Thursday, May 20, 2010

Walls for New Construction, State of the Art from Betsy Pettit

I've built two homes with SIPs. Things didn't go quite as well as I envisioned, so I've been planning to try a double stud wall (not staggered stud) on the next project. My personal lessons learned to this point follow the same arc that Postgreen Homes has documented really well.

There were still a couple of fussy details about double stud design that were bothering me:
1. In order to cover the exterior insulation around the foundation/basement wall, the outer stud has to be cantilevered out too far.
2. Building a double stud wall is too much like framing two walls, which implies double the framing cost.

Building Science Corp and Betsy Pettit, AIA, have come to the rescue in the latest issue of the Journal of Light Construction (JLC):

They're promoting, and have tested, an Advanced Framing wall sheathed with foam. The innovation is the method to support the siding, 1x3 furring strips are attached to the stud wall with 6" screws. This furring is easier, cheaper and better than another stud wall.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Buying New and Retrofit Windows in Denver

You really only need to know two words on this topic: Window World

Call and ask any company how much they charge for installed windows, they'll say, "let us send out someone to measure, and we'll give you a quote". Fair enough, but you've just committed to one hour with some likeable guy who doesn't value your time that much.

With Window World, just count your windows, then multiply by $250. That's awesome. Of course, they have some options, some of which you need in order to receive the 30% federal rebate. Note that they don't even care about the size. Some windows are bigger, and some smaller, they figure.

As good as they are, you may find confusion when it comes to that all important SHGC number I keep harping on. (Some other guys have started major harping as well )

It just doesn't matter that much. You need some affordable windows NOW that actually go up and down and close tightly. Your south windows are shaded by your neighbor's trees anyway.

So I say go with whatever you can afford.

No Posts in April

Global warming has obviously been cured in Denver. So I was skiing a lot, and not worrying too much about saving the planet.