Our home is a timber-framed, salt box style design. The main part of the home (excluding guest rooms) is constructed of red oak post and beams, wrapped in structural insulated panels (SIP's). The oak post and beams are connected using mortise and tenon joinery with oak pegs. The oak timbers were harvested in Maine. They are treated with two coats of tung oil. The mudroom, garage, and over garage studio are stick built using conventional building techniques.
The first floor guest room and a small part of the second floor guest room is constructed of a white pine timberframe with SIP's. Because of the complexity of the roof system above the second guest room, conventional stick framing was used to complete the rooms. Tung oil is also applied to the pine post and beams.
The SIP's are constructed of polyurethane sandwiched between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB). The individual sheets are connected using a spline system. The 3.5" thick wall panels have an R-value of 25. The 6" thick roof panels have an R-value of 40. The windows and doors were installed by cutting openings in the SIP's (usually with a chainsaw), framing out the openings with 2" thick lumber, and nailing the window / door to the frame. All of the seams between the SIP's were caulked with expanding foam to complete the panel installation. House wrap was then applied around the house to reduce air infiltration even further. White cedar shingles pre-stained gray were then applied. On the interior, gypsum wallboard was applied over the OSB. The wallboard was covered with two skim layers of plaster and then painted with primer and latex.
Windows in the main house are mainly triple glazed, double low-E coated, krypton/argon filled glass, with a glass R-value of 9. The overall window unit R-value is 4.35. Because of size and weight considerations, the doors which contain glass are only double glazed, double low-E, and are gas filled. Windows in the guest rooms and mudroom area are double pane, low-E glass, with a glass R value of 4.
Wherever possible, non-toxic or low toxicity products were used. No chipboard, particleboard, or MDF was used for cabinets, shelves, or any interior construction. Low or Zero VOC AFM Safecoat paints, stains and sealers were used on all of the interior painting and staining surfaces. The stain used was Safecoat Durostain. The stain was then sealed with at least two coats of Safecoat Polyureseal BP. The window and door trim, as well as the wood stairs, were stained with these items. The wallboard was primed with Zero VOC Safecoat New Wallboard Primecoat HPV. The primer was topped with Safecoat Zero VOC enamel paint. Grout in between all of the tile work in the house was sealed with Safecoat Grout Sealer. Low VOC Tung oil was used on all of the wood floors and the oak and pine timber frame.
We built our home and maintain it using as many eco-friendly products as possible. The above mentioned paints, stains, and sealers were selected to minimize toxic ingredients. Non-toxic cleaning products are also used throughout the house. Products manufactured by Sun & Earth, LifeTree, Earth Friendly Products, Seventh Generation, and Safe Science are used.