Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Views of the interior and framing. Note that repurposed I-beams are used at major structural spots. Also some pix taken to show shims and connections between SIPs and ICFs, some of which I presume will take a little creativity to patch up.

Wrapping up the SIPS

Some shots with the soffits and overhangs done (i.e., covered in wood), and roof itself under waterproof wrap.

Friday, December 23, 2011

SIPS, early notes

SIPs (structural insulated panel) installation. In short, these serve as the roof framing, insulation, and ceiling all in one component. They are basically thick panels of foam board sheathed on both sides by an exterior panel (I think ours are oriented strand board, OSB). They are made off-site and shipped (almost) ready for installation. They are cut to appropriate lengths (on order of 8-14 feet or so) and are 4 foot wide. Probably 8 inches thick (note to self, save a scrap for reference). 

They basically look like huge ice cream sandwiches. Within a day and a half, the entire house SIPs installation was done: we are now "under roof" in the structural sense. Very cool.

The SIPs just butt up against one another, with some glue. Usually the interstitial zones (imagine putting 2 ice cream sandwiches side by side) are filled with pre-cut strips of the same foam board. For longer spans wood beams (2x8s?) are inserted instead, for structural support (one of the few spots where you see nails going through the SIPs). For simplicity of construction, the SIPs were spec'ed to include the overhangs of the house (except of course the butterfly roof over the outdoor covered patio). The outer bits of the SIPs (where you can see the white foam board in the pix below) will also be edged with beams. 

    (for more details, see http://www.sips.org/about/what-are-sips).

Wish I'd been able to take more pictures, but my phone was busy playing music while the girls napped in the Subaru. Plus this whole process goes so fast it's easy to miss. Did get to watch the installation from the roof-- very cool.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kitchen, interior framing up

The framing above the kitchen produces a plenum space that is basically our attic-- will hold the A/C and such. Note that no plumbing runs up here. I'm still of the mindset that indoor plumbing is a risky newfangled idea, so the compromise is that only showerheads contain water that is above anyone's head. No hot water heaters or plumbing lines running through the ceiling. (I think-- need to get clear on exactly how things run as they enter the house).

The large beam running across the face of the kitchen (see in a few of these shots) will be sanded / stained and left exposed. (Drywall  everywhere else).


You can see a lot of interesting stuff with the concrete pour molds taken down...

(starting with a crazy geometry-bending iphone pano, of course)

More on the pour

Pix of the pour...