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The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Well this week has presented the full gambit of emotions and experiences.

Middle internal Footing - Gravel Bed
Middle internal Footing – Gravel Bed
West internal Footing - Gravel Bed
West internal Footing – Gravel Bed

Wednesday was productive in that I got a lot of small but important things done.  Ted came by for a visit while I finished preparing the gravel beds for the internal footings. He also helped me tweak the string lines for the internal footings so that they are ready to go once I get the XPS on site. After lunch and a trip to the lumber store for some 1×2, we then moved to finally hooking up the electrical to the shop out back so that I could get my drill press and compressor going.

Later in the afternoon I cut and started drilling the 1×2 that I am using to suspend the rebar footing dowels at the proper height. I thought of various methods to suspend the dowel in the form work. I actually had problems finding any examples on the net of how to do this. In the end I felt a 1×2 stapled to the top of the ICF with a whole the size of the rebar would be the easiest method. I then just wrapped some rebar wire around the bar at the required height so that the bar could no longer slide through the hole. I also tied a continuous string to the top of each bar to lock them into a vertical orientation.

Thursday, I finished drilling the blocks, stapling them into place and hanging the rebar.

Easy way to hang rebar dowel in form work

I then started the plastic covers over the ICF modules before calling it a day.

Covering footings with plastic to allow ICF blocks to dry out and then protect from rain after pour
Covering footings with plastic to allow ICF blocks to dry out and then protect from rain after pour

Unfortunately, my escapades from Wednesday night meant my back was really bad on Thursday.  I had screwed up and it almost got really bad.  As regular readers will know, I burn used Waste Vegetable Oil in my truck.  This is one way I am reducing my carbon footprint.  When burning WVO in colder climates, you must purge the oil out of the engine before shutting down, by switching back to diesel,  or the oil will gel once cold inside the injector pump.  I have forgotten to do this a few times in the warmer months, and the truck is really hard to start.  I have never done it when it is cold out and the truck would not start before the battery went dead.  Of course this was happening just as I was needing to get to an appointment.  I tried to jump with a jump pack, but the battery on it was also not strong enough.  So then I asked to borrow Ron’s older Caddy but Gail needed it for the night.  So I tried to use it to jump start, but once getting it in place I opened the hood and remembered there is no battery in the engine bay, it is under the back seat! Fortunately at that moment my wife got back from work and I was able to get to my blood donation appointment only a few minutes late. On my return, I tried to use the car to jump start but my battery was too dead and I could not get enough juice.

That’s where it all went south (or west in this case).  A reasonable approach would have been to call BCAA. But I am building a house by myself – do I appear to be a reasonable person 🙂

I decided to push the truck from the road into my driveway so that I could hook up a battery charger overnight.  This of course is not a wise thing to do with a back disc issue.  I manoeuvred the truck so it was lined up with the driveway but could not get the front tires to crest the curb. So then, against the inner voice in my head that was screaming NOOOOOOOOO, I used my wife’s car to carefully nudge the truck so that the front wheels crested the curb.  It was a very slow and gentle nudge and initially the truck stopped at that position.  As I was backing the car off the road, I observed that the truck had started rolling again and was picking up speed.  I jumped out of the car and ran like a banshee to catch the truck, because at the end of the driveway is the ramp into the pit. I jumped in, frantically searched for the brake pedal in the dark, and got the truck stopped about 4 ft from the top of the ramp.  What a night. In reality, it probably would have run into a very large rock I have at the top of the ramp to protect for just this occasion.  But I was stressed and had further injured the back.  How stupid!

My next adventure started on Thursday as I had started a new medicine regime the back surgeon gave me for the disc injury.  The night time pill is supposed to also make me drowsy, but the result for me was a night without even an hour’s sleep.  Today was a very tough day but I still made some progress.  During the night I started thinking ahead in the build and remembered I need to run plumbing both below and through some of the internal footings. So I got up early and started working on a plumbing plan that I will need to submit to get a permit.

In the afternoon I was back at the job site and was having difficulty confirming some of the ICF elevations.   I believe I was measuring from the wrong spot due to my sleep deprived state.  But I got to a point where I just did not trust my laser level so went out and rented another.  In the end, my laser and the rented unit agreed 100% and both showed that my ICF was at a very consistent elevation. The only adjustments needed was some gravel levels below the footings, so that there was a consistent 8″ gap between the bottom of the ICF and the gravel.  This was completed by the end of the day.

Unfortunately, it now looks like I am getting another flue and appear to not be able to win this week.

I had booked an engineering inspection for the 19th, but had requested this morning that this be delayed till the 23 now that I have the extra work of running some of the plumbing. Now that I am sick, even the delayed date may be in jeopardy.

Lets see what the next week brings.  Thanks for visiting.

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