Addition Windows Start Going In

AddnSomeWindows

As this work week draws to a close, the addition ends up all the West windows in place and some of the North windows as well.

Taking Real Shape

AddnSheathingEast

The new addition is really taking shape as the sheathing goes on. This is the view of the east (back) side of the house from the pasture.

AddnSheathingWest

The west (front) side.

Addition Update: Roof Trusses

Been busy around here the last week and a half.

AddnLoftFraming

Last week they continued with the framing. The loft sub-floor is in place since it ties in with the exterior wall framing. The windows were a bit of a challenge to line up with the existing house windows — we had to go code-minimum with the headers.

AddnFutureBayWIndowView

A preview of the future view from the bay window.

AddnTrussesUV

The roof trusses arrived yesterday. This is the view from the upper veranda yesterday afternoon. In the upper left you can see that the tops are flat. There is a peaked cap that will be added — the trusses would have been too big to truck in if they had been one piece.

AddnChimneyPointed

Concurrently, the masons finished up pointing the chimney. It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but the mortar at the bottom is darker because it is fresher, the mortar at the top was done last week and is closer to the lighter finished color that we chose.

AddnTakingShape

The view from the pasture.

Addition Framing Begins

Framing_Begins

The first day of framing on Thursday saw the first floor east and west walls go up. With a little luck, this week should see roof trusses in place.

Ready for Framing

Over last weekend I used a pressure washer to blast the parging off of the chimney. It was wet, gritty, chilly work. The contractors came back yesterday and finished up the sides and cleaned up the debris.

Chimney1

Ready for day 1 (Saturday)


Chimney2

Ready for day 2 (Sunday)


Chimney3

Done on Tuesday. Looks pretty good — now it needs to be pointed up and then sealed. That will happen concurrently with the framing.


Framing_lumber

This afternoon the lumber for the exterior wall framing arrived. The timing could have been better, since it interrupted the back-filling around the north side, but it is a sign of progress nonetheless. Framing should start tomorrow, and the roof trusses have been ordered and should come next week.

Polystyrene, Rebar, and Concrete

The main floor of our new addition is a suspended concrete slab (i.e., a slab that is not in direct contact with the ground.) We are using the LiteDeck ICF system for this slab.

LiteDeckBase

The LiteDeck system starts with a base layer of 6″ thick expanded polystyrene (EPS) with imbedded steel C channels (both for strength and to provide a way to screw on the basement drywall ceiling). It is shaped with a beam pocket 6″ W x 4″ H every 2′.

LiteDeckTopHat

Then foam “top hats” (4″thick in our case) are added to deepen the integrated concrete beams to 8″ H x 6″ W.

LiteDeckRebar

Next is the rebar. Lots and lots of rebar: Two ¾” pieces along the bottom of each beam, two ½” pieces along the top, ½” U-shaped cross pieces to help hold the length-wise bars in place, topped with a 2′ x 2′ grid of 1/2″ to stiffen the slab.

LiteDeckReady

Ready for concrete. The rebar is all wired together as a unit. The foam pedestals are for running plumbing and electric through the slab. You can also see the sole plate at the edges – the outside band is temporary bracing. The wooden box-like protrusion on the left is the where the basement stairway will go, the one on the right is for our dumbwaiter.

MainFloorFirstPour

The result (as poured yesterday.) The slab is around 4½” thick. At the top is the vestibule, a 3-season unheated room that also serves as an airlock for the addition entryway. To the right is the cantilevered floor of the bow window.

As I type this the plumbers are here to run a new well pipe through the previously-installed conduit that runs through the foundation. Once inside, it is going to temporarily run through the dumbwaiter window and reattach to the existing house plumbing. Later, we are going to relocate all the plumbing mechanical (pressure tank, de-acidifier, water heater) into the addition’s basement mechanical room. But for now, this will keep the pipe from freezing this winter and allow us to finish back-filling around the north end of the new foundation where the well is.

Next week, the exterior wall framing should begin. The bottom of the wall will be triple-plated so that when the exterior shell, including roof, is in place we can pour the final 4″ of concrete for the final floor. Before that happens, though, I will be running the heat tubing that will end up embedded just above the middle of the 9½” thick floor slab.

New Addition Update, Month 3

It has been almost a month since my last post about our new addition. Work has been proceeding, albeit slowly at times. It was always a long-shot that we would be (mostly) done by winter, and that long shot is missing widely. Now our sights are set on getting it under roof and closed in (windows/doors would be great but sheathing/house-wrap would be OK) this fall.

Last week and this week things have been moving along at a good clip. As I type, they are finishing installing the LiteDeck IFC for the main floor concrete slab. I will put up another post detailing that process in a couple of days.

Here is chronology of the past month or so of work, as of the end of last week:

The ICF blocks start to go in. In the foreground you can see the ladder-like Form Lock grids that are placed horizontally inside the ICF every couple of courses to help keep things straight and in line. There is lots of vertical and horizontal rebar in there as well.

