A Blueprint for Better Building

Follow these simple steps to create a strong, beautiful, energy-efficient and better building.

The greatest value of a scale model is the peace of mind it offers you.
The author's model shows the workshop as it will look after completion.
Insulated Concrete Forms
The author chose insulated concrete forms (ICFs) for his foundation because they are easy to work with and offer good energy performance.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
A walk-behind earth compactor ensures that poured concrete floors won't crack due to settling of the underlying fill.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
Concrete Piers
Concrete piers are a good, inexpensive choice for foundations in some situations.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
Floor Heating System
Orange PEX-AL-PEX pipes will be covered in concrete to form the radiant floor heating system.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
Strucutural Insulated Panels
The edges of structural insulated panels (SIPs) are recessed to accept wood.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
Steve Maxwell.
Looking sort of like an ice cream sandwich, these structural insulated panels (SIPs) are made of foam and oriented strand board. Highly energy efficient, they also are easy to use; just cut them to your desired shape and hoist them into place.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL
Cut in basic shapes, SIPs serve triple duty as the framing, insulation and sheeting for the walls and roof of the author's workshop. Notice how the roof sections have been numbered for easy placement.
Photo courtesy STEVE MAXWELL

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