Monthly Archives: January 2016

Reaching for the stars!

January 30, 2016

Hey folks,

Cannot believe how quickly time flies. Already been 3 weeks since my last posting, so lets catch up.

  • No further backfill operations have been completed.  I am still waiting for more soil.  I need to wait until Diamond are digging on the North Shore and have sandy soil (without clay).  This stuff will be at the surface on two faces of the dwelling and I do not want to be working in mud all spring.  I have lots of other things to do, so no problem waiting.
  • I did complete phase 1 of the shelves throughout the basement to get everything off the gravel floor.  This includes about 75% of the lumber and all of the stockpiled ROXUL (most of the insulation is needed for North Wall which mostly cannot be insulated until after the foundation & the stairs have been poured for the basement walk-up stairs).  I ended up with more salvaged lumber than I thought, so more shelves are needed.
Section 1 of shelves supported only off wall so slab will be able to be poured without moving lumber again.

Section 1 of shelves supported only off wall so slab will be able to be poured without moving lumber again.

Shelving Section 2

Shelving Section 2

Shelving Section 3 - Supporting Stockpiled ROXUL

Shelving Section 3 – Supporting Stockpiled ROXUL

I still have to build shelves to support this remaining salvaged lumber that was last used for scaffolding

I still have to build shelves to support this remaining salvaged lumber that was last used for scaffolding

  • I now have a set of construction stairs down to the basement.  This makes access WAY easier and safer.  I have fairly shallow rise, so there is a lot of the suckers (over 20) to climb every trip :-(.
  • I also have now covered the basement gravel floor using a layer of coconut coir, VB Poly, and then another layer of coir to keep the poly from being punctured as it will be re-used prior to the concrete slab pour.  I picked up the coir free of charge from Canadian Mattress Recycling.

********** Canadian Mattress Recycling provide an awesome service by putting people to work while protecting the environment.  They divert thousands of mattresses a year from landfills and disassemble and recycle all of the components.  The coir is a renewable and biodegradable mat present in many mattresses.   It can be used as a ground cover below bark mulch or river rock, as a erosion stabilizer on a steep bank (spike to bank and then spray with wildflower seed, grasses, or plant ground covers). Or it can be composted and turned into soil.  You can also get high quality hardwood from CMR. Few people know that the frames in beds use high quality (dense grain pattern) woods that are good for a number of art and furniture fabrication projects. **********

  • I then encased the stairs in poly, installed a poly door and base of stairs and a construction door  in the opening that will service the basement walkup steps.  With some caulking and spray foam, I now had a temporarily and generally air tight basement.
Air Tight Stairs make access to basement much more convenient and help retain heat

Air Tight Stairs make access to basement much more convenient and help retain heat

Construction door in the much larger opening that will provide a 48" x 96" Exit door to the basement walk-up at the end of construction.

Construction door in the much larger opening that will provide a 48″ x 96″ Exit door to the basement walk-up at the end of construction.

  • With the basement generally air tight, I brought in heaters, air fan, and a rented dehumidifier.  These will have the task of removing all of the moisture that is currently present in the engineered beams, plywood, and Durisol ICF foundation.  The dehumidifier takes out about 70 pints a day but there is a LOT of moisture present. The drying process will probably take a month or more at a cost of $1000+ a month in rental costs and electricity (chewing through 4000 watts per hour or about $0.70 – for up to the minute energy use see http://www.wattvision.com/house/overview?h=31169802&k=0ce131).
Started out with my portable air conditioner that has a dehumidification setting.  But the basement was too cold for that setting to kick on and I would have had to have the cube heater pre-heating the intake air wasting the heat from the cube heater (would still come out of the unit colder than surrounding air temp).

Started out with my portable air conditioner that has a dehumidification setting. But the basement was too cold for that setting to kick on and I would have had to have the cube heater pre-heating the intake air wasting the heat from the cube heater (would still come out of the unit colder than surrounding air temp).

Graduated to a rental unit that has a 'hot gas cycle' to defrost the unit as it ices up at these low temperatures.

Graduated to a rental unit that has a ‘hot gas cycle’ to defrost the unit as it ices up at these low temperatures.

Rental unit spitting out 70 pints a day and provides 39% humidity and 72F air out the back end.

Rental unit spitting out 70 pints a day and provides 39% humidity and 72F air out the back end.

There is a long ways to go to draw out all of the moisture from the foundation blocks.  They were saturated by rainfall before the garage slab was poured.

There is a long ways to go to draw out all of the moisture from the foundation blocks. They were saturated by rainfall before the garage slab was poured.

That brings us up to the beginning of this last week at which point I started a week long medical leave. I finally received my first Cortisone shot last Tuesday. Per the surgeons instructions, I was not allowed to do ANYTHING that would utilize the shoulder in order to allow it to calm down and for the anti-inflammatory medicine to kick in.  The procedure went pretty much as expected.  They had to use 2-3 time the amount of freezing (my nerves do not respond typically to freezing and it always takes a lot to shut them up), there was some difficulty getting the die into the right area so that the joint was highlighted, and the joint was very tight and hard to inject medicine into (lots of back pressure resistance in needle).

