Category Archives: Project Journal

Concrobium Pro – The Fungi Eradicator

As some of my long time readers will remember, I first came across the professional version of Concrobium back in December 2015 when I discovered the engineered beams in my basement were heavily stained with fungi due to the high … Continue reading

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The Good, The Bad, and The Awesome!

As is typical fare for my house building journey, the last month or so has been a roller coaster of good, bad, and awesome! The Good Billy the marmot is safe! His long term living accommodations became critical when the … Continue reading

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A long ways from home

Well, I can now add marmots to the extensive list of animals that have been seen in my yard.  This lovely fellow moved in under my shipping container over the last week.  Only difference between this guy and all of … Continue reading

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Suspended Garage Slab – Quad Deck Thermal Bridging

Hey folks, Things have been progressing well at the job site.  Since my last posting, I have installed the permanent stairs down to the basement (a joy after working so long with the construction stairs that were very narrow and … Continue reading

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Slab Happy – Revisited

Well, I am thrilled to advise I finally have a basement floor! I poured the floor last Monday and it turned out phenomenal. John and his crew from High Def Concrete knocked it out of the park!  I had asked … Continue reading

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The Barriers

No, I am not talking about some 70’s alternative music group, but the various components that allow for the separation of conditioned indoor space and non-conditioned outdoor space in a building.  These barriers create the envelope or more appropriately named … Continue reading

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Air Tight – Certified!

Well the results are in and they are phenomenal.  Patrick (my HRV consultant)  came by on the 16th to do the duct-blaster test on my HRV supply and exhaust ducts.  I am thrilled to advise that both are air tight!  … Continue reading

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Small Victories!

Well folks, I am very pleased and extremely relieved to advise we have worked through the roadblock imposed by the Municipality last October regarding my building envelope. I today delivered the final required letter of assurance filled out in a … Continue reading

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Sealed Up Tight

Today I finished the last of the installation and sealing of the HRV supply and exhaust return ducts and preparing them for air tightness testing.  This leaves only the fresh air and exhaust ports from the HRV unit through the … Continue reading

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Completed Homework

Hey folks, Just a short update.  I finally got around to creating some more time lapse videos of the construction.  I was shocked to see that I was over a year behind.  I think this shows just how crazy 2017 … Continue reading

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Happy New Year …. one can hope!

Happy New Year to all my digital friends! I for one, am thrilled to see the last of 2017.  It has been a tough year that can be summed up by a phrase I recently heard on a commercial for … Continue reading

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Finished Lid – But what about the sides?

Well, it has been an interesting 6 weeks since my last post with several ups and downs, but lets start with the ups. Total, after a total of 6 Saturday’s, Geoff and his crews finished installing the final cap sheet … Continue reading

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Bent out of shape!

Hey Folks, Slow but steady progress continues at theEnclosure. Since my last post, Geoff has been back two additional Saturdays working on torch-on roofing installation. The lower office and garage roofs are complete, upper south roof has all base sheet … Continue reading

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So long B.A.T. – you have served me well!

For those of you that visit the projects web cams, you will have seen a major change at theEnclosure.  The B.A.T. (Big Ass Tarp) has been retired!  On August 1, after 15 months of dedicated service keeping my dwelling dry, … Continue reading

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Getting wrapped up in a thick wool blanket

I am pleased to advise that the installation of the exterior water/air barrier, and 6″ of exterior ROXUL mineral wool insulation panels is going well.  Over the last 2 weeks I have completed the first storey of the south and … Continue reading

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Ducks in row – Finally!

I have now progressed far enough on finalizing design and sourcing materials that I will be able to physically start work at the job-site this week.  Last week involved finishing off the cladding design and a series of vendor visits … Continue reading

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Laboured Progress

When I last left you, I was clawing my way to make at least some progress on the build and am pleased that on several fronts, some laboured progress has been made.  Unfortunately, nothing that has resulted in actually starting … Continue reading

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Stalled

Well, it has been an interesting month. When I last left you I was starting to install the ABS plumbing drain piping. The installation went fairly well and although I did not finish in the two weeks scheduled, I did … Continue reading

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What a Waste! Plumbing has commenced.

