Renovation Timeline: September - December 2010

Armstrong House Project: Renovation

Armstrong House 

Sitting Pretty and Square! November 2010.  






September – December, 2010

Winter extremes have provided the perfect testing ground for the Armstrong House’s building envelope. Snow melt patterns on the roof and condensation patterns on some of the exterior storm windows and doors act as a thermographic camera highlighting areas in need of additional attention and have allowed us to address unbeknownst discontinuity in insulation and weatherization materials with hand-sprayed and hand-packed/cut insulation.

As a whole, the house, even in its unfinished state, has performed admirably. While requiring a concerted and continual effort to counteract our building’s heat loss in the sometimes extremely cold temperatures of this winter, so far, the wood stove has been successful in maintaining a comfortable temperature in the 60s despite the frigid weather outside.

During the autumn months, we installed 3,600 feet of PEX tubing, 1,600 square feet of aluminum conductive plates, 1,200 square feet of cement floor underlayment and wall covering and 800 square feet of reclaimed hickory wood flooring in the future PRLC office. These, plus additional re-claimed hardwood flooring which continues to cure in the house and the anticipated installation of Marmoleum and tile in the remaining rooms, form the radiant heating system and finish flooring throughout the home. We are also happy to report that the heat distribution of our low temperature radiant heat installation is nearing completion. Boiler room piping and integration with the solar thermal system and domestic hot water is imminent.

hand-cut insulation

With an eye towards the impending finish and trimwork, we have begun to sort our salvaged trim and bead-board so that it may be prefinished and ready for installation. Interior work includes prepping and leveling ceilings and continued work on the floors and walls. A final layer of insulation between all partitions and floors have thermally isolated each room into efficient, zoneable areas. Walls and ceilings are ready to accept coverings which include both our reconditioned, salvaged bead-board and “green” drywall. High recycled content, durability, and indoor air quality were all considerations in the selection of the drywall product. (In the future, we hope to have cut-sheets, product and manufacturer information tied to each stage of the renovation and related articles on these webpages).

The domestic water supply system installation continues with our “home-run” PEX design. This manifolded supply system provides each point of use fixture (bathtub, toilet, lavatory etc.) with its own dedicated line. In almost every conceivable usage pattern, energy and water will be conserved as a result of this piping scheme. Piping also includes dedicated rainwater lines to the clothes washer and water closets. Four exterior hose bibs are piped to allow the sourcing of either traditional well water or future rainwater to the surrounding garden and foundation planting environment. Design work on the kitchen and bathrooms continues concurrently with the remaining interior work.