Hello everyone! Yes, it has been quite a while since our last post. Actually four months and seven days to be precise – life has been full!!. Work on the house has been progressing, but less quickly since Mike has gone to work full time on another house in Guilford.
We were grateful to have a visit from the Grandparents back in April who lent many hands. With our exterior insulation and rain screen vent channel behind the siding to come, we needed to box out all of the windows and the doors. So we spent a couple days milling some old cedar boards Mike did a work trade for many years ago. We lined the bottom piece of the box with aluminum and pitched it down by about 14 degrees.
It was a bit of a bother getting a couple of the boxes to align properly because of the inconsistent thicknesses of the sheathing boards, but it wasn’t too bad. We attached the boxes with simple angle brackets from Simpson and some exterior screws. They will get caulked to the window with a good exterior caulk.
We got another flock of chickens from some folks in the area who were downsizing! Welcome to the homestead girls (and guy)! Reason # 7008 I love having a hatchback!
After we finished installing the window boxes, we were able to start installing the 3 x 4′ sheets of Roxul ComfortBoard. Roxul also makes larger sheets which I tried to get but was told they are only sold by the truckload. Since then I’ve talked to a local builder who used the larger sheets and said they were actually a pain because they were too big and would break when being carried to be installed. So if anyone’s out there thinking of using these boards on a wall, go for the 3 x 4 sheets. Maybe the larger ones would be well suited for under a slab where they don’t need to be hoisted up a ladder and held in place……
I really liked how easy it was to get tight joints with the Roux at adjacent pieces and around openings. Much more so than with foam board in my opinion.
Lapping all of the seams between the two layers. And here you get a good look at the brackets we used to attach the window boxes. Also note the screen above the window boxes to keep bugs out of the rain screen. Screen is also installed at the bottom of the wall for the same purpose.
On the west side we plan to have a porch and porch roof some day so we are installing the roof ledger now. I was flummoxed about how to best install the ledger without getting into complex flashing details. Then our energy consultant through Efficiency Vermont made a great suggestion. We used 3″ PVC squash blocks beneath the ledger and really long (10″) timber lock lag screws. They were cut to the length of our insulation plus strapping (4 ¾” in our case). But the genius was in how to install the squash blocks. We bought an automobile oil filter remover for a drill (about $10) and screwed the pipe lengths into the roxul! This way there was still a plug of insulation inside the pipe. It was a little tricky to get the hang of on a ladder, but I did and it worked well. I’d definitely do it this way again. I guess the only caution is that the drilling doesn’t go too deep and too long so as to rip the mento WRB under the Roxul.
In the drill setup below I used a hose clamp because the device wasn’t gripping the pipe well enough without it. Here’s a quick video to help you see how it works.
The finished ledger.
As I think I noted before, we had trouble last winter with our foundation insulation cover/flashing of aluminum heaving up with the frost. This caused water to infiltrate through the bottom of our sliding door. So we had to pull the door and re-do the sill flashing. Previously we were relying on a slight slope towards the exterior (which was reversed by the heaved flashing). This time we added a lip on the inside of the flashing in addition to a slope towards the exterior. It hasn’t leaked since! (thank goodness). At the same time we removed the soil all around the perimeter of the flashing down to the wing insulation to rectify what the frost heave pulled up. We pressed the flashing back down to ensure we had positive drainage away from the building and then used long fasteners to attach the flashing to the foundation. We then backfilled it with crushed stone to ensure that we would not have any more issues with heaving of our foundation flashing.
Ella’s helping to re-grade the soil after we backfilled with the crushed stone.
Here are some photos of the exterior presently. We’re ready to do the siding, but at the moment are focusing on the interior work. We’re hoping to be able to move in for this winter so the siding is on the back burner for now. Note the insect screen at the bottom of the roxul ready to be tied in with the siding.
Inside we’ve been working on finishing up the last wiring details, light locations, and installing drywall! How exciting! Drywall has an amazing capacity to change the feel of the room quickly. In the next photo we show off our fancy sound deadening trick. Glue drywall scraps between the studs. Helps reduce sound transmission as well as keeps them out of the landfill.
At the moment we’re leaning towards doing a lime plaster on most of the wall/ceiling surfaces. I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve been learning about lime and the cycle of it’s use.
Here we’re getting ready to put the last sheet on in the kitchen. It’s kind of hard to tell, but there’s a pocket door in the left side of this wall.
That’s it for now….