Thursday, July 17, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - more paint

Painting progress at the XHouse1

This XHouse1 is the first example of this design to be built, and its available in our catalog here. Its also the first house from our XHouse collection to be built, which is a family of designs with fresh contemporary theme, and our first designs to feature our energy efficient USA New Wall assemblies.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - painting outside

While the finishing inside is going strong, the painters have shown up to paint the outside. The light tan color we've seen on the house is just the primer, and the owner is looking at a rich warm carbon grey tone for the outside. Here is the first coat on the kitchen end wall.

The color is a little bit streaked for that first coat, it does not have 100% coverage over the primer yet, but you can see the color clearly enough.

Things are happening quickly all over the house now, and it will quickly go from looking like a construction site to looking like a home. Stay tuned for the final transformation of this exciting home.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - drywall happening right now

The work has entered the next phase. The exterior is mostly done and weather tight, the systems inside are installed, and the house fully insulated. Its time to finish the interior.

Remember to check out the images on the catalog page for this house, so you can see how its turning out so close to the visualization presented there. There is even a drawing of the master bedroom!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PA Plat House - new Plat House build coming this summer

I am very happy to see that we will have a new Plat House build to follow this summer. A customer in Pennsylvania is building the very first Plat House in the Quaker State, and I know I am looking forward to watching this one get built. I may even have the opportunity to visit this one - a rare pleasure.

What you see here are a pre-cast concrete foundation wall product called Superior Walls. They prep the house footprint with a stone bed, and the pre-cast wall sections are brought in and placed without a conventional footing. Very fast, very tight, pre-insulated. Not inexpensive, but a great product.

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Sunday, June 01, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - siding complete, insulation as well

Pleased to share that the siding work is complete - the cladding is installed on all 4 sides. And the stone wool insulation inside is also complete.

The tan color is the factory paint primer, but the house looks remarkably like the illustrations from the catalog page.

The stone wool insulation is almost complete in this photo. The 2x6 walls are insulated with R23 stone wool batts by Roxul. The ceiling/roof has two layers of R30 - this is possible because the dense stone wool is only 7.25" thick for R30, makes it easier to have enough room for two layers. The internal partitions are sound insulated with an additional stone wool batt. This will be wrapped around the interior with a smart vapor control membrane that blocks moisture vapor when dry, breathes if wet, and contributes to the airtightness of the house.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - more siding, more views

Great to see progress views of the other two sides of the house.

Here the siding on the back side of the house is almost done. The standing seam galvalume cladding on the bay window is done, and the rest of the lap siding panels should follow soon.

This is the end of the house where the living room, and master bedroom above face out to the yard. The lap siding panels are done here, and the standing seam metal at the master bedroom window wall remains to be finished. You can look at the metal siding above the kitchen window on the opposite end of the house to get a feel for how this side will finish.

Or have a look at the illustrations on the catalog page.

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Saturday, May 03, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - siding now

Its very exciting to see the cladding going on the house now. It really begins to take on a familiar character as this texture appears on the surfaces of the house. If you've not looked back at the catalog page recently to see the drawings of the house, now would be a great time to compare.

Here siding is being installed on the end wall, at the kitchen windows.

And here, somewhat later, the work has moved around to the front of the house.

More photos of course are available in the Flickr album.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - insulating

Just a quick picture. The owner is insulating the house himself, and he is using mineral wool for better energy performance. It also makes the house more sound-proof, and increases fire-saftety as well.

With this insulation and the "smart" vapor control layer this first XHouse1 will have the "Good" version of the USA New Wall.

See the XHouse1 in our catalog.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - its all in the windows

The windows have been installed, and this clears the way for the cladding and the remaining exterior work to move ahead.

The windows in this case are Marvin's Integrity line. These windows are of fiberglass construction, with wood interiors giving the appearance of traditional wood framed windows. A nice feature of these units is the wood interior can be omitted in rooms where it does not make sense - wet bathrooms - or not worth the expense - say a laundry room. They are sturdy, have good thermal properties, and since fiberglass framed windows are typically painted it means there are usually more color options than vinyl or vinyl clad windows.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - catching up on progress

Its been a busy month and I've not had a chance to update progress on the XHouse1, so today I want to just post a string of photos that show how far the house has come in recent weeks

We've been following the story of how the homeowner got all the many tasks and variables in line to get the project off the ground. We will continue with that story, but in the meantime catch up in pictures.

Rough framing of the house shell nearly complete.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - finding the site take 2

When we last left our customer MJ they had tried and failed to acquire a site for their new XHouse1. The site was in the right neighborhood, the right school district, the right price range. It had some characteristics that were not perfect, but not the deal killer. The deal killer was the the property owner's prejudice against a modern house, the scourge of anyone seeking a modern home.


lot number two, a good prospect

MJ and family returned to the property search and came up with another lot in a similar situation. At the end of a no-outlet street, mature trees on borders of the site, an established neighborhood with a diverse range of housing. So what was an empty lot like you doing in a neighborhood like this?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

The SkärBord (say Score-Board!)- the advanced insulation cutting tool

Some time ago we published an article about mineral wool insulation. We wanted to explain why this was the type of insulation used in Sweden, and why it was the best option for making an affordable high performance house. In that article we showed a tool that is used in Sweden to cut insulation, and to make it easier to do a high quality installation: The SkärBoard manufactured by Ego-industri AB is the tool widely used in Swedish factories and construction sites. Many readers were curious about this, many wanted to buy one. Now finally its coming to the United States and Canada and you will be able to get one.

The SkärBoard is simply the best tool for cutting insulation, and the only tool you need if you are indeed serious about good insulation installs. There is no faster, more accurate, or easier way to install mineral wool insulation and interior sound batts. And the SkärBord is effective for cutting a range of other insulation types as well, fiberglass, foam, and wood fiber insulation panels.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Arkansas Plat House - living the dream

With construction done, and the site cleaned up, the owner of the New Arkansas Plat House is happily living the dream in their new house, and awaiting landscaping in the spring.

They've been treating us to some new photos of life in the house, which is always exciting and gratifying to see. We've been sharing them with you on the Flickr album of the house. Our thanks to the owner for sharing, and our wishes for a happy time in your new house go out to you, and to all our customers.

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Friday, February 07, 2014

XHouse1 First Build - finding the site

When we left our intrepid XHouse1 family, they had their existing house under agreement, triggering a sequence of must-do tasks, a critical path to being settled in their new XHouse before school started in the Fall of 2014.


view of potential project site

With a settlement date for the sale of their current home on the calendar MJ and family secured a rental home in the area where they would hunt for building sites. They knew the school systems they wanted, and it was a matter of locating a building lot in a neighborhood served by these schools. These were existing built-out neighborhoods. Not areas on the frontier of development in their region. So they would be scouting for empty sites in existing mature neighborhoods - always a sketchy proposition for a modern home.

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