Well, yet another month has gone by and I sure am glad the snow now seems behind us (just wish the rain was as well).  I have been building for 3 winters now, and of all the years to have … Continue reading

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De-Energized!

Wow, cannot believe it has been 6 weeks since I last posted.  Sorry folks – been busy, but also running on fumes in the energy department and just not up to ‘computer work’ in the evenings.  I was hoping to … Continue reading

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Hacked – But all better.

Sorry Folks – Yesterday’s post was temporarily hacked but has now been restored and the site has been re-secured. The hacker has taken down a lot bigger fish than me, including an Alabama sheriff’s office,  multiple Figi government websites, and … Continue reading

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Soaring to new heights – but what a Pane!

Wow, I can hardly believe it has been 3 weeks since the last post.  A lot has been happening. When I last left you, we were working on the window surround preparations and hoping to be done by the 21st.  … Continue reading

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The Purpose of the build – The Enclosure is born!

Well, hundreds of hours of schooling and seminars, and thousands of hours of research have led me to the last couple of weeks of work at the site.  In fact, the last two weeks are representing the entire focus and … Continue reading

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The Barriers – A definition

The word enclosure replaces the more dated term envelope and represents the man-made separation between differently conditioned spaces and also between conditioned spaces and the great outdoors.  It is at the heart of building science and represents my passion for … Continue reading

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All Decked Out

Well, it took a LOT longer than expected, but I am pleased to say I am all decked out.  No, I am not talking about my Christmas decorations, or a new wardrobe.  I have finally finished decking all of the … Continue reading

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Still Here!

Well, I have had a few neighbourhood folks ask what’s up and where I have been.  Wish I could say it was a holiday, but I am just now recovering from a week of down time with a bad cold … Continue reading

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3 out of 4 – On the home stretch

Friday I finished framing and sheathing the upper south roof which now leaves only the last upper north roof to complete. The process is going faster now that I am used to all of the steps and able to improve … Continue reading

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Life Goes On

Well, it is coming up to 4 weeks since I last saw Blackberry, and there is not been a day I do not look out for him when at the job site.  It has been very very tough to let … Continue reading

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Heartache

I have successfully navigated through the succession of three storms that passed through our region over the last 5 days.  And although I recorded yet another highest wind speed at the job site (24 mph – 20% higher than previous … Continue reading

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Huff and Puff

There have been few times over the last 2+ years of the build that I have been as relieved as I was upon returning to the build site the morning after last Thursday’s wind storm. I was at the site … Continue reading

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Raise the Roof

Well, the last two weeks did not go to plan, what a surprise, but I did manage to finish the basic deck structure. My goal was to build the deck and fully install all of the S.S. hanger system by … Continue reading

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Progress Continued

I continue to make reasonable progress and am now 100% ready for the roof truss delivery on the 23rd of this month. Progress over Last Two Weeks: I finished the roof design and then the design of the clerestory wall … Continue reading

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Milestones

I am pleased to say it has been a busy and successful last two weeks with many important milestones being completed. I met with Cascadia Windows & Doors on the 15th and now have installation details for my ‘outie’ windows … Continue reading

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Great Progress

The last week has gone very well and I now have over half of the 2nd storey exterior walls up and framed.  I really cannot complain about the framing progress lately as all has gone smoothly and is going up … Continue reading

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First Second Floor Wall Complete

It is hard to believe it has only been a week since my last update.  It seems like forever ago for me.  Time at site on construction was 30 hours, which is often a normal week for me, except I … Continue reading

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All Decked Out

This week has been a productive one (at last). Monday saw the end of the installation/adjustment of the final four floor trusses, the last 50% of the truss strong-backs (stiffens truss packs and prevents vibration), and some of the perimeter … Continue reading

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Good Bye my Friend

I have been in Penticton over the last two weeks to say goodbye to my longtime friend Joe Hirmer. I was grateful for the opportunity to say goodbye one last time before he passed, and I was honoured to be … Continue reading

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Floor Truss Package Installed!

