November 1st, 2010
With all the rain we have had in the past month, Wilmington, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers our method of waterproofing a second story floating deck that has a finished ceiling beneath it.
After framing the upper deck subfloor with a slope, we install a rubber membrane on the subfloor that wraps up and over any doorways leading to the second story floating deck.
The rubber membrane is then installed to completely cover the subfloor.
Any penetrations coming through the deck floor (such as handrail posts) need to be wrapped with the membrane.
Next, we install the floating deck system. This involves placing (but not fastening) treated 2×6 boards flat on the membrane. The reason it is called a floating deck is because it isn’t fastened to the framing beneath. We then cut treated 2×4 boards down to basically form a wedge. The purpose of this is to keep the finished decking where you stand flat and level. Remember that the subfloor decking still slopes under the membrane so the water that drips through the deck boards will still run down the membrane and away from the house.
The picture below is the finished floating deck before paint and handrails are installed.
This view (before paint and handrails) shows the finished ceiling beneath the second story floating deck.
August 19th, 2010
We all know how hot attics can get in the summer months, causing HVAC systems to work overtime. Mark Johnson Custom Homes aims to educate both our clients and readers, so we’d like to share with you a Green product that we use in all of our homes called Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing.
The product name comes from the ability of the foil coating to be a barrier to the transfer of radiant heat. In the middle of summer, the temperature in attics using this product will be approximately 40% cooler than a home using traditional sheathing. The product is made by laminating a thin, durable sheet of aluminum to OSB.
We use LP® TechShield® in our homes because it is the only radiant barrier with VaporVents, incisions that penetrate the foil, glue and OSB substrate. This patented, post-lamination incising process allows LP TechShield panels to dry more quickly from construction moisture than other radiant barrier panels. Without this incising step, moisture could build up and lead to foil delamination.
But how it is Green exactly? Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing helps reduce energy consumption. It’s ENERGY STAR®-certified and reduces the heat load on in-attic air handling systems, cutting monthly air conditioning bills up to 17%. Several other factors make Radiant Barrier an environmentally friendly building material; for more information on Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing, click here
Mark Johnson and his team have extensive experience with Green building, including their Green home in Wilmington, NC. The home was not only Energy Star Certified, but also earned a LEED Platinum Rating, the highest attainable certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
This article was featured in our August issue of The Precursive Planner, our free monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe to receive our home builder newsletter today!
August 17th, 2010
In a previous blog post, we introduced our readers to our latest custom home in Wilmington, NC, which is being built just north of Wrightsville Beach and Figure Eight Island. The home, on Bald Eagle Lane, is currently at the framing stage of construction and the installing the air barriers is the next step for Mark Johnson and his team.
The air barriers in this home, in the form of sheathing and drywall, control the home’s air leakage, keep moisture out of the home and help lower energy costs. Air barriers ensure that the insulation is working properly, since the insulation cannot work if air is blowing through it.
Bonus rooms in particular are infamous for being cooler or warmer than the rest of the home, usually because there was no air barrier installed on the short knee walls. But in this Wilmington, NC custom home, air barriers will be installed (see right), so that the insulation will be able to work to the best of its ability.
July 27th, 2010
Mark Johnson and his team are currently wrapping up their second Energy Star home in the private Waterford Community in Leland, NC. (The first Energy Star home was in the gated community of Landfall in Wilmington, NC.) Part of the Energy Star certification process is the Blower Door Test to determine the airtightness of the home.
Pictured to the right, the Blower Door is a powerful fan that is mounted to an exterior door and pulls the air out of the home. This ensures that the air pressure is low in the home and high outside and air will flow through the unsealed cracks and openings which will then be addressed.
Ensuring the home has the proper airtightness allows you to:
- Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
- Avoiding moisture condensation problems
- Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors
- Making sure that the home’s air quality is not too contaminated by indoor air pollution.
For more information on Blower Door Tests, check out this article from the U.S. Department of Energy!
July 16th, 2010
Mark Johnson Custom Homes is also a premier home remodeler in the Wilmington, NC area! Check out our Flickr slideshow of our latest remodel in Figure Eight Harbor near Wrightsville Beach, NC!
July 13th, 2010
Mark Johnson Custom Homes also has experience building in St. James Plantation, a private community in Southport, NC. These pictures are of a custom home we built for a client that especially appreciated our “dedication and attention to detail.”
June 23rd, 2010
In a previous blog post, introduced our readers to Google SketchUp and how we’re using it to help our remodeling clients visualize what their home will look like upon completion. We also aim to use our blog as an instrument to show you our complete building process from start to finish, and so we’d like to take to you the Prestwick division of the private community of Landfall, where we’re at the insulation phase of a current remodel.
At this home, located in Wilmington, NC, we opted for a Blown in Blanket (BIB’s) system with OPTIMA for its eco-friendly features, including a higher R-value. (R-value is a measure of insulation’s resistance of heat flow and the higher the number the better.) The BIBs system will have an R-23 rating in the 2×6 walls, which is extremely efficient compared to the standard batt insulation. OPTIMA is also cleaner going into the home and does not have to dry after installed, which so often delays the construction process.
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June 18th, 2010
We are excited to invite our readers to follow through the complete Mark Johnson Custom Homes building process via our blog posts! One of our latest custom homes is in Wilmington, NC, just north of the luxurious Wrightsville Beach and Figure Eight Island. This unique lot is located on the Intracoastal Waterway, complete with a private dock, gazebo and boatslip. We have just begun the preparation process for the sealed crawl space for the home, which is located on Bald Eagle Lane.
The first step with our sealed crawl space is to install the insulation and air barrier on the walls now, then run the 10 millimeter membrane on the floor. A dehumidifier will be added when the house is almost complete. There are many reasons we opted for a sealed crawl space, one of which is to combat high humidity which often results in mold in crawlspaces. While building on a raised slab foundation is more cost effective than building a sealed crawl space, some clients prefer the future remodeling flexibility that comes with a crawl space. Also, crawl spaces are easier on the knees.
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June 16th, 2010
Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to begin working with Tessa Romanowski, owner of Studio 3 Architectural Design, on an interior renovation and addition to a home in the Prestwick division of Landfall in Wilmington, NC. With previous experience in remodels, Mark Johnson and his team understand the anxieties that can sometimes accompany a remodel. And so they are eagar to begin utilizing the Google SketchUp 3-D modeling program with Studio 3, which allows the client to literally see their home’s potential for renovation and additions. The files created for each individual client are open to manipulation and can be shared with family and friends.
Tessa Romanowski had this to say about this homeowner in Landfall, in particular: “The client has an existing two-story space that contains her living and dining room. It is a soaring volume with lots of natural light and a wonderful spacious feel. Our client felt that she needed more sleeping space and wanted to maximize her square footage by adding a loft over her dining room. It was important to maintain the dramatic light quality and sightlines in the two story space, as well as to create a sculptural stair that was unobtrusive to the room.
June 15th, 2010
Mark Johnson Custom Homes uses LOGIX forms which are made of thicker foam. Thick LOGIX panels provide superior R-24 R-Value and additional strength so you can build straight walls quickly. LOGIX panels also accept standard electrical boxes.