New Insulated Garage Doors

Project: Building an Addition for an Elderly Parent, Episode 3, Part 1

Bob is on site where insulated, steel garage doors are being installed to replace the original, low-budget fiberboard doors. He walks through the new insulated concrete addition with the homeowner Howard Brickman, who explains how the layout of this in-law addition essentially doubles the size of the existing home. They talk about the concrete construction, how quickly it went up, and how insulated concrete form (ICF) construction allowed them to get a basement and slab, full upper story, walls, and first floor poured for nearly the same amount of concrete as a traditional basement wall-and-slab design.


This building process purposely uses innovative techniques and improved building practices – like the stay-in-place forms for the footings, the under-slab insulation and vapor barrier, the engineered lumber for I-joists and rafters, and the innovative DryPly decking being used for the second floor. Not only do these these technologies reduced waste, but any waste generated is being sorted for reuse.

Part 1: New Insulated Garage Doors
Although the Norwell house project primarily involves adding an in-law suite to the home, homeowner Howard Brickman is replacing the original garage doors and installing two doors on the new garage. Bob talks with Brickman, who built this home 24 years ago on a fairly tight budget. Brickman estimated that construction costs probably ran about $50 per square foot, a figure that would not be possible today. Bob talks with Robert Rainey of PJ Overhead Door about the installation of the new doors. The existing garage doors are fiberboard in a wood frame, with no insulating value. The hardware is worn and the track is outdated so they will be replaced with new hardware and operating mechanisms. The new two-sided steel door hs two inches of polyurethane insulation, a vast improvement over the existing doors. The interior side has an embossed wood-grain finish, and the exterior has an embossed panel with a carriage-door design. The door has the appearance of wood and the performance of factory-finished metal. A rubber gasket will act as a seal to prevent air and water from entering the garage. The first panel is put in place and then the track will be assembled.
Part 2: Installing the New Garage Doors
Part 3: Reviewing the Addition's Footprint and Garage Doors and Laying Down the Second-Story Floor
More and more homeowners are converting their houses into multi-generational homes for themselves, their children, and their aging parents. In Norwell, MA, Bob Vila meets a couple making room for a mother-in-law.

Also from Building an Addition for an Elderly Parent

  • Episode 1 - Reviewing Wetland Protection and Laying the Foundation


    <p>Bob introduces homeowner Howard Brickman, who is building a new addition for an aging parent that will nearly double the size of his colonial home in Norwell, MA. It showcases concrete building technology that is streamlined, efficient, and versatile.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There were some delays in obtaining a building permit because the home is near a quaking bog that serves as a wildlife habitat and natural filtration system for the town. Steve Ivas, an environment consultant, leads a tour of neighboring Black Pond Bog.&nbsp; Formed by melting glacial remains, the pond is covered by a moss layer that has since formed a 20-foot thick fibrous mat.&nbsp; At the home site, a hay-bale buffer was created on the property to protect a connected wetland from erosion or runoff during the project.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At every step, time and materials savings speed the construction and save countless hours of labor.&nbsp; A monolithic pour, or single pour that would normally take three, is used for the concrete slab and frost walls.&nbsp; ReddiForm's innovative plastic footing ICF forms are used to create and reinforce the structure.&nbsp; Insul-Tarp is used to create an insulated vapor barrier and reflect heat back into the living spaces.&nbsp; Fibers are blended into the concrete mix, eliminating the need for a traditional steel reinforced mesh.</p>
  • Episode 2 - Building the Foundation, Floor, and Walls


    <p>The finished addition will look like the original traditional shingled home and be indistinguishable from the house, but the construction technologies and innovative products in use are anything but traditional. Bob talks with Ron Ardres from ReddiForm about their polystyrene blocks, or ICFs, that reduce steps and labor.&nbsp; With contractor Todd LaBarge, Bob learns about Insul-Tarp and efficient concrete pours.&nbsp; Jason McKinnon of Viega North America and Tim Cutler, of TJ&rsquo;s Plumbing &amp; Heating explain PEX tubing and radiant heat.&nbsp; Jim Niehoff of the Portland Cement Association and builder Howard Brickman talk about the almost unheard of speed with which the addition is coming together and the anticipated energy-efficiency of the new building. By using concrete and foam construction for the footing, garage, first-floor slab, and walls, and also being used to set up for the upper levels of the addition, significant savings in time, energy, and cost are achieved.</p>
  • Episode 4 - Metal Roofing, Solar Roof Panels, Siding, and Trim


