Graham Project – Work Completed

The Graham house has been completed and furnished. There are some pictures of the exterior.

We will post more pictures of the home in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.

In case you missed it, there is a very nice write-up of this project in several publications including:

The Calgary Herald

Palm Springs Life
Jetson Green

Week 10 – Construction on the Graham Project

A lot has happened since we last updated everyone on the Graham project.

We have completed all dry-wall and painted.

Painted Interior

We have completed the exterior features.

Rock patio by front entrance

Exterior cladding

We have completed all plumbing and electrical ( in the house, and at the site )

The sealed underside of the house

Additionally, at our customers request, made some late changes in the selected interior finishings.

This past week we received the updated cabinetry package, which installed very easily.

Kitchen cabinets
Bedroom cabinets

The house is currently patiently waiting for its next delivery.  A beautiful cork floor, which will deal with the abrasive dirt in the high desert better than the originally spec’d travertine. The newly spec’d floor should arrive in the next few days.

House peaking over rocks

Provided the interior materials arrive as scheduled the home should be complete within the next 2-3 weeks, and it has already been booked for its first home tour. We’ll give you all the info on that as the details are made public.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions:

Week 4 – Construction on the Graham Project

Progress on the house continues at a blistering pace.

House - Week 4

As you can see from the exterior image above, the siding is now on and building looks almost complete from the outside.

Interior with insulation and partial sheet rock

Most of the action is happening on the inside where the team has installed all insulation, rough electrical ( including custom wiring for the entertainment system ), rough pluming, ducting for air conditioning. The team has also started to put drywall up on the ceilings, installed the guide track for the architectural 7′ datum line, insulated against any potential air-leaks with spray-foam, and installed the shower pan.

Underside insulation

A reader last week posted a question about how the underside is insulated. This picture shows the two layers of R19 insulation which are installed between the floor joists.  This area will be enclosed with a corrugated sheet metal covering.

Overhand Underside and Exterior

On the exterior, the only obvious work that remains is the installation of Hardie Board, and the installation of an ambient lighting package on the underside of the roof. This lighting feature is a custom design originally conceived by the new home owner. We are very excited to see how the final result will look.

Walls ready for drywall

On the inside, the walls are ready for dry-wall which will be finished to a level 5 finish, the finest grade of smoothness.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments:

Week 3 – Construction on the Graham Project

Our third week of construction was a busy one. All windows and doors in, resulting in a completely lockable house by Day 11.

Beginning of Week 3 - House with Windows and Doors

Beginning of Week 3 - Window Walls for Living Room

All rough electrical is complete:

A Junction Box for Rough Electrical

Access Under the House Makes Rough Electrical Easy and Quick

All rough plumbing complete:


A Waste Water Pipe Under the House

And all insulation in:


Insulation Covers up Rough Electrical

Batt Insulation Over Wall Panels Results in an R28 Wall

The house has also passed a series of inspections and this week the crew will be primarily installing dry wall.

For those of you who are interested, we captured the first 7 days of construction in a time-lapse video.

Progress is continuing on-schedule and we are very happy with how the house is turning out. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any comments or questions:

DAY 7 though 9 – Construction on the Graham Project

The last few days  have seen a lot of progress on the construction site. In less than two weeks we have gone from an empty lot to almost a complete lockable shell.

Mid Day 9

The interior steel-stud walls are in, standing seam roofing is installed, the sub-floor is installed, and all door and window openings are framed out. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Interior Walls Framed

Interior Walls Framed


Roofing Being Installed


In addition, work has started on the electrical.

Electrical Panel

After these pictures were taken doors and windows were installed, and the roofing was finished, completing the lockable shell. More updates on that shortly.

Day 6 – Construction on the Graham Project

Day 6 started off with the walls primarily up.

Front of the house

There were several small pieces which needed to be installed. Here we see how pre-cut pieces for a wall over a sliding glass door are installed.