The ICF blocks start to go in. In the foreground you can see the ladder-like Form Lock grids that are placed horizontally inside the ICF every couple of courses to help keep things straight and in line. There is lots of vertical and horizontal rebar in there as well.

Door and window openings being formed. Waterproofing film applied.

Door and window openings being formed. Waterproofing film applied.

Ready for foundation concrete pour. The metal studs sticking up along the outside perimeter are for attaching the foam boards that will surround the main floor concrete slab. You can also see the support scaffolding around the inside of the foundation forms.

Ready for foundation concrete pour. The metal studs sticking up along the outside perimeter are for attaching the foam boards that will surround the main floor concrete slab. You can also see the support scaffolding around the inside of the foundation forms.

The foundation concrete has been poured in the ICF – that process went pretty well, just had one corner start to separate which was field-braced without further problems. The BobCat is bringing in gravel for under the basement slab. To the left you can see three footers for the posts that will support a steel I-beam. To the right, on top of the foundation, you can see where they moved our temporary well pipe off the ground so they could re-grade around the back of the foundation so the equipment has room to maneuver.

The foundation concrete has been poured in the ICF – that process went pretty well, just had one corner start to separate which was field-braced without further problems. The BobCat is bringing in gravel for under the basement slab. To the left you can see three footers for the posts that will support a steel I-beam. To the right, on top of the foundation, you can see where they moved our temporary well pipe off the ground so they could re-grade around the back of the foundation so the equipment has room to maneuver.

After the gravel and floor drain pipes were done, I took over to prepare the basement underfloor heat tubing. The first step was putting down 2" extruded (XPS ) foam board for insulation. Note the square cutouts for the I-beam post foundations.

After the gravel and floor drain pipes were done, I took over to prepare the basement underfloor heat tubing. The first step was putting down 2″ extruded (XPS ) foam board for insulation. Note the square cutouts for the I-beam post foundations.

Then, based on my heat tube layout drawing (drawings  available here) I snapped some chalk lines, installed my 200 screw-in tubing clips, and started snapping in the 5/8

Then, based on my heat tube layout drawing (drawings available here) I snapped some chalk lines, installed my 200 screw-in tubing clips, and started snapping in the 5/8" PEX-a heat tubing.

Basement heat tubing all in place. I had to make some adjustments to go around the post foundations, but otherwise I came out just a little short of my original drawing. For the sake of economy and availability I used a 300' roll of tubing for the 300' basement run. For the main slabs three 300' runs I have a 1000' roll, so I will have a little slack. And, since I knew all four tubing runs would be a little different in length, I bought a manifold that includes flow control balancing valves.

Basement heat tubing all in place. I had to make some adjustments to go around the post foundations, but otherwise I came out just a little short of my original drawing. For the sake of economy and availability I used a 300′ roll of tubing for the 300′ basement run. For the main slabs three 300′ runs I have a 1000′ roll, so I will have a little slack. And, since I knew all four tubing runs would be a little different in length, I bought a manifold that includes flow control balancing valves.

Then they put rebar on top of the heat tubes. This not only adds strength to the slab but also insures that the heat tubes won't pop out and float to the top of the concrete.

Then they put rebar on top of the heat tubes. This not only adds strength to the slab but also insures that the heat tubes won’t pop out and float to the top of the concrete.

The basement slab pour was perfectly uneventful, just the way all concrete pours should be. After the concrete cured for several days, they built the load-bearing basement partition wall and installed the I-beam, arriving here by crane truck.

The basement slab pour was perfectly uneventful, just the way all concrete pours should be. After the concrete cured for several days, they built the load-bearing basement partition wall and installed the I-beam, arriving here by crane truck.

Then some temporary bracing walls went up – these will need to stay in place for 3 weeks after the main slab pour.

Then some temporary bracing walls went up – these will need to stay in place for 3 weeks after the main slab pour.

Then they started laying the LiteDeck ICF. This is an aerial view of the base layer installation in progress.

Then they started laying the LiteDeck ICF. This is an aerial view of the base layer installation in progress.

Next up: Completing the LiteDeck by shaping the bow window, adding the top hats, adding the perimeter foam and first-course footer board, and adding plumbing/wiring chase-ways. Then, the main floor pour.

Aerial View

I had another session with my flying camera yesterday afternoon. I am still working on getting comfortable with the controls, so the video composition is not great, but below is an 11-minute aerial view of our farm. By the way, the return and landing was handled by the drone’s “failsafe” auto-pilot.

Addition Foundation Forms

Well, after a series of frustrating delays, the foundation (basement wall) forms are ready for concrete. I also treated myself to a fancy new toy: A DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus quadcoptor drone – a flying camera!

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

I just started flying it yesterday, here is a new perspective on our construction — bonus points if you can spot the millstone (transported, we believe, 1/4 mile from Hooks Mill to our property by the 1936 flood), and our herd of goats. (If you have the bandwidth, it looks best fullscreen in HD.)

Addition Construction Resumes

Well, shortly after my post on Monday, trucks began arriving, delivering the ICF units that will be used for our foundation/basement walls. There are a lot of them piled up all over.