    <p>As the house is being closed in, work can begin on the roof. Homeowner Howard Brickman decides to install a special underlayment that will allow the roof to breathe and clear any attic moisture that might build up. A peel-and-stick membrane is applied to keep out exterior moisture before the Galvalume standing-seam metal roof is installed using a steel and aluminum mix that prevents rust and deterioration at the cut edges.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The roof is finished with a set of photovoltaic panels that will absorb the sun&rsquo;s energy and send it to a basement inverter that will convert it into AC power and store it for the household's electricity. If more power is generated than needed, it will be sent back along the power grid to the power utility for a homeowner's rebate to offset future energy spending.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The closing in of the house is completed with fiberglass-framed windows that feature low-e glass, a slim-profile sash, dual-operation sash that go up from the bottom or down from the top, and a tilt-in design for easy cleaning. The core humidity in the building materials is logged and the moisture is sucked out to dry the house before walls are installed and mold has a chance to take hold. Outside, preparations are underway to attach fiber cement siding and cellular PVC molding that will last without painting and can be profiled on site.</p>
  • Episode 5 - Finishing up with Cedar Porch, Fireplace, and Stone Veneer

Hi, I'm Bob Villa. Welcome to the show here in Norwell, Massachusetts where we're adding on to an existing house to create an in-law suite and we are using ICF's, insulated concrete forms, for the bulk of the building.

We're going to give you a recap of how all of that has come together today. We're also installing some steel garage doors.

We have two existing garage bays where we're replacing the old ones. We have two new bays, where we'll show you how they are installed.

Also, lots of framing. Stick around. It's good to have you with us.

Okay, we're gonna get started today replacing some garage doors. And, although how Howard Brickman our homeowner is primarily working on creating this in law suite. We're obviously doing some improvements to his twenty-five-year-old house which he built himself.

Howard, when you built, excuse me, you're taking things apart there, but when you built this house you really built it with a budget in mind, right?

Yes, it was fresh moved from the south to the Boston area 25 years ago and, we had the budget from Memphis to Boston, so we were watching our pennies when we built the house.

Did you ever calculate what it cost per square foot to build it back then?

It was right around 50 dollar s a square foot.

You couldn't do that today?


No. So one of the improvement's that you are making is to kind of upgrade your garage doors.

You got two garage doors from the original house and you will have two new entrances on the new side.


Yeah. What kind of door is this?

Well it is relatively inexpensive door. It's a fiberboard and a a wooden frame. Very inexpensive door even 25 years ago.

Not only is it flimsy, but it has absolutely no insulating value.


Okay , and go ahead, let's get these old panels taken apart here. And Bob Rany is on the inside, who's helping us from PJ overhead doors, and what do you have to take off down there?

Well, we took off the, we undid hardware so we can actually lift a section out right now, and then we proceed from there.

Did you take all three of them out?

Yes we can.

Now you can't reuse the hardware?

No we don't. It's worn. Some of it is rusty.

The track is different nowadays. We're going with different track we're going low head

So, by large the best thing to do with that is just throw it away.


And that's what we're going to do.

Throw it away. It's as flimsy as the door was, OK.


Now, before I take this last one out, we're going to get rid of another section here.
Alright, I will swing it in and slide it out. There you go.

Now this one here. Swing it, you can just swing it to me and we can pull it right out.

So what are some of the features of the door?

Well, it is a steel two sided door.

It has 24 gauge exterior, twenty seven gauge interior.

Is there any insulation?

Yes, it has two inches of polyurethane insulation in it. Gives it an R value of thirteen.

Now that's probably like thirteen Rs more than what you had there.

Oh, yeah. Maybe fourteen.

Yep, there was not much there. And the finish on the door is interesting, it's kind of an embossed wood grain on this side. Is this the side that goes to the weather?

This is actually the back of the door, Bob. This exposed face, is this embossed panel, that has a carriage door design to it.

That's very nice.

So it's very handsome.

Yeah, it looks like a paneled...

And it has a wood grain embossed on it as well.


So it has a very similar appearance to a wood grain door, with all the performance characteristics of a back refinished metal.

Excellent, now Bob, what's the first step in installing something. It's three panels, right? Or is it four?

It's three panels.

Three panels. These are the pieces that go with the track. Alright, we'll just watch as we put them all together.

Okay, so we've got the hardware pieces in and the roller pieces in. And this came through with the door, right?


This is probably one of the more important parts of the door.

Yeah, that rubber gasket will actually keep the air and water from infiltrating into the garage.

It's very important to seal this space in.

Alright Bob, we have to flip it, don't we?


So, before you fiddle with the track or anything, you put your first piece in. And now you have to go get the track and start assembling it, right?

Yes, yes, we do.


All right.

So Bob, now this is

one of the difficult parts of the job, right?

Yes. This actually can be a little dangerous.

Right. Because, I mean, we're talking tension and stuff. Now, the question on my mind is: Is this a do-it-yourselfer's job?

Well, if a person is really handy they could do it but, they would be very frustrated by the time they were done.


