Renumeration Opportunities with Green Building Concepts & Cloak Media

0120150302

Somewhere in 2009, I had an idea to device a scheme to build a residential addition with just 2 people, and when necessary heavy equipment like forklifts, cranes, pump-jacks, and other material handling rigs. Some tasks became untenable, and I had to bring in specialized sub-contractors to get the job done quickly and safely. I’ve utilized a lot of volunteer labor, but I cannot expect altruism on a regular basis, but often on a quid pro quo status. If you come help me set a few fiber cement panels, I can home help you move some boxes, or access some online service.

As my project enters a more time sensitive window, where the sun’s UV radiation, can regrade certain elements, I need to expedite the installation. If you have the tools, interest, and courage to come on an adventure with a demanding building scientist, please contact me. Direct message me through my @greenconcepts twitter account, or a phone call to +1-818-308-5773. I don’t have much to offer, but if your financial requirements align with my renumeration model, and you see an opportunity not just to contribute to the Dark Green Sandwich Panel Addition, but participate in an ongoing research platform, we can publish our journal articles together. I have opportunities in the construction of both the information and physical world for the next six to eight months. I Look forward to our discussions (Accepting applications on a continuous basis, 1st round interviews from 13 March – 18 March 2015).

Installation of Exterior Cladding

0220141110

I need every component of the finished siding on the site prior to starting installation. I processed the 15/32 CAT plywood sheathign into 2″ and 3″ strips and practiced ripping the HardiePanels. With the appropriate tools and blade, cement board cuts without dust or ColorPlus damage. The Ridgid R3400 fiber cement circular saw with a MK Diamond Plank Kutter easily cuts fiber cement expelling the dust into a 5 gallon bucket. The minor dust generated gets ejected under the workpiece away form the operator.

Since the majority of building does not have regularly spaces studs I’m using an alternative attachment protocol. I am using 1-1/4″ Paslode finish nails to temporarily attach the rain gap plywood battens prior to the stainless steel fasteners going either through the HardiPanel or just the aluminum reveals. The fiber cement panels get a 1-3/4″ SFS TW-S fastener while the bulk of EasyTrim Reveals get a 1-1/4″ Simpson Strong-Tie Wire-Lath Screw with a large 10.7 mm head diameter.

If I get the spacing layout of battens correctly, the panels and reveals should go up smoothly. Using a rotary laser level and detector, I can set a reference line around the entire building horizontally followed by a brass plumb bob for the vertical level. At the water table and over windows and door goes the window flashing trim attached under the battens, followed by the rest of the vertical reveals. I have a jig to speed up the pre-drilling of fiber cement panels to get the fasteners in just the right orientation and spacing. Z-flashing terminates each course of panels up the the soffit.

A Hitachi Miter Saw with non-ferrous blade make EasyTrim Reveals cutting a snap. Instead of a vent flashing at the start and stop of a panel run, I’m going to use a three dimensional mat that will keep out the bugs and other vermin who might want to take up refuge under the panels. It will take a little more time to get some all the fasteners and supplies, but I’m confident that the installation will go smoothly and effortlessly.

Tools of the SIP trade

0520130201

The contractor finished assembly of the structural components of the project. Air sealing and applying the weather and fire resistive cladding come next. I though it would be a good idea to review some of the tools I’ve learned to use to make construction easier, and many times essential to a structural insulated panel building.

Cordless Adhesive Dispenser
I applied at every joint, intersection, overlay, and boundery a bead of panel mastic to seal the structure. After distributing over 60 tubes of 29 oz size, the DEWALT DC546K performed admirably. The tool weighs around 8 pounds, but saves the fingers to dispense such a quantity of mastic.

