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From the Inside Out

What you don’t see is also what you get...

Have you ever noticed a warped spot on a wall when the sun shine hits it in the morning? That is a telltale sign of poor quality framing studs after it’s too late to do anything about it!

Unfortunately, the wood available to us today is of an increasingly poor quality. Lumber is harvested at an earlier age and is cut and shipped before it has had a chance to dry sufficiently. Green wood, by its very nature, will not retain its shape. The only way to completely avoid warping and shrinkage is to purchase a pre-engineered product, a solution which is too costly to be practical.

Beach Realty minimizes the risk of warping and shifting by using only #2 spruce framing materials in lieu of construction grade pine. We follow that concept of only purchasing the best framing materials available from the floor joists to the rafters to the outside of the building.

We only use exterior plywood for sheathing, not the popular and less expensive Oriented Strand Board (OSB) unless the customer specifically requests that cost savings. Fine Homebuilding Magazine documented the vulnerability of OSB siding in a study done in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in Homestead, Florida. When OSB became wet it lost its ability to retain fasteners – i.e. it fell apart. Under normal circumstances, the OSB would not necessarily be exposed to water. However, on the Outer Banks we must consider our exposure to the likelihood of high winds and driving rain.

We further protect from disintegration by capping exposed plywood edges on the bottom of the exterior sheathing with a border of salt treated lumber. By eliminating the porous plywood edge, we greatly reduce the risk of damage to your siding resulting from water penetration or insect infestation.

Good old tar paper is our product of choice for house wrap or vapor barrier. In the 80’s the wonder products known as Tyvek and Typar were touted as the modern replacement for tar paper. Our experience in repairs, remodeling, and maintenance has exposed the weakness of this product. It has a past history of breaking down when exposed to ultraviolet rays, delaminates, and it may even fail as a vapor barrier by allowing moisture to collect in the stud cavities. Tar paper is heavier, unwieldy to apply, and potentially more costly but it holds up to the test of time.

Most homes look good when they are new. I want the homes I build to age well also. That is why, as a conscientious custom builder, I insist on these materials and applications. Jimbo Ward

Courtesy of Beach Realty & Construction

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