Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mass. EcoSteel Plat House - a new EcoSteel project

I am always happy to introduce a new project in the blog. It means things are getting built, that more modern houses are in the ground, and that we are getting somewhere. This time there is an extra dimension to it because this time it is the first project that is a mix of two worlds - the modern stock plan world of house designs I've been creating and selling for the past years, and the EcoSteel world where I been collaborating with Northern Steel, now EcoSteel, to create steel houses for the past few years. Its the first project to emerge from both efforts - an EcoSteel Plat House. At the outset of my collaboration with EcoSteel we endeavored to market several of my stock plans as EcoSteel solutions. It seemed like a great idea, the plans were already proving popular, and more than a few people were interested in having them in a pre-fab product. Eventually that seemed to give way to demand for customized solutions, but not before this project got under way. Never the less it is a highly modified Plat House. Here is a summary of some of the outstanding differences. First off we have an extended screened porch on one side of the house. There is also the elimination of the central doors in the living space as the screened porch to the side is the main outdoor living space. A semi detached garage will live to one side of the house connected by a covered walkway. This is joined by an entry door on the arrival side of the house - also a departure from the original. At the other far side of the house there is a library and home office which is connected by an enclosed conditioned walkway. So the Plat House here has really grown into a small compound of structures. And the work on site has begun. See a photo browser of the site work after the jump. The excavation was completed last week, and the formwork for the footings is almost all in place. Concrete should be place shortly. Again we are posting everything we receive from the owner to share with you here via a Flickr slide show. But be sure to check out all the EcoSteel projects in our Flickr set and the EcoSteel photo pool. Continue reading "Mass. EcoSteel Plat House - a new EcoSteel project"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

OK Tray House - Foundation complete

I was really happy to get an email with an update on the Oklahoma Tray House today. The work is progressing nicely at the wooded site. The foundation is complete and the owners have used some interesting building systems on their house. The greatest part is the unbridled enthusiasm of the owner. They are truly excited about their new house and its hard to not get infected with their excitement. Last time we posted photos from the owner we saw a nice hole for the basement. And now today the foundation is complete. The foundation wall is cast in place concrete, a great choice, and they have used an insulated form system marketed by Owens Corning. It uses specially formed plastic ties to hold together two layers of insulation, one on the inside and one on the outside while the concrete is poured between them. These plastic ties can also support reinforcing bars if they are included in the wall design - a clever design and different from the foam "lego" block style of ICFs. The result is a poured concrete wall between two layers of insulation. The best part is you can screw wall finishes directly to the ends of the plastic ties and no additional studding is needed. The Tray House design has a half basement, and a half crawlspace, but they have elected to use a slab on grade instead of the crawlspace section. One thing this does for you is it allows you to get the finish grade closer to the floor level at the front of the house. Fewer steps up into the house are required, and at the back where the grade falls away there is plenty of room for the floor joists over the basement. You can also see the floor slab of the garage and the preparation for the paving in the carport. You can see more photos in the owners flickr set. We have also created a LamiDesign flickr group with the hope of encouraging customers to share photos of their builds. Our thanks to the Owners for sharing their progress with us here.

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Continue reading "OK Tray House - Foundation complete"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Mexico EcoSteel House - more wall panels

The majority of the wall panels on the house are up. You can begin to get a feeling for the interior space now. The subframing to support the interior drywall is also going up at most of the interior as well. There appear to be a few windows that have not arrived at the site yet so I suspect that is why some of the wall panels are not up here yet. Meanwhile over at the garage the roll up doors are being installed. Photos after the jump. Continue reading "New Mexico EcoSteel House - more wall panels"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Mexico EcoSteel House - framing work at an end

The remaining framing work was completed, most of the windows are installed, and the next step will be the installation of the wall panels. Then we will have something that is really starting to look like a modern house! I am going to simply post the days photo stream from Flickr, but some of the things you will see: The start of the installation of the stair, a wonderful multi landing affair! You will see the start of the install of the interior partition framing. You will see windows in place on the sub-framing. And by gosh what appears to be a happy owner - can't beat that! Photos after the jump. Continue reading "New Mexico EcoSteel House - framing work at an end"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Mexico EcoSteel House - more progress

Build out of the covered walkway between the house and garage, the deck on the second floor of the house goes up, and the dome is assembled and test fit - almost test fit that is as the wind kicked up forcing it back to earth. The windows also arrived on site which means that as soon as the framing work is done they will be installed with the wall panels follow closely behind. So in today's series of photos from the owner we'll see the crew completing the last of the framing tasks. We also see the dome assembled now. It was done in the frame of the garage - one of the few shady spots I imagine is the reason. The goal was to test fit the dome on the observatory frame before the wall panels went on, so that if an adjustment of the frame was required then it would be easier to do without the cladding in place. That seemed to come off very well, but the weather did not cooperate on the day this was done. As the wind picked up it made the dome difficult to handle and the call was to try the test fit on another day. The owner got a few amazing photos of the dust devils kicked up that day! And here is the days photos in the Flickr photostream after the jump. Continue reading "New Mexico EcoSteel House - more progress"