The Story behind a Newton Accessory Apartment: Framing

We hope you’ve been following the evolution of our latest project: an accessory apartment in Newton. From a homeowner’s perspective, one of the most exciting parts of a project is when the walls and roof go up and they can start to visualize their project becoming a reality. From our perspective, we’re just as excited to see the many months of planning take shape.

This project uses advanced framing techniques: 6” studs placed 24” apart, with minimal wood at the corners. We gain extra depth for insulation (the subject of this post) and fewer studs means less “thermal bridging” (heat conducted through the wood instead of staying where we want it).

Because we’ve built our business on energy efficient and green building techniques, we put a lot of thought into the best materials for the exterior of the home to ensure that it stays warm and dry in all seasons. Sealing cold air out and warm air in is vital to energy efficiency and the overall comfort of the space. On this home, we’ve used a basic Huber “Zip System”, carefully taping all seams to create an air and moisture barrier, for greater energy efficiency and thermal comfort. Interested in learning more? We’ve written extensively about this in our Building Better Walls blog.

Now that the walls and roof are up, we’re ready for insulation.

The walls have gone up!
The roof starts to take shape. We opted for a simple gable form to match the main house and to keep costs down.
“Strapping” at the ceiling adds stability and space for wiring
One of two sets of stairs to the future apartment. These have been built to accommodate a chair lift in the future if one becomes necessary.
The Huber Zip System that we used on the exterior walls combines plywood and a vapor barrier (the green, outer layer) that is designed to let moisture OUT but not IN.