In continuation with the great room, I thought that it would be best to cover the loft area next. The loft consists of a sitting area and a balcony through which the chimney extends up through. The custom fireplace and chimney, made with stone found around the property, was built by Stonescapes Inc. of Hockessin, DE. The intersection of the chimney through the balcony creates a lovely, small sitting area that is a perfect spot to read a book. The loft also has a larger seating area located above the kitchen. The railings and balusters were hand forged by Harris Metalsmith Studio LLC and are simple twisted picket design, painted Satin Black with an Oak cap rail. The floors in the loft are Wormy Maple. Above the sitting are in the loft is a cupola. The cupola assists in passive ventilation.
If you were not familiar with the Hansen House, you would never guess what lies beyond the beautifully handcrafted reclaimed Oak front door. The Douglas Fir timber frame is the roof truss system above the great room, loft and kitchen. Timber framing allows for high ceilings and open building methods, not to mention that it is gorgeous. The Douglas Fir timbers are stained with Sansin clear finish and the Southern Yellow Pine roof decking is stained with Sansin Camel. Sansin is a low-VOC environmentally friendly product. The great room has beautiful views of the rural farm land that surrounds the property. The Marvin French doors are glazed to enhance energy performance. Glazing means that the window glass that has a clear coating to reflect heat while allowing light to stream in. Reclaimed Oak was used for the flooring and stone found from around the farm was used in constructing the fireplace.As you walk in the front door and enter through the mudroom, you can either go straight towards the kitchen or go left towards the great room. The Hansen House is a hybrid house, meaning that part of it is timber framed while the rest is stick built. HJLCMS used the energy efficient method of built out walls throughout the house. Blown in insulation creates a super insulated, tight building envelope which increases the efficiency of the house.
The workspace of the Hansen House’s kitchen is under the loft while the rest of the kitchen is open to above and out to the great room and dining area. The open ceiling allows the natural light to flow in through the windows above and all around. The flooring is ungauged slate. The slate provides a natural earthy coloring and interesting cleft textures to the floor. The back splash matches the slate on the flooring. Shawn Hollenshead Cabinetry beautifully constructed the kitchen cabinetry as well was other elements throughout the Hansen House. The flat panel Shaker doors were made out of soft maple with Sherwin Williams traditional Cherry stain with a sating sheen topcoat. All of the doors and drawers are soft close and many have custom elements that were beautifully orchestrated by Shawn Hollenshead Cabinetry. The elegant countertops are made from Uba Tuba granite. One of the unique features of the kitchen is the window seat with a built-in storage area. The window seat is part of the seating area of the kitchen that has magnificent views of the gorgeous grounds. These views extend throughout the great room, loft, master suite and guest rooms. The kitchen opens up to the dining area and the great room.
After the tar paper was installed on the exterior of the Hansen House, the next step was to install the venting network for the siding. Venting behind siding is necessary to prevent the major problems that could arise from trapped moisture. The venting material is cor-a-vent sturdi-strip which runs vertically and cor-a-vent SV-3 which runs horizontally along the exterior of the walls. The sturdi-strips and SV-3 are crush resistant extruded polypropylene core with fluted airways that provide maximum airflow. The SV-3 has an enhanced insect screen to prevent insects from getting in behind the siding. The siding is the HZ5 product line of HardiPlank. The HZ5 products are a special substrate composition designed to perform in climates with freezing temperatures, seasonal temperature variations, snow and ice. Timber bark is the color of the siding with arctic white trim and soffits. The Hansen House has 3 variations to the exterior which give it a unique look. As you approach the house you encounter the stone wall which is a continuation of the original and existing architecture of the farm. When you walk around the to the front the stone fades away to classic siding. This continues along to the side porch. Once you get to the back and side of the garage, the siding makes the final transformation into vertical board and batten. The soffit and trim are HZ5 product line in arctic white. The cupola, where the whole-house fan will be installed to exhaust hot air from the house and for air circulation, has the same siding, soffit and trim as the rest of the house. The main roof of the Hansen House is shingled while the porches and overhangs have standing seam metal roofs.
