Week of May 21- May 26, 2007

We are just about done with all of the framing except for some very small items and we just wanted to thank Contract Lumber www.contractlumber.com for all their help and support without which we would not have been able to do this project. Contract Lumber has been with us since our first house in 1996-1997. They have provided technical support, some very, very valuable labor, plus just about all that is seen in this blog to date. Their expertise in building knowledge and materials is extensive and formidable. Thank you Contract Lumber.

PS Since we have been with Contract Lumber of over five years, we believe that entitles us to a trip to Cancun.

Thank you Northtowne heating who supplied the labor expertise to install the heating system in our house. In this picture to the left, we are bringing up the trunk line for the second floor after the duct work in the basement has been completed. All of the heating equipment and duct work was supplied by Haebegger Heating and Cooling who sells Bryant equipment.

We are installing a whopping 97% efficient furnace in this house.

These next three pictures shows us drying in our front porch. The photograph to the left is Will and Alex from periods 1/2/3 .

Periods 3/4/5 drying in the porch. If one clicks on this picture to enlarge it, something obviously funny has happened. We'd like to tell what happened, but whatever happens on the site stays on site.

The photo is the front porch that has been "dried in" (made water tight). Notice how we use a self stick ice and water shield and wrapped it over the facias of our roof making it so these boards will not rot. In the house and garage, we used treated 2 x 6 lumber to achieve the same results. This is one of the many details we used to make our house durable and high performing. If you go through this blog one can see the other details we have used.

This is a shot of our garage with it's garage door installed. It's starting to look like a home.

Lindsey in the garage nailing down the bottom plates in our garage using 16d galvanized nails into treated sill plates. We used Borate treated sill plates which are very non-toxic to the environment and do not corrode galvanized fasteners like other treated lumber. Borate is the same natural mineral that is used to whiten clothes. Many of us "Old Schoolers" remember the commercials for 20 Mule Team Borax commercials whose product is still sold to whiten clothes.
Week of May 14 - May 18, 2007

Thank you Contract Lumber www.Contractlumber.com for providing and installing our front/back and garage service doors. Contract Lumber provided Therma-Tru doors which are of excellent quality.

The large garage service door was installed and our garage is now lockable so that we are now ready for roofing and siding material storage.

Almost all of the framing bits that need to be finished for our structrual inspection were finished this week.

We will soon start the finishing stages once the installation of the heating, plumbing, and electric systems get started and are completed. The heating system is tentatively slated to begin on Saturday, May 26. Plumbing will come next and then electric.

Our porches passed their strucutural inspection this week and the students got to meet and talk to the structural inspector on the details of his important job and other topics related to structural inspecting. The students in the picture to the left are adding material so that the alumninum cladding can be installed.

In the ten years of our high school building affordable homes for the America's working families, we have come to understand that it is emotional power that comes to us through this building experience that provides the powerful personal uplift, relationship building and individual growth that is possible in this endeavour.

Friday the 17th was one of those powerful days.

We had students, our mentors Dave Miller and Jim Dupriest, and our student teacher Mr. Miller on site. Jim has been with us for four years and recently has had some neck problems and has not been on site since January but out of the blue he was with us yesterday. Also, Mr. Miller's parents came to site from Michigan and built with the us. What a powerful inter-generational experience for our students to see the parents of Mr. Miller working on our site along with both Dave and Jim. And on top of that, we were all working on such a fantastic affordable, energy efficient, and high performing home on a wonderful warm and sunny day. Our nine years working to help end poverty housing in America has given us the insight that still holds true and that is that we all originally come to build and to help, but we stay and come back because of the realtionships that we build in the process.

From left to right:
On porch: Jim, Megan, Mr. Miller, Dave Miller, Andy Miller
On ground: Anne, Vinnie
Construction as of Saturday, May 11, 2007

Starting the trusses on the garage.

Trusses continue.


Almost completed garage with house. The garage is completely dried in now (5/13/07) and is awaiting it's large garage and service entry door.

Concrete porch in and porch posts. Students starting to put windows in.

Windows almost all in. The house is awaiting it's front and back doors which will be installed in the upcoming week. Notice the house wrap now on the entire house and the gable returns that have been built on the rakes.

Green Sustainable Building Practice - Window Installation

Wrap rough sill with flex-wrap up and around side jambs. Note the installation of a back dam to have what water does seep in drain back out. According to building scientists, all windows will leak - eventually. This window protocol was taken from the Building Science Corporation's Water Management Guide.

Cut the house wrap above the head jamb and fold it up.

Apply caulk to the window opening. Check to see that the caulk is compatible with the house wrap.

Apply a self-stick waterproof membrane to the side jambs.

Apply a self-stick waterproof membrane to the head jamb. Overlap the side jamb waterproof membrane.

Fold down the house wrap flap and which will overlap the waterproof membrane at the head jamb. Seal the top flap with tape.

The bottom of the window is not sealed to let water drain out.

The concept is to "shingle" the waterproofing materials.