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Old 06-26-2008, 08:23 AM   #1
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Hello all, My wife and I are building a home in NW Pa. and I thought I would share some of our experiences and invite the members suggestions/criticism. It's a work in progress since the last week of May. Pictures can be found at the link below. Let us know your thoughts. We update the site each week.

http://sizjaz.googlepages.com/home


Last edited by Hancockian; 06-26-2008 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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w/o a doubt, icf is the absolute BEST building system avail to us,,, the 8% addl cost'll amortize in under 2 yrs,,, from then on, its $$$ in your pocket,,, if anyone thinks energy costs'll be going down, build w/wood/steel/stone/strawbales/etc

ps - your link don't work

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Old 06-26-2008, 01:23 PM   #3
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Sorry about that. It's sizjaz.googlepages.com/home
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:36 PM   #4
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I built one last year...I'll be interested to hear your likes and dislikes with regards to construction and techniques.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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Lots of luck with the construction of your new house. everything looks great. the property and views are beautiful. looking forward for the rest of the pictures. Good luck BOB
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:04 PM   #6
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Nice looking work. As an ICF builder, I can say you are doing ti the right way. The only thing I do differently is the window and door bucks. We use PT lumber and a dovetail design, faced with PT 3/4 ply.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:51 AM   #7
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Thanks Joasis
Maybe I should have used PT for the bucks, but I did investigate the subject and decided it wasn't necessary. Code here requires it within 8" of ground. I do plan to seal the window and door bucks with a Grace tape product that I will continue from the ICF to the inside of the opening. Never thought of dovetailng the bucks...WOW
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:47 PM   #8
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The dovetail design works great, it allows the concrete to 'lock' the buck into place. I found using regular DF and painting it with copper green is nicer to work with (and cheaper) the using PT lumber.
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:16 PM   #9
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Nice tip Chris...I hadn't really considered it, but it would save some bucks.

To others reading this, the use of pressure treated lumber for the rough openings is an added measure against possible termites. I also use a PT top plate as well.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:10 PM   #10
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Even a better tip is if you have a mill close by like I do they rip everything for me (2x6's and PT ply). the only thing I do on site is cut to length and assemble. for what they charge me I can't pay my cheapest guy to do the work for the same price.

Another one to try is after the buck is installed and squared up I use closet shelf brackets screwed into the corners, each one is rated for over 400 lbs. If the lintel exceeds 5' in width I will put a 2x support in the middle but that's it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:16 PM   #11
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I have never got that elaborate, but then, you build a lot more of these then I do. I like the angle bracket idea...I have a bunch of BB plyform cut into triangles, and lip them over the block an inch or two. Helps with holding everything plumb.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:06 PM   #12
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I've updated the website to bring it current. I have a question about decking. As you can see there is about 1500 sq ft of decking and as I'm getting older I don't like the thought of refinishing the deck every couple years and yet I can't really afford the $40-50/ board for composite/vinyl. Is there an option? Wife would like T&G for front porch, are there issues with T&G outside of sloping it and painting the joints during assembly. I built the deck on the barn in 2004 with PT 1X6 and it has held up pretty well except I spaced the boards with a 10p nail during construction and as the boards dried the space increased to over 1/4" which I now know is to be expected unless more expensive dried PT wood is used. Thanks to all the great contributors here.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:25 AM   #13
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Looks like your making great progress....

You've nailed every reason I have for not using wood. I have a covered porch on the rear of the house, concrete, front stoop concrete with a cellar under connected to the basement. While I didn't do it, you could stain or stamp the concrete, and/or cut decorative lines in it. I couldn't locate anyone that wanted to stamp when I built, so I think I'm going to go the cut and stain route on the covered porch.

As I look at your pictures again it may be a bit late for what I suggest...you could always purchase you PT, store it while it dries and build with it later. FWIW, I found a tremendous difference in the PT from the BORG compared to the building supplier. It wasn't as thoroughly treated...or it didn't appear to be.

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