Summer Breeze Lot 27 Gallery 26

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DCP03070.JPG (117638 bytes)    December 22, 2004 - Wednesday - Today Mark Dokken, owner of Spruce Gutter Service (360-452-1600), came by to install our continuous, aluminum gutters.  Mark came highly recommended and he did not disappoint!  Since we don't have our siding on yet, Mark loaned us the black flexible hose you see in this picture that is acting as our temporary down spout.  This allows us to get the water coming off the roof into the dry well system, while at the same time not having unmovable down spouts in our way while we install siding.  When we get the siding installed, we'll call Mark back to install the permanent down spouts.  Loaning us this flexible hose and not making a big deal about having to come back to install the permanent down spouts is the sign of a true pro.  Thanks Mark!

DCP03071.JPG (112652 bytes)    December 22, 2004 - Wednesday - While Mark Dokken installed gutters, Jeffrey starts installing the siding.  This shot shows the first few courses on the North side of the home.  "Lap Siding" (as this is known since each higher piece over laps the one below) is required by the covenant in our Summer Breeze neighborhood.  This siding could be wood or vinyl, but what better to put on a concrete home than cement fiber siding!  This type of siding is currently very popular throughout the residential building industry.  There are many manufacturers of cement fiber siding but by far the best known is the James Hardie company.   The company and product is so well known that "Hardie Plank" is used by most in the industry to refer to cement fiber siding regardless if its made by James Hardie or another company.  Much like Kleenex is used to refer to any facial tissue.  An enviable position for any manufacturer!  Siding is pretty much cosmetic for an insulated concrete home, although it does afford the ICF blocks protection from the sun and physical damage.  Because we have a concrete exterior wall, we need no extra vapor barrier or "house wrap" as you would typically see on a stick built home.  We install the siding directly to the exterior walls by screwing through the siding into the hard plastic webs in our ICF forms.  You can also notice in this shot the two wood blocks on the wall.  The one in the foreground is for a hose bib, and the other is for the propane tank connection.  These blocks are much larger than you would see on a stick built home because we have to screw each one into two webs in the ICF walls so they are well attached to the wall.  The webs remember are 8 inch on centers so the block of wood has to be at least this long.  More than you ever wanted to know!

DCP03073.JPG (117158 bytes)    December 22, 2004 - Wednesday - This shot shows some of Jeffrey's siding work from yesterday.  This is at the back of the home showing the glass block window in the master bathroom.

DCP03074.JPG (125797 bytes)    December 22, 2004 - Wednesday - After much study we have decided to frame out the interior walls with steel studs, as opposed to wood.  The reasons are many, and here are a few:  First, the steel studs are pretty much "straight as a string" which can not be said for typical lumber these days.  Next, from a "built green" point of view these steel studs have a minimum of 70% recycled content.  Very cool.  They won't burn, and for our purposes could actually be cheaper than wood!  All of the interior walls in this home are "non-load bearing" which means they support no weight (i.e. an upper story or a roof).  The minimum gauge (thickness) for steel studs in a non-load bearing wall is 25 gauge (which is actually .018 of an inch thick or "18 mils").  These 25 gauge studs are less expensive than wood.  For our first venture into the use of steel studs however we have decided to use a thicker gauge so we can get used to working with steel before going to the lighter gauge.  To that end the studs and track we ordered are 20 gauge (.033 inches thick or "33 mils") which is the required gauge for structural (load bearing) walls.  This shot shows the load of steel studs and track in the garage waiting for installation.  Many thanks to Stu Cluff our outside salesman for our steel stud manufacturer, Steeler, Inc.  We are very fortunate to have a steel stud manufacturer right in our own back yard.  With offices and plants in many western states, Steeler is based in Seattle and has been under the same private ownership since 1974!

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