Brad Ennis has been in the business of building intricately designed dream homes for more than five years with his company, Ennis Custom Homes. With 34 years in the construction industry, he knows that ensuring longlasting quality begins at the start of any build.
In 2018, Ennis was tasked with building his most detailed home to date—an ultra contemporary home designed by Indianapolis-based architecture firm One 10 Studio with potential to garner prominent architecture awards. At more than 10,000 square feet, the home is packed with unique design elements that require top-tier building solutions and savvy choices to ensure all elements and features of the home exceed expectations. The home is slated for completion in late 2020.
The design of this home allows for no margins of error. With precision and performance at the forefront of the build, Ennis recalled the many benefits he noticed when last using LP® SolidStart® LSL on another extremely detailed home build in the greater Indianapolis area. Similar to that build, Ennis once again needed a product that would provide a structural component and engineering capabilities. Ennis chose LP SolidStart LSL once more, thanks to its straightness, low moisture content, shrinkage prevention and engineering opportunities.
Additionally, to the satisfaction of Ennis, the structural engineer on the project specified LP SolidStart I-Joists for the main floor, second floor and roof, meaning Ennis could rely on all faming members to be from the same manufacturer he has come to prefer.
Ennis worked with Builders FirstSource to specify building materials for the build, and Wyatt Construction headed up the labor team. The build has Ennis and his team using nearly two truckloads of LP SolidStart LSL.
“With these designs, everything has to be very precise,” said Ennis. “One thing that helps us with the intricate details is the LP SolidStart LSL because it’s very straight, the moisture content is low—which means the product won’t move very much, if at all—and you can actually engineer the product to a high degree, unlike construction-grade lumber.” The strength and precision of LP SolidStart LSL have come into play in a number of areas, some expected and others unexpected.
“The master bedroom closet had four section drawings just for the windows alone, which provides an idea of just how intricate this home is,” said Ennis. “We need a solid LSL for this.” The home includes automated shades that are hidden and integrated into the framing, so LP SolidStart LSL’s straightness and structural capabilities are critical. Additionally, the home features a combination of standard windows and curtain wall. Ennis’s team of curtain wall installers have seen the benefits of LP SolidStart LSL firsthand. “When I asked the installation team how things were going with the curtain wall, they remarked about how straight and plumb the openings are, which they weren’t used to with other products,” said Ennis.
Ennis also cited LP SolidStart LSL’s vital role in the home’s pocket doors. Ennis’s team builds all of their pocket door frames out of LP SolidStart LSL to guarantee they are as structural and straight as possible. “LP SolidStart LSL is such an awesome product that it allows us to do things like build our own pocket door frames. It would be difficult to do this with any other product that’s out there,” said Ennis.
"I love both LP SolidStart LSL and LP SolidStart I-Joists. The performance of the products is excellent, not to mention LP's customer service is great." - Brad Ennis, Builder
“The fact that I can engineer the LP SolidStart LSL to a high degree in this home and not have to guess on what I can use to pick up on a point load is very important to me,” said Ennis. “My framers never used the LP SolidStart LSL before working for me, and now, through this build and our previous build, they have become big fans of it. I recommend builders use the product, even if not for the whole house. They will see the benefits.”