I am pleased to advise I have completed another important milestone on my build.  All floor trusses have now been installed for the second storey which means the full floor truss package has been 100% installed. I was extremely relieved … Continue reading

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Hangers, Humps, and Roadside Bumps

The last 2.5 weeks has seen some reasonable progress on the floor assembly, but as usual, things have been taking longer than planned, with some of the delay’s out of my hands.  I had just finished installing the first two … Continue reading

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One to go – We have started framing the second floor

Well, today was a great day, as the first of the two beams that will support the second storey were installed.  As hoped, I was able to do this task with 100% mechanical assist. Alfie was able to lift the … Continue reading

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This and That

While I comply with my medical team’s instructions and have some down time after my latest cortisone shot, I thought I would address a few questions/comments/concerns that have been raised about my construction methods and build in general. Q: Why … Continue reading

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Highs and Lows – all too typical with MY project.

As has been all too typical with MY build progress, the last month has been filled with exhilarating highs and soul crushing lows. But we do continue to make progress, albeit slower than hoped (we did not expect anything different … Continue reading

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Framing has commenced and we have a wall!

Well today marks two significant milestones. First, it was exactly 1 year ago today at 12:05 PM, that I broke my shoulder when I tripped on the curb at the side of the road.  While I did not let the … Continue reading

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The B.A.T. – She Flies Once Again!

Well, today saw B.A.T. 3.0 flying high and proud.  I am quite thrilled to have a good tarp overhead once more after such a lengthy absence.  The last overhead B.A.T. 1.0 met its demise on December 11. 2014 during a … Continue reading

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Time to rise!

For those of you checking into the live video feed over the last day and a half, you will have seen that activity has once again finally commenced at the job site.  Yesterday AM I wrapped up most of the … Continue reading

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B.A.T. 3.0 and other exciting testing.

Well, my ‘office month’ is coming along nicely.  As of this morning I have pretty much finished the bookkeeping and could once again see the surface of my desk.  I should get most of the finances and general office organization … Continue reading

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A hole no more – FINALLY above Grade!

There have been many times over the last year and a half that I questioned my sanity and wondered if I would EVER get out of the hole Diamond and I dug in September of 2014. From the lowest lows … Continue reading

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Crushed!

This has been the theme of the week.  My attempts of getting crushed recycle concrete has only crushed my schedule, and not in the good way. Once again, my plans have gone out the window as I try and source … Continue reading

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The End does not always justify the effort getting there.

As I wrote in my last post, I had some significant problems with the pour of the exterior basement walk-up foundation. When a corner of the forms busted open during the pour, I lost a healthy 1/3 cubic meter before … Continue reading

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A poor pour! – But it is complete.

Well, I am glad that is over.  This concrete pour turned out to be the one that tried to get away.  I should have know something was up when the Municipal inspector raised concerns last Friday, that it was not … Continue reading

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Time to Pour – Concrete is coming.

Well, I am pleased to say that I actually exceeded my schedule and will be ready to pour my architectural concrete wall on Tuesday, a full week sooner than I planned.  This either means I am getting faster or that … Continue reading

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Forms Away! – Pulled the trigger on the foundation forming design.

Just a quick update tonight as not a lot has physically happened at site this week beyond doing wood moisture checks and humidifier maintenance. A de-humidifier I bought online from Costco arrived today and based on initial testing (4 hours), … Continue reading

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Reaching for the stars!

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 … Continue reading

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A New Year

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 … Continue reading

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Website Update

Just a short note to let everyone know that I have finally uploaded a couple hundred images to the photo gallery.  I completed the demolition folder and also brought the foundation folder up to current (except for photos of garage … Continue reading

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Disappointment

Disappointment is the emotion most prevalent over the last week.  Now that all the floor assemblies are installed over the basement, it is dark – really dark.  So last Thursday I finally installed some construction lighting in the basement and … Continue reading

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Suspended Concrete Slab – Complete

The suspended concrete slab for the garage has been poured! As hoped, I was able to push up the date and we poured at 11 AM on Monday.  Hi Def Concrete and F&F Pumping did a bang up job and … Continue reading

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Huff and Puff

Well, I survived yet another wind storm but this one was close. I repeatedly cringed as I heard the tarp fill up with air and then I heard the sound I dread, staples popping off and looked up to see … Continue reading

