Sunday, March 20, 2016


We selected Inline Fiberglass windows and sliding glass doors from Canada.  A favorable exchange rate made these windows more affordable than lower performing windows from more common choices.  Most of the windows are casements.

Window performance is characterized by three values.  The U-value (reciprocal of R-value) indicates the heat conductivity (lower numbers are better).  The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) indicates the percentage of radiant heat that is transmitted.  Higher SHGC implies that the house will gain more heat from the sun, which is good in winter but can be bad in summer.  Finally, the Visable Transmittance (VT) indicates the percentage of visible light that is transmitted.

Inline offers various glass coatings and other features that impact these values.  In the back of the house, which faces South or Southeast, we selected an option with high SHGC to provide plenty of solar heating in winter.  The house is configured so that these windows are shaded in the summer when the sun is high.  In the front of the house, we selected options with slightly lower U-values to minimize heat loss.

Since we ordered the windows from a distant company, we weren't able to see samples beforehand.  It was a relief when they were delivered and I could confirm that they looked like I was expecting.

The diagram below shows a wall section through the window installation.  Inline allows for several different ways of installing their windows.  We went with a brick mould style nailing fin so that the windows can be nailed to the framing through the foam.  The detail is slightly different for the windows in brick walls.

A rough opening
The outside of one of the guest bathroom windows
The inside of the office window
A close-up of one of the kitchen windows
The front door was installed at the same time.
The inside of the front door

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Exterior Foam

As discussed in a previous post, the exterior walls of the house (but not the garage and hangar) are to be covered with a layer of rigid foam.  With the roof mostly framed and sheathed, the crew began working on installing this foam.  The portions that will have siding have furring strips over the foam.

Front view of the house after foam installation.  The second floor wall has not yet been covered with Tyvek housewrap and furring strips, but will be eventually.  The section on the right and the portion under the windows will have brick, so they do not have furring strips.  The windows are waiting in the garage,
This view shows several of the steps.  The black ribbon is a peel-and-stick membrain that prevents air leakage through the second floor rim joist.  The white tape over the OSB seams make the OSB a better air barrier.  The 2" of foam have been installed in the bottom portion of the picture.  Tyvek and furring strips have been installed over the foam on the section on the left.
A screen and mesh is installed along the bottom of the furring strips to keep insects from crawling behind the siding.
The gable walls are not covered with foam.  The end truss is positioned such that the gable wall lines up with the furring strips so that the siding will be continuous,

Note the airplane taking off from behind the house - a view I hope to be seeing many times

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Just before our family vacation, the trusses were delivered and walls were ready to support them.

While we were vacationing in Florida, the framing crew was at work setting the trusses. We hear there was a snowstorm that may have slowed things down.  When we returned, the trusses were in place over the residential portions of the house.

Front view after the first week of truss work.
Rear view after the first week of truss work.
Next, the trusses were set over the garage and hangar.  This week's snow didn't slow things down very much, but I am still sick of it.

Rear view after the second week of truss work.  The trusses over the hangar are two piece trusses.  The top piece is not yet installed in this picture.
Front view after the second week of truss work.
This shows the raised-heel scissor trusses in the family room that will support a sloped ceiling and still allow a full layer of cellulose insulation all the way to the edge of the attic.
These trusses over the half bath allow space for the rigid foam on the outside of the master bedroom wall.