The Green Dream Gets Siding, a Roof and a Window Nightmare

The place comes through the winter looking nearly like a real house ... but for one little glitch

A new update from John B. Carnett, PopSci's_ staff photographer who is using the latest green technology to build his dream home. Read more Green Dream posts here_

It's been a long winter. Once the structure was complete, we started putting on the skin—a mixture of 100-year-old hemlock siding, white cedar shingles and a metal roof. All in all, I'm thrilled with the way it's coming together, and hope to be moving to interior work soon. The only serious snag? See that plastic over the window holes?

Check out the photo gallery for shots of the siding, roof and the "situation" with my windows.

Green Dream Hemlock

My wife found a guy that was selling reclaimed hemlock on the Internet, so we ordered the batch and my team installed it. Each board was a random length and width, so it took much longer than we expected but the effect is pretty cool.John B. Carnett

Green Dream Siding

We ran out of our hemlock siding material because there was much more waste (cracked boards, open holes) than the supplied sample ...John B. Carnett

Green Dream Cedar Siding

... So we decided to mix in some white cedar shingles and trim. It turned out great. It's like a modern barn.John B. Carnett

Green Dream Roof

We went with a 24-guage standing-seam metal roof. We hired a commercial roofing company, as they were the only ones that had experience with a crazy radius like ours.John B. Carnett

Green Dream Roof - Other Side

As you may remember we placed ZIP board over the home's KAMA panels. To make sure that we didn't have any heat issues they covered the entire surface with a high-temperature ice-and-water shield prior to the metal being laid down.John B. Carnett

Green Dream Roof Radius

The roofers made a mold of the curve then had the shop do all the radius bends. It turned out really nice.John B. Carnett

Green Dream Windows

The windows have been another story. They're now five months late and I've yet to see a door. The schedule seems to slide every day: unreturned phone calls, e-mails, missed meetings. Instead of a revolutionary window, what I got was a total lack of professional business management. It's a homeowner's greatest fear come to life: Give someone a big deposit and get left holding the bag. We had to cover all the rough openings with plastic all winter long, and it was a full-time job just protecting our investmentJohn B. Carnett

Green Dream Bad Windows

Some of the windows that did show up were damaged during the install (and left that way) ...John B. Carnett

Green Dream - More Bad Windows

... or leaked water due to improper installation ...John B. Carnett

Green Dream - Ill-Fitting Windows

... or installed using the incorrect extrusion.John B. Carnett

Green Dream - Nearly There

It has been an incredible education. The lack of performance from the window company has placed my entire project more than five months behind schedule. I had to hire lawyers and reach out to all the affected sub-contractors. Right now I'm paying the glass company and extrusion company directly as I babysit the install and repair process one window at a time. But with any luck, I'll get a dry box in the next three weeks and then the real fun can start!John B. Carnett