First floor secure; Pictures of the roof

Over the past few days I finally got around to cleaning up and securing the first floor. Hannah helped me install the two temporary doors and picture window. The picture window that we installed was the one that was originally intended for the space, but we would have had to build a jamb for it. The triple pane window that will replace it (and the other four windows on order for the same manufacturer) should be in soon. Last week I spent a fair amount of time doing desk work; researching solar hot water (details below), researching how to build the tiled walk in shower, modeling first floor partition walls (which I plan on beginning to construct this week). I also calculated the amount of cellulose insulation the house will be needing. I came up with 658 bales or 4081 cubic feet of cellulose at an installed density of 3.5 lbs per cubic foot. In order to accurately figure this out I calculated the volume of each wall and the roof, and subtracted out every piece of wood and all of the windows and doors. I was pleased to see that the percent of the wall that is wood averages at 8.3%. This compared to about 20% for standard framing construction (see You can see my spreadsheet here: Wall makeup break down and cellulose requirements for house. Unfortunately, I also learned that the cost of this much cellulose is far more than what I was expecting. At roughly $13 per bale, the insulation alone will run over $8000.

Temporary first floor door and picture window

Temporary first floor door and picture window that Hannah helped install. (photo by Hannah)

White metal roof done

Here is the screw down metal roof all done with ridge cap. We are pleased with the color, which will reflect more heat and sun than other colors, decreasing the urban heat island affect. Also, since the roof isn’t vented (hot roof), it will hopefully serve to keep the temperature down. Some folks have asked if there are screws through the metal how does the water stay out? Every screw has a rubber washer already on it. We will still need to get back up there to install the solar hot water panels and stink pipe. Last week I confirmed that I was not going to be able to use my professor’s home made solar hot water drain back tank. I also confirmed that the Simple Drain Back tank, is also not approved by the state of Massachusetts. After talking with an official at the state plumbing board, I learned that it is a fairly cheap and supposedly quick process to get one’s products approved. I communicated this to the manufacturer of the simple drain back system who is currently looking into getting the tank certified. (photo by Hannah)

The gable peak has the metal roof wrap around the fascia boards.

The gable peak has the metal roof wrap around the fascia boards. The underside of the soffit still needs to be boxed in. We will use AC plywood for this task–cheap and quick. We will then put up architectural brackets (see pics and explanation below) to make it look pretty. (photo by Hannah)

House with architectural brackets on the eave and gable roof lines.

Here is a house with architectural brackets on the eave and gable roof lines. Ordinarily, one sees them only on the gable–ostensibly because they are providing support to the lookouts (overhang). The eave, being on an angle, doesn’t require such strong support. I mention this because we would also like to put brackets on the eave. The brackets pictured here are, of course, much more ornate than what we would be installing. This home is in Greenfield, MA.

House with architectural brackets on the eave and gable roof lines.

A Greenfield house in the Italianate style with architectural brackets on the eave and gable roof lines.


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