Monthly Archives: August 2013

rusty collins appreciation

2013 08 22: rusty collins is a foreman for bruce jones construction, the firm framing the house. this date’s blog is my acknowledgement of his work. rusty is multi-talented with the many skills needed to execute a top notch job. he is able to organize a crew to perform work quickly, efficiently, and right. even though he and his crew work with what i think is amazing speed, they have assembled the house with precision and care.

rusty seems to carry around the complete plans for the house in his head. i can’t get over that.

he also has a great visualization. the soffit corners shown in the photo are tricky as the overhang dimension on one side of the wall differs from the overhang dimension on the adjacent side. rusty effortlessly managed the  geometry assembling the overhangs so that they mesh perfectly.

thank you rusty. your responsiveness, skill, and hard work are much appreciated!


rusty collins, tyvek is rusty's favorite backdrop

rusty collins, tyvek is rusty’s favorite backdrop








overhangs of different widths

overhangs of different widths


borate is applied to the walls

2013 08 16: borate is used to protect against termites. it is dyed green, i suppose so the applier can see that it has been treated. this is a relatively benign protection. the epa says:

“Borate preservatives (Disodium Octoborate Tetrahydrate or DOT) are low toxicity alternatives for protecting timber and composites from wood destroying organisms such as decay fungi and termites. They have proven effective for more than 70 years in residential and commercial construction, and their efficacy is backed by extensive field testing.

Borates are naturally occurring minerals that exist in trace amounts in rock, soil, water and all living things. Consequently, they have marginal environmental impact. Borates are also essential for plants, nutritionally important for people and key ingredients in fiberglass, glass, ceramics, detergents and fertilizers.”

a section of wall after treatment with borate

a section of wall after treatment with borate

insulation going into the ceiling

2013 08 13 high density fiberglass insulation is being blown into the ceiling. cellulose insulation is usually considered somewhat more environmentally benign than fiberglass; but fiberglass is still good. fiberglass has a slightly higher r-value.

netting holds the fiberglass in place until osb is nailed to the joists. to get the fiberglass in, holes are cut in the netting. the fiberglass is then literally blown into place using the hole for access.

fiberglass being blown into place

fiberglass being blown into place







installed fiberglass

installed fiberglass






tjis going on

tji stands for truss joist i-beam. these are usually used to support floors or roofs. some passive houses, including old hopkins road, use them to define space for insulation. blown in high density fiberglass will soon fill in between the tjis shown below.


grading by wheelbarrow

2013 08 12: we’re protecting the cherry tree, described in the first post, by manually grading the soil near the garage. if the grading were done by machine, soil would be compacted over the cherry tree roots. the tree’s roots under the compaction would not have access to adequate air and water. if there is a large compacted area over the tree’s roots, it could kill the tree.

this is hard, hard, work.

grading with a wheelbarrow

grading with a wheelbarrow

pink air barrier

2013 08 08: the pink is prosoco joint and seam filler. this forms a part of the house’s air barrier as it ¬†seals the joint between the wall’s plywood siding and the protruding wood that forms the structure that will hold the window.

demian weaver, a prosoco sales manager, has been very helpful to us in explaining and demonstrating how to use the company’s products. nice.

prosoco joint and seam filler, it's pink!

prosoco joint and seam filler, it’s pink!