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All Barred Up

As hoped, the last week has gone quite well and I am very close to being ready for the garage slab and basement walk-up footing pour.  I am just waiting for some direction from my engineer in Ontario regarding the … Continue reading

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Another First

Well, I could get used to this, it was another productive week that stayed on schedule.  In fact, things actually took one less day than planned so I was able to catch up on some chores and vendor follow up … Continue reading

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Video Updates

Hey folks, Just a quick update to let you know I uploaded a series of videos today.  You can access them by clicking links below or by clicking on my YouTube channel at the left of this screen. Roving Cam … Continue reading

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Steady Progress

I just love times where construction actually goes according to plan.  They have been so few and far between in my experience, that when they do happen, it just makes life good. Such is the current situation with the garage … Continue reading

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Mud!

Hey folks, just a fast update as not a lot has happened in the last week. I got Alfie’s shoe back on last Thursday, but it was clear my soil screening days were over for the season.  Everything is now … Continue reading

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Lost Track

The last week has progressed well.  It has been reasonably dry and I was able to get a lot of the backfill complete.  The back west wall is almost complete (put it aside to do other weather dependent things).  Mr. … Continue reading

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In the name of Science

Well. I am extremely grateful I moved Alfie to the back yard last Friday as by Saturday AM, about 4ft of the back-filled south bank had caved in.  If Alfie was still on the front bank, I would have had … Continue reading

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Alfie goes for a stroll – At last!

Well, it has been exactly 13 months since Alfie was banished from the back yard due to the excavation activities last September 2014.  Today, Alfie was once again able to stroll into  the back yard (ok – it was more … Continue reading

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Uncompacted Schedule

Well, I continue to be wildly optimistic in my backfill schedule. Even with assistance, this process is taking a LONG time. I can certainly understand why NO ONE does this in residential construction. I have averaged only one lineal ft … Continue reading

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Frozen

I have had a couple enquiries asking how today’s surgeon visit went so here is an update. While it does look like I have a torn labrum called a SLAP tear, I would not be surgical until at least the … Continue reading

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Water Leak – ✔

Well, I have not progressed yet to the backfill stage, but a lot has been accomplished. When I hoped for backfill operations last Friday, I did not account for how many operations had to be completed first and my significantly … Continue reading

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Image is everything!

Hey Folks, It is your friendly neighborhood cripple – OK I exaggerate, I am not that friendly :-).  Not a lot has been going on.  I had my MRI imaging of both the shoulder and lumbar spine on Sept 2 … Continue reading

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Back Again – Now What?

Well, today was to be the day I was going to start back at the jobsite. I had taken the last 2.5 weeks off to rest the shoulder to see if it made any difference. Instead of getting better, it … Continue reading

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Time for reflection

Well, if I have had anything over the last 1+ week, it is time.  I am sticking to my word with the medical team and not doing anything at the build site for a 2 week period (possibly more). My … Continue reading

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A break for a break!

After having a conversation with a nearby resident who reviews my journal, I realized I had not explained why I was in a funk on my last posting.  Just as well, as the situation has changed dramatically again since last … Continue reading

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Coming out of the hole.

Sorry folks – I know it has been a while since the last update.  To be frank, I have been in a funk and have had a lot on my plate!  Lets bring you up to speed. On July 28th … Continue reading

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Drained

The last week has proceeded well and of this afternoon I have finished installing a perimeter drain field.  All runs have been routed and tied into the deep pump-up sump.  I was lucky, about 40% of the pipe was above … Continue reading

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Torched

Quick housekeeping: I have been asked by one viewer to be a bit more consistent and post my entries on the same day each week so they do not have to constantly check.  Good news, you can now subscribe (just … Continue reading

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Transition

It actually has been a productive week despite my continued exhaustion (I have not slept through the night since breaking my shoulder 7 weeks ago). I finished repairing the bag footings by Tuesday (ahead of the schedule I had set … Continue reading

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ShedCam Time-lapse Videos Complete – Finally

I finally put aside some time today (was too smokey to go outside due to the forest fires in the region) to start going through 10’s of thousands of time-lapse images I have been collecting from the various webcams.  My … Continue reading

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B.A.T. Jr.

