Scott is really excited about making our home smart, comfortable and efficient so the install of plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems has literally brought energy and excitement into the space. When it comes to heating and cooling we will be using a Fujitsu electric zoned mini-split system. Instead of central air, the new HVAC system uses wall-mounted units throughout the home so that we can focus on heating or cooling individual spaces rather than the whole house at once. The system eliminates complex and expensive ductwork and will function much more efficiently than traditional central air. What is a mini-split? Check out this Fujitsu article that explains how it works.
In addition to the systems install, we have new metal fabricated stairs, a garage door and the big event this week was the concrete pour on the first floor. Lots of great pictures to check out below!
plumbing and electrical systems
The Fujitsu wall units that will be installed after drywall is up.
New stairs without wood treads
Black metal railings will be installed later
view up from the basement
View from the garage
New garage door. Ready to pour concrete driveway
New garage door
1st floor concrete
Smooth curve step
Sawcut control joints.
A few weeks ago we rented a lift to get the weatherproofing done and the last windows installed. The lift was quick, efficient and made the job fun! See the video and images below.
Installing a new sewer and water line to a tandem house is one of the major incurred expenses (basement is a biggy too) that could make you lean towards building an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) instead. Because our lot will be subdivided, the front house and tandem house will be legally independent of each other; requiring that all utilities be tied into the City’s grid and not linked with the front, main house. With an ADU you don’t have to tie utilities (sewer, water, gas, electricity) into the City’s main sewer and water lines, making the process less disturbing and saving a lot of money upfront.
However, if you can burden the upfront cost, we are still firm believers that the benefits of building a tandem house has major advantages over building an ADU (check out ADU vs. Tandem House). Case and point, we just had the tandem house appraised (at ~60% completion) and the appraisal value came in better than we could have expected. Giving us the confidence that all the inconveniences of construction will be worth it in the end.
Below are some images of the sewer and water line install that took about 3 days.
Accessing Sewer Main line. Nearly 20′ deep.
Its like it never happened…. except our lawn is gone….
Water and Sewer Lines are buried and out of site.
We are chipping away at the not so glamorous but necessary tasks of interior framing and weatherproofing so that plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems can be installed. Scott spent the end of February and early March framing all the bedrooms, bathrooms and closets and we selected our kitchen and bathroom fixtures so that the plumber had everything he needed. The plumber was in and out within the past two weeks and our next step is to prepare for HVAC and then electrical. We have been refining the electrical plans and selecting fixtures for this next phase. But before electrical can begin, the house has to be dried in.
Standing in the Master Bedroom Looking toward the Master Bath and Closet
Standing in the Master Bath
Stairs to the Second Floor Bathroom
Standing in the Laundry Room looking at the Stairs
Plumbing for the Master Bath
In parallel to plumbing and electrical prep Scott has been weatherproofing the house which is a 5 step process:
The Roof: We rolled out the Siga Majcoat breathable membrane that is taped at the seams with Siga Wigluv construction tape. The products create a wind tight and rain-proof roof.
Filling Facade Joints and Seams: All the transitions between the SIPs are filled with a pink R-guard adhesive.
Liquid Flashing: At every window and door rough opening a red ‘fast flash’ R-guard liquid is applied.
Liquid Weatherproof Membrane: A black liquid weatherproof membrane is roller applied to the entire exterior facade.
Windows and Doors: We have begun to install windows and doors on the first floor where the liquid applied weatherproofing is finished.
In the next week we should be ready to install the rest of the windows. Then we can set the electrical contractor loose. We are also lining up contractors to get underground utilities installed.
We are happy to be participating in the 2018 Denver ADU Home Tour hosted by L&D Construction on June 23rd.
Our friends Lindsay and David of L&D Construction have been first-movers in the ADU construction residential market in Denver. Having built their own ADU above their garage in the West Colfax neighborhood and experiencing the benefits of short-term rental income; they have become strong advocates for this growing market. Now 80% of their construction projects are ADU’s and they are projecting they will build 12+ ADU’s this year and 20 in 2019.
Although our Tandem House is not an ADU, the Tandem House building type provides many of the same benefits as an ADU (and more, see Tandem House vs. Accessory Dwelling Unit) and should be considered when debating the cost/benefits of building a detached unit on a residential lot zoned for ADU or Tandem House in Denver.
Come check out our new house!
In only 10-days our two story house has risen out of the ground for the biggest impact yet. It was a fun process to watch the SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) crew unconventionally construct the Tandem House using these pre-manufactured walls (and roof). The walls, with their insulated core that is sandwiched between two layers of structural board already have windows, doors and account for cutouts for details like structural beam fittings. The use of these panels require more design drawings and a higher level of detail upfront but when they arrive onsite, installation is a quicker process than traditional stick build construction. The house is framed, sheathed and insulated at the same time. The overriding benefit is a tight building envelope with higher insulating properties.
Now to the fun part… the timelapse!
Framing out the Garage
Joists above the Mudroom
Steel Structural Beam
Setting the Steel Beam
Steel Beam Detail
Joists above the Living Room
Looking in from the Wall of Windows
Enjoying the Sunshine on the First Floor
Sheathing the Second Floor
Ceiling Height Change. Kitchen has a higher cieling
View Down to the Future Kitchen
10′ Ceiling in the Kitchen
Second Floor Walls
First Time on the Second Floor
Second Floor Walls
Setting the Ridge Beam
Setting the Ridge Beam
Stacked Roof Panels
Lifting the Second Floor Walls
Raising Roof Panel
Raising the Roof Panels
Second Floor Ceiling
Rio’s First Time on the Second Floor
We have moved past the earthwork phase and the site is feeling a little more clean. Plumbing, rock aggregate base and floor insulation went in before the concrete floors were poured.
Scott has been doing a lot of the work to prepare for the installation of the SIP panels. The sill plates will form the threshold for the insulated wall panels (SIPS) to attach. Over the holiday week the first floor joists went in along with the structural wall that support the joists at the future basement steps (thanks to my brother Kareem for all the help!). The floor sheathing is nearly complete and we’re ready for the walls to arrive!
Aggregate Base and Plumbing Installed
Sill Plate and Foam Sealer
Joist and Sheathing Delivery
Sill Plate and Sealer
Down in the Basement
Floor Joist Detail
Basement Structural Wall at Stairs
Basement Structural Wall at Stairs