Step 1- lift panel

Step 2 - screw in to track

Step 3 - slide in next panel

After the wall panels are installed, light gauge trip pieces are used to seal the ends and make the opening ready for doors and windows.

Trim installed on doors

With all the walls in, we get a better idea of what it will be like inside the completed house. Here is a view from the future dining room table.

View from future dining room

And here is a view from the future living room. All open areas will be sliding glass doors or transom windows.

View from future living room

To prepare the roof, the team installed insulation over all the roof joists. This provides a thermal break under the roof.

Roof joists wrapped in insulation

Insulated from above

By the end of the day all door and window openings were ready, and the house is ready for its roof.

House ready for roof

Day 5 – Construction on the Graham Project

Our 5th day of work on the site saw the S.T.E.P.s ( Steel Thermal Efficient Panels ) installed.

All the S.T.E.P.s walls ready for install

The S.T.E.P.s panels, which come cut to size, install quickly and with minimal fuss.

Rear wall of the house complete by 8am

The panels are made of 4.5 inches of expanded polystyrene with integrated, thermally broken, steel studs.

EPS foam close-up

Pre-cut chases for plumbing and electrical

The S.T.E.P.s walls, when installed and combined with batt insulation, create a wall with an R 28 rating.

The team also installed the steel frame for the rear waterfall.

Framing for rear "waterfall" feature

Day 4 – Construction on the Graham Project

The team spent day 4 assembling the car port structure, which is separate from the house.

Framed carport

Due to the light weight of our light-gauge steel materials, it was easier and faster for the team to lift and install all steel pieces by hand.

Lifting a light-gauge c beam

A crew of 4 had the structure done in just a few hours.

The crew also spent part of the day assembling door and window headers. These headers then mount to our frame and hold in our glazing.

Steel headers for doors and windows

48% of the exterior of this structure is glass ( sliding glass doors or transom windows ).  Since the frame handles all structural loads it could have a 100% glass exterior without requiring any x-bracing or interior load bearing walls.

Main house ready for walls and windows

The way the Graham residence is designed, the architects were able to create the feel of a very expensive custom custom system using standard sized doors and windows. We’ll go into more detail on that as those elements are installed.

Day 3 – Construction on the Graham Project

Day 3 of the Graham construction project brought a taste of winter to the high desert.

Threatening skies

There were winds in excess of 40 miles an hour, but luckily we were spared the heavy rains that hit much of southern California.

The crew spent most of the day focused on installing the metal B-Deck and preparing the frame for the S.T.E.P.s panels.

Installing B Deck

Now that it is easy to walk on the floors, we were able to get the first real impression of what the views from the house will be like.  The following shows the view from the new dining room.

View from dining room

While we have a second, here is a quick video which shows how the steel joist are installed on day 2, and how easy the frame goes together. As you can see, even our photographer was able to assemble parts of the structure.

The conclusion of Day 3 had the floor complete,

Frame with B-Deck installed

as well as many of the details for the STEPs wall panels in-place.

Clips for S.T.E.P.s panels

Due to a slight schedule change, the crew will be spending Day 4 installing the carport. More updates and pictures on that shortly.

Day 2 – Construction on the Graham Project

By 11am on Day 2, the main frame was completed.

Steel frame complete by 11am

The first thing the team did at the start of the day was hang all the floor joists on the joist clips.

Floor joists installed

The team then went through and made sure all members were level and then tightened the bolts. Once everything was secure, metal B-Deck was put down on the floor to give the workers something to stand on. This B-Deck will also become the sub-floor for the final structure once it is screwed down, which will happen on Day 3.

Metal B-Deck sitting on the floor joists

Using a crane, bundles of standing seam metal roofing were then set on the roof. These bundles will be unpacked and installed over the next several days.

SSR roofing set on roof frame.

On day 3 the team will be installing the metal B-Deck and getting the frame ready for the wall panels, which will be installed on Day 4.

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