It's best left to a professional.

Yeah, ok. All right let's get the springs up.

All right, Bob. Well, that gives us a pretty good idea of just how complicated it is to put one of these together. And of course, your guys have put in two more on the other side.

Yes, we have.

And you've got one left here. Thanks a lot. Let's see how it closes.

Thank you, Bob.

All right. What do you think Howard?


Not bad.

What an improvement.

All right, you've got some framing to do, right?

Yes, sir.

All right, we'll get up there in a minute.

So Howard, what's the overall footprint of the addition? It's thirty-six feet deep by forty-two point 42 and 5 inches.

So that's like a whole another house. Now let's get a little geography lesson here. Whats that space over there supposed to be?

That's the master bedroom, with the bathroom up behind it towards the front door.

Alright, So this won't be just a simple little in-law suite. You're building your mother-in-law almost a separate, private apartment.

Well, you know, she's still very active, very fit and it's nice for her to have a place where she can have her own privacy and also be very independent.

And so then, this big space that we're in. How is this going to be used?

This is a great room room, and this kind of, catches all the other activities.


There's a fireplace going in that corner.


Then, living area, dining and then we'll have a food preparation area down here against the staircase.

Yeah, and then, it connects into your own part of the house directly.

Our house connects right over.

Directly through there. All right, well, let's recap some of the technologies that've been used here. I mean, all these walls look white, not because they're plastered or finished, but because They're made out of an insulation material. These are insulated concrete forms.

Yes. And essentially it's a combination of the foam which will hold the concrete, which is steel reinforced on the inside.

Right. Plus, it also supplies an insulation factor to the whole exterior walls, and it makes it go real fast.

It was very fast.

Lets talk about how much concrete was used here.

We used a total of eighty-four yards of concrete. And the interesting thing is that if we'd done a standard poured reinforced concrete floor and poured concrete walls for a standard basement, we would have used 64 yards.


So, we get the second floor in concrete. We also get the walls all the way up to the rafters for another 20 yards of concrete.

For an extra 20 yards of concrete, not to mention the speed and efficiency with which it all happened.

Very quick.

Yeah. And then it terms of the other technologies we've got a different type of a footing in place here, don't we?

We used a fabric to contain the footings versus the standard wood construction method, we would have to remove. In other words, we use this fabric that we were able to leave in place and the fabric is waterproof and vapor-proof, so, it actually prevents moisture from coming up through the foundations.

Exactly. So, again it's a story of not only new technologies but of avoiding waste.


Yeah, because you haven't had a dumpster on the job?

No, we haven't and we just believe in being thrifty also.

Makes a lot of sense. This, so far, is the waste pile right?

That' s the real small waste. We're keeping the other boards sorted for length so that we can grab them when we need them. But those are our little pieces and even those little pieces get reused as well.

Sure. Well, I noticed that you were using them up here.

Now this is a load-bearing wall. And this two by six wall that runs the length of it sits on top of the concrete wall below us.

And the garages.

And there'll be another one just like it above that will eventually take the load of the roof.


And what are these little short pieces of leftover two by four, two by sixes doing up there?

Those are squash blocks, and they're designed to take the compressive load from the, from the roof, that goes through the center wall and keep these eye joists which are very thin at the center, from compressing from the heavy load that's concentrated.

Right, we've got eye joist cut-offs here. And the fact is, if you look at them in section, it's an engineered lumber product that's terrific as a joist, as a floor joist. But what you're saying that in compression, it needs a little bit of help.

It does need some extra help with those concentrated loads.

Right, and then you and your son have done lots of the framing over here, and again you're using mostly two by six, right?

These particular structural walls, we're using 2x6's also makes it easier to put plumbing and electrical in them. There's a little bit more depth to deal with.

And then the floor above us, I mean when you put up the interior partitions that are load-bearing, you have to be very precise about the heights of them, right?

Well, we're trying to match the existing roof upstairs.


Because the existing house, we really want to have the roof on the backside to become perfectly planer to one another.

To match up with each other.

To match up with the other ones, so we have to be very precise about where locate the wall because it supports that roof plan e that joins up.

Alright so everything is level?

This floor is level.

Good, let's go on up there and look at the sheathing. Oh boy, it's nice and sunny up here.

Okay, so I what you're saying, Howard, about continuing the roof line of the existing house all the way across. I mean, it's one long run, though, isn't it twenty some odd feet?

Actually the rafters here will be about 26 feet 5 inches.

And are they going to be traditional lumber?

No, we are going to use the I joist again up for the rafters.

You can use them for rafters?

Yeah, there is a design that allows you to actually frame a continuous rafter from the ridge all the way down to the eaves.

That'll be exciting to watch. Okay, so now you've got the whole deck down here using this Georgia Pacific DryPly. It really is very good looking stuff, isn't it?

