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Instagram Wall Challenge: Jake Bruton's Columbia, MO Wall Assembly

April 27, 2020

A thick wall with exterior insulation with airtight details for the foundation and ceiling

The final-four wall assemblies in the online BS and Beer groups have arrived, and Jake Bruton has one of them.

Jake is in the Kansas City BS and Beer bracket, and the other three finalists are in the northeast. Mike Maines and Ben Bogie are in the Maine BS and Beer bracket, and Steve Baczek is in a class by himself.

Together they are the final four, and we at ProTradeCraft are proud to say that they're all friends and featured authors!

Jake's mission in this wall challenge video is to help you be a more informed voter in your process of voting for him.

Jake's system:

EPS Foam under the slab and vertically at the edge of the slab

The ground is a massive heat sink, and if you don't thermally isolate it from the house, your tootsies will never be warm, and that is important to Jake.

Sill sealer and acoustical sealant

A traditional sill sealer is bedded in an acoustical sealant. Run a bead below the sill sealer on one side and a bead above the sill sealer on the other side.

Oversize mudsill

The mudsill is ripped 1-1/2 in. wider than the bottom plate of the typical wall. So, for a 2x6 wall, rip the mudsill to 7 inches. Jake uses 2x8s to frame walls, so his mudsill is 8-3/4 inches wide.

Exterior insulation

ZIP-R sheathing is on the face of the standard wall, sitting atop the 1-1/2 in. step on the mudsill. This detail protects the bottom of the foam and also gives a solid backing for taping the bottom of the wall to the foundation.

Wall cavity insulation

Jake uses fiberglass. Jake thinks cellulose in the cavities makes the house dustier, so he uses fiberglass. The wall profile is vapor-open and airtight.

Airtight ceiling detail

At the top, Jake uses an oversize AdvanTech rip for the top plate, 1-1/2 inches wider than the wall framing. The underside of this overhang receives the ceiling drywall, which is bedded in an acoustical sealant.

Strapping the ceiling with 1x3s, planes out perfectly, and this eliminates truss uplift in the process because the edges of the ceiling are screwed to the top of the walls, not the underside of the truss.

This detail also integrates the wall into the ceiling air barrier.

Jake's wall solution is an off-the-shelf wall for the masses, constructible, duplicatable, that works for his customers and his firm.

—Jake Bruton owns AAROW Building in Columbia, Missouri. Their YouTube channel covers new construction and remodeling.

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