Cordless Palm Nailer
Practically every wall required a plethora of nails to act as a shear wall, living in a seismically active location. I’ve pounded over 250 pound of nails without the use of a pneumatic nailer. Skilled nailing acts as a key component holding up this building, where each nail does not break the panel skin, so achieving the maximum holding power. The majority of nails have been 8D box nails, with a good share of 8D common, 16D common, and 10D common nails. Along the walls in each 2 x 4 contains two rows of 8D box nails at a 3 inch spacing, making fasteners seem to be 1-1/2” separation. Without 3 palm nailers, I would still be pounding nails. The Milwaukee Palm Nailer 2458-20 has had it’s problems, but the manufacturer stood behind their product 100% in prompt repairs or replacement no questions asked.

Parallel Bar Clamps
It is often seen that truck straps are a good tool to sandwich two panels together at the seam, but I’ve found much better control and flexibility using long bar clamps. I have a system based on 50 inch clamps and extenders, where I can get a 16 foot or longer clamp to ease a panel together safely and efficiently. Likewise, a clamp will hold a panel together before panel screws complete the job at the corners. Sears once sold a Craftsman Parallel Bar Clamp system based on the Bessey Vario K Body REVO series of clamps with movable upper and lower jaws.

SIP Floor Installation Progress

greenconcepts20110622078

After taking the informative SIP background class from Green Builder College, called “Builders Education with SIPs,” I learned very few projects include SIP floors. I decided months ago, if I was going to try building a SIP structure, it might as well include the entire structure from the ground up, so it would include SIP floors, SIP walls, and a SIP roof.

The floor panels at around 13′ x 4′ in dimension weigh in around 200 lbs each. I can easily slide them around the jobsite on my oversized sill plates or cart them around using a handy Telpro The Troll cart. Were it’s been particularly challenging is placing the panels around the seismic concerns of holdown hardware and shear walls bolts. These foundation anchors go down between 24″ and 40″ into the concrete foundation, and define the structural footprint. I’ve had to lift the panel over the bolts instead of moving them into place like the other panels.

Another problem I’ve had is the panels are designed for dimensional lumber for support, mostly 2 x 10, which actually measure 1-1/2″ x 9-1/4″ in size. A lot of locations require the use of engineered lumber like LVL, which my local vendors do not make! I’ve had to buy larger material and cut off the excess that takes a lot of time and effort. It has been like the old timber frame homes using hand shavers and block planes to reduce the 9-1/2″ engineered material to fit into the floor panel.

I also had no idea how tough some of these engineered woods are, and boring a hole for the anchor bolts took a high torque 1/2″ drill and 17″ long auger bit to get the job done. My 12V tools and standard 1/2″ drill got about 3″ down before binding and stopping. Good thing I have a 500 RPM drill that can handle those agressive augur bits.

I initially tried to attach all connection using common nails and a titanium head hammer, but after 100 nails, I am now using a palm nailer, and what a difference! no more hand fatigue. The titanium hammer is great for a lightweight tool to reduce elbow and forearm injury, but my hand was hurting after nailing. The palm nailer works great so far.

Patio Removal Begins Soon

excavation worker moving earth into two wheelbarrows

The remodeling project begins with the removal of the patio. I’ve ordered the hard hats, ear protection, respiratory protection, and tools to remove the patio walls and surrounding concrete. I don’t know when I will order the inert materials recycling bin, but it may be that I first break up the concrete, and then load the bin over two days.

Mom would like your participation, if you are willing to get into the dirty and somewhat hard labor of demo. I expect to reduce all parts to no more than 25 lbs for my own health. I’ve order a high powered and low vibration pavement breaker. You can rent a similar tool, but the one you can buy has more vibration protection (more comfortable to use), so it was $600 more, but I think a good investment in health. The last vibration tool I used, my hands hurt for four days.

I was going to order the tool on Monday, but there was a freight discrepancy, so last night the price dropped by $70, so I decided to order. It’s coming from a company in Las Vegas, so it should be here soon.

Demolition should begin either late this week or early next week. Please send your schedule so I can prepare for your arrival.