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 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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4 Responses to Reaching for the stars!

  1. Homayoun says:

    Hi Sean
    Good job. This is Homayoun, met you in UBC LEED Course. I see your fantastic, informative that I see your valuable knowledge and experience. It is for sure one of the kind helpful construction that I believe the whole construction industry would appreciate your hard working to establish an unique value added to science and knowledge of house construction for the sake of environment.
    I really is so excited for your good and valuable job done so far. I am ready to help you some day as a simple worker to learn from you and discuss mine that is in permit process in the city of North Van.
    Kind regards
    Homayoun Arbabian
    arbabian@gmail.com

    • Sean Wiens Sean Wiens says:

      Many thanks Homayoun – I really appreciate your kind comments. You are welcome to come by for a visit any time!

  2. Homayoun says:

    Hi again Sean
    I found out that you injured during your work. Is so sad. But I am glad you are OK now after a wile.
    Be happy
    Homayoun

    • Sean Wiens Sean Wiens says:

      I am pretty much back to normal now. Cannot use the left arm 100%, but above 90% most days. And the back is also staying pretty well managed with my decompression therapy.

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