General Construction

Eco-Cottage: Slate roof installed

100_6859Slate roofs are by far the best choice, as long as the supporting structure has been planned to handle the extra weight. Slate is beautiful, durable, and ecologically sustainable.

100_6866Yes, slate is an expensive material to purchase, time-consuming and expensive to install, but a slate roof will last for a century and more with proper maintenance. Considering the long-term value of slate, it is probably the least expensive choice for your roof.  An asphalt roof will need to be replaced every ten to twenty years, but your slate roof will only require minimal maintenance every twenty years or so.

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Efficient framing methods

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The two-story house project in Millerton is progressing nicely. Here you see the new construction being attached  to an existing barn. We are using efficient framing techniques–insulated headers, seals between all plates and sills–to minimize thermal bridging and subsequent energy loss. Also our efficient framing layout has really minimized waste; we’re not filling up the dumpsters very quick on this job.
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Window trims and door

doorThe front door is a full three inches thick, made of cedar.   We added cedar trims and sills. Attention to detail makes all the difference in a construction project. Special care is taken to give the sills just the right angle to shed water. The construction crew has enjoyed working with cedar, which cuts cleanly and has a pleasant scent. Working on a number of renovation jobs over the years, we have seen proof that cedar performs better than “sustainably harvested” wood that is coming on the market now and used as trims. After five to tens years, homeowners have experienced rot in this product. Part of the problem is that this “manufactured” product is joined together to make long lengths and moisture gets into the wood through these joints.     (more…)

Eco-Cottage: walls and roof

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Business has been great, so we’ve hardly had time to work on our own projects, but finally we got the walls up.

After the foundation was laid, we started on the frame and walls and roof. 2″ x 10″ studs were used in the walls and roof to allow extra space for insulation. Thicker walls are also more aesthetically appealing. (more…)