Week of 1-21-07

This week we moved all of our walls to site, the second floor joists were installed along with the entire floor sheathing for the second floor. One of our joists was in the incorrect spot but that was remedied. We also incorrectly located our second floor window that looks onto the stair landing. We noticed that after the entire wall assembly had been put together with lots of caulk, nails, and sheathing. A tear-apart remedied that problem but it took us about 45 minutes, and of course we all ended up wearing lots of caulk.

Thanks a million to our menter Phil for leading the sheathing crew on the second floor deck.

Also thanks to Greg F., Kathy D., Josh L., Steve S. and Craig B. our community volunteers who came out to help. Our first parent, Megan's dad came out to help for the entire day too. He did really well and we hope to see him again.

Our first faculty member, Ms. Abbott came out to support the students. She probably thought that she would come out and just support us, but she was spotted helping to lift the large wall sections. L or R: Will, Ms. Abbott, Alex, Vinnie, Tom, Megan, Mr. Beck.

Thank you Contract Lumber and Framing www.contractlumber.com for putting in the second level floor joists for us. That saved us a week's time.

The Righter Company http://www.rightercompany.com sent Mike out with the lowboy trailer and we loaded all of our second floor walls onto it and they were transported to site. The day was very cold but we got all of our walls to site so if we put the floor deck on Saturday, we could start with the walls.
Click on the two videos below to see how we install floor decking.



If you want to see the high tech. way we put the walls up on our second floor deck, click on the link below.

The link above shows how the walls get to the second floor. The picture to the left shows the wall sections assembled, straightened, squared, ready for sealant and wall sheathing to be followed by lots of nailing. Besides the large amount of energy saving because of the extra insulation, we find the 2 x 6 stud construction at 24 inches between studs nails up a lot more quickly than conventional framing. By looking in the background, one can really tell we are up on the second floor.
Week of January 15, 2007

The entire first floor has it's interior and exterior walls framed and is now ready for the second floor deck.

A correction and omission from last week's blog and good news about a former student.

1. The company that graciously donates their resources to move our walls is the Righter Company:
Our apologies for misspelling their name in last week's blog. They have helped move our walls for two years, donated hard hats to the entire class, and also donated a job box were we store all of our power tools. Thank you Righter Company!
2. We forgot to put "D's" picture last week. D stopped by last week and helped us a bit and even "gave it all for Home B.A.S.E." by getting getting construction adhesive on his brand new Contract Lumber coat. He has a tremendous amount of experience in construction and anytime he is with us, he makes what we do better. Below is Don "D" McClary III of Contract Lumber and Framing.

3. Two weeks ago, Mike Rigo Home B.A.S.E. 2000, was diagnosed with a tumor on his brain stem and underwent surgery on Friday the 19th. He was under ten hours of anesthesia. An after site visit to Mike on Saturday showed that he was doing better than expected after just coming out of the intensive care unit. He only took two aspirin for pain in the 24 hours after the surgery and the prognosis is encouraging. Mike, this is something duct tape can't fix so you will be in all of our thoughts and prayers :)

On Friday, some students came in on their day off and assembled and stood up the north wall (on the left). Our mentor Jim came was with us too on this day when we had to scrape snow off of our floor deck. After site, we all went out to have a bite to eat together at a local cafe that uses local and organic ingredients. Eating at locally owned restaurants keeps 43 cents of every dollar in the community as compared to 19 cents for a chain restaurant located outside of our community. More money in the local Columbus economy helps more families be able to afford their own homes.

Above left: We are framing the first floor wall with recycled sheathing.
Above right: Notice the caulk around the window and on the top and bottom plate which will help keep our house weather tight and dry. We also put constuction adhesive below on the floor deck under the walls which help stop air infiltration. Air moving through a wall or house is the same as moisture and heat moving. We used the Cold Climate Builder's Guide from our partner, the Building Science Corporation.
Just a note though, when there is caulk or construction adhesive on site, we usually end up wearing either or both.

We have used Titebond polyurethane construction adhesive donated from Franklin International which we really like because it is much more pliable than the traditional construction adhesive. We also use Franklin polyurethane caulk. http://www.titebond.com/

Left above: Standing up the
front wall. From left to right you'll see Craig, Tom, Megan, and Phil our mentor.

Above right: the front wall is up.

Week of 1-8-2007

A big week for us as we are finally on site and the house can start to take shape. We ended the week with an all day field trip on site where we sheathed the floor deck and assembled, sheathed, and stood up our first wall.

A television crew came out on Friday the 12th to tape us for the local news.

Scholastic Magazine will be taking pictures of the build this week to feature us on their cover and with a story in their nationally distributed magazine.

An update will be sent on when both of these media pieces can be seen.

Sawing the concrete floor so if it does crack, the cracks will be controlled to crack along these cuts.

Because of Contract Framing,
part of the Contract Lumber Group, our floor has it's structural floor joists installed.

Floor joists at the end of the day. Enlarge the picture by clicking on it and the caulk that was put on to seal the house is very visible.

An unavoidable gap between the bottom of the band board and the sill plate. If you click to enlarge the picture, you can see the large air gap and the garage two lots away. We put a sealant underneath the entire band board to keep out the leaks and to help insure a high performance house. This detailing is not done in conventional construction.

Typical view of our sealed band board.

Sheathing the floor deck.

Finally our walls are on site. This picture shows the walls being unloaded from a truck whose services were donated by the Reighter Company. The driver, Waldo, was our driver last year when he delivered our garage walls to us from school. See last year's blog at the bottom of the following link. Waldo is on the left.

Sheathing our first wall after the floor was sheathed.


Group shot at the end of the day of those who stayed late to finish and stand up our first wall.

Long shot of the finished wall on the finished floor deck.
Week of January 1-5, 2007

Our concrete finisher came in this week and the concrete slab is now in our basement.

We placed two inches of polystyrene foam underneath our slab before the concrete was placed on top. This is another of our high performance building techniques. This foam is very, very important to keep mold from growing. What the foam does is insulate the bottom of the slab and keep it warm. If the bottom surface of the slab is cold and the humidity underneath the slab is at a certain temperature, water will condense on the underside of that slab. Concrete can wick water vertically upt to 400 feet. If there is free water on the underside of the slab, it will be wicked into the basement through the four inch slab. Edwards, Mooney and Moses supplied the foam. Among building scientists, this is one of the most important things builders and homeowners can do when building a house with a basement.

We'll have more pictures in a bit as soon as they come in from several different sources.

Finishing the slab.