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Built in Minnesota

Many cold climate builders still cling to the belief that foam sheeting creates a faulty side of vapor retarder that contributes to wall rot. In fact, the inside surface of the foam sheeting will be much warmer than the inside surface of OSB or plywood sheeting and will, therefore, be less likely to support condensation. Foam sheet walls, if built correctly, are less likely to have moisture problems than walls sheathed with OSB or plywood.

Our first objective is to determine what type of wall construction the current homeowner has. Then Cabernet design builders takes this information into account to design an outside shell that exceeds current building standards. Typically we use foam sheeting and wrap your home’s wall in a warm jacket. Keeping the framing warm and dry, and gently reducing thermal bridging through studs. Furthermore, we hold the foam sheeting in place with vertical strapping, thereby creating a rain shield behind the siding.

Advanced framing

Advanced framing is a proven method for meeting energy code requirements in a cost-effective manner. By maximizing space for cavity insulation and minimizing the potential insulation voids, advance framing delivers significant energy performance and cost savings for the homeowner.


Walls built with 2x6 wood framing space 24 inches on center have deeper, wider insulation cavities than conventional 2x4 framing spaced 16 inches on center. Increasing the amount of insulation inside the wall improves the whole wall R-value (resistance to heat flow). Advanced wall framing R-20 code compliant systems provides a greater whole wall R-value than conventionally framed 2x6 walls or code minimum 2x4 walls sheathed with foam.

In addition to maximizing space for cavity insulation, advance framing simplifies installation of insulation and air sealing. Conventional framing can leave voids and small cavities in the framing at wall intersections and corners that can be difficult to insulate and seal effectively. By installing fewer framing members, it is easier to apply complete insulation coverage and achieve a tighter building envelope.

Passive solar is yet another green building feature that will save you money while improving your quality of life. Lighting in the artificial environments we create for ourselves affects natural human biorhythms and can lead to fatigue and reduce our ability to concentrate.




After you and your contractor have decided on what to build, finding where to build and what undesirable building codes that might affect overall project. All of these regulations, and other, apply in addition to the building code. Their provision, impact and enforcement may or may not be part of or tied into the building code/permit process. Many jurisdictions tie several regulation programs together, for ease of use; some even provide “one-stop” agencies for both coordinated review and permitting, and even easier use by the public and contractors.


Now it’s time to come up with a building design that meets your needs. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, what is the function of the kitchen, do you entertain quite often? There are literally thousands of items that go into the construction of a new home. Who is going to specify what products or finishes are used throughout the project? These are just some of the questions that you and your builder need to consider before the construction phase begins. After you finally settle on a suitable design, you will need to identify all of the materials and finishes that you want to go along with it.

Site work

There a couple of issues to address regarding site work. If the site is a city lot, what are the setbacks and how do they impact your needs of the project. Do you need to put in a well for water supply, and a septic system? How much soil needs to be brought in or removed? What trees need to be removed or maybe relocated on the lot? Drilling a well can be expensive and should be considered during the research phase of the project.


The foundation is the structure on which your house is built. This is not a good place to find savings in the construction process. This simple but important part of the structure supports are the investment of your project. It can be constructed out of stone, concrete, wood, steel, and it can even be slab on grade project. Whatever the case, it needs to be able to dry quickly or the structure above will be short-lived.



This is where all the design work starts to take shape, and also where we are likely to see some changes. Yes is it was inevitable, somehow what looked great on paper looks to be too small. Despite these little setbacks this is the most exciting time of the project; it’s beginning to look like a house. The time needed to frame the house can last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the size of the project.


During this part of the construction project, many different trade persons will be involved in the construction of your new home. It takes a bit of time to install all the mechanical workings of your project. Many of the issues addressed in the pre-construction process need some finial tweaking. It’s also a time for discovery—don’t push too hard on a completion date. This is the time to decide on extras that you might have thought about after the construction documents were signed. It’s OK to add a central vacuum system, a home network, or maybe even a fireplace. It’s your new home; make sure it meets your needs!


Interior and Exterior Finishes

It’s time to put on the makeup. Exterior finishes and interior finishes are the next part of the project. This part of the construction phase can actually be fun for the homeowner. Picking out paint colors and generally having a go at interior decorating—it’s your house finish, it to your liking. If you’re having a hard time trying to coordinate a color scheme, Cabernet Design can help. The exterior finish can be maintenance free or a low-maintenance design. This is a good time to listen to the advice of your home builder on the proper exterior finish for your project.