building in general and share his reasons to build in a traditional way. If you’re interested in learning more about or working with Traditional Roots Joinery, check out their website:

Ok, now on to some photos of the timber framing, and SIP’s (structural insulated panels) that make up the envelope of the Studio!

The first six photos are dedicated to the scarf joint that we just can’t get enough of. Seeing craftsmanship this good makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

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!

Nederland, CO Project

Since we have been a little slow to introduce ourselves and our projects, lets just jump in to our current project. This project is a passive solar, slab on grade, two story (second floor is a loft) single family home. We are using Beetle Kill Pine for the siding, interior beams and flooring. It is framed Passive, and will have cellulose blown in. The Pine is sourced from Nederland Colorado, where the project is also being built, and is cut at The Forks Lumber mill in Laporte, CO.  This has been an exciting project to work on and we are entering our final months of work.

Here are few most recent photos from the job site.

At this moment, most photos are phone quality.

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Here is a shot from outside, while installing windows on the South Side of the house, our dominate solar gain side. This is also the direction the solar panels were installed.

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A look at the inside, kitchen area, overhead you can see the beginning of the loft framing. You can also see that this is an open beam ceiling, with Beetle Kill Pine above the trusses. The homeowner specifically wanted a mountain feeling home, something that tied into the rest of the town. On top of the Beetle Kill Pine are SIPs (structural insulated palens) Panels, sheathing and finally Coreten Steel roofing.

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This is looking out the large, South facing, windows from the master bedroom. Above you can see the beetle kill pine beams used to frame up the loft!

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And here, though a little blurry, we are laying out the second floor.

We’ll keep those pictures and information coming, so keep checking back!!