People who live close or within an airport community certainly lead the most unique lifestyle. Hangar home design should only be handled by expert designers in the industry so that all the regulations are adhered to. Requirements such as space, insulation, and most important of all, practicality must be taken into consideration. Due to restrictions that are encountered in these types of constructions, it is imperative to hire a professional designer who can offer the best advice in the development of your dream home. Before proceeding with your hangar home construction, a number of architectural factors must be taken into account. The structural rules of these homes are different to traditional properties that are set by the airport regulations. There is also the clearance requirement to ensure that homes fit on lots and airplanes fit in the hangar. Just like any other residential development, there will always be restrictions such as the size of the hangars, the property's size, and whether the architectural factors blend in with the house. As lot sizes vary from small to large, and each will pose unique sets of issues to be solved. This is when you need the guidance of your designer. The codes and stipulations that are applied within the community may place a limit on the overall size of hangars. Generally, up to 2000 square feet are classed as residential; however, the rules and costs will affect the overall height and width of the property you want to build. Once you have decided whether your hangar home will be practical for your living needs, you may proceed with the design. If you are a pilot of aircraft, this type of property can prove most desirable. The house will need to include a solid construction with even soundproofed windows and walls in order to stop ongoing noise and vibration. Also, there are fire issues that you need to address. Hangars are not just used for plane storage, but they also serve a number of other purposes. Some pilots prefer to convert the space, or some of it, into a studio. In these instances, insulation is essential as it prevents disturbances that would make your living environment rather unpleasant. To suit your lifestyle, you should decide the style and size of rooms so that you can create a comfortable living situation. You may choose between bi-fold or hydraulic hangar doors. These entrances should be easy to operate,and this can be challenging as their sizes increase. It is best to seek the advice of your designer to ensure the result complements your interests. Materials for the hangar and home can range from concrete block, to framed to metal frame. Metal framed hangars are common in some parts of the U.S. such as Texas. Good deals can be gotten on these types of buildings though making them look like a home and blend into the overall architecture can be quite chore. For this reason, working with an experienced hangar home designer will be your best assurance of getting a design that serves as a home for the airplane and a pleasant looking home that you are proud to own.

Building A Home? Should You Use OSB Or Plywood Sheathing?

