Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shhhhhhh...........we have insulation!

One day and it was over. We are dumbfounded. The entire house was insulated in one day. It would have taken us a month.... We went whole hog. Had just about everything insulated that can be insulated. Comparatively, it is so much cheaper and faster than what we could have done. We went green too. All insulation was formaldahyde free. And, we had extra installed in the ceilings. Our ceilings are R49. And, maybe the biggest shock is how quiet it is in the house. Before we had "echoes" especially once we installed the concrete on the floors. But now it is really feeling/sounding like the AAC block house we had hoped for. Can't imagine how quiet it will be once we have sheetrock and carpeting. Guess that is about it. We are like kids with a new toy. Later, D2

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Got Wire?

Final preparations are underway this weekend to get ready for the insulation. Wow, it is a lot of work. Today (Sat.) we worked eleven hours straight! Tomorrow we hit it again. Overall we had two projects - final stereo/tv wiring, and cleaning up the basement level. Good grief! We hauled countless amounts of scrap wood and plywood and stacked it carefully outside of the house and covered it with tarps. We sorted it all out so we can find and use it as needed later on. But, overall, we really won't be needing that much more wood. After that we swept out everything....what a mess. Tons of dust. Then we took all the power tools, hand tools, nails, bolts, etc upstairs to the screened porch and stashed everything there. Since the screened porch ceiling and walls will not be insulated, we thought this was the best place to keep things out of the way, yet have them on-hand since we use them so much.
Next, we finished the wiring.... Holy Cow! When you wire a house that is three or four stories tall, we can guarantee you that we got plenty of stair and ladder exercise. Must have done thousands of steps. Drilling holes to thread the wire is also part of the deal. The photo gives you an idea just how much wire we used. Jon and Fred gave us our instructions on how to do the job and we took it from there... we hope we did it correctly. We used the entire 1000 ft. roll of wire and then our neighbor Tim, gave us another roll he had left over from his house. So, we guess we used about 1300 ft. This does not count the actual speaker wire. There was another 800 ft of that! Needless to say we are beat. Next update we will tell you about our little discovery at the end of the day that demanded we work another hour!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Got Concrete?

OK, after two tries we now have lightweight concrete over our radiant heating tubes! Looks very cool. Of course there is a short story to go with it. On Wed. they started the work but after getting 2/3 of the living space floor, the chain broke on their pumper and they had to shut down for the day. Quote: "I have been doing this for 25 years and this is the first time I have ever had a chain break!" I said, yes, but you haven't ever worked here....:) Regardless, they came out with a new chain on the pumper and finished the job yesterday. Insulation is next and we have a good bit of work this weekend to prep for their arrival. We are ordering our interior doors too. Great fun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Front Door Awning

Another milestone just about complete. Our front door awning is roughed in. Just need metal roof, some staining, and some stonework. Gutters will come later for the whole house. Tomorrow we pour the radiant heat concrete. Feels great to see something else done. We love the look. Funny, we recall about four years ago when we were designing our home, how we used the 3D computer software to see how things would look at this stage. We are both amazed and happy that our house looks just like we thought it would. That means a lot. A whole lot!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Front Door Awning

Special blog update. Yes, two days in a row of some progress. Josh and Dylan (carpenters) made some major progress on the front door awning. We are really excited about this and think it looks great. Can't wait till we pour the concrete pad which will welcome everyone at the front door. Tomorrow will finish the rest unless we run out of facia or plywood. Bedroom level radiant is complete. Inspection on Monday. Concrete pour on Wed. Insulation starts following Monday. Then sheetrock. Meanwhile we have plenty to do. Finish installing speaker wire is just one task and lots of final checks before things get covered up....
Also just finished filling in the big hole we dug to install permanent electric line. Notice the two brackets that Troy made are bolted in place - ready for the master bedroom balcony. That will come a bit later... we are focused on getting in! We took care of our framing correction which was to install seismic straps on the east and west walls. You can see the strap (metal) and the blocking between the two bays (between the floor joists) Deb and I did it in about 4-5 hours of work which wasn't too bad. Got kinda hard when all the wires and such were in the way but we prevailed. All for now... Hi to everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Got Heat?

