Abode November 2013: Would you ever use basketball court flooring in your home?

Check out this month’s Abode for coverage on the reclaimed flooring from a north Philadelphia high school gym we put in at Palatine Avenue, as well as in our own house on 6th Street. Source: Provenance

Abode November 2013: Basketball flooring


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Open House this Monday: 4 to 6pm!

Come see Latitude 38’s newest completed home at 310 Palatine Avenue! We are turning it over to the new homeowners on May 1, so please help us welcome them into their new home.

Open House
Monday, April 29, 4-6pm
310 Palatine Avenue (next to Quarry Park, off of Rt 20 South on the way out of town to PVCC)

Low key, light refreshments (beer and juice), and information on our next project.

Parking: Try to park in the gravel lot between the house and the baseball field. There is a fair amount of parking, but no marked spaces, so please just try to not block anyone in.

For building aficionados, you can check out a few things we have never done before (open tread stairs, European large tilt and turn windows, passive air inlets as part of our thoughtfully and efficiently designed hvac system, reclaimed basketball flooring from a Philadelphia high school, reclaimed barn siding from an Ivy barn.)

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Reclaimed Floors and Accent Walls

We recently went with the reclaimed look in a major way at the house we are building on Palatine Avenue. Through Devin’s father-in-law, we were able to get a bunch of old barn siding from out in Free Union that we installed as accent walls in each of the bedrooms.

Playing off that are the hardwood floors for the entire upstairs: maple strip basketball flooring that came out of a demolished high school in North Philly. It was a beast to install and created an extremely uneven surface, so we decided to sand off most of the finish and get back to a smooth floor. This created a really nice light colored floor with some pretty variation that wasn’t visible with the previous orange stain. As a gesture to its prior history, we left a “rug” of it in the upstairs hallway. Now if we could only reclaim a non aching back after all that…


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Under roof and open treads

We’ve been under roof at our latest spec house in Belmont for a good two weeks or so, but really haven’t had a chance to really appreciate it. We’ve been busy racing to finish our house on Sun Ridge Road and get a second house going in Belmont for winter.

In the last day or so, Bryce and Jeff were able to sneak back over there and build steps to the second floor. Typically, we’ve gotten pre-built stairs made that we just pop into place, but we wanted to break up the monotony and try and build something from scratch.

In particular, I’ve always wanted to build a proper open tread stair that feels like it is floating out of the wall. This is the perfect house for it as we have switch back stairs with a landing that has 5′ wide by 10′ tall window. The large window not only gives nice moment of pause to take in a little league game from the landing, but also has great morning light. With the open tread stairs, we are able to bring a lot of that light into the kitchen and dining area.

There was probably a way to build this with less wood, but we built a platform for each step. Then, not to make it a nightmare later for our drywall guys, we went ahead and put up drywall. We then notched out the drywall and slipped in the treads. We used 9 1/2″ wide by 1 3/4″ microlams. We will eventually wrap them all the way around with 3/4″ material that I will think will give a nice mass to each tread.

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Getting Going

Well, we just got crackin’ this past week on our next spec house in Belmont.  This past year and a half or so, we’ve either been busy on client projects or have been fortunate enough to have presold our spec houses.  The upshot is that the external motivation to write blog posts hasn’t been there. But, since we have this new house in Belmont that we need to market and sell, we’re gonna try and roll out weekly blog posts at the end of the week.

First off, the most important part of the construction process is carving out a good lunch spot.  The house is right near the edge of Quarry Park, where there is a pedestrian bridge that leads you from our lot over a small creek to some picnic tables under what I think is the most amazing Sycamore tree I have ever seen.

As far as construction stuff: we’re excited to have done another Insulated Concrete Foundation, which we get to put together and pour ourselves.  We only went two blocks high (32″ tall foundation) as we are trying to have an extremely minimal crawl space and want to keep the house really low to the ground.

We’ve also pretty much made the switch to open web floor trusses. On this house we have the bulk of the house truss projecting down into the foundation space rather than the typical procedure of having a floor joist sit completely above the foundation.  One benefit is that the 1st floor stays low to the ground and we avoid extra steps up from the exterior. I also love that the trusses are designed and built at Better Living Components, a manufacturing plant right here in Albemarle County.

Some insulation details we are proud of: As per our energy modeling of the house, we put down 2″ of rigid foam on the crawl space floor, which is defintely not the norm for a crawl space.  We also wrapped the inside face of the sill plate with foam, which often doesn’t get covered and we also will eventually wrap and tape the inside of the footer as well.

– Jeff

Project: Palatine Ave · Comments Off on Getting Going