Wood vs. Water

We’ve all heard about the problems that can arise when wood and water make contact. If you’ve ever had to fix your wood flooring or work in a renovation site, you know what we mean. Here’s the good news: Innovation is finally here to prove that not all interactions between water and wood are harmful.

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Accoya project in a bathroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Source of the picture – click here

Leading institutes around the world (including in New Zealand, Sweden Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Japan) have conducted extensive laboratory and fields tests which have resulted in showing that acetylated Accoya® wood performance is strong and reliable, especially when it comes to water resistance.

What is the meaning of acetylated wood? Acetylation chemically modifies wood, making it stronger, more durable,  and far less susceptible to shrinking and swelling in various atmospheric conditions. All the chemicals used in acetylation are  found naturally in wood, making the process ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

Unmodified wood contains ‘free hydroxyl groups’ which absorb and release water as weather conditions change. It’s this quality that makes standard wood susceptible to shrinking and swelling, especially when used for outdoor purposes, such as cladding, window frames, and door frames. It’s this movement of wood leads to splitting and rotting.

Treated Accoya® wood has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention, and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance. It’s so reliable that for years scientists have been using it as the benchmark with which other wood treatments and modifiers are measured and compared.  Accoya® producers ensure that every batch of wood is consistent in quality and reaches the highest of performance standards. With such strong scientific credentials, Accoya® is guaranteed for 50 years when used above ground and 25 years for below ground applications.

Explore more of the beauty behind Accoya® wood applications around the world, here.

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Dawn to Dusk Foundation

For most new homeowners, it’s within the first week of the home building process that excavation and pouring the foundation begins. Imagine if your foundation could be ready and installed in just 1 day – indeed we recently had one of our projects completed within a 6-hour period (check the time lapse video clicking here)

With precast products it’s a doable, fast process few people know about. A partner of ours, Superior Walls, works in this segment and makes building the foundation of your new home, of your new life, a faster and more enjoyable experience all around.

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We all know that a good, strong foundation is the secret to a stable home. If special attention is not given to your foundation then it’s safe to say there will be complications down the road.

Superior Walls’ foundations are dry, using a special low water/cement ratio concrete that requires no additional damp proofing (US Markets; see ESR-1662). They’re warm with full-length insulation built in to increase energy efficiency. They also provide high strength 5000+psi concrete that is reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers for added strength and performance.

The product features patented, insulated, precast concrete wall panels that are formed in a factory-controlled setting and delivered to the site of your new home. Panels are lifted into position with a crane and carefully bolted together and sealed. Walls are custom designed and can be built to virtually any architectural style, complete with window and door openings. This system uses a footing of crushed stone along with a steel reinforced footer beam. The purpose of any wall footing is to distribute the wall’s load over a sufficiently large area of soil to ensure that the soil bearing capacity isn’t exceeded.

The best news about this system, however, is that for an average 2,200 sq ft house the foundation can be installed in just 1 day (6-8 hours). As far as foundations go, that’s impressive. It saves time and shortens the length you have to wait before moving into your new home without compromising in the strength, solidity, or energy efficiency of your foundation.

For more photos, documents, and information about Superior Walls, click here.

For a video showing their process, click here.

Prefab and Timber Frame Homes

Timber frame homes have unique concepts that bring the beauty and warmth of wood into your home. All or part of your home’s structure can contain timber framing. They’re structures vary, drawn specifically for each house and each homeowner, including yourself.

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Wood for these homes are often cut by a CNC machine, all based on the drawings from your original designs. That’s what makes this type of house so unique: precision with beauty.

Another key advantage to choosing a timber frame home is your layout. With strong beams and powerful joists your house is in no need to have load-bearing walls cutting through living spaces. You nearly have complete freedom in designing an open-concept area for your family to cook, entertain, play, and watch a movie. It’s up to you. This is your new life and you deserve to get what you’re asking for. If open-concept living has been a dream of yours then we highly recommend looking into timber framing your new home.

More than the aesthetic beauty of open floor plans and exposed wood, these houses are generally much stronger and safer than your average house. Surprisingly, they also fair better in a fire than modern homes today. This is due to the thick timber supports, which are harder to burn through than the thin panels of wood that are conventionally used.

Here is a cross section of a simple timber frame home:

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We recently had the opportunity to visit Davis Frame Co, based in Claremont NH and discuss projects not only dealing with timber but paneling (a cheaper option) as well. Steve and his team were wonderful hosts and we hope to work together in the future.

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Timber frame houses are strong, unique, customizable, beautiful, safe, and they can be yours. From a country mountainside corner, to victorian style, rustic or even the clean feel of a modern New England home, timber frame homes can take on any lifestyle. Will they take on yours?