Today’s episode is a combination of product overviews, mini lessons, and interviews. You’ll hear a couple of clips that I recorded at the 2016 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Marvin windows and doors tells us about what’s new and trending and we’ll learn about some things that we can do to make our homes stronger from the folks at Simpson Strong tie.
We start the show off with advice that Tom Silva of This Old House has for those of us planning to build our own homes.
But before we get to anything else, let’s hear the advice that Tom Silva of This Old House (thisoldhouse.com) had for those of us planning to build our own homes.
So basically Tom was telling us to educate ourselves BEFORE we build so will be able to ask the right questions about our projects. If we are able to ask the right questions, even if we don’t know everything, our builders and subcontractors will realize that we have some construction knowledge and will probably be less likely to cut corners or do subpar work.
Tom is right, we can learn a lot from his television show This Old House, but we can also learn from other resources like blogs and books and hopefully you are getting a better understanding of the design build process from this podcast.
Ok, let’s talk about today’s Pro Term
Design Pressure Rating (DP Rating) of a Window
The Design Pressure Ratings are used for windows and doors and they represent the maximum wind load (or wind pressure) that a window or door can experience without breaking, deglazing or permanently distorting.
Each DP rating takes into account water penetration, air infiltration, and structural pressure. The higher the DP numbers, the better the window performance and the more water resistant it is.
The Design Pressure Rating should not be confused with Performance Grade and Performance Class. The Design Pressure Rating (DP) is one of several test criteria that make up a window’s overall performance grade.
A window with a Design Pressure rating of 30 is tested for structural integrity for 10 seconds with a wind speed up to 132 MPH. A DP 40 window is tested with winds up to 155 MPH. And DP 50 window is tested with winds up to 173 MPH.
To over simplify it (ignoring gusts and projectiles), theoretically a window with a DP30 rating should survive a Level 3 hurricane, a window with a DP40 rating should survive a Level 4 hurricane and DP 50 window should survive a Level 5 hurricane.
Up next, you will hear from Victoria Marvin of Marvin Windows and Doors. She was super sweet and very helpful. At the end of her overview, you will hear her mention Marvin’s DP rating. Listen up for that.
I was super impressed with the Marvin booth at the International Builders Show. Marvin is big impressive company but they are a family run business and many family members were working the booth, talking directly to consumers. They were some of the friendliest, most helpful people at the entire show. In fact, I want to give a shout out to Paul Marvin, the President of the company, who was actually the first person to greet me at the Marvin booth. You gotta love a large company that values family and stays in touch with its consumers. Now, let’s listen to my conversation with Victoria Marvin.
Marvin offers a great line of windows and like Victoria, I am loving the contemporary styles that they were showcasing. You can check them out at www.Marvin.com
Our last interview is with Sam Henson of Simpson Strong Tie.
In episode 4 of BYHYU, called Do you need a structural engineer? Part 2, Phillip Lewis talked about a continuous load path and introduced us to the company Simpson Strong Tie. The very first booth that I saw when I walked into the International Builders Show was, guess who? Simpson Strong Tie.
I was really excited when one of their Vice Presidents, Sam Henson, who is also a structural engineer, agreed to share with us some of their products. He is a great teacher and gave us what were essentially product overviews of some systems that his company offers that will make our homes stronger. He gives us more in depth information about the concept of the Continuous Load Path that we were introduced to in episode 4.
You will hear in the interview Sam talked about tornado prone regions—that’s because Sam knew that I live in a tornado prone area. But what he teaches applies not only to areas with tornados, but also home sites that are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes and high winds in general. Houses near water and on hills are also at risk of damage due to high winds.
He starts off by talking about shear walls, so let’s just get a little background before we hear the interview.
A Shear wall is a special structure added to the home’s framing that increases the strength and stiffness of the home’s walls. Shear walls can be made of various materials but are typically comprised of wood and/or steel and metal connectors or fasteners.
You’ll hear Sam talk about loads. Loads are simply forces or pressures caused by wind, earthquake, and uneven settlement and they can create powerful twisting (torsional) forces. These twisting forces can literally tear (shear) a building apart. Reinforcing the home’s frame by attaching or placing a rigid wall, or shear wall, inside the frame helps to maintain the shape of the frame and prevents rotation.
When wind or earthquake forces are applied to the house, the floors walls, and roof want to move sideways. The walls of a house tend to act like big sails on a boat, and something needs to keep those sails in place. In order to keep the roof and walls right where they’re supposed to be, a sturdy connection is required. A shear wall and a continuous load path help to provide that sturdy connection.
In short, shear walls are structural components incorporated into the home’s framing designed to protect the home and its occupants from lateral forces of wind and seismic forces.
So, at the end of the interview, you heard Sam mention TOE NAILING.
Toe nailing is a process of driving a nail in at an angle or diagonally through a piece of lumber. Toe nailng is often used help attach a vertical piece of lumber to a horizontal piece of lumber at a right angle— so that they will form a T or L shaped connection.
It's thought that the name “toe nailing” comes from the fact that this type of nailing is often done when vertical walls studs are nailed to the bottom horizontal part of the wall (called the sill plate). When nailing that vertical stud, one must hold the bottom of the stud in place with the toe of one's boot during the nailing. Otherwise, the stud will shift during hammering.
Often, nails are driven in diagonally on BOTH sides of the stud so the nails criss cross for greater strength. Toe nailing, if done properly, not only makes a joint stronger but also is a great way to coax stubborn boards into position.
What we learned in the interview is that their fasteners and bolts can sometimes be used instead of toe nails for an even stronger connection.
If you want to see an animation of a continuous load path, you can go to you can go to www.safestronghome.com/highwind/02.asp.
Alright, let’s see how much you learned. Ready for your quiz?
1. The DP rating of a window takes into account all of the following except:
A. Solar penetration
B. Wind pressure
C. Water infiltration
D. Structural Pressure
The answer is A. You want a window with a higher Design Pressure rating. The higher the DP numbers, the better the window performance and the more water resistant it is.
2. What is the name of the rigid wall inside the home’s frame that helps to maintain the shape of the frame and prevents rotation during high wind events and earthquakes?
The answer is Shear Wall
Well, that’s it for today. Special thanks to all of my guests and everyone who took time to educate us at the International Builders Show.
Remember, the purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete and it is subject to change, so it may not apply to your specific project. Always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.
Thank you for stopping by. Come back for the next edition of BYHYU.