Tag Archive for custom home construction

Custom Home Construction (Roof Sheathing and Shingles)

I have to send out a bigCustom Home Construction - Roof thank you to our crew working on this project.  They are working hard and their efforts are appreciated by us and the homeowners.

The crew finished out last week by completing the roof shingles and sheathing on the house and garage.  This was a large undertaking and our entire crew worked hard to get it all done.

The first part of the roof is the sheathing of 5/8” OSB.  As discussed in a previous post, OSB is an engineered wood particle board formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations.  It has a rough, variegated surface with the individual strips lying unevenly across each other.

After the sheathing, we added an aluminum drip edge that directs water run-off from the roof.  This forces the water to run toward the rain gutters.

Next, we add two rows of ice and water shield.  Ice and water shield helps prevent wind-driven rain from leaking through the roof deck, or melting ice and snow (caused by ice dams in harsh winter climates) from leaking into property’s interior.

Wilkins Contracting no longer uses builders felt, which would normally be applied next.  We now use synthetic UDL (Underlayment) that is applied using button cap nails.  Synthetic UDL is warranted to protect the roof for 6 months or more without shingles.  Then, once the shingles are applied, it provides a second line of defense against water leakage.

So, after the UDL is applied, we added the shingles.  We used an architectural shingle that is warranted for 30 years or more.

The top of the roof also has a Vent-A-Ridge, also known as a shingle-over ridge vent.  When the sheathing is added, a space is left at the top to provide exhaust and allow air to ventilate the underside of the roof.  These roof decks are fire rated in accordance with UL standards for ICC approval. They are the only externally baffled Class A fire-rated shingle-over ridge vents available.  Design features include an external baffle and internal weather filter for optimum airflow and weather protection.

An additional item that is added where necessary is flashing and counter flashing.  This is added in locations where the roof-line meets another vertical wall.  Roof flashing is placed around discontinuities or objects which protrude from the roof of a building (such as pipes and chimneys or the edges of other roofs) to deflect water away from seams or joints and in valleys where the runoff is concentrated.

While completing the roof, roof boots were added to accommodate DWV (drain waste vent) or venting for plumbing.  This is installed to ensure that plumbing has the proper venting to work correctly.

Next, we will be installing windows and doors.  Stay tuned for our next post.

Custom Home Construction (Garage Walls and Roof Trusses)

100_0223Work continues this week and the guys are really going strong!

Now that the backfill has been completed, we brought the crane back on site and the garage foundation walls were installed.  These walls are the same construction as the basement foundation walls and built by Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete.  These insulated pre-cast concrete wall systems have a minimum 5000+psi and were custom built to our specifications.  The crane and certified crew put the walls in place in a matter of a couple of hours.

Once the garage foundation walls were in place, the excavator proceeded to backfill the same way he did around the exterior of the house.  As mentioned in our previous post, this is done to provide full support and drainage for the exterior walls.

The exterior wall panels above grade were also secured into place.  These panels were constructed the same way and with the same material as the first floor house walls.  They are pre-engineered and built with 2×6 boards and 7/16 OSB.

We also installed the glulam beams for the garage door headers.  Glulam, or glued laminated timber, is a structural timber product of multiple layers of dimensioned timber bonded together with durable, moisture resistant structural adhesive.  By laminating a number of smaller pieces of timber, a single large, strong, structural member is manufactured.  These are then used as vertical columns or horizontal beams, but can also be produced in curved shapes for archways, etc.

Now that the walls are in place, the house is ready for roof trusses.  100_0242Roof trusses are delivered to the job site pre-assembled.  They are lifted onto the frame of the house by a crane and secured to the house with a specialized fastener called FastenMaster TimberLok heavy duty fasteners.  These fasteners are used specifically for roof trusses and replace hurricane ties that are typically used.  They also meet all building and safety code requirements.

The house is now ready for roof sheathing.  Watch for our next post for photos and details on this phase of the project.

Custom Home Construction (Interior Basement Walls)

Interior Basement WallsThe weather turned cold on us but our guys bundled up and worked hard last week getting the interior basement walls built.  The basement floor was poured.  After the floors have cured sufficiently, we start building interior walls.  Following the building plans provided by the architect, enough lumber was delivered to build the interior basement walls.

