Archive for January, 2012

Cherry Jubilee

January 26th, 2012


Here are some beautiful hand crafted items made from American Cherry we are working on in the shop. The conference table and desk are examples of true speciality items which stand out in any environment. It is interesting to observe the process of fabrication, sanding, and finishing these “works of art” require. Attention to detail make each item unique and specialized. Cherry hardwood has a tight grain and stains very well.


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Ash, North Carolina

January 24th, 2012


Just across the borderline outside of Horry County in Brunswick County lies Ash, North Carolina. This two story house with a large detached garage is the latest component construction project started. All components were delivered prior to the erection crew’s arrival, which eliminates excuses why progress cannot be acheived in short order. Within the first day of the crawl space foundation being started, the LVL’s are installed, the first floor set, and the 1st floor panels are up ready for the 2nd floor trusses to be set. Predictable results are the largest draw to using component construction. Planning and verifying the structure from top to bottom eliminates suprises and errors when it comes to erection in a precise time frame. Takeoff’s of materials are pinpointed in regards to requirements for floor surfaces, walls and roof sheating, saving overages and underages of framing materials. With a waste factor built in, there is nothing left to guess at. Having the correct amounts of materials available when it is required is essential to a smooth running project. Predictability makes every subsequent function of housebuilding more accurate, which leads to reduction in labor and a quicker completion time. As it is often said, “time is money” and component construction allows for less labor time and greater control of materials and cost.


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Thistle 41

January 17th, 2012


Over 136 different truss configurations causes us to step back and contemplate sometimes and this morning was certainly contemplative. Charlie Babb and his lead framer Bobby “looked her down real good” architectual plan against the front elevation. Next step is wall and roof sheathing. The roof sheathing will be 5/8″ Radiant Barrier and the wall 7/16″ OSB. There is still a considerable amount of bracing and blocking yet to install. The character and style begins to emerge from the components as the house takes shape.


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Catching Up

January 16th, 2012


I’m not going to make alot of excuses why I haven’t kept up with the ongoing projects, let’s just say I have been “under the weather” for the past week plus. Interesting statement “under the weather”, wonder how one gets below the weather when they are forced to stay there anyway. Last week I had a collection of photos I had taken at Thistle 41, the roof on the Longs house, and a roof truss package for a third house in Ash, North Carolina. The truss yard staff packages these into one huge pack (safety in numbers) which tends to buffer the blow rolling off the rear of the delivery trailer. See how the truss hangers are attached to the webbing of the trusses to arrive with the roof system to the jobsite. Worth seeing is the bonus room picture at the Longs house on Watertower Rd. The roof “attic frame” contains a full height room with it’s floor matching the second level floor trusses at 14″ deep. This added square footage to the house over the garage in an area that could have just been storage. Thistle 41 2nd floor trusses were set and sheathed with 3/4″ T+G Edge Gold. You can see on the same lot a steel beam used. Steel is practical when the clear span of the beam exceeds 20′-0″. Wood beam values drop off pretty significantly at that point needing to add depth or width to carry loads. Steel is usually a cheaper alternative at this point. Shown here the wood faced steel beam is comfortably carrying a uniformed load from the floor truss system at 14″ deep.


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Two And One Half

January 4th, 2012


Quite a progress report for this 5000+ sq ft house in the Longs community off Watertower Road. Mike Bell Construction ‘s crew accomplished framing to this stage of construction in two of the coldest days in recent memory with the use of Component Construction wall panels. Annas Development and Building, Jeff Annas is the general contractor who chose the use of wall panels for the second time. One of the great points about the use of wall panels remains they are manufactured in a controlled environment unconcerned about weather conditions facing conventional job site “stick” framing. In walking the house you get a real sense of how much lumber a house of this size consumes. Here is another excellent point. In the two and 1/2 days since they started a dumpster has not been used. If you are familiar with the “cull” rate for an average bundle of studs, you are easily looking at 30% downgraded to blocking or not usable period. The customer would have the lumber supplier to come back to pick them up for credit. Hmmm, wonder what the lumber yard does with the unusuable returns (not to mention the cost of diesel fuel used to and from)? Mike mentioned he would have to dispose of the small braces nailed to the sides of stacks for transportation of the panels which had accumulated. Actually this type of framing yields very little waste making it a “green product” extremely enviromentally friendly. Attention to details are evident when viewing the column cap hardware used for specific load transference from second floor LVL’s through stud clusters in the panels to foundation. The right side two story roof trusses were being swung into position before I had left. I can safely estimate the entire roof system set and being sheated by the end of day four. Predictable results in minimal time with maximum results. Makes you wonder why more people don’t use this method.


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2012 Hit The Thistle Running

January 3rd, 2012


Drastic temperature swing incurred, struggled to hit 38 degrees with a wind chill factored in. Tough conditions for Southern boys but Babb Custom Homes crew braved the condition in style. Lot 41 Thistle marks the second house in the development for Component Construction. This 4500+ sq ft home presented a variety of design alterations and several approval meetings to get straighten out prior to production. Panels delivered Monday and this represents day one of construction. The treated sole plate was shipped loose to be continuous per the local inspector’s request and was the focus of initial activity. Panels were unstacked and located around the house in there approximate location at the same time. The walls were set into place and connected with a top plate as the day progressed. The panels are no more than 12′-0″ in length due mostly to handling and weight considerations. These exterior walls are 2×6, which is common these days for energy conservation insulating the 5 1/2″ cavity. This home has a second floor and light attic storage over the garage area as well as specific roof areas where a steep pitch allows for upstair storage. Babb Custom Homes specializes in making these area not only accessible but functional in their client’s best interests. Tomorrow, the 2nd floor trusses arrive and the wall sheathing will be applied as the crew moves forward strengthening the structure as they progress. The best feeling for me were NO PROBLEMS, smooth construction and happy customers.


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