Renovation Timeline: October - December 2009

Armstrong House Project: Renovation

Armstrong House
















October through December, 2009

During the Fall months of 2009 we continued to work on enclosing the building envelope well before the colder weather set in. Hand built wood storm windows received their final coat of paint and were glazed with heavy 5/16th inch glass bedded in a layer of latex caulk and secured firmly with nailed wood bead. Felt weatherstriping fastened with corrosion resistant brass nails and self-adhesive foam weatherstriping applied to the sash will ensure a nearly airtight seal between the existing windows and sill and the new storms. Prior to the season’s first snow, the storm windows were temporarily mounted in place to close the thermal envelope of the house. Permanent exterior hardware is up next!

The prototyping, manufacture and installation of the radiant heating floor panels began this fall. Panel consists of reclaimed concrete-form plywood cut to size and aluminum heat transfer plates. Low temperature hot water distributed in over half a mile worth of 3/8 inch PEX tubing will pass through radiant floor panels and transfer heat directly to the individually zoned rooms.

Final determination regarding the exact design and form of the final mechanical system is in the works. Discussions are focusing on the best way to combine the heating, solar and hot water system in a modular format to accommodate future expansion and inclusion of potentially new technologies.

In conjunction with the low-temperature radiant floor heating, flooring materials have been finalized in accordance with best environmental standards. Since heating represents the greatest expenditure of energy of any residential structure here in the Northeast, our primary concern was the ability of the finish floor to coexist in an efficient manner with the radiant heating installation. A floor’s resistance to heat transfer or ‘R-Value’ has a direct relationship to the temperature of the radiant heating fluid and thus the overall efficiency and sustainability of the system. Secondary concerns regarding the sourcing and overall ‘greenness’ of the materials selected is a concern that our supply partners are taking into consideration.

As part of the flooring solution for the house, we have elected to use a regionally located Forbo Marmoleum linoleum flooring. This material has a great “R-Value”, is sustainably sourced by a company in relative close proximity from the ‘green’ manufacturing process of an abundant natural resource – linseed oil. Our wood flooring is locally milled from locally sourced, reclaimed ‘Antique Mixed Pine’ which will provide a rustic warmth in keeping with the historic nature of the house.

Layout for the two bathrooms, three bedrooms and kitchen has been finalized allowing for the heating system installation to proceed. The expanded 2nd floor bathroom has been completely framed out and awaits rough plumbing and the installation of low-flow fixtures, radiant heat and flooring.

The 2nd floor bath flooring and concomitant roof bearing load has been structural reinforced allowing the accommodation of a larger uncompromising bathroom. Joists have been tripled to effectively handle the new load requirements. Completing the structural work, new headers have been installed and are posted down to a newly poured reinforced concrete pier.

The innovative use of a brush sander will permit the re-use of existing wooden bead-board walls and ceiling just about throughout the entire house with the application of a new opaque finish to lighten the interior of the residence and effectively assist in the conservation of energy expended in the lighting details of the finished home.