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Special Features

In my mind what distinguishes the homes that I admire and those that are ho-hum is the accumulation of small details.

>Roof Line & Detail

One issue with the 10-inch thick SIPs for me was exposing them on the eaves and overhangs. For aesthetic reasons I wanted a thin roof line that would conceal the true height of the foam roof. For this reason cedar tines were assembled on the ground and then brought up and bolted on in 8-foot sections. A plywood deck was then attached, giving the roof a clean, sharp line. The tines add rich detail, like a crown of wood.
>Railing Detail

I hadn't given much thought to the railing detail. The plans were blank on this item. As soon as the idea of pegging them came into my mind no other solution seemed right.


>Low Entryway
I wanted people to enter through a low entryway and then emerge into the larger interior space. Since building the house I've come to find out this was a technique employed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The ceiling is just over 7-feet in the mud room and hallway. One enters through this passage and then turns right through an 8-foot wide opening to the cavernous space which rises from 13-feet to 22-feet.


>Bridge Washers
I just love the look of these sturdy, cast washers commonly found on trestle bridges and other timber structures. We ended up using more of these than we needed. They serve as medallions in addition to their structural function.


>Tall Concrete Deck Footings
I've always admired concrete poured in cylinders. But I chose them for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Primarily I liked the way pouring them all to the same level emphasized the slope of the land. I also wanted them tall enough so that the tallest 4x4 post wasn't longer than 12-feet as, in my experience, it's harder to get straight lumber over that length. Finally, tall columns protect the posts from ground level moisture and splash back - especially important as the porch roof has no gutters.


>Custom Rafter Supports (The "no visible Strong-Tie" rule)

Simpson Strong-Tie clips and brackets are hugely popular and even the required method of connection in today's construction. I used a lot of them, but I hate the way most of them look. In my opinion most of them have all the style of chewed tobacco. Thus I didn't want them visible. I used a semi-custom Strong-Tie that was okay on the top end of the porch rafter, but I refused to use a hurricane clip on the bottom side. Instead I had to have an engineer sign off on using a #10, 4-inch stainless screw.