Two builders, two projects, one objective

Throughout the course of every project I’ve worked on, one of the things I like to do the most is learn as much as I can about each part of the homebuilding process. Since every project I’ve worked on has been slightly different, there have been takeaways from each that have had cumulative benefits over time.

The proof in the pudding for this project will be the way the walls are constructed, how the windows are placed, and how the envelope comes together by the end of the framing portion of our project. The framing techniques I plan to use for this project will have a big impact on the home’s R value, so that’s why I decided to meet with builder Bill Zdon of Zdon builders to chat with him about what I’m planning to do and get some feedback from him.

Bill has been building eco-friendly homes for quite a while too and is one of my favorite local builders - his framing techniques and choice of hardware and other materials for the homes he works on is of interest to me as I face similar decisions that need to be made. In this episode, I paid him a visit at an old seaside cottage he and his team are renovating. Bill was able to show me a few examples of techniques he’s using to drive down energy costs for the homeowner and create a more energy efficient space.

As we move forward in the project, I am happy to have Bill on board my team of knowledgable professionals as a resource for advice and a guide on eco-friendly homebuilding techniques. I plan to consult with him through the course of my project.


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  • Hi Gene,

    Thanks for the link! Before designing the control layers and insulation system, I did quite a bit of research… one great article that I read was “Six proven ways to build Energy Smart Walls” by Bruce Coldham. The author really broke it down in a way that was meaningful for my project, without sacrificing detail.

    Partly in response to your comment here, I’ve created a detailed wall construction diagram of the method and materials I intend to use. Look for “Q&A: Choosing the Best Insulation” and click “read more” to see it. Let me know what you think!
  • You should detail the continuity of the 4 control layers of the perfect wall: rain, air, vapor, thermal. Also pay attention to the fraction of the R-value outside the structure. Here is a Building Science link: http://buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-001-the-perfect-wall