The radiant heat is beginning to be installed. Love it. We think radiant heat is the heat of choice. No allergens, no dust, no noise, efficient/green, no drafts, etc.... just dry radiant heat. And, you can adjust the temperature in each room, or cell of rooms. Maybe best of all is you can go in the bathroom barefoot and the tile will be warm. Can even have the heat come on at a certain time.... Another part of the house we believe will pay for itself over time with reduced utility bills.
We cleared both floors of the junk and then swept them clean. Here are a few pics of progress. The bedroom floor will be done tomorrow. And, if you look way back last April, you will see when we installed the tubes in the basement floor. Long time ago!
And, we finished chiseling out the stucco for the awning roof truss. Got the post brackets set in the concrete pads and away we go. We were talking about it today and both of us agree that this will really enhance the front entrance. We shall see.
We remain nervous about Don's mom, Margaret. No word on the blood test and now hear we won't know anything till next week. Ugh!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The week that was...

A crazy week. We continue to burn the candle at both ends.... maybe three ends. Work, house, and mom (with sandra and fred jumping in to help). Mom seemed to improve as the week went on with her attitude. But, she will be having a blood test to check on something the doctors saw when they did a catscan to look into her stomach pain... results at the end of the week. We are a bit nervous. Yet, the photo of us all at Rich and Joanne's cabin makes us feel better....
Mom certainly takes the top priority lately. Yet the catch 22 comes in to play - we try to finish the house so we have more time for her - yet, if we spend more time with her now, which is so important, we have less time for the house...
So, on the house front we had three inspections - gas lines passed, rough plumbing passed, and framing inspection potentially has two corrections that we can take care of, or may not have to depending on what the engineer says.... so we are on hold till we hear from him... But, we got the green light to start the radiant heat and insulation so here we go.
In the meantime, we started our trail to the house. Laid out the fabric cloth to prepare for many many wheelbarrows of gravel! Need exercise? Just try this one... it is great when you want to work outside of the house.... Reminds us of our endless work when we buried the electric and water lines..... by hand! We realize it my be a bit of cart before the horse but if we do a little at a time it is always there for a few loads..

And, we started the prep work for the "roof awning" that goes over the front door. Great fun running the skill saw while hanging off the ladder. Then chiseling the stucco off the AAC. Post and beams next, followed by trusses, plywood, facia, and metal roof. Gotta keep our eye on the ball.

Monday, March 9, 2009

ta ta ta.... ta ta ta

It's back. Yes, it snowed today..... can I tell you how many times we have heard the weatherman, and locals, say "this is so unusual.... it never does this.... I can't remember it ever snowing like this..." Well, way too many for our taste! But, this time it was a bit different.... other than causing unpredicted little issues and problems and delays, there is the relief that we can at least be inside the house where it is dry. Yeah. And, it is looking like we will have the plumbing and framing inspections this week. Maybe even have the radiant heat start.
Other than this, we are constantly busy. Been spending time with Don's mom and Sandra and Fred.... a good thing. Mom will go for a few tests tomorrow with the hope we can find out why her stomach hurts her....
All for now... late again. ....snow has almost all melted but these pics give you an idea how it looked. Tried the larger image option for the snow photo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dried In - all but one....

Let's start with the so so news.... recall the short term plan from the last post? OK, scratch that... Never got posts set for roof over front door - weather issues. Venting guy is now coming tomorrow - had a "discussion" with him and now it is over 500 dollars less than the bill we got and disputed... Inspection never happened but now it should soon for plumbing and venting.... Got bid for lightweight concrete for radiant heat... geez! Glad the radiant heat is something that should pay off in the short term but again the initial investment is always tough.
OK now the good news. Other than the front door we are officially dried in! Yes, all windows, doors, garage doors and a roof are in. Wow, never thought we would see the day. We continue to forge ahead.
Don's mom will be having a couple new visitors soon - Sandra and Fred will arrive to help out on all fronts. Will be great to see them. First foreign visitors so to speak since they were here in October. Attached pics are of the heater which is about 5 days away from ending the break in period so our fires have been getting a little bigger. And, we couldn't resist and actually peeled off some of the plastic on one of the big picture windows. Since is was a fantastic sunset we just did it..... we will cover it back up when we plaster and paint, but we just couldn't resist. It was a good thing.... The sun continues to inch northward everyday. It is beginning to get closer and closer to the islands directly in front of the house. Can't wait for that! All for now. Good Night!