generationalhome

How To Fill A Wall

The latest is in from the Myers’ Home project site! The team has squared away interior framing and are close to debuting their windows. This means it’s about time for the house to get its nerve center. The Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing train is leaving the station in Newbern.

Becoming Plumbers…

With Riley offsite in the woodshop working on the custom window units, Madeline and Judith have been at the helm on site for the past few weeks. Madeline is taking the reins on plumbing the whole house, and ducting it too! Judith has got the power alongside her, running electrical wires, installing outlet and switch boxes, sorting circuits, and labeling everything.

The plumbing contains stub-outs to the attic space allowing a bathroom to be built for future generations. These are beside the water heater, also in the attic to save space in the downstairs. Electrical decisions were also based on rooms that could serve different purposes across generations. Dedicated circuits are in place for AC units and the home is treated in zones of use.

Lighting the Way

This also entails a discussion in lighting the house, helped along by a new consultant to the Studio, Thomas Paterson of Lux Populi in Mexico City.

The flexible nature of Myers’ Home doesn’t stop at the plan, section, or material finishes. The team’s been applying their goal of generational expansion and flexibility to the lights in the house too. The home was studied in zones to determine lighting strategies, and tools (fixtures) were chosen to achieve these. The team is working to balance task lighting and spot lighting with the necessary amount of immediate switched light in a space.

The team mirrored lighting and fan locations in each zone for alignment no matter the scheme of flex walls. They then worked to place lights in the core such that it remains a hearth and can be the main source of immediate light in the home.

As these folks press on with electrical work, they’ll begin to test how to optimize the tools they’ve chosen for each flexible space.

It’s Getting Hot in Here…

Drywall looms and Myers’ Home Team must consider all that the wall must hold before it is sealed up. Wires and pipes have been run, the lights are set in their places. It’s time to stuff if full of foam and fiberglass. The insulation line for Myers’ Home is at the roof. This requires five and a half inches of spray-in, open-cell insulation. It’s one of the few jobs that the Studio hires out. Meanwhile, the team put up blocking framing upstairs and left the premises for a day. Upon return, the attic was cool as a cucumber and ready for windows.

The original intention for the home was to install a flash-and-batt insulation system downstairs. However, foam prices are cost-prohibitive and the team moved forward with Rockwool insulation in downstairs walls. Madeline, Riley, and volunteer Bess from Project Horseshoe Farm knocked out the ground floor in just a couple mornings!

Sheetrock City

The team put some quick blocking in place and documented each wall before making the call for sheetrock. The crew arrived first thing and got to it. By lunchtime, the first layer of finishes were all in place. All that remains for drywall is mudding and sanding to smooth everything over.

Neckdown

Much of this happened over the course of Neckdown weekwhere new students knock out work around Hale County using, arguably, everything but their heads. Myers’ Home played host to a few helpers who helped begin more layers of finish materials in and out of the home. Many thanks to new 5th-year students Jackie, Hailey, Davis, Brenton, and Caitlyn, as well as 3rd-years Peter and Laura!

Window units ready to show their faces soon! In the meantime, the home is being battened down with flashing and prepped for siding as the summer slides on by. Check out Myers’ Home team’s brethren over at Rev. Walker’s Home as they also install windows and siding. Or jump to the Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation crew for some big moves upward! Best to all, over and out.

An Inside Job

With a shady roof finally in place, the team is ready to fit out Myers’ Home on the inside. This includes all interior walls but the “flex walls,” the staircase, and the attic floor. Once these are all set the team can move on to rough mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work.

Taking Shape

Framing interior walls is much the same as exterior walls. In this case none are load-bearing thus headers don’t require the same level of structuring. However, as the core in Myers’ Home interlocks with the staircase, funky framing conditions arise. Before the walls can go up though, the team lays sill plates again, sans gasket and caulk this time around.

Once sill plates were secured, Madeline and Judith framed the ground floor interior walls. The north bedroom was the first to rise, followed by its southern counterpart, the two bathroom walls, and the stair landing.

A Step Up

Judith and Madeline took the first stab at building the staircase. It’s been a while since the Studio has built a staircase! After a day of figuring up from down, they were off to the races. Once Riley returned from the woodshop — he’s been hard at work on some special windows — they really started moving. The platform for the landing is framed first and joists are placed atop before OSB flooring. Stringer angles are measured from marked distances and pulled string with an angle finder.

Once measured and scribed, they cut the stringers from 2×10 boards and leveled them across each step, from bottom to top. This became a touch more difficult on the second run when the stringers were fourteen feet long. Madeline stands on the newly moved scaffold between trusses to level the attic end. Judith pushes the lower ends in place and checks to ensure each step is level across stringers.

Floor It

After these three completed the stairs they moved on up to installing the attic floor. The 3/4″ tongue and groove OSB is hauled up through remaining space between trusses, interlocked, and tacked in.

The attic will soon be partially divided by the enclosed volume of the stair. These folks are in the process of framing those small but tricky little walls. Judith and Madeline will be getting into electrical, mechanical, and plumbing next while Riley returns to the shop for that mysterious window fabrication. All will be revealed before too long. So long for now.

