Making a conscious effort to display finished work, I present you with the installed version of a previous post Balustrade. I could have added several other adjectives to the title but no number of them can describe what these photographs do. How does it go? A picture is worth a thousand adjectives or something like that? Coming from a structural background where most of what I am involved with ends up covered in sheet rock, it is certainly more rewarding to have a project like this on a resume. This is the focal point of this home and First Flight Stairs, from concept to creation, worked with the general contractor and their clients to embellish the interior of the home. The railing and balustrade installation took less than one day due to every prefabricated section fitting accurately together, in unison with staircase previously erected. What is particularly striking to me is the up easing connecting the lower balustrade to the upper balcony. It seems to lend an even “flow” to the stairs symmetry, creating a natural juncture between the two. The front door inlay pattern was also a consideration in the pattern chosen for the balustrade. The nosing for the staircase was coordinated with the flooring install a few weeks ago, so that it was adjusted for the flooring thickness. Usually, the flooring color choice dictates the species and ultimately the stain used for the railing, in this case mahogany. The wall coloring being light accentuates the dark wood flooring.
Archive for December, 2012
Interesting story about how an oak tree stood tall against development from my jobsite visit to 100 Dunes Club this afternoon. The garage attic frames were being set today but the oak tree sat defiantly between the rear of the house and a spot from which the crane could reach the structure. It is an extremely dangerous situation to have the cranes mast even close to full extension so this beautiful oak was impeding construction progress. Surely this oak was planned to be removed as it so extremely close to the home, the framer contented. This was not the case though. The entire house would be moved before the oak would change locations was the answer from the general contractor. The standoff was resolved by, catch this, these 500lb+ trusses being carried by hand next to the garage where the crane was positioned. Let me tell you, there were some aching framing crew members the day after that ordeal. A little “Christmas Miracle” story for y’all in which the oak, who had earned it’s entitlement place in the universe, will continue to occupy the space for years to come. And how sometimes progress is detoured by preserving the past. A legacy that I hope will never be ignored or forgotten. We are all visitors here. Our legacy is determined by the housekeeping bill we hand our decedents…
Nestled in the foliage of serene Tidewater Plantation in North Myrtle Beach, work to complete dry in continued on lot 227. This houses cantilevered overhangs served several purposes. They run straight across even with plate level which helps define the freeze boards over top windows. The sub fascia is set at a predetermined height, in this case 2×6. They are energy efficient by allowing high rating R value insulation to travel to the perimeters of the exterior wall. Probably the best feature is the easy of installation of the soffit materials. It is a selling point I put this way to interested clients: “not everyone buys cantilevered overhangs from me, but those that do always reorder them”. Kinda a non confrontational way of gentle persuasion. I had a flash of the “Dos Equis” man (stay thirsty my friends..). Foundation strapping required in this 130 mile per hour wind zone was inlayed into the 7/16″ sheathing. Coastal construction differentiates itself from inland construction by the hurricane anchorage and foundation strapping requirements. Wall panel construction can accommodate these necessary connections just as truss designs are the point of reference for uplift values. Load paths are identified and the correctly sized header members, whether it be LSL,Timberstrand or LVL, are used to transfer the load to the foundation. I talked to the general contractor today about the overall performance of the component system. He commented about consistency being the most beneficial byproduct. When the products arrive, they are ready to be installed with the guess work removed.
My new catch phrase is “working to the speed of business”. Custom home construction requires time sensitive activities occurring sequentially, with the later affecting the former in terms of levels and load paths. When it was discovered the heavy timber trusses which are enveloped by the great, sitting, and dining room main roof trusses, were too shallow at the bearing, it was time to jump to action. The design manager and project designer drove from Charleston to the site in Myrtle Beach to resolve this critical issue. The garage attic trusses were released for delivery once it was discovered they would not be affected by the decisions made today. Combined with the main house roof trusses, there is a whopping 29,420 square feet of roofed area, requiring 1060 sheets of 7/8″ thick sheathing. “Working to the speed of business” requires the garage trusses, interior wall panels, roof sheathing delivered from the west coast, and main roof trusses to be delivered within a two week period. Oh, I forgot to mention the Christmas holiday abbreviated work schedules thrown in between. What makes this special to me is the challenge presented. Working with Rod Edwards of Innovative Design / Build makes this tedious approval process so much easier with his perceptual prowess stemming from his architectural background. He truly enjoys facing obstacles that require intelligent design for the one correct solution required to satisfy the specific need. I left knowing the 2 hours we spent today saved several weeks of passing corrected designs back and forth. Even more important, it kept the sequence of events ready to unfold on track.
With the wall panel delivery on Wednesday of last week, walls were standing on my Friday morning arrival. This new component construction home in Tidewater Plantation features 2×6 10′-0″ tall walls. Temporary bracing is evident until the walls are permanently fastened to the foundation. Babb Custom Homes, having the most experience with erecting these packages, has refined the process into predictable construction practices. A good example of this is using impact resistance windows, two studs as opposed to a 2×6 separation makes the fit easiest to work with. By specifying particular kneewall heights for kitchen pass through walls, valuable onsite labor is eliminated. The roof truss system was to arrive later that Friday morning to be set on Monday. Even a jobsite that lacks much open area to place materials can be serviced with component construction. By staging wall components, loose material, and trusses, for their respective appropriate arrivals times allows the job not to be overrun on existing space. The garage door opening was completed less the LVL header which will be in the roof package being delivered. This knowledge and expectations of the sequence of events is the result of pre-construction planning. Implementation of the plan is realized seamlessly through correct, on time deliveries based on their needs.
In making my rounds at jobsites this morning I witnessed the erection of ICF walls being set at 100 Club Drive. With the floor system decked, the next order of business requires the exterior walls to be placed into position. Looks remarkably like a huge Lego kit, the styrofoam outer blocks being separated by plastic spacers, but once the concrete is poured in them they become a solid entity. Able to withstand extreme weather conditions, the ICF walls eliminate dust and drastically drop utility bills while making a home a soundproof fortress. Tomorrow the approval process of the interior wooden wall panels continues with corrections of adjusted plate heights. The roof over the garage has become somewhat of a hotspot as the ICF end wall is balloon framed and having this independent roof area manufactured and delivered would coordinate the process.
One of the most beautiful and awe inspiring recent creations from our shop is the formation of a wrought iron balustrade for a client in Carolina Forest (hey Rosy!). Balustrades differentiate themselves from conventional stairway balusters in that they are welded together to form a flowing pattern versus vertical oriented pickets. Each set is uniquely handcrafted commanding presence on the entry of the home. Wrought iron has a rich history, dating back to Roman times where it was employed in iron gates or to tie together masonry arches and domes. The significance of wrought iron over cast iron lies in it’s tension qualities against cast iron primarily compression qualities, making it far more durable. The pattern of this particular stair rail accentuates symmetry and sweetness of the line following the rails ascent to the juncture of the open balcony. The curved stair has been in place for several weeks now, the nosing and floors being installed, awaiting it’s crowning piece.