materials

Sammamish House construction images

screen-porchWe have been working on a house remodel in Sammamish for the last year and a half and it is finally closing in on completion, so I fiqured I post some construction photos from my site visit this morning.  One my favorite elements is a screen porch off the dining room, partially because it is a great example of the client's vital participation in the process, and part because it is going to be such a wonderful place to hang out.  The screen porch was born in programming when we were discussing how half the family loved hanging out outdoors, but the other half hated the bugs.  In order to keep the family together, the screen porch was the simple solution.  Connected to the dining room via a large panel siding door, framed with care so that the structure is all exposed, it cuts to the soul of the house they wanted:  engaged with the outdoors, family-centric, with a elegant simplicity that highlighted the materials and craft. Next summer: the landscaping with a stairway that bridges across a simple water feature.

IMG_4176The family room is also starting to come together.  The room has a band of 6' windows that wrap around three walls with bench seats below, a slate fireplace, and a coffered ceiling.  The bench seats will have leather cushions and storage underneath for games etc, making it the perfect cozy hang out spot.

sheep wool insulation!

This product isn't new, but new to us:  sheep wool insulation. Sheep wool insulation has some advantages over other forms of insulation, especially fiberglass batts.  It stays lofted, retains R-value even when there is moisture penetration.  It installs like fiberglass batts, but there are no masks, no off gassing, no itchiness.  Plus the product is all natural, and there aren't the environmental impacts of making fiberglass.

There are a couple big downsides:

1--this is not a local product, and there are carbon costs associated with bringing the insulation to our neck of the woods (although bringing together the elements to make fiberglass isn't carbon free either)

2--the cost is about $2.16 per sf, which is roughly three times the cost of fiberglass, or 50% more than spray foam.