Foundations have to be right. We have the re-bar set at 12” spacing instead of typical 18”. Engineered beams not post tensioned beams are our standard practice. Piers are used wherever soil conditions warrant.

We start with the standard 2X4 wall systems most builders use. The bottom sill has a caulk seal applied just before being bolted down in place making it air tight at the bottom. Then we add OSB sheathing on ALL the outside, not just the corners. While the total sheathing is required on two story homes, it is not a requirement on single story homes. This is total bracing, not just a board attached at an angle at the corners of a wall or sheathing only at the corners.

We totally wrap the outside of the home with a special house wrap. This house wrap has small ridges that channel any moisture that collects down the wall onto the brick ledge pan flashing, then out the weep holes at the base of the exterior brick or stone. The wrap creates an air tight, water repelling, but vapor permeable barrier. This vapor permeable barrier is what lets the wall dry out should any moisture collect within the exterior wall structure.

In typical 2X4 construction, the framing makes up to 25% of the exterior wall. If you only insulate between the studs you are only insulating 75% of the wall. We install a 1” foam board with a foil layer facing out on top of the house wrap. This becomes a radiant barrier to reflect away heat from the outside. When used with a 1” air-gap from the brick or stone exterior, it provides an additional insulating value of R-6.5. This is similar in effect to the insulation blankets sometimes wrapped around hot water heater to increase their efficiency.

Intersecting walls and ceilings are caulked with expanding foam to prevent air penetration. Special fire resistant caulk is applied in holes around wiring and plumbing going up into the attic to seal those areas.

Inside those 2X4 walls we spray in a fiberglass insulation that has a light glue which keeps the fiberglass from settling down like blown in fiberglass used to do. This blown in fiberglass also sticks to plumbing and wiring in the walls. All voids are filled in this manner creating a wall with an insulating value of R-15. The total wall system insulation rating is R-21.5! The Energy Star™ guideline is only R-13 for walls.

Window framing includes a special flashing installed at the bottom and up the sides. A layer of caulk is applied to the outside of the rough window frame before the window is set in place. After its attachment to the frame, the window flange has a special tape applied to further seal against wind and water.

Ridge vents along the top of roof provide a constant path for the heat to escape. No electricity or wind is required to make them work. They can just barely be seen along the top of the roof.

Shown here from under the ceiling of a garage we show where the foil deck is installed under the roofing material. This reflects the heat back toward the outside away from the attic.

Full soffit vents allow cooler air into the attic replacing the hot air leaving through the ridge vents.

All exterior “wood” surfaces typically exposed to the weather such as the vented soffit board, the facia board and the brick trim board is actually a fiber cement board product. This fiber cement board holds paint better than wood, resists rotting and it is resistant to damage from rain and hail and other types of impact.

Pex plumbing combined with a Manablock® system can be used for the freshwater supply throughout the house. Pex pipes are known for their ability to withstand freezing without bursting. With the Manablock® system, there are no pipe fittings any where in the floor or ceilings. All freshwater plumbing is run through the walls and attic unless otherwise specified.