Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drywall almost done

This week the last of the drywall is being installed and then, the panels will be taped & topped with gypsum topping. Parallel to that, the lathing on the exterior continues and we expect to see scratch coat by the end of the week. This is the time to nail down finishes decisions- tiles, wood floors, stone etc. Sometimes, the materials picked earlier are no longer available and alternatives need to be found.
The photo shows the upper floor clerestory with the high windows we'll use to vent the hot air out in those warm summer nights (yeah, not this year- but in general). The drywall on the jambs and head is still missing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Snug Fit

On the weekends, Grit and I are also doing some work on the site- like a few days back when we discovered that the A/C sub forgot to install the vent pipe into the chimney up to he roof. Unfortunately, the whole chimney has been lathed and the only opening into it in on the main level was a small gap behind the BBQ counter. Everyone tried to get through the small hole, but failed (including myself). So Grit had to exhale and slide through the gap, take a reciprocal saw, some pipe fittings, glue and a ladder along with a headlamp to the inside of the chimney, cut the holes and put the pipe together. The photo shows her exiting the chimney- quite a snug fit I would say.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


With most of the rough items completed, the dywallers moved in and started to cover the walls and ceilings with gyp board. Since we are always on the lookout for new stuff, we are trying a special sound-blocking gypsum panel in the basement next to the rec room. The product is called Quietrock 525- A composite panel consisting of one layer of gypsum and one of a cementitious compound. The manufacturer claims that the sound blocking quality is superior to a lot of standard assemblies (they say it is as good as 6 layers of regular gyp board- and that's how they justify the high price- it costs about 6 times the amount of regular drywall.) We are using it only in a small areas (actually only 2 panels) and we'll see, whether it really lives up to it's promise.
The rough drywall should be done by the end of the week- then the joints will get taped and topped and a skimcoat will be applied over the panels.
The photo shows the living room walls & ceiling- Note the sloped light fixtures in the underside of the stair to the basement and the taped-off air return above the powder room door to the left to protect the ducting from dust during construction.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Installing the Air Barrier

One of the requirements for the green building certification is to protect the main residence from the fumes and gases of the garage- Car exhaust is not exactly healthy. Build it Green thus requires to either detach the garage from the house or- as in our case- provide an air barrier that prevents the spread of VOCs and other toxic gases to the residence. So we bought the heaviest plastic sheeting available and started to staple it to the studs of the garage walls and taped the joints prior to the gyp board going up. The picture shows Grit taping joints at the ceiling.