Yeah, it's very attractive material.Very highly functional as well. It's a southern yellow pine very dense material, very strong and stiff. In addition it has water repellent on the surface so that it's protected from the elements during the open time that it's exposed to the weather.

Yeah. They treat it with a wax like finish so that you can have it up to like a month out here exposed to the weather, and you don't have to worry about it getting damp or de-laminating. And the stability of this kind of lumber also makes it possible to just use it as a single layer of underlayment that you can put your finished flooring on.

That's correct. There's no unsupported edges with the tongue and groove plywood. So that where the ends meet, it hits on top of a joist, and then the edges, the tongue and grooves meet together.

Are supporting it. Yeah.

And lock it together.

Now your son, Richard, has been working here all alone. How do you like working with this dry ply?

It's great stuff, very stout, very sturdy. It's got some great characteristics, but I'm glad you guys are here to help.

This stuff ways about seventy-five pounds a sheet.


Yeah, it is heavy stuff. You guys had to bring it all up here on your own, right?

Yeah, I was uh-

Over 30 sheets for the whole area.

Yeah, we can skip the gym that day.

Yeah, you bet you can.


All right, so now we're using the same kind of adhesive materials that we've used on the exterior furring strips, right?

It's the same adhesive actually. We're using on all of our structural applications. So wherever we put plywood to structure, we're actually using this adhesive to increase the strength and stiffness of the structure.

What kind of foam is it?

This is polyurethane foam really thickened up called per stick. It's gun dispense so I can control. It's a better mouse trap that I can open up the set screw, lay down any size bead that Howard needs.

So we'll attach it and we'll do an as pattern and I'll get started doing that. So if I just open up the set screw and pull the trigger, see I can lay down any size bead I want, and that goes like this.

This is a construction adhesives. No solvents, so it's not gonna do any damage whatsoever to the EPS board.

When you say solvents, you mean any petroleum based solvents that would dissolve.

Your standard construction adhesives that have to be bled would actually start eating through the EPS. You know, ruining, water, you know creating a water channel, ruining the R factor of this structure.

The polyurethane lesson. The key thing though here Barbara that we have to do, it's different than the standard construction adhesive is, it comes out like a shaving cream. It now chemically grabs the moisture out of the air and the viscosity of this resin will thicken up. So it needs an open time of about three minutes and it'll go., I'll just touch it, go from a shaving cream into a Cheez Whiz or more of a standard construction adhesive to increase the adhesive quality of the product.

It's very space age.

And how long does the foam have to sit before you can put the plywood sheets down on it?

Under normal relative humidity conditions, we would have to let it sit, oh, five to seven minutes, but we're going to accelerate it a little bit. We've got a...

A little spray water bottle there?

A, a little mister there and it's a moisture curing urethane.


So if we get a little bit of extra moisture on the material it'll accelerate the...

Alright, so lets put the two old guys on this end and Richard, you can handle that end. Seventy-five pounds huh?


OK, it's set up on that end.

And that is the groove side, and we're gonna fit it right in.

There we go, we just need to ease it in. You got your end in there?



Very nice.

That's good.

And so it's engineered so there's always a little bit of a gap here for expansion and contraction.

Yes. In fact, if you look at the back of the sheet there, it says leave eighth inch space between all sheets.

Is that right?


What kind of nails were you using?

We're using hot dipped galvanized. These are eight pennies.

Yeah the beauty of the hot dipped is that you've always got that roughness that comes from the galvanizing process, and that always helps with the grip.

It increases the coefficient of friction with the nails, so they withdraw a lot harder, so they hold better.

Yeah, exactly. Alright, so, we'll just go ahead and tack it in place.

But the overall nailing pattern is supposed to be what, every six inches on the edges?

Six inches on the edges and eight inches on the intermediate joist.

OK, great.

Alright, well let me ask you one last question about the roof system that we that we were talking about a minute ago, because on the back side it's all going to be one continuing line and if you look at our gable-end wall here, it's kind of an unusual looking gable-end, right?

It's a clear story construction, with two, really, two shed roofs coming together.

Exactly, and so that vertical line there actually will be a vertical wall of glass all the way across the top.

It will have 5 windows in it and they will be lined up with the windows in the lower part of the building.

OK, well I can't wait to see the roof to come together, Howard.

Me too.

Nice job, Richard.

Thank you.

OK. And these, of course, are installed on the other side of the house where all the new work makes it a lot easier to put in these beautiful Amarr Classica 3000, stamped-steel doors that look like a wooden carriage house door.

We're out of time. Next week we're going to be showing you some beautiful fiberglass windows from Pella that we're installing. We're also going to look at how the roof gets framed and some metal roofing.

Until then, I'm Bob Vila. Thanks for joining us.



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