February 23, 2009

Look Down There! It's Grass!!!

We protected our tiny patch of lush green grass against the harsh winter by compressing it under tons of construction waste. Now with the Dumpster leaving for good, we are once again free to fully enjoy our backyard............

........more or less.

February 22, 2009


The last 100 square feet of wall are tackled all at once.
The last two windows (excluding basement) are removed and replaced, the last shingles stripped off, the last wrap is taped up, the last layers of 4" rigid foam insulation are carved to fit and fastened down tightly with 6" screws through the last firring strips.
The pointless 2" x 6" rakes are removed from the center roof line showing what the roof thickness will look like in the end. It's really a sleight of hand trick though, which avoids a roof of bizzarro thickness.
The rafters will no longer be in that volume behind the soffits, behind all the architectural cues which scream, "Here's the Roof!!!", but instead will be hidden under it all. Everything that looks like the roof, is really sitting on top of the structural "roof".

Before the Beginning of the Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the Beginning of the End

The End of the Beginning of the End

This small stretch of wall is not expected to have a measureable effect on the home's performance in comparison to the 96% of the house already battened down. Nonetheless, February 20, 2009 marks the completion of the insulation phase of the project. Data analysis has already started based on the 96% of the project completed as of January 29, and will continue on through the end of the heating season.
The project was envisioned being completed by December 15, 2008 to allow a nearly full season of data collection, but the abbreviated schedule should be more than enough.

February 18, 2009

Natural Life Magazine

Natural Life Magazine publishes our story. Nice piece.

Their credo is: The original frugal, green living magazine, founded in 1976. Natural Life is trustedby readers around the world who want to learn how to create a greener,healthier, more self-reliant lifestyle for themselves and for their families.

Mosquito Coast

A run of warm weather melts the blanket of snow hiding 2 months of construction waste and protecting me from my need to clean-up.

Grabbing a bag each day to walk the neighborhood and harvest the wind blown shreads of rigid insulation the snow gives back. It's just lovely over here.

February 7, 2009

The Soffits

Did you really think that a 6" edge of insulation would become a permanent detail of the roof? Though if we were to leave it uncovered, it would hardly be the ugliest feature up there. No the ugliest feature would be, hands down, the rotting rafters which slowly shed paint chips upon the lawn. The neighbors have put up with alot from us.
Enclosing the soffits and hiding the rafters has been an obsession haunting my every thought since moving in. Covering the 6" edge of insulation? Well I guess that's nice too.
Prior to the start:

Rafters are cut and extended

2x6s are fastened to the rafter extensions to provide strong, wood support for gutter attachment.

NuCedar fascia is fastened to the 2x6s and NuCedar bead board is fastened to seal the bottom.

Completely enclosed soffit, sans gutters. Only about a hundred feet of soffit to go.

Another snow storm, another lost day February 3.

Tour de House

The pace of visits and tours increases, there being 1 or 2 fun filled foil faced weeks left until we revert to just another boring house.

-Members of the Energy Smackdown joined members of Sustainable Arlington to visit during biting cold spell on January 31.

Also toured by:
-Arlington High School's Ted Fiust and both his Engineering and Environmental Science classes.

-Heather Clark of the Winn Development Company and a member of both the Energy Efficiency Advisor Council and the Governor's Zero Net Energy Task Force dropped by along with her colleague David Thunell.

As the week progressed, my tours got less and less pleasant as the flu took over the controls of my life, and sleeping became the goal of my every waking moment. You know the feeling.

Just after dark, with the moon overhead: 15 seconds exposure