White PVC pipes run under the slab where the domestic hot and cold running water tubes are housed and run. These plumbing tubes are part of the Hansen House’s wet wall, a structural wall designed to house plumbing pipes for fixtures like sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets. The tubes are connected into the manifold and then distributed throughout the house to the designated fixture. Consolidating plumbing in a single wall increases efficiency as well as cutting down on building costs. The black PEX tubes are for the radiant floor heat which also run to the manifold where the water will be heated by an electric water heater. The PEX tubing was attached to the rebar which was laid out in a checkerboard pattern on top of the foundation’s 4″ of insulation. Then concrete was poured to form the slab. The kitchen island location and outline were marked by tape on the floor for reference points. After the plumbing tubes were all in place, the cellulose insulation could be sprayed. Netting was installed on ceilings and walls to hold the blown in cellulose in place. The netting was used so that the drywall would not have to be installed before the insulation was blown in, which could cause moisture problems. The windows and doors were covered with plastic to be protected during the spray insulation process. Polyurethane, the yellowish material, was sprayed to seal any plywood seams to ensure a tight building envelope. Because the insulation is blown in an excess of material tends to accumulate; therefore, while one person blows in the cellulose another person vacuums it up where it is sent back to the truck and recycled back through the process. The metal braces seen in the picture below are part of the t-bracing which prevents lateral movement. Rigid foam was added to the cavity so that settling of the insulation was minimized and controlled.
The black tar paper around the window openings is for durability and to protect the window sills. As you can see below, the corners of the openings have water and ice shield for further protection. The InLine Fiberglass windows are triple pane low-e casements with fold down cranks and colonial grids between the window panes. All of the windows in the Hansen House have white exteriors and Oak laminate interiors, except for the windows in the garage which have brownstone exteriors and Oak laminate interiors. Using the window orientation as a reference point to help determine where the sconce should go, our Project Manager had the great idea to put the sconce on a 2×4 and have the homeowner move it up and down the wall to help him visualize where he wanted it placed. These exterior shots show the timber framed side porch, without the roof on it yet, and the installed windows. The Marvin Integrity Center Hinge French Doors with sliding screen are found on by the side porch and off of the front of the great room. This custom entry door’s arch matches the arches of the existing barn and mill house. The arched door is located under the timber framed entry way which is part of the wrap around front porch. The next post will cover the spray cellulose insulation so check back to learn all about it!
The reclaimed stone for the Hansen house was found on the property. The original owners had purchased the stone from a church was that being dismantled because it matched the stone used for the original farmhouse. KeeneStone cut 1” is a 3-dimensional drainage device for 1.0” masonry cavity wall applications. They are designed to catch and hold mortar droppings while allowing moisture to pass through and drain out of the wall as well as suspending mortar drippings above the weep holes to prevent the drainage channels from becoming blocked or clogged. The marble cornerstones are also reclaimed from the property. On some of these marble pieces, the drill holes from the original mining process. The masons from Stonescapes, Inc. did a beautiful job on both the chimney and the stone walls as seen in these amazing detail shots. The arched door matches the radius of the doorways in the barn and the well house. These exterior shots show the craftsmanship of the masons and a quick preview of what is to come. Check back for the next update on the installation of the windows.
The fireplace insert is a Mendota Gas Fireplace. Mendota Gas Fireplaces offer BurnGreen technology featuring environmentally friendly practices such as adjustment of heat and blower output, which allows the user to conserve fuel. To maximize combustion efficiency and preserve indoor air quality, the direct vent design uses 100% outside air for combustion. Once the fireplace was connected and tested then the framework for the stone chimney could be constructed. The face of the fireplace was protected while the custom stone chimney was built around it. Local stone artisans from Stonescapes Inc. were the masonry contractors who created this beautiful chimney. The chimney is two stories high and extends through the second story loft. The combination of wood and stone provide beautiful details. The stone was reclaimed from around the property.
Sill seal was installed in between the concrete foundation and the sill plate to reduce air infiltration. Sill seal was installed all around the house. A termite shield was installed between the foundation and the sill plates’ wooden components that are joined to the foundation. The termite shield is a metal barrier shaped in a way that diverts water from running down the face of the wall and eliminates the movement of termites from the soil into wood framing members. The garage was framed out with 2×6’s and engineered framing materials to create open and useful spaces. The 2-car garage also has a back portion that is designated for the homeowner’s motorcycle collection. I-joists were installed in the garage to support the bonus room above the garage. The end of the parallel strand lumber (PSL) beam was cut to create the opening for the stairwell. The PSL beam allows the floor to end so that the motorcycle section of the garage is open to the above. PSL’s are strong and have a high load carrying ability. While the garage was being framed out, the crew started on the rest of the house. The garage roof slopes in a way that adds dimension to the roofline and style to the entire structure. This roofline, along with the motorcycle collection, help define the atmosphere of the garage. The beam in the picture below was salvaged from one of the barns on the property. This is just one of the many reclaimed/found items that the owners wanted our design team to incorporate in the design of their house. The beam was repurposed and used to create the entryway from the foyer into the office.