Recently had a chance to stop by my friends Mr. Cruzing and Cruzing’s to catch up on progress of their Spanish Style Villa, which is nearing completion. I thought I’d record notes of interesting aspects of the project. They have been gracious enough to have several coolthaihouse readers stop by and take a look.
Read on for discussions about insulation types, stucco paintless surfaces, trusses with a true level surface and other aspects of the project…..
Here is the rear showing the patio section of the house.
This is the burnt rice husk material which is used as an insulating material inside of the wall cavities. It is a light and porous material. One of the readers asked about the relative R value of this vs the foam insulation as seen here: [cavity wall with foam insulation](http://coolthaihouse.com/blog/?p=88 “foam insulation”). Although I don’t know about the R insulation value, I think I would opt for the foam on the basis of ease of handling.
###exterior stucco paintless sufaces
To revisit the technique of using a die premixed with cement to provide a colored paint free surface as first seen here [spanish style villa](http://coolthaihouse.com/blog/?p=172 “Spanish Style Villa”). One thing to watch out for is that this technique is not that common here and can be challenging for workers. We spent quite a bit of time talking about it, since I brought my foreman along to find out about how to do this particular technique. I’m going to using this technique on the building behind the coolthaihouse. Since it is an outbuilding, it will be more for experimentation than anything else.
Mr. Cruzing’s foreman said it was better to have a cement mixer (which they do there) if you are going to add die to the cement. Mr. Cruzing said it wasn’t necessary, but it probably is nice. The trick is consistency, so that the color is the same throughout the surface. Another trick is to do a section at a time. If one part is done first and then later a different batch is used to do an adjoining part, you’ll get a separation line like pictured above.
###lower surface of roof truss is true level surface
I want to back up a second and discuss a really good design feature that I didn’t pay much attention to before. The metal trusses on the house are designed as a triangle with the lower surface being level. This can then be used as a ‘true’ surface for laying in the sheetrock roofing material. Image that, getting rid of the hung aluminum frame that is supported by wires attached to the truss. This is the normal way the sheet rock roofing is applied and it is ugly.
All of the trusses were constructed on-site. Mr. Cruzing relates
>that he only had them weld one side. He said if you don’t know anything about steel you wouldn’t know to do this. When they heat up and expand they can expand without cracking your walls the way it would if you weld both sides of the truss joints.
###finishing off a well cavity with a natural rock surface
This is a nice touch. Using some extra stone that was discarded from another project, the outside surface of this hand dug well was finished off.
The previous article on the Spanish Style villa is here: [previous update Spanish Style Villa]( http://coolthaihouse.com/blog/?p=205 “previous Spanish Style Villa update”) . I’ll do another viewing after the project is complete.