Patricia Hamilton

Patricia Hamilton's Posts

  • Where wind-driven rain is common, wood shingle roofs require extra detailing, both to keep moisture out of the house and to allow the shingles to dry. A coastal builder describes the materials and methods that work for her.

  • Q: As a general contractor in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia, we often build vacation homes higher than 4,000 feet altitude, where wind-driven rain is a regular weather feature. On one site, the wind regularly reaches 50 to 80-plus miles per hour and actually blows rain uphill. We have a south-facing window wall full of fixed-glass and awning windows. The wall has 2x6 studs, 1/2- inch OSB sheathing, Tyvek housewrap, and 1x10 horizontal ship-lapped pine. With only a 3/8-inch lap on the siding, I can imagine that water might be driven behind it. But how is it getting past the Tyvek and OSB through the wall? Water drips from the interior window head jambs, and with the interior wall paneling removed, it can be seen on top of the sole plate. We had to replace some buckled hardwood flooring after a vicious storm last January, and before we repair it again, we want to make sure the wall won’t leak. Are there any methods or materials that you could recommend?

  • For long spans and heavy loads, parallel strand lumber is a good substitute for steel. The beams are dimensionally stable, come in a variety of standard sizes, and can be worked with ordinary carpentry tools.

  • A large roof full of intersections, dormers, and fancy rake and cornice work can be complicated enough to build. Throw in curved roof planes and you’ve got a real head-scratcher. Here’s how one builder used full-scale drawings to work out the details.

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