Both Kyle Stumpenhorst and Jordan Smith have substantial social media followings. Smith focuses on giving builders the tips and tricks on how to build better. Stumpenhorst specializes in custom post-frame structures. Together, these top-tier influencers partnered up to build a one-of-a-kind home. For them, this project was a unique opportunity to use a portfolio of building solutions from one manufacturer and demonstrate lesser-used foundation methods. Additionally, building in Texas brought its own particular set of challenges—soil content, heavy rains, and extreme heat along with their own high standards of building only the best required premium products.
Using resilient premium products throughout the build was a must. With all the unique challenges they faced, Stumpenhorst and Smith partnered with LP to build a modern farmhouse using LP® SolidStart® LVL, LP® SolidStart® LSL, LP® SolidStart® I-Joists, LP Legacy® Premium Sub-Flooring, LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier and LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier because of the ease of installation, durability and warranties each product holds.
Stumpenhorst and Smith worked with a single manufacturer to get all the building supplies they needed. “LP has industry-leading warranties,” Stumpenhorst said when talking about the products. “And you have the peace of mind knowing a single manufacturer stands behind the entire package.” Before they started, they decided on a helical pile for the foundation. The soil in Bellville, Texas is largely clay, which expands, contracts and shifts over time.
A traditional pier and beam system can be impacted by this movement. With a helical pile, you drill down until you hit the bedrock. This stable foundation isn’t typically impacted by soil movement. “The Gulf Coast is renowned for foundational issues, and there are a myriad of foundation repair companies who stay busy repairing slab-on-grade foundations in this area. With this deep foundation, the future homeowners can rest easy knowing there is less chance of sticking doors or cracked drywall,” explained Smith.
For added strength they used LP SolidStart I-Joists and LP Legacy Premium Sub-Flooring made with Gorilla Glue Technology®. Stumpenhorst appreciated that the I-Joists were lightweight, straighter, and more uniform in strength and stiffness than traditional lumber. When they added LP Legacy Premium Sub-Flooring to the mix of their products, he commented, “It’s very stiff and quiet. It doesn’t feel like a normal floor.”
After a Texas-sized downpour, Smith added this about LP Legacy sub-flooring and its industry leading warranty: “It’s covered until it’s covered. And we had a lot of rain. The whole floor was covered with a quarter inch of water. We came in, swept it off, and it was fine. No swelling. No popping. It’s a great product from a durability standpoint.”
For the framing they chose LP SolidStart products because of their reliability when it comes to straightness and strength to handle the load across larger spans. For Smith it was the obvious choice. “When you are doing a level five finish, the straightness and resistance to cup, bow or warp is huge,” said Smith.
LP WeatherLogic panels made the installation process faster and more efficient than a housewrap system. In a single trip they were able to get LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier installed and taped. However, this was not the only advantage they noticed. “Because the WRB is integrated in the panel I don’t have to worry about water getting behind it like I would with a housewrap product that can tear,” said Smith.
Since the summers in Texas are extremely hot, installing a radiant barrier was a must. LP TechShield Radiant Barrier blocks up to 97% of radiant heat from emitting into the attic and can help drop attic temperatures by up to 30° F. Stumpenhorst was already a fan of radiant barriers, but particularly liked LP TechShield sheathing. “I can nerd out on radiant barriers,” he said. “It [LP TechShield Radiant Barrier] allows me to install a radiant barrier at the same time as I install my roof deck”
A final benefit of the portfolio of LP products in general is less jobsite waste. This was particularly important to Smith, who owns the land and worked on the build from start to finish. “I’ve always heard there is less waste with engineered wood, but wow was I amazed. Just another benefit of a durable product. Breakage can add up, and there is less of a concern about that with LP.”
“Having worked with LP SolidStart products previously and seeing how strong they are firsthand, I was excited to work with LP’s other structural products,” said Smith. “After working with LP WeatherLogic, LP TechShield and LP Legacy products, I can confidently say they are just as durable and solid as LP SolidStart LVL and LSL. If you haven’t personally worked with them and are skeptical, just look at LP’s leading warranties that back them up.”
“The fact that LP provides all the products from a framing and sheathing standpoint. It all has industry-leading warranties. And having a single manufacturer that stands behind the entire package gives me peace of mind.”
- Kyle Stumpenhorst, Owner and Contractor, Rural Renovators