One awesome thing was that I was immediately able to raise my arms all the way to the stars after the procedure (the pushed in fluid – dye & medicine – pushed the joint apart and created some larger tolerances).  This was a great relief and something I have not been able to come close to doing since May 21, 2015.  Of course this mobility was short lived and as the fluid was pushed out of the joint and absorbed by the body, the shoulder started locking up by the end of the day.

I know - big deal, but I have not been able to raise my left arm like this since last May

I know – big deal, but I have not been able to raise my left arm like this since last May.

At the end of my week off, I will start an intensive physio therapy program involving treatment by Jay Inouye, and daily pool therapy for the next month. So my days at site will be even shorter than normal and in general more limited while I take the time to give this process the best chance of succeeding and returning my shoulder back to full rotation and movement.

My next task is to erect the forming for the basement walkup foundation and to continue backfill if some soil becomes available. Hope to have both these complete by end of month.

Thanks for visiting.

“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.” —Carolyn Birmingham

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” —Yiddish Proverb

 

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A New Year

January 10, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years break.  Thanks for all your continual visits to my site and interest in my build.

For my part, I hope to begin a much more expedited build this year now that the back breaking (literally for me) below grade foundation work is nearing completion.

Its been a couple of weeks since my last entry so lets catch up on the few tasks that were completed over the holidays.

  • Week of Christmas saw the removal of the garage slab perimeter forming and some general cleanup.  I also built some rough and dirty walls to rehang the tarp over the garage area (was previously attached to forming).
  • On the 28th, I began the task of removing the rented shoring below the garage slab (after letting it cure for 3 weeks). On the 29th I had Jason from Embers help lift out the shoring from the basement and load my trailer and truck.  This ended up being a mistake.  I should have saved the cost of a labourer and just hiring a truck with crane to lift the materials out and deliver back to vendor.  The load was way too heavy for my vehicle and a 30 min trip took 1.5 hours as I went through side roads at 10-20 kph.
  • With the break over, the first week of Jan saw some better progress. The east and south walls of the garage foundation saw the completion of the torch on membrane, Roxul insulation, and dimple sheet. I also completed the final backfill on the dwellings west wall and prepared for the final backfill around the garage. Unfortunately, I have exhausted my backfill stockpile of soil and will now need to have at least 5 loads delivered.  Hopefully Diamond will be able to deliver some sandy soil from one of their other excavation sites in the nest few days.

This brings us up to date.  Next tasks include:

  • Complete backfill around garage and topping off the south wall (wether permitting)
  • Build hanging shelves and move all stored wood from rest of basement into bonus room under garage
  • Above task required to clean out basement area so I can lay down poly over the gravel and try to lower humidity down there and start drying place out.  I will lay down some coconut coir mats (I picked up for free from https://canadianmattressrecycling.com) over gravel, then the VB poly and then another layer of coir to protect the poly and allow it to be used in the final installation below the slab.
  • Build formwork for basement walkout stairs and pour foundation.

I hope to get all of this done by the end of February latest and then will start work on basement plumbing.

Took a little faith to crawl between the 30" gap between the shoring and concrete slab above to unscrew the plywood from the shoring timbers.

Took a little faith to crawl between the 30″ gap between the shoring and concrete slab above to unscrew the plywood from the shoring timbers.

Not one of my smarter decisions.  This was too heavy and made for a harrowing journey.  I was driving within 2 blocks of the drop off location with the trailer anyway which is what suckered me in to this decision.

Not one of my smarter decisions. This was too heavy and made for a harrowing journey. I was driving within 2 blocks of the drop off location with the trailer anyway which is what suckered me in to this decision.

Picking up the coir coconut matting and Canadian Mattress Recycling

Picking up the coir coconut matting and Canadian Mattress Recycling

I once again used R-Guard Joint and Seam to seal around the foundation penetrations.  This time with a new tube and nozzle so looks a lot more professional!

I once again used R-Guard Joint and Seam to seal around the foundation penetrations. This time with a new tube and nozzle so looks a lot more professional! Note the two shaping tools laying on top.  These are made from spent caulking tubes and can be cut to any size (tip that came from James Bourget from RDH) .

I continue to have problems with condensation buildup on underside of tarp

I continue to have problems with condensation buildup on underside of tarp

This represents the ice I scrapped off approx 75% of the tarp one morning before the balance melted.

This represents the ice I scrapped off approx 75% of the tarp one morning before the balance melted.

Thanks for visiting.

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake…” —Sir Frances Bacon (1561-1626) Philosopher, Essayist, Statesman

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. ” —Mother Teresa (1910-1997)  Founder Of The Missionaries Of Charity

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