by Engineer Designer on November 9, 2011

The Building Profession is traditionally slow to change and adapt to new methods and materials. One example is the use of OSB sheathing verses the "good-ol" CDX plywood. I still find, in 2011, some builders who have never used nor plan to use OSB. When asked why, their answers seem to boil down to a few false ideas. Without further evaluation many dismiss OSB because they have seen the result of water damage to particle board in cabinet countertops. They remain convinced that OSB is similar and will come to pieces in high moisture. There is also, to some, a question of strength. How could a bunch of wood fibers that are pressed together be as good as the old standby, CDX plywood? I was a bit skeptical myself when I first came across OSB as an option - several years ago. However when I took a look at the product I had to admit it was quite well worth the try. I\'m going to go over a few myths that I have heard regarding OSB - but first let\'s cover a few definitions: Sheathing is used to stiffen a group of parallel framing members to keep them from racking. It is sometimes called a diaphragm. Plywood is a flat sheet of wood that is quite strong because of the way it is made. It consists of layers of wood (thin veneers) which are laminated together in alternating grain orientations. Since wood has a weak direction and a strong direction (relative to its grain pattern) these layers contain wood turned in different directions to gain strength in all directions. CDX plywood is a designation indicating a rough finish and a glue that is okay for exterior use. OSB (meaning Oriented Strand Board) is produced by taking small fibers from smaller, low diameter trees and bonding them with a resin, heat and pressure. These panels achieve excellent strength in all directions. Myths: Myth 1 OSB lacks the strength of CDX plywood. This is untrue. All building codes and dictating standards make no differentiation between OSB and plywood. For sheathing, they are considered structurally equivalent. Myth 2 - OSB will fall apart like particle board. This is untrue. Many have observed kitchen cabinets (many are largely made of covered particle board) which expand and even crumble after exposure to moisture. This would be quite unacceptable for a structural member of a home or building. However particle board is different than OSB in that it is not produced for exterior use. The truth is OSB is designed for longer exposure to exterior higher moisture conditions than even CDX. Myth 3 Plywood is just better than OSB and its what I have always used. I would never suggest anyone changing against their own certainty however my experience is that such considerations do not stand up to evaluation. If one looks one will likely conclude that plywood is not \"better\" than OSB. Factually OSB is made from younger and smaller fibers and are actually faster to product when one includes the growth of the wood. There is great consistency in the product and it is more stable, in dimension, than plywood when exposed to moisture. OSB has proven itself in the industry and is used in about 70% of homes in the U.S. I now specify it in my own designs and on my own projects unless the owner really insists on plywood. When this occurs I always make available the facts but will go with plywood if he or she chooses. Oh, and when folks compare the prices of OSB and Plywood (OSB sometimes costing half as much) this is usually the deciding factor. I believe that all of us should be open to newer and better ways to build our homes and buildings. OSB is one of those methods that I readily endorse.
  Imagine this: You are building a home with either on your own or with the help of a general contractor. The project is finished and you take possession and move in as a happy owner of a brand new custom home.   You have faithfully paid every bill that was due. You finally pulled it off. It’s done.Then, out of the blue, you get notice that your brand new home has been slapped with a lien (a legal claim against your home for an amount stilled owed) for sums still owed for some materials or labor (or both) for which you are certain you have already paid.   How would you feel? Violated? Like after a burglary? You bet you would. After checking further you find out that one of the material or labor suppliers, a company that you may never have heard of, supplied products for your home and was never paid. Of course you paid your bills. But the guy you were paying did not. And that person is gone!   You might say, “That shouldn’t be my problem!”. Not correct. It is your problem.   The good news is that there are ways to avoid this painful situation. Here are a few suggestions (the last one most important):  
  •  If you are the owner-builder (ie. contracting your own home) make sure you know how every subcontractor (“sub”) who you hire is hiring their own labor forces and from whom they are obtaining materials. This may be tedious, but it is worth knowing. Your checking will put the sub on notice that you are watching. Find out if his workers are employees or is he sub-contracting (“subbing”) to them. If he is subbing, each sub has the legal right to lien your property if he or she is not paid. If they are not paid by the sub, they can come after you – even if you paid the sub.
  •  If you are the owner-builder be sure to have a written contract with each sub. Do not go for “hand-shake” deals. If he is supplying materials as part of his agreement find out who the supplier is. Contact the supplier and make sure that the sub has an account which is up to date. If no account, then he is likely paying cash for the material which is totally fine.
  •  If you are the owner-builder, when you pay a sub, get a release of lien from them and an affidavit that they have paid for all labor and materials that were part of their contract with you. This affidavit may not be worth much but it is another assurance that you can us. The above two and the next one are the most important.
  •  And the last point, likely the most important, applies, whether you are the owner-builder or have a contractor who is building for you. All subs and material supplier who are not in direct contract with you are required, by law, in most states, to supply what is called a “Notice to Owner” document to you before they can place a lien on your property. This is a legal notification, sent to you by certified mail, that they are supplying materials or labor, or both, to your new home. So you should check your legal address routinely, during construction, and watch for these documents. There are certain time requirements and you should check your local state laws to determine these. Once that time has passed they can not lien your home, regardless if they were paid or not. If you get such a notice pay attention. Assure that that entity is paid before releasing funds to your contractor or sub. If he can’t do it, then double-party checks can work. You can find a way. Just remember that it is, ultimately, your legal responsibility to assure that these folks are paid.
        Know the players, know the laws and pay attention. Awareness is the key.   Have fun.