Archive for February, 2013

February Already

It’s been a while since I last wrote about our house projects so here’s a quick update:

We got as much work done on the dormer as we wanted to. We left the top of the gable wall for now because we need to install the bathroom fan outlet so we are waiting until we know where it will come out.

We went to Germany for the Holidays and relaxed while also having a lot of family gatherings and little trips.


Christmas Eve


Ready for the adventure mine


Delicious wedding cake I made for my sister and her groom.

Since our return, Winter is in full swing, minus the occasional 50s day in January (thanks to climate change), and we have hibernated a bit and are taking it easy. We started work on the upstairs and started framing the kneewalls. Next we will install dry wall to the rafters behind the kneewalls and then we’ll finish framing up the walls. After that, the plan is to install the radiant floor and then we’ll see. By then it might be nice enough outside again for us to shift our projects back to the outdoors. We aren’t really in a hurry to finish the upstairs as we have enough space for now with the two bedrooms downstairs but I think we are hoping to get that done within 2 years or so. It really depends on time and money and our siding project is a bit more urgent as the siding is in bad shape and probably leaking water to the sheathing.

We are also spending a lot of time talking about all of our different projects, our goals and timelines. We find ourselves reconsidering ideas we once had and changing the plan if it makes more sense. For example, we originally planned to put the shower in front of the window in the upstairs bathroom. From a use of space perspective this makes a lot of sense but from a water proofing perspective it would be difficult. After reconsidering the bathroom layout and being honest with ourselves about our needs and preferences, we have come up with some other ideas. We are also reconsidering our windows. While we really like our old windows and believe that they are superior to modern replacement windows we are finding more and more that our old windows have a lot of drawbacks when being used with a super insulated house with radiant heat. The issue during the winter is warm air leaking through and then condensing and freezing on the exterior storm. Then when it warms up a bit, the water melts and refreezes on the exterior sill. So while other’s have icicles on their roof, we have them on our window sills. We also have a lot of condensation on the interior window when we close the shades but closing the shades helps with the cold off the windows at night. I try to wipe off the wet windows in the morning but it is soaking into the wood and peeling the paint. We also don’t know how to address the detail of extending the exterior window jams when we add 6″ to the wall thickness with insulating, airspace and siding but we know how to install a new window with window bucks. Extending the interior jams also seems a bit easier as we would not be dealing with water on the interior. We will probably go with a triple glazed Marvin window that matches our existing 3 over 1 style. It will give us the chance to reduce air leakage during winter and radiant heat gain during the summer. We hope to spread out the cost while we only work on one side of the house at a time and be able to afford it that way.

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