Building homes runs in Jim Bale's blood. The son of a brick mason, Bale learned the intricacies of homebuilding as a child and spent time learning each trade that goes into building a home from the ground up. For more than 40 years he has been building custom homes in the Nashville metro area with his company, Jim Bale Homes. Bale embarked on a custom build in Hendersonville, Tennessee in January 2019 that would prove to be an especially challenging project.
With over 6 500 feet of under-roof space the home contains a number of unique design elements, including handicap accessibility and floating ceilings. The uniqueness of the project called for high-caliber, long-lasting building solutions to ensure the homeowner's peace of mind. The home is slated for completion in early 2020.
Precision was key from the get-go. Through his previous work with LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier and the homeowner’s desire to use LP Building Solutions products, Bale chose LP TechShield Radiant Barrier,
LP Legacy® Premium Sub-Flooring, LP® SolidStart® I-Joists and LVL, and LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier because of the durability, ease of installation and warranties behind each product. There was an additional layer of importance in this build as the home needed to have wheelchair accessibility, including flat floors with no bumps or lips to accommodate an aging resident.
Bale worked with Lee’s Building Supply in Springfield, Tennessee to supply the building materials for the build. Starting with framing, Bale saw the advantages of using LP Building Solutions products. "I'm really familiar with using I-joists," said Bale. "I do mainly really large houses at this point in my career, and using engineered wood like the LP SolidStart I-Joists ensures that the floors are level. It's a much more stable platform to put the house on."
Beyond sub-floor stability, LP SolidStart LSL helped ensure that some of the more complicated design elements in the home are strong. In the great room, a double-height wall of windows provided an especially difficult challenge. LP SolidStart LSL helped to ensure that the wall was straight and stable.
"With a product like LP SolidStart LSL, one of the big advantages is that you can achieve perfect straightness," said Bale. "In a wall like this that's filled with large windows, the engineered wood in SolidStart allows you to go from the floor to the ceiling. The strength of the wall is great because of SolidStart LSL."
The additional LP products Bale used proved beneficial as well.
“This was my first experience using LP Legacy Premium Sub-Flooring,” said Bale. “My carpenters said it went together much easier than competitive products, and that’s all I need to know to see that it works.”
LP WeatherLogic panels made a noticeable difference to Bale in managing moisture on his jobsite. "I think that the whole package [WRB vs. housewrap] is better for the homeowner. When you frame a house, unless you put the housewrap on when you raise the walls, then you've got some exposure to raw wood for some period of time. But with this [LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier], you're instantly weatherproof on the outside." Bale also touted LP TechShield Radiant Barrier for its energy efficiency and home cooling advantages, which are especially important when constructing a large home. "In the summertime especially, you put TechShield on the roof and it cools the interior of the house and you notice immediately,” said Bale. “To me, that’s comfortability in the house and it’s a big deal.”
“To me, housebuilding is about quality,” said Bale. “And I see LP products as a whole as a quality portfolio.”
"This is my first exposure to many of their products, though not all," said Bale. "I like to be cutting edge with building products. When I see an advantage to using something, cost becomes a secondary consideration to quality. Quality is the most important thing, and LP's products are quality products."