Chapter 17 – Progress: Interior painting, spalted maple ceilings, blown ceiling insulation & stucco

Chapter 17 – Progress: Interior painting, spalted maple ceilings, blown ceiling insulation & stucco

Well, if you receive my blog as a subscriber, you got more spam on the last post.  Please accept my apologies and know that our webmaster is hard at work to erase all traces of this embarrassing situation.  The good news is that the Blue Ridge Energy Systems website has been cleaned again and I’ve got my fingers crossed!  I will email all subscribers when each new blog post is online rather than using the automatic feed.   That should be the end of viagra ads!!

Spalted maple ceilings being installed in the dining room

Spalted maple ceilings being installed in the dining room

The work these last few weeks has been exciting.  All sheetrock has been hung and now the interior has been painted.  I am thrilled beyond my wildest dreams!  The spaces soar with the 16 1/2 foot ceilings and the light in every room from the clerestory windows is magical.  The living spaces were painted Sherwin Williams SW7547 “Sandbar” and the bedrooms and baths were painted Sherwin Williams SW6119  “Antique White”.  Those of you who know me understand that my art collection and furnishings provide the color in my home.  The walls are simply the background and not the focal point.  The spalted maple ceilings have been installed, and all I can say is “I love it!”

Blowing the ceiling insulation

Blowing the ceiling insulation

 

 

 

 

Now that we have the ceilings installed, it’s time for the ceiling insulation to be blown in between each roof truss.  It takes a LOT of insulation to be super insulated!!  The technique is also one of BRES’s ingenious ideas.  At the high end of each sawtooth roof section, holes have been cut between each roof truss.  This is the entry point for the blown insulation.  Quite amazing!!

Holes in each truss section for blowing insulation in the ceiling

Holes in each truss section for blowing insulation in the ceiling

 

 

 

Eli Ochoa and his crew have erected the scaffolding in preparation for applying the stucco on the exterior of the house.  While stucco has been used as far back as the Egyptian and Etruscan civilizations, modern stucco is a mix of sand, Portland cement, lime, water and other proprietary additives including fibers and synthetic acrylics that add strength and flexibility.  For the final coat, we are using Dryvit, an acrylic product that allows for more densely saturated color.  We created a custom dark gray that we call “Porpoise”  for my home.

Installing Greenguard drain plane before stucco is applied

Installing Greenguard drain plane before stucco is applied

Stucco installation is hard work driven by lots of detail!  After the scaffolding was erected, the crew attached a Greenguard drain plane to the entire house. This foam layer has been sculpted to allow any moisture that might penetrate the stucco to drain and not remain locked behind the stucco. This one step is vital in preventing rot and mildew in stucco applications.

The next step is to attach metal lathe on top of the drain plane.  This gives the stucco a surface that it can stick to and the lathe really reduces the chances for cracking as the stucco dries.

The next step is to determine where control joints will be installed.  We’ve been very considerate of their placement in order to maintain the modern architectural aesthetics that have driven the design of this house while minimizing the possibility for hairline cracks that can occur.  Control joints are necessary to alleviate stresses that can cause a brittle plaster membrane to crack.  While there are specific recommendations for the placement of these control joints, some leeway exists.  The general rule of thumb is not to exceed 144 square feet without a control joint.  I personally felt that the possibility of a hairline crack was far preferable to having too many control joints that would destroy the simple lines I wanted, especially on the front of the house.  And besides, having control joints does not guarantee against those hairline cracks. So Eli has worked with us and advised us, and I’m more than satisfied with the control joint placement.  Once all the drain plane, lathe and control joints are installed, inspections will sign off and the stucco can begin.

Metal lathe and expansion joint

Metal lathe and control joint

Stucco will take about four weeks because there are two scratch coats before the final coat with color is applied.  And there must be some time for each coat to dry….and it’s just GOT TO STOP RAINING!!  Landscaping can begin when we get the scaffolding down!!

I know I’m getting impatient to see the end of this project, but I try to remind myself every day what a blessing it is to be on this journey with such a fine crew.  So, the quote for today is simply this:

“This day is a journey, this very moment an adventure.”  Rebecca Pavlenko

I have learned so much from the Blue Ridge Energy Systems crew and I think it’s quite remarkable to be able to say that so far I regret not one decision I have made!  And believe me, there have been LOTS of decisions along this journey home!!

 

 

 

Mignon Durham is a retired computer consultant, avid art and craft collector, founder of Toe River Project Access, and founder of Toe River Valley Watch. She has always been fascinated with what makes a place feel like home, and she hopes this blog will enlighten your own personal journey home.