Well it is not the glory of last falls B.A.T., but b.a.t. Jr. should due the trick until I have the back fill complete and am ready to put up a new main tarp. As I will be at least … Continue reading

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Floor Installation – ✔

Steady progress has been made over the last week and a half, and I now have 95% of the first storey floor installed.  This has been quite the struggle with one usable shoulder and the unbearable afternoon heat, but I … Continue reading

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Website Enhancements

Today the website was updated to add a search utility to the Journal as well as a subscribe feature.  Enter you email address and you will ensure you never miss the next instalment in my saga to build a energy … Continue reading

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I’m Floored!

Despite being one armed for the last 4 weeks, I have been able to progress the build enough to start laying down the floor deck and placed the first 4 sheets today! Since your last visit the following tasks were … Continue reading

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Not all that it is cracked up to be!

I had my three week check up with the surgeon at the cast clinic today and got quite a shock.  Part of the procedure was to get a new XRay and this time I was able to see the results.  … Continue reading

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Framing has commenced!!!

Well, against all odds, I framed a wall today! I know, not very impressive really – but I did it with only one working arm. Today’s activities were preceded by the precise measurement of the foundation walls and top curb … Continue reading

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One Armed Bandit

Yesterday was the first day back to the site since my shoulder injury 2 weeks ago today.  I was pushed to be productive by Ted who came by to lend a hand (or two). The next task was to level … Continue reading

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Windy House and Power Plants

Prior to tearing down the old bungalow I had the air leakage tested by H&H small space solutions.  I posted the full results of the testing on my Path to Sustainability blog. On further reflection of the topic, there is … Continue reading

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Just broken

Well I received the good news from the surgeon.  It was a clean break and there does not appear to be any nerve or tendon damage. So no surgery! Just a min of 6 weeks with no loading on the … Continue reading

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Out for the count

The last week has seen reasonable progress in the ‘hole’. I finished cleaning out and re-attaching the bag footings on the inboard side of the foundation and then worked with Pat from embers to level the gravel for the first … Continue reading

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Rim Boards Complete

As hoped, the rim boards started to progress more quickly once I had the right drill bit. Friday saw the west wall and jog at NW corner complete before I stopped to pick my cat – Blackberry – up from … Continue reading

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Trouble getting Anchored!

Well, so for this has been a frustrating week with very little progress. It started off OK Monday. Ted came by and we measured all of the as poured foundation so that I can update my AutoCad model with the … Continue reading

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Roving Cam Time Lapse

March and April Time Lapse from the roving cam have been uploaded

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Curb Appeal

Now that I have finished stripping both sides of the forms, I have to say I am quite pleased at how well the top curb turned out using the Roxul ComfortBoard IS inserts.  They did not compress at all and … Continue reading

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Blowout Blues and My Friend Murphy

This week saw a return to the job site after spending ALL of last week catching up on the bookkeeping and preparing our taxes.  I was a lot further behind than I thought and had not reconciled the accounts since … Continue reading

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Pre-Pour Site Visit

For those interested, I did a pre-pour site visit video.  Sorry for sound and video quality.  Did not realize it was so windy and also that I was so shaky that day.  I will also post in next day or … Continue reading

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Relief!

Yesterday the foundations were poured and I am relieved on so many levels. 1) Last Oct/Nov – I would have never imagined that my back would have held out while I installed the 50-100 lb ICF blocks (depending on water … Continue reading

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Where’s the concrete?

I have had a few people today ask “what happened to the concrete?”  as today was my scheduled pour day. Well – what else – there was a delay 🙂 Last Sunday I knew I was not going to be … Continue reading

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On the Level!

It has been a great couple of days. I have now received the sign-off on the structural inspection of the forms.  I had given Tacoma a heads up that Brian from Stantec was coming and needed a fast turn around.  … Continue reading

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Thank full for friends

It has been a reasonably productive few days.  On Friday Ted was by and we were able to install the crucial vertical uprights, on the outboard side of the foundation, needed to install all the whalers at the top of … Continue reading

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Foundation Rebar Primer

I received some feedback to my journal posting yesterday that was suggesting I should look at the ‘other’ ICF manufacturers if I wanted to know how Rebar was ‘supposed’ to be placed.  I did and the result sure is scary.  … Continue reading

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