Insulation, drywall, flooring, kitchen, etc.

I'm calling this phase "finish", but at this point, the word "start" might be more appropriate. There's a lot to do here!

We're using Timberline's precut finish-grade plywood panels instead of drywall for the dome interior, a more economical alternative.

The panels are being fixed to the frame with a finish nailer. The joints where the triangles meet are being covered with trim, and the hubs where the triangle points meet are covered with 5" diameter wood discs.

We used a coat of primer followed by a coat of Dulux Lifemaster low v.o.c. paint on the panels before putting them up, and are simply painting the trim and doing touchups after the panels are in place.
We figured it would be easier to get the bulk of the painting done while the panels were still on the ground.

The insulation we chose was a polyurethane spray foam insulation known as Icynene. It's expensive, but does a great job of filling every open space, and will end up creating a very snug home. As you might imagine, insulating walls like this would have been somewhat complicated using fiberglass batts. The spray foam really simplified the process - I was glad not to have to cut and handle so many odd pieces of itchy fiberglass!

For the flooring, we're using random length pine boards that are about 12" wide by 3/4" thick cut "ship lap" by the lumber store. The ship lap will allow the boards to overlap along the edges, so if there's any shrinkage, you won't be able to see down to the sub-floor. We'll nail them using antique-looking cut nails from Tremont Nail, and we'll then finish the wood with Waterlox's tung oil finish.

The basement stairs and the steps to the second floor were built by myself. I started with the basement steps with the idea that if they turned out O.K., I'd tackle the upstairs steps, too, and if they turned out a little funny, then, what the heck, they're only basement stairs - we'll just keep the lighting dim. Fortunately, they turned out quite well, and turned out to be quite economical, too - the lumber for the steps cost less than $200 at Home Depot. We used pine treads, and I cut three stringers from 2x12 lumber.

The upstairs steps were a little trickier, since a landing was called for, and a railing with ballisters, but they turned out nicely, too, after much head scratching and a few setbacks (like when I accidentally dropped a stringer through to the basement, where it promptly cracked in two). Again, going with a simple, sort of rough look, I cut the ballisters by ripping 2x4s, and I used leftover posts from the extension kits for the railing posts. I did buy a premade hand rail at Home Depot, so we'd have something with a nice feel under the hand. If you do this yourself, though, make sure that your stairs are built according to your local code requirements. Step height, tread width & depth, railing height, and ballister distance must all meet local requirements.

A few more pictures...

bedroom window view from kitchen

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