Gimme Shelter

Myers’ Home team is flying high as they install the roof on this generational home. Goodbye errant raindrops, so long harsh sunbeams. Say hello to a cool and shady workspace!

After nailing the sheathing and taping the seams, the team can’t get straight into roof metal installation. The edges of the corrugated metal sheets must be finessed. This is all accomplished with honed and tight flashing details. Way back when this team reviewed such details with Jake Labarre and Dan Wheeler. They tested them in a mockup and it’s finally time for the real deal.

Sneak peek of that roof on a shady morn!

Done in a flash

The flashing is ordered custom and is produced from sheet metal with folds and smash joints as specified. It provides a clean edge for roofing and siding panels to run into and weatherproofs by serving as a drip edge from openings. Later down the line door and window flashing will also be applied before siding to protect the home’s openings.

The team also installed what’s called a “vapor diffusion port.” This consists of a strip of Tyvek paper taped across the gap in the peak of the sheathed roof. Once open-cell spray-in insulation is installed it will serve to diffuse moisture from the home through the attic space.

Up and at ’em

With flashing up, it’s about time to start slinging metal up of Myers’ Home’s 10/12 pitch roof. The team went with a larger corrugation width, 1-1/4″, than that of the siding, 3/4″. This creates distinct planes with similar textures.

Thanks to extra hands Andrew, Steve, and Chelsea, the process was about as smooth as can be. The roofing began with Andrew at the peak and Judith on the roofing ladder at the eave manned with drivers and screws, Madeline and Steve manning the scaffold positions, and Riley and Chelsea pre-drilling and hoisting sheets up.

The front slope of the roof, shortened because of the heeled truss, was completed with just one row of 12′ panels. The back of the house however has a slope length of nearly 20ft. To roof this with a single run of panels is slightly more unwieldy to install with the small crew on this project. The team split the back into two portions; an upper 8′ run and a lower 11′ 6″ segment.

In the home stretch!

The final upper portion proved trickier to maneuver with a lower row already installed. The previously designed rope system continued to prove its worth in this area. Down on the scaffold, a string is pulled across the bottom edge to mark where the roof overhang ends. The scaffold hands push the panel into place and align corrugation to the sheet adjacent before those further up secure the metal.

These folks completed the whole job in two mornings of sunrise starts. All that remains is installing the ridge cap once the team gets their hands on the elusive closure strips. These corrugated foam strips seal large gaps in between the roof and ridge cap across the house’s peak. A complete roof is well in sight!

The Great Indoors

With the roof and sheathing complete, Myers’ Home team finally has that shaded interior workspace. They’re jumping into the first steps of interior wall framing, which will be the core unit of the bathroom, laundry, and staircase. The team has also hit the shop with the first pre-fabricated cypress window unit well underway.

Soon to be released, the woodshop tell-all and the beginnings of plumbing and electrical!

It’s ZIP To Be Square

The summer sun has inspired the Myers’ Home team to get that roof on quickly! They’ll be rising with the sun and reporting to Newbern at 6 o’clock sharp to beat the heat until that roof is high and dry.

Before corrugated metal can wrap this house, it has to be layered with sheathing, waterproofing, and a vapor barrier. Myers’ Home Team is using ZIP System structural sheathing for this endeavor, which combines OSB exterior sheathing and weather protection into one tidily engineered sheet.

On the Up and Up

The team is squaring and stabilizing the framing as they install sheathing. It acts as shear bracing for the trusses and keeps the house in line. At 4′ x 8′ feet, the ZIP System sheets are near identical dimensions as typical OSB sheathing. And they’re applied just the same too!

The install process goes as follows; Madeline holds the sheet from the top, Riley ensures it’s flush to its neighboring sheet, and Judith checks that it’s level. Riley tacks the board at the bottom and Madeline moves outside so it can be secured on all edges.

Next, the crew installs the sheets over window and door openings and cuts out openings with a reciprocating saw. Quite of few of the scraps from this process can be used on the second row of wall sheathing, as well as angled gable ends. These guys also site measure to check that they are aligning with studs and have adequate support.

This keeps on going all the way up to the beginning of the roof pitch. Let the scaffolding saga begin!

Theories of Roof

Hey, remember back when Myers’ team was discussing that attic and those trusses? They picked a 10/12 roof pitch. This incline certainly makes for a trickier time getting those big ZIP sheets up and secured. In addition, due to high prices of lumber right now, purlins proved to be budget-prohibitive and didn’t play well with the existing roof flashing detail. All things considered, these folks had to make a special plan for the ascent.

How’d they do it???

What do all the members of this group have in common? Rock climbing–and they’ve got the gear to prove it. They’ve all gone through safety training and designed a system of secure anchors at the roof peak. It sure doesn’t hurt having a retired rock climbing wall manager hanging around either, top-notch rigging Riley! This rope setup allows for relatively quick and easy movement up, around, across, and down that big, wide roof. Want to see it in action?

