Friday, June 22, 2007

Movin' right along

Finally, SIPs delivered. These are the structural insulated panels (SIPs) that will form the walls of our house. SIPs are basically the equivalent in a typical new construction of stud walls and the insulation combined. The SIPs created a super-insulated "shell" around the outside of the barn frame, at the same time allowing the full depth of the frame's timbers to remain visible. If we had built stud walls in between the barn timbers and then filled them in with insulation and covered them with drywall and plaster, there would be barely half of the original depth of the timbers remaining.

The SIPs go up pretty quickly. Because they are structural, there is no need to frame in windows. When they are ready to install the windows, they simply cut out a hole with a saw and insert the window. Voila!

SIPs are a sandwich of rigid insulation and two "slices" of OSB (oriented strand board - particle board, basically). They are screwed into the frame with long screws and then the seams are sealed.

Inisde, the framing of the interior walls is pretty much done. Anyone who has ever built a house knows how exciting this part is since you can really walk through rooms and get a sense of space. I have heard that it is usually at this point that people think the rooms are too small. Well, I guess that's true, except that we knew from the beginning that many rooms on the first floor would be small, so it's no big shock. I remain a believer in the idea that small doesn't necessarily = cramped and unwelcoming. Our architects have designed some really fantastic (small) spaces - especially the kids' rooms.

The antique floor is completed upstairs and MAN does it look GOOD! I convinced the workers to hang sheets of plastic to protect the floor from the rain until the SIPs go up in this section.

A detail of some of the fancy framing that had to be done around the existing timbers of the frame.

The truck is scheduled to be removed at the end of the month. I am looking forward to have an unobstructed view of the site.

We are officially receiving mail at the site as of today. I installed the mailbox yesterday which gave me a thrill. For those of you who aren't up to date on this minor detail, we close on the sale of our current home Monday and (obviously) the barnhouse is not ready to receive us. So we are moving in with friends in town for the summer...and perhaps beyond. We will all be living together for about two weeks before they leave for summer vacation. They are due back at the end of August and if the house is not ready by then (make your best guess...) we will have to negotiate life together for some time. If there were any family in the world that this would be likely to work out with, it would be these guys (you know who you are!!!) We are really thankful for their generosity!

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