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I have heard from the local blog readers, “What’s going on with the house?”  The answer, concisely, is: Isaac and reordering materials.  The long answer is something like this:

1) Housewrap – it was probably going to blow off no matter what.  However, the cheap and easy way to put up house wrap is using staples.  The staples aren’t the best option because the staples are like little knives waiting to tear the wrap with even the slightest gust of wind.  The send best option is staples with plastic washer heads.  The washers press down on the wrap and are less likely to tear it.  However, at least half the staples are slightly loose or at least not tight enough to really press into the wrap.  The best option is either nails with plastic washer heads or screws with plastic washer heads.  Once the siding goes on, it shouldn’t matter too much.  WIth the storm season behind us, and an eagerness to move on, we settled for staples with plastic washer heads.  Anyways, the house wrap I used, as mentioned previously, came from out of town.  We had to reorder it, and then dealt with a few last days of summer rains.

They finally got a chance to reapply that stuff this week, and we should have new roof underlayment by the end of the weekend.  The roof underlayment, per the previous photos, also blew off in the storm.  This was probably a combination of three things:

1) It was installed over seemingly dry, but not fully dry wood (it rained everyday this summer, and that was a hard condition to avoid)

2) The wood was probably dirty – this time we’ll use a horsehair brush and really sweep it clean prior to installation

3) It was installed somewhat bubbly-eee. It should be installed with a hand roller, which they claimed they used, but it didn’t seem very smooth.

4) They installed the wrong product.  They used Tamko roof underlayment which has an asphaltic top side, and a sticky bottom.  The asphalt I believe makes the underlayment less pliable and therefore its harder to stretch it and make it truly smooth and uniform.  This time they will use Grace Ice and Water Shield as was specified.

Once that is up, then we will start installing the windows.  The windows are going to make or break this project.  They should be really cool. I won’t spoil all the fun before we get to see them, but they will be custom-made french inswing casement windows. If you don’t know what that means, I’ll explain later.

After the window frames go in (or concurrently), we will installing the furring strips and the metal roofing. The furring strips are vertical strips of plastic (or wood) spaced 16″ o.c. that act as a substrate for the horizontal lap siding.  These strips allow an airspace to exist between the siding and the house-wrap such that if any water gets behind the siding, it has an opportunity to drain down the wall.  It also helps thermally since the direct heat from the sun is stopped by the siding, and not directly transferred to the sheathing as would typically be the case.  Instead, the heat is more slowly conducted by the airspace behind it.  Meanwhile, vents at the top of the wall allow the hot air to rise and escape before being conducted (I think thats the right phrasing) by the sheathing.  All this should keep energy bills down, and more ideally, make more of the year comfortable in the house without air conditioning.

The furring, as specified, was supposed to be treated wood.  Im a little nervous about that because the strips are not at all visible, and if any termites got to them, one would never know.  On the other hand, plastic furring strips, which seem like a very simple product, are not all that commonly available and are at least twice the cost of wood.  Im beginning to lean back to using wood since the plastic ones have been such a pain to obtain.  The reasons why wood might be ok are:

1) there will be insect screens installed at all the vent locations in the wall which should prevent termite attacks

2) The wood will be treated which is supposed to make it unappetizing

3) The house will have a termite contract (which just means the ground will be sprayed annually near the house with some kind of chemical deterrent.

Ok, enough building science talk.  Progress this week included house wrap, and getting to some of the items on the framing punch list including: interior door rough openings, installation of posts at rear building (which will support the metal cladding), and installation of interior sheathing at shear wall. Hopefully next week we’ll have more interesting and fun things to look at.  Till then!

Question for die-hard blog readers: what type of corner board details should I use on the house? This would apply to only three of the corners, since the main corner will have a special corner board detail relating to the windows above it.  I’ve attached three precedent images: mitered corner, metal corner, traditional corner.  Please weigh in!

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