Our carpenters have been busy framing the second floor of our East side home that is under construction. Weather has been great the past few days and they have made a lot of progress. The upper floor system is in place, the exterior walls are set and they are working on the interior walls of the house. The open framing always creates interesting geometric patters.
There are lots of things that carpenters must pay attention as a home is constructed in order for the home to perform well for the owners. One of the most important concerns today is energy use. We pay special attention during the framing to this issue. We install sealant under all our exterior wall plates, sealing up the tiny gaps between the plates and the floor system. Without this sealant it is possible for air to infiltrate at this point. We also take care to install polyethylene vapor retarders behind wall corner framing and at the top of our wall plates. At the top plates we find it works best to sandwich the polyethylene between the two top plates so it doesn’t get torn and punctured when the roof rafters are set. Ultimately, we will install polyethylene over the walls and ceilings and tape it to these pieces of polyethylene, creating a seamless vapor retarder plane.
The goal of all this special energy performance work is to create a home where we ‘build it tight and ventilate right’. We install air barriers, vapor barriers, sealants, etc to keep air and moisture from getting into places it should migrate. As part of this process we will be installing special ventilation equipment so that the house ‘breathes’ properly.