Tag Archives: Contractors

new house on a hill

A Very Custom Spec House

About 7 years ago, when the building market was hot, we found a great lot out in the county to build our next project. The land was on a grassy hillside off of a lightly used county road. From the high side of the property you could see the Canadian Rockies. It was gorgeous. We decided to orient the house to capture those views. This project, at that time, was our biggest undertaking and we were ready. I think necessity caused us to do all the foundation work on our own and it was hard work. We had to learn a lot about rebar schedules, retaining walls and grade beams. I know that “hands-on” experience has helped all of us in understanding the logistics of later projects. We moved on from a hard foundation to challenging framing. There were several days we had to melt solid ice off the tops of the walls so we could walk on them. From the end of framing on, the project went fairly smooth. Now we hire out all of the tile work and exterior stonework, we have some amazing craftsmen as sub-contractors, but back then we were the ones that did the work. I can remember doing tile on several projects, including this one, for about a month straight! After that I didn’t want to touch a tile saw…ever. Continue reading

Not your grandfather’s insulation

Our insulation contractor, Northwest Insulation, has recently switched suppliers to Knauf Insulation. Knauf has a new product line called EcoBatt Glasswool Insulation and we think it rocks! We are always trying to find more “environmentally friendly” or ( insert ecological buzz word here ) materials. The reasons are numerous but when it comes down to it, we want to use materials in our projects that maintain industry standard and utilize our natural resources to the maximum. If a material is safe, clean and renewable, but it does not meet existing industry regulations, we are out of a job. If the material does not use our earth’s resources in a sustainable way and those resources disappear, we are out of a job. In our opinion, it is in the best interest of every industry to use what they have well.

Echo-Bat Insulation

EcoBatt is made of sand, a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled glass bottles and a renewable organic binder that takes 70% less energy to produce. The binder is the key part of the equation. The “glue” that holds other fiberglass insulations together is made with phenol, formaldehyde, acrylics and artificial colors. It is nasty stuff, not just for the customer’s home we are putting it in, for the contractors that have to install it in the walls in the first place. We have to handle it and breathe it in too.

This product meets all thermal values and industry compliances. It also meets low emitting standards for application in schools and hospitals. It currently comes in most of the standard sizes with a few exceptions and is about the same price as the old stuff! We are excited about this product and we hope we can put it in your home or office someday.

-Squalicum Builders Team