Framing is underway!

It’s taken a couple weeks for Jeff Vilen and his construction crew to transition from a project they’ve been finishing near the Twin Cities to getting everything in place to raise the walls of the garage, but they’ve done it! Tools, big and small, scaffolding, miscellaneous building materials and more have gradually been put into action over the past couple of weeks and this week we’ve seen how it all comes together.

Exterior walls, fiber board sheathing, plywood-reinforced corners, door and window headers, roof trusses…there’s a real sense of life awakening in what will soon be the garage.

But now, as we’ve been warned, the roller coaster begins…you know—the one where your earliest dreams end up feeling very small on paper, and then really big when you step inside the framing—only to feel smaller again after things are enclosed…and back and forth it goes until you finally move in—and then, well, it doesn’t matter, does it? Because “it is what it is” and you love (and use) every inch of it no matter what!

We’ve begun with the garage for the practical reason of having an enclosed, secure space for the growing amount of supplies and materials. While our August temperatures are back and forth into the 90s, we also know that here in Minnesota the first snowfall of the season could arrive in October (not that far off!), so we’d best be ready.

While I’m on the topic, this is also a reason we’ve chosen to go with a garage framed with 2×6 studs. About a third of the structure, on both levels, will be insulated so that we can use it year round. In January, a larger wall cavity and thicker insulation will be like wrapping up in another blanket, particularly important because aside from a localized space heater, the building will be unheated. Insulating the vehicle part of the garage doesn’t seem as critical to us at the moment, but a couple of extremely cold winters out here on the prairie might change our minds, and we’ll be ready!

But it’ll be a long while before we experience any vehicles parking inside the garage—but they will (stop snickering, you doubters…). In the meantime, we look forward to having a structure in place that will help facilitate the business of house construction in just a few weeks.



Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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