Welcome to Part I in our “How To…” series!
Over the next several weeks we will be posting on making the most of a modest budget—or how to achieve better results using off-the-shelf building components. On our website we talk about being Architectural Alchemists—this series will offer some examples of how we have ennobled humble parts to create a greater whole.
Laboring in the trenches of affordable housing design for nearly two decades—we have come to appreciate the limitations and possibilities latent within the modest construction budgets associated with this project type. Certain “industry standard” building components are a foregone part of the mix—among these are 2x wood framing, nail-on windows and hand-troweled stucco. Rather than despair over the “cheapness” of these ubiquitous ingredients—we have tweaked their detailing to combat their inherent aesthetic deficiencies.
We oversize the rough openings by the depth of a nailing fin and add 2x furring that is shallower (by at least 2 inches) than the exterior wall.
The resulting “deep set” opening gives visual weight to the exterior walls—lending a desirable feeling of quality and permanence to the homes.
In a few instances, we have double framed (added 2x furring) to an entire exterior wall to really exaggerate the effect.
Sloping the stucco sill—or budget permitting—adding a metal sill is office standard to insure good drainage and water tightness.