Stick Around, Why Don’t You?

After the sheathing is installed, the seams between panels must be sealed to complete the weatherproofing. The team uses ZIP System tape and special rollers to apply this across the whole field of sheets.

The previously introduced “shell method” for Myers’ Home relies on this sealed up ZIP System box that provides a dry and durable layer for the house.

Concept still holds water…or sheds it

Riley, Mad, and Jude are dodging pesky summer showers to square away this task. Next up? Look out for roof metal, quite a few cross-state order pickups, and soon-to-be-introduced pre-fab window units! Until next time…

They’ve Been Framed!

They’re out of the mud and into the air! Since graduation Myers’ Home team has made quite the stride in construction. With diplomas in hand Saturday and a zip back to Hale County Sunday, the three students prepped for framing Monday!

Put that on your plate!

Riley, Madeline, and Judith installed sill plates as one of their last moves before Pig Roast. This involves placing a bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter of the slab. They lay thin strip of foam the width of the wall framing, a sill gasket, atop the caulk before it cures to create a seal. This makes an air barrier between framing and slab on the finished stud wall.

Don’t forget the earmuffs!

Then, the team places 2″ x 6″ boards on the foam with seams staggered from those on the stud wall above. Myers’ Home will have a double bottom plate. This means two 2″ x 6″ pieces will be sandwiched between the sill plate and the one making up the bottom of the full stud wall. When installing on a slab, one must attach the sill plate directly to the concrete. There are several options for this connection–anchor bolts, TapCon screws, or a powder-actuated nail gun.

Riley finishing up the TapCon side of the sill plates

Myers’ Home team opted for the nail gun for efficiency. After speaking with their favorite engineer, Joe Farruggia, they determined a nail size and pattern for the home’s lateral load capacity. Shooting all (roughly) 150 nails into place and sprinkling in a few TapCons after a nail malfunction, this team was ready to get framing!

Walls up, dude

A quick note — Madeline has been keeping up documentation of the project on 35mm film! The majority of the photos of those couple days framing are her wonderful doing. Kudos and love!

Andrew Freear and Steve Long joined these folks on site as extra and enthusiastic hands with plenty of tips and tricks! Without delay the gang got to it, and moved fast! Riley cut studs and the rest laid walls in place based on framing elevation drawings.

Nail guns at the ready, they had the front (west) wall of the house and half the southern wall up within the first afternoon.

Starting the first half of the southern wall

Jumping to it again the following morning, the shape of the interior, windows, and doors began to appear. The team braced new walls to the ground and each other throughout the process. A smaller crew has an easier time raising a 40′ when built in segments. In this case, the front and rear home walls were in three pieces each.

The team leveled and plumbed, then attached walls as they went up. Complete stud walls stay in this measured position with aformentioned bracing until sheathing is installed and the walls are rigid.

By lunchtime, all walls were up and braced awaiting the second top plate. The whole perimeter is stitched by this 2″ x 6″ piece before trusses are hoisted atop. In (record? who’s to say…) 10 hours the five had finished exterior framing and dodged a few showers in between!

Truss them when they say they can’t wait for what’s next!

The whole framing gang, through rain or shine!

Attic ho, matey!

They arrived, those revolutionary attic trusses that have been in progress since the holiday season! A small hitch in production meant the top six inches of the trusses were delivered separately. But Judith and Madeline attached these to industry standard with a simple toenail.

After moving them from the delivery zone in the driveway to a crane optimized position, these folks were ready to hoist.

Trusses make their way across site with the BobCrane

Sure it took a couple tries and mud sliding, but on a heck of a Friday Myers’ Home finally took shape as the trusses made their way through the air! Thanks to Shane Jackson and his wonderful crane, Judith, Riley, Madeline, Andrew, and extra help, Addie, from Rev. Walker’s Home, began a truss-raising that went off nearly without a hitch.

In preparation, Judith and Madeline had marked each truss location on the top plates. The team also raised scaffolding inside the walls for easy access to placed trusses.

Picture this: the cable descends, Andrew secures a single attic truss to the crane hook. Shane moves the truss into place across the stud walls. Judith and Madeline man the nail guns and ensure the truss is lined up and flush to the walls before tacking them in securely. Addie cuts the blocking to site-measured size between the two foot truss space. Riley scampers to the attic area braces the truss near to plumb. They do it 21 more times.

Party room, bowling alley, it could be anything! Except a pool.

They wrapped it up just in time for a lunch on site and took a first look at what that big ol’ attic is going to really be! 40′ long and 12’6 wide, who’s to say what it could hold?

Nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night

With the shape of Myers’ Home finally visible on site, trusses plumbed and strapped down, the team looked to the next step in building to make this house a full volume.

Nailing on hurricane straps to secure the trusses in extreme wind loads

Temperatures rising here in Hale, so these folks are in a race against the heat of the day to get their roof on and a shaded interior to work. Check back to see where they’re headed, to sheathing, roofing, taping, and flashing!

Judith, Madeline, and Riley after a truss-hustlin’ day