Archive for October, 2010

We have a roof over our heads

Last week Warren & crew were able to get the roof on the house. You can now get a feel of the overall shape and scale of the house in the landscape. The roof pitch is 12/12 or 45° angle for you non-building folk. This should be the best angle for our eventual solar PV array. Next, the gables will be framed and we’ll be mostly closed in. The windows arrive in 2-4 weeks and we’ll be ordering the Therma-Tru fiberglass exterior doors soon. More details soon.


Columbus Day is site rough grading day!

Our excavator Joe made our little house site start to look like a real house site. He shaved the cliff down behind the house and used the cut to fill and level the drop-off in front of the house. He also carved a nice slope to the west berm.

In the Spring he’ll install the septic tank and leach field in front of the house.

Next up… the roof.

More 2nd floor

The rain may have slowed our progress, but progress is still being made. Warren and Peter were still able to frame out more of the windows, the interior divider wall and nail up the ceiling joists. We were lucky to have a few sunny days over the weekend, so Bernie could enjoy a nap in the sun while we mopped up rain puddles in the living room. The fall foliage is really starting to peak!

We also purchased our first fixture for the house, a Kohler Archer 6′ soaking tub. Our contractor wisely recommended buying it now so we can lift it in through the second floor rough window openings. Much easier than carrying it up narrow stairs after the house is closed in.

Green Homes Open House

Each year, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association organizes a Green Homes Open House event. This year it was October 2nd. We visited two of the homes, one in construction and one that had been completed a few years ago.

At the first house (in construction) we were able to see the same windows, AccurateDorwin, that we plan to use. They were also using a double stud wall structure with rain screen similar to ours and one of the metal roofs that we have been considering. I was glad to see the windows and talk to the owner about the delivery and installation. I also asked how they were able to accommodate the wood burning appliance in a tight home. He said “we’ll just open the windows.” Sort of negates the whole point of building a tight home, but I admit I’m a bit jealous.

The second house featured a slew of green energy features. ThermoTech windows, Larson trusses, double-stud walls, radiant floor heat, geothermal heat pump, 7KW solar PV, solar hot water, and the list goes on. The house has been certified net zero, but the owners don’t live there full time so it was difficult to ask questions about what it really was like living in a net zero house. Was it comfortable without a lot of user involvement? Did the house overheat without careful adjustment of shades and opening and closing of windows? I guess we’ll have to find out for ourselves.

What I enjoyed most was talking to fellow energy nerds all day. It was great to meet folks that were interested in the same issues and construction details. I look forward to including our house in the tour next year.

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