The Woodka Remodel: Week Eight

We're now about two months into the Woodka Renovation, and things continue to go fairly smoothly for a project as large and extensive as this one is.

Week eight is a week of steady progress; work is completed in two relatively major areas.

Outside Work

On the outside of the house, construction is completed on the new tower that will give the renovated house its distinctive new appearance. If you look closely at the photo on the right, you can see the top of the tower peeking over the rooftop.

As mentioned in previous articles, the tower walls have been constructed entirely with PorterSIPs. These structural insulated panels are an all-in-one, super-efficient product that will provide superior energy savings as well as make for an extremely strong wall structure.

Work was completed on the existing roof to connect it properly to the new tower structure; care must be taken with any new construction along an existing roof to ensure that there are no gaps in the homes' structure and also to provide proper drainage. These problems can allow air and moisture into the roof structure which creates problems with energy loss and moisture damage.

Indoor Work

Inside the house, work wrapped up on the supply and return duct lines for the new geothermal HVAC system, which will be installed in the coming weeks. Extra time was taken to ensure that each and every joint along the entire run of ductwork was carefully sealed with mastic and taped to prevent air leaks. This completely sealed HVAC system will increase its energy-efficiency; air leaking through seams in ductwork is a major source of energy loss in homes, as the heating and cooling system must work harder to force treated air through leaky ductwork. This step is also a requirement for any home that is striving for certification in the Green Built Michigan program (a state-level green building program similar to the LEED program).

The Power of Tyvek HomeWrap

Now that the PorterSIP walls have been completed in the rear of the home and in the new tower, this week they were wrapped in Tyvek HomeWrap. Tyvek is a weather barrier fabric made by Dupont that is probably familiar to anyone who has seen a new home being built in the last decade or two. There are very good reasons why Tyvek HomeWrap is so widely used; this easy to install, relatively affordable house wrap works with the other components in the homes' wall (insulation & siding) to provide increased energy-efficiency. Tyvek does this by forming a air and water barrier around the home. By eliminating air infiltration into the homes' interior air envelope, less energy is required to heat or cool the space. Preventing water from getting into the wall structure, indoor air quality is improved by reducing the threat of mold growth. Moisture control also greatly reduces any possible water damage to the wood, metal, and insulation materials in the wall.

Any home benefits from a weather barrier such as Tyvek HomeWrap, but the added effiiency and protection it gives is especially important for green homes, whether they are officially green certified or not. In the Woodkas' case, the Tyvek HomeWrap will help it achieve the efficiencies needed for the Green Built Michigan certification.

In other week eight news, the three sliding doors have been installed on the rear of the home. Two of the three doors are existing doors, simply moved to new locations in the home. Reusing existing doors instead of purchasing three all-new doors is another way the homeowners are working to be as sustainable as possible, as well as helping to keep costs down.

The door installations are a small step towards closing in the new expansions, and it's happening just in time. There's a slight chill in the Michigan air these days, and getting all the new windows in place will allow the build team to stay comfortable during the cool Fall. Find out what happens next week, week nine, HERE.

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