Project Complete!

All but a few small finishing touches, and this project is done!..  and it marks our 3rd completed this year with 2 to go.  It still amazes me that we can go from nothing to a completed home in 10 weeks!  Thanks to all the great volunteers, and there were a lot of them, that helped make this home possible for the Deik family.  The partner family receiving the home, Dave and Stacie Deik, are a great family and well deserving of taking ownership of this home!  This house was very special when compared to previous projects, due to all the innovative building envelope details and the primary mini-split mechanical heating and cooling system.

To highlight the features that are unique to this Habitat home:

  • Frost Protected Shallow Foundation built with Reward ICF blocks
  • 6″ of High Density foam under thermally broken slab
  • 10-1/2″ Exterior Walls (2×6 + 4″ of exterior foam)
  • Furring strips and Rain Screen for cladding ventilation and attachment
  • 18″ Energy Heal trusses (and the first Hab home with a cathedral ceiling)
  • ERV ducted independently from conditioning ductwork
  • Ducted and non-ducted Mini-Split whole house heating/ cooling system
  • Exhaust vent in garage to outdoors with motion activation

Exterior – 6/25/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Landscaping – 6/26/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Exterior – 6/25/12

Mechanical Room – 6/25/12

Rheem Marathon Electric DHW

Rheem Marathon Electric DHW

RenewAire Energy Recovery Ventilator

Garage Ventilation – Motion Activated


Kitchen – 6/25/12

Kitchen – 6/25/12

Rear Door Coat Locker – 6/25/12

Family Room – 6/25/12

Hallway – 6/25/12 (LED Lighting)

10-1/2″ wall cavity! Be-a-u-tiful !!

Mini-Split Control Center

Ducted Mini-Split supply (1 per/ bedroom)

ERV Supply diffuser (1 per/ bedroom)

Bathroom – 6/25/12

ERV Return air (1 per/ bathroom & kitchen)

ERV Return air (1 per/ bathroom & kitchen)

Stackable Washer/Dryer Combo

Exterior Completed!

In addition to framing, exterior siding is another volunteer intensive project.  The added furring strips over exterior foam really made installation much more managable by providing a great nailing surface for the vinyl.  The difficult, or tricky part, was making sure we flashed properly around windows, doors and mechanical penetrations.

Completed exterior

As with every new project we start, we modify and address issues with previous homes.  Durablity and exterior water management become big issues in the longevity of a home, so we now build all new homes with concrete porches (instead of framed PT wood) and added 2′-0″ overhangs to the gable ends to extend the drip line away from the home.  Properly flashing is a detail that cannot be overlooked and if done incorrectly, can cause the most significant damage to your new home (especially if the mistake is made and not easily visible).  I get teased quite often around the jobsite because I’ve self designated myself as the QC (Quality Contol) inspector.  The key is to identify the issue, talk through the solutions, and implement.  It is also improtant that all trades subs and on-site supervisors have the same standards.

Front porch

Foundation coating/ parging is required to cover ICF EPS foam at grade.  I prefer to use an acrylic based product called Styro TUFF II.  It is a troweled on, pre-mixed product (similar to stucco in an EIFS system) and applied over a peal and stick fiberglass re-inforced mesh that afixes to the foam.  This protects the foam from weed timming, animals, pests, etc.  We apply the product down about 9″ from mudsill, so the balance of the exposed ICF block below the TUFF II in the photo, will be covered with backfill at finish grade.

TUFF II foundation coating

TUFF II foundation coating

More Siding

Window installation completed, exterior doors are installed….  Time to start siding!

Once again, thank you to everyone that has contributed to this project in the last 5 weeks…..We’ve been making great progress and are currently on schedule to complete project as planned for the Deik family.  Dave and Stacie both have been a fixture at the jobsite putting in lots of hours and working full time jobs!

Furring strips are working perfect as backer for siding application.  We opted to use a 1×4 #2 grade pine for furring instead of a narrower furring strip to eliminate splits as we nailed.  It has worked well, eventhough costs are slightly higher for extra width material.  The rain screen at the foundation line is stapled to furring strips and serves two purposes; 1. to allow moisture to drain from behind siding, and 2. to prevent bugs from nesting between strips behind siding.


Siding – 5/3/12

Siding – 5/3/12

Furring Strips!

Furring strips make so much sense on so many levels, but they are a giant pain in the !#@!  When your wall detail requires as much exterior insulation as this house, furring strips are the only option to properly fasten siding and trims.  The other benefit is that it allows your cladding to ‘breath’ properly – whether you’re using vinyl, fibercement, or wood.  We installed the first 2″ layer of foam on the house, as we have with others, by using a 3″ cap nail through the foam and sheathing and into the stud.  We then snapped chalk lines vertically to denote the stud for the 2nd layer of foam.  We applied furring strips, rain screen, and foam sheet by sheet on the second layer using a 6-3/4″ Simpson Strong-Tie screws (pancake head) every 24″ OC.  Took a fair amount of time, but served it’s purpose and created an exceptional exterior surface for our cladding and trims.

Exterior Foam – 4/23/12

Furring Strip & Rain Screen – 4/23/12

Furring Strip & Rain Screen – 4/28/12

Offset Ext Door Opening – 4/28/12

Ext Door Opening Detail – 4/28/12

House is making progress – 3 weeks in.  Rough plumbing is starting on the inside and windows are installed.  Will have more details on windows in the next post.

Framed Exterior – 4/28/12