The contractor has to accommodate for specific energy codes in addition to building codes when ordering lumber and other materials.  This would include the specific size and types of lumber used for specific areas of the home.  For exterior walls, there is a minimum requirement of 2×6 studs to accommodate at least R21 insulation.  Interior walls are usually 2×4; however, some contractors, including Wilkins Contracting, also use 2×6 walls for interior areas where plumbing is located.

All walls will also have a bottom plate and a top plate.  These are used to build walls onto and to join walls where rooms join together, etc.  The size and type of wood used depends on the application and location.  For example, anywhere the wood comes in contact with concrete, you need to use pressure treated lumber.

Pressure treated lumber is a rugged exterior building product that’s rot and insect resistant and necessary to ward off moisture when building against concrete.  Pressure treating is a process that forces a chemical preservative deep into the wood.  The wood is placed into a large cylindrical holding tank and the tank is depressurized to remove all air.  Then, the tank is filled with a preservative under high pressure, which forces it deep into the wood.  This process makes the wood resistant to vermin, insects, and fungus and accounts for its 20 year lifespan even under harsh weather conditions.

Headers were also built above doors and windows.  The size of the headers can be 2×6, 2×8 or 2×10 depending on the size of the door or window.  These are built in to prevent sagging from the weight of the building above these openings.

After the interior basement walls were complete, the floor joists and sub floor for the 1st floor were added.  We used TJI Joist.  TJI joists are the number one brand in the industry and are available with a fire-resistant solution called TJI Joists with Flak Jacket protection.  These joists meet building code requirements for single and multi-family homes.  No special handling is required for these and they can be cut and drilled as needed.

Once the floor joists were added, a ¾” tongue & groove sub floor was glued and nailed in place.  Now we’re ready to build first floor walls.

Next, we’ll be busy building the first floor walls, adding trusses and plan to also have the garage walls put in place.  Keep checking our project gallery for the latest photos of this custom home construction.

Custom Home Construction (Foundation Walls)

100_0119We’re happy to say the weather has held up pretty well and the excavation went as planned.  Over the weekend the plumbing rough-in was completed and we are ready for foundation walls.

Tuesday morning was the day the foundation walls are delivered and put in place.  Wilkins Contracting used Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete for this project.  Their system is a process that begins with your custom design and ends with your pre-insulated basement.

Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete Systems are insulated precast concrete wall systems that are custom manufactured to each building’s specifications and have a minimum 5000+psi.  The product forms a concrete cavity wall panel with concrete studs reinforced with rebar and polypropylene fibers providing additional structural strength.  These walls are water-proof and energy efficient providing a built-in insulation with an R value of 21.  They include access holes that are built-in for wiring and can for plumbing as well so no additional framing is needed.

The walls are custom designed to virtually any architectural style to include window and door openings, beam pockets and brick ledges and are available in 4’, 8’2” and 10’ heights.  They are manufactured in a climate-controlled facility and delivered directly to the job site.  With the use of a crane and certified crews, the walls are installed in less than a day.

Now that the walls are in place, the basement floor will be poured and basement interior support walls will be built.

You can see a photo gallery of this and other projects by clicking here.

Custom Home Construction (Temporary Power)

Electrical service (temporary)Plan review on our custom home construction project is complete.  All the needed permits have been obtained.  This week, some trees were removed to prepare for the excavation to begin.  The next step before construction starts is to set up temporary power.  Temporary power is needed in order to use power tools and other equipment during construction.  In a later blog post, we will talk about the permanent electricity supply to the house.

Construction work requires electrical power for many purposes during the entire project.  However, special consideration is necessary that is not needed in completed structures, like the exposure to weather, any relocation of the temporary power and rough use.  Because of the hazards that could be encountered, strict standards need to be established for installation.

First, the builder contacts the electricity supplier and schedules a time to meet their engineer at the building site.  They review the plans and decide on the best location to install a temporary pole.  The contractor will install the temporary pole at the approved location.

Once the pole is in place, the builder sends an electrician to install a temporary power panel and meter socket.  Before power is turned on for use, it will need to be inspected.  Once the electrical inspector approves the temporary setup, the power company will run a line to the temporary pole and electricity is turned on and ready for use.