Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Well and the Slab Insulation

The well has been dug! Well, at least we hope so... they don't have a final reading on the water flow yet. So here's the story... we have two wells already on the property, but they're both unusable. One is a modern artesian that pumps plenty of water and is 180 ft. deep, but is too far from the house to be of any use. The other is an older style well that is only a few feet deep now. It's also too far from the house site.

We assumed the new well, near the house, would be roughly the same depth as the artesian near the road. We were wrong, however, and we've learned a lot about wells this week. Our new well was dug through 440' of solid rock, and still didn't pump enough water. The options were to either dig deeper, or use a method called hydrofracturing, at a cost of about $1,800. It's not guaranteed to work, though neither is a deeper hole, so either choice entails a bit of risk.

We chose to hydrofracture, so the well company pumped in 2,400 gallons of water, then pressurized it to 900 psi, until the pressure broke and dropped to about 100 psi, indicating that a vein underground had broken, and opened up a new passageway somewhere. They went down another couple hundred feet and did the same thing, pressurizing the water to 1,100 psi until it broke and dropped again. After the pressure has equalized and they can get an accurate reading on the water flow, we'll know how it all worked. Until then, we can rest easy knowing that the well is a cool $10,000 over budget. Yippee.

Our house was built by the Blues Brothers.

The well truck getting started. It's an enormous truck that lifts completely off the ground with the integrated hydraulic systems.

440' of rock has to go somewhere. The powder ran everywhere and tracks everywhere, but it won't be long until the site work is done and we clean up all this mess.
Karen and Mindy worked on priming a lot more of the exterior siding. They'll probably be finished this week, and shortly after that we'll get started with the real paint color.Which we have chosen, by the way! It's called Cranberry Zing, and just to be clear, it's the red on the right, not the pink on the left.
We set up some workspace in the living room. For now, we have the band saw, the jointer, and an assembly table. We bought a Bosch router this week, and that will also be out at the house soon enough. Mindy is heading to Andy and Chris' parent's place tomorrow morning with the Subie and the trailer to pick up the cherry wood for the kitchen.More pinkness. We laid 2" of extruded polystyrene on the basement floor. It looks neat having a totally flat floor down there, even though the surface isn't entirely uniform yet.
Benson also helped with the insulation in the basement. He liked to tape the seams best.
Karen helped in the basement, too. It was a pain fiddling around the plumbing bits.
The next step was to lay down the wire mesh on top of the foam. The tubing for the radiant system will be zip-tied to the mesh early next week. Ideally, the slab will be poured by the time I write next week's post.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Pinkness

Yes, I know... we missed a week! Chris and Karen were out of town last week, and despite the best of intentions, didn't get a chance to put up a post. Hopefully everything tonight will make up for lost time.

We've had a busy couple weeks, so I'll try to catch up with everything that has gone on. So first off: we can now end sentences with prepositions. Yep. It's all good. Second, we have started priming the ship lap siding, in preparation for it's final color and eventual installation. It's a pretty gruesome shade of pink right now, and really, it looks terrible. The house will be red, so the primer is a mix of white and 1/3 color. This should make the final coat go on well.

Ethan and Eli found a house of their own inside our unit of ship lap.

Ethan is hard at work with the pepto-bismol. Ethan's favorite color is pink, so we may have one unhappy fellow when we start changing it all to red. Speaking of which, we found a Behr paint they call "Cranberry Zing" that we all like. That may be the one.
Eli doesn't have a hard hat like Ethan, but you can't argue with his game face. He is seriously focused. Besides, he's superman!
The backyard is a mess - it's become a staging area for priming the siding. One set of pallets for the original stack, another set for the primed boards, and two painting areas in between. The brown tarp sticking up is covering a planer that we bought last week. We'll use it to build the kitchen cabinets. We also bought a band saw and a jointer, so we're feeling more and more prepared to tackle the cabinet work. A router is on the shopping list, a good blade for the table saw, and that may just about do it.
I don't think the house has changed much from this view, but here you go anyway. We really ought to get those doors put up.
Chris had fun playing with insulation tangrams, fitting pieces together for the final peak on the South side. Where the fit isn't perfect, we'll use spray foam to fill the cracks.
All the insulation is up now. That peak is a looong way off the ground. Technically, we have a few more strips of insulation to do along the bases of the egress windows. But they're straight and at ground level, and we'll get to those right before we put the windows in.
Our plumber has been busy this week, too. He likes to play Sinatra while he's working, which we think is pretty cool. This is the middle bay in the basement, and is just about finished. There are two full baths down here, along with a laundry hookup and an extra sink.

We used the chainsaw for a bit this week also. These are two that Andy took down yesterday. We'll work on some more this coming week. We have a large pile of logs we've saved from the clearing process that we'd like to have milled. A nearby mill has quoted $.25/board foot, which seems pretty reasonable for around here. They charge a pick-up fee, so once we have all the trees down that we had planned to mill, we'll give them a call and arrange the work.
This "stack" is mostly pine and hemlock, and will make a lot of something one day. It will take a year or two to dry, depending on how thick we have it milled . Natural drying takes about a year for every inch of thickness.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Last Upstairs Windows

We were busy with windows and wood this weekend. Benson, Ethan, Eli, and Mikey, a local friend, all helped Mindy move several big stacks of wood out of the way. After the windows were installed, we hauled logs with the Subaru, and have almost cleared the whole path for the well truck to come through.

We put in more windows this week - all of the upstairs windows are done now! We have four egress windows to put in the downstairs half wall, but we won't do those until the floor has been poured. These three are in the South end of the dining room.This is taken from the kitchen, after we had the three kitchen windows put in. We were concerned about the difficulty of installing windows on the upper levels, but they all went very smoothly. We were glad to have started with ground floor windows - we had a good system down by the time we did any ladder work with them.

The South wall of the house. We have a few pieces of foam to put up near the peak.

This angle shows the view of the house from near the entrance to the house site. I'm standing near the rock wall where the garden will be, and the driveway is just to my right. Despite the bright silver facade, the house is not visible from the road now. We'll be on our own for awhile, and then sometime in early November we'll be visible again.

This view hasn't changed much. We have the kitchen window successfully moved and installed, and you can clearly see where the old spot remains. That has been plugged with new insulation. If you look closely, you can see Mindy about to hop out of the kitchen door. I didn't see her there at the time, or I would have waited until she was in mid-air to snap the photo. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Waffles

This was one of those weekends where most of our "free" time was already spoken for. Not much was done at the house other than some wood moved and some layouts marked.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, and we ate lunch at the house. Our first meal cooked in the house, in fact! We had two waffle irons plugged into the generator, and had a lovely meal with all of us and Matt and Hannah (Andy and Chris' sister).

This is the current view from the mudroom entrance. Andy and Chris moved two stacks of wood on Saturday afternoon, and will continue to work on the remaining stacks this week.

We love craigslist. Karen and Mindy get pretty concerned with our zeal sometimes, but it usually ends well. "Wait, wait, wait... where do you think you're putting that sink?"

The sink on the right will be in the laundry room, and the overturned sink we're not quite sure about yet. Worst case scenario? It ends up back on craigslist for some other lucky guy to admire.

Yes, more craigslist. This clawfoot tub will be Chris and Karen's tub - we'll scour the outside, and it should clean up real nice. The claws are in their attic at the moment, collecting dust with a whole lot of other salvaged building materials.

Mmmm.... waffles. We cooked in the living room, and boy did they smell good!