On the Job: A Deep Energy Retrofit in Bangor, Maine

House Revivers of Bangor, Maine, strip and re-clad an old house, aiming for net-zero performance.

Stripped for Action

House Revivers (Bangor, Maine) completely stripped this home's exterior and gutted the interior, en route to a complete makeover.

Down to Bare Boards

The original board sheathing remains in place, except where new window openings have been framed. The plan is to cover the exterior with Dow Styrofoam, taped at the seams, to form a new insulated air control layer and drainage plane.

Gutted, Re-Framed, and Strapped

Inside the house, the second floor ceiling has been raised and the rafters and walls have been padded in to provide for increased insulation. The interior layout has been completey revised with new partition framing.

Filling Gaps with Foam

House Revivers project manager David Kelly works on air-sealing and moisture management details for a re-framed window opening. He starts by filling large gaps in the built-out rough opening using canned insulating foam.

Filling Joints and Seams

Kelly has decided to use the Prosoco R-Guard system to waterproof the window rough openings. Here, he applies Prosoco Joint and Seam Filler to fill a large gap.

Applying Seam Filler

Kelly applies Prosoco Joint and Seam Filler to a rough window jamb.

Tooling Seam Filler

Kelly tools the waterproof, vapor-open Joint and Seam Filler with a plastic trowel. The goal is to provide a reasonably smooth base for Prosoco FastFlash, the next step in the window preparation process.

Tooling Seam Filler

Tooling Joint and Seam Filler with a plastic trowel. (By the way, Joint and Seam Filler cleans up with soap and water, as JLC editor Ted Cushman learned when he got some on the seat of his wife's brand new Toyota Prius.)

Tooling Seam Filler

Kelly tools the Joint and Seam Filler with a plastic trowel. The material allows plenty of working time, Kelly says.

Tooling Seam Filler

Tooling out the Joint and Seam Filler with a plastic trowel.

Fluid-Applied Flashing

After filling rough parts of the framed opening with Joint and Seam Filler, Kelly starts flashing the entire opening with Prosoco FastFlash.

Tooling the FastFlash

Kelly spreads the FastFlash onto the wood with a plastic trowel.

Tooling the FastFlash

Kelly spreads out the FastFlash to form a continuous coat over the rough, irregular wood framing. Kelly chose the fluid-applied material for this part of the project because he was concerned that it would be difficult to achieve full adhesion on the rough surface using a construction tape.

A Smooth Coat

Kelly spreads out the FastFlash with a trowel. The waterproof, vapor-open material creates a smooth surface suitable for later attachment of construction tapes.

Continuous Coverage

Tooling out FastFlash to achieve a complete, smooth waterproof coat.

Exterior Foam Seal

Because the existing walls were out of plumb, windows were installed in the center of the window openings to enable crews to split the difference while plumbing the window units. Then, Dow Styrofoam insulation was applied to the wall exteriors. Here, David Kelly trims off excess injected foam used to fill and seal the gap between the XPS foam and the furred window opening.

Taping Foam to Wood

David Kelly seals the juncture between the Dow Styrofoam insulated sheathing and the wood window buck using Dow Weathermate tape. The Dow tape is one of the few tapes available that sticks well to XPS foam, Kelly says, and it's more affordable than many other tapes too.

Taping Foam to Wood

Sealing the joint between the foam insulation and the window buck fur-out with Dow Weathermate tape.

Taping Foam to Wood

Kelly presses the Sega Wigluv tape over the Dow Weathermate tape at the top of the window. Despite the reverse lap, Kelly is confident that the tape joint is watertight.

Scribing for a Cut

David Kelly scribes a piece of Dow Styrofoam as he pieces together the XPS insulating drainage plane for the house.

Cutting XPS by Hand

Kelly cuts a piece of Styrofoam with a pull-saw.

Marking in Place

Holding the piece of XPS foam in place, Kelly marks it to lay out cuts for fitting the piece around the existing rafter tails.

Marking for Cuts

Kelly makes layout marks for cutting the piece of XPS foam.

Notching Out

Kelly notches out the foam as he prepares to apply it to the top of the wall.

Fitting in Place

Kelly fastens the piece of foam in place with a few cap nails. The cap nails serve to hold the piece until strapping is applied over the foam and screwed to the house sheathing for a secure attachment.

Taping Corners

After sealing the Dow Styrofoam to the window buck with Dow Weathermate tape, Kelly ties the window into the drainage plane. Here, he applies a small patch of Siga Wigluv tape at the window buck corner.

Taping Corners

Applying another piece of Sega Wigluv tape at a window buck corner. The product is waterproof and vapor-open. It's also flexible, allowing Kelly to fit the tape to the three-dimensional corner shape.

Taping Corners

Kelly works a piece of Siga Wigluv tape into the corner at the window bottom and presses the tape firmly against the substrate with a plastic card, supplied with the tape. The tape holds tenaciously to the window frame's vinyl face, even with just a half-inch overlap.

Taping Windows to Walls

Kelly peels away the Sega Wigluv tape's split-paper backing, which allows him to precisely place the tape first against the window frame, and then against the framed opening.

Split Release

Kelly applies more Sega Wigluv tape at the top of the window.

Screwing Strapping

Carpenter Sonny Searles screws a piece of strapping over the foam with GRK screws long enough to sink into the home's sheathing. The crew is using full-width 1x4 strapping for this job, in order to provide good nailing for the vinyl siding to be installed next.

Furring Out Windows

David Kelly screws a piece of strapping underneath the window sill.

Furring Out Windows

Kelly fills in the 1x4 wood strapping at the head of the window, attaching it with long GRK screws.

Attaching a Finish Sill

Carpenters Jay Kelleher (rear) and Rick Martin (foreground) screw an Azek finish sill to the rough framing after tape sealing is completed.

Scribing Trim

Jay Kelleher scribes a jamb extension. The original house walls were out of plumb, but the windows were placed plumb, so the carpenters have to split the difference as they trim the windows out.

Window Trim Fabrication

Jay Kelleher and Rick Martin screw Azek jamb extensions to window casing as they trim out the home's windows.

Shimming to Fit

Using shims and screws, Kelleher and Martin fit their window trim pieces to the waterproofed opening and the strapped, insulated wall.

Hiding Fasteners

Kelleher taps a pre-made plug into the countersunk screw hole in the Azek window trim.

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X