ICF forms in the back yard, as seen looking down from the upper veranda

ICF forms in the back yard, as seen looking down from the upper veranda

More ICF forms in the side yard and along the lower driveway. You can also see one of our Japanese beetle traps in the foreground, they've been fierce this year.

More ICF forms in the side yard and along the lower driveway. You can also see one of our Japanese beetle traps in the foreground, they’ve been fierce this year.

Monday they also put in the front foundation drain and tidied up the grade inside the foundation. Yesterday was rainy and therefore contractor-free. Today more gravel is being delivered for use as backfill and under the basement floor.

Plus, the windows we had ordered from Lowe’s arrived on Saturday, they have been stored in the cellar (with the large patio door under the veranda.)

Oh, and I ordered the two garage doors (one 8′ wide and one 6′ wide) today from Home Depot, they were 15% off, and the Lowe’s doors did not allow windows in the narrower 6′ door, among other things.

Escape Artist

[Optional musical accompaniment to this post]

There is no construction news, things have been on a hiatus as the footers cure and we await engineering of the ICF concrete floor. I have used the time to refine and adjust my design drawings.

bershebaMeanwhile, our dog Bersheba is a sweet dog, always eager to help us around the farm. Her very favorite way to help keep us busy is to show us weaknesses in our fencing. Every. Single. Weakness.
escape_artist

She loves to dig under the fence. Anywhere the ground is a little soft or a little low, and she is off to the races. The tractor comes in handy — I keep blocking her escape routes with rocks and shale.

New Addition Footers Poured

More big trucks began arriving today at 7am.

More big trucks began arriving today at 7am.

Took about 4 hours to get the footers poured, using about 13 yards of concrete.

Took about 4 hours to get the footers poured, using about 13 yards of concrete.

New Addition Ready for Concrete

Yesterday the foundation was cleaned up and rebar was placed. Today the inspector gave it the OK. Tomorrow the concrete truck arrives.

Yesterday the foundation was cleaned up and rebar was placed. Today the inspector gave it the OK. Tomorrow the concrete truck arrives.

New Addition Week 2 (15-18 July 2014)

The week started with these two pieces of equipment being dropped off. Note that they both have rubber treads -- best for mobility over wet soil.

The week started with these two pieces of equipment being dropped off. Note that they both have rubber treads — best for mobility over wet soil.

The next day the digging began with the trench for drainage pipes. He started down at the spring house and worked his way back up, marveling, as we have for years, at the volume of water coming out of the ground.

The next day the digging began with the trench for drainage pipes. He started down at the spring house and worked his way back up, marveling, as we have for years, at the volume of water coming out of the ground.

The trench has four pipes: two 4" slotted (one for the foundation drains and one for surface French drains), a 3" PVC conduit (for water pipes and electrical cables for micro hydro and/or ram pump and/or anything else we think of), and a 2" PVC pipe for the well overflow (our artesian well was overflowing at a rate of 30 gpm when it was drilled back in September 1994 and the 1: overflow pipe that was installed then can only handle about 12 gpm.).

The trench has four pipes: two 4″ slotted (one for the foundation drains and one for surface French drains), a 3″ PVC conduit (for water pipes and electrical cables for micro hydro and/or ram pump and/or anything else we think of), and a 2″ PVC pipe for the well overflow (our artesian well was overflowing at a rate of 30 gpm when it was drilled back in September 1994 and the 1″ overflow pipe that was installed then can only handle about 12 gpm).

Back up at the well, you can see one of the slotted pipes (destined to continue as the foundation drain) and the white 2" overflow pipe (currently still being fed by the 1" pipe in the well casing. We will be making a 2" hole in the casing at some point so hopefully our well will never again overflow.)

Back up at the well, you can see one of the slotted pipes (destined to continue as the foundation drain) and the white 2″ overflow pipe (currently still being fed by the 1″ pipe in the well casing. We will be making a 2″ hole in the casing at some point so hopefully our well will never again overflow).

The week ended with the rough digging for the foundation.

The week ended with the rough digging for the foundation.

Dusty Yard

And, as a “bonus” we now have a dirt bike racetrack where our side and back yards used to be! The BobCat was running back-and-forth from the front yard where the gravel for the drainage ditch had been dumped. Our soil is mostly Atkins Silt Loam; when it is dry it is very fine and dusty, and when it is wet it is like quicksand.

New Addition Week 1 (7-9 July 2014)

All that remains of our old addition is this pile of stones from the foundation.

All that remains of our old addition is this pile of stones from the foundation.

Well, the old addition came down and the remnants were hauled off on Monday.

Check out the “best of” video highlights below.

Here is the temporary on-the-ground well pipe snaking in under the old cellar door.

Here is the temporary on-the-ground well pipe snaking in under the old cellar door.


On Tuesday, The Beast did the rough digging for the new addition walk-out basement. We knew that we would have to deal with our well pipe, and sure enough, it went down early. We were without water for most of the day until they got a temporary pipe installed.

NewPond

Along the way a small underground spring began reveling in the daylight and created a small pond.

So here is what we ended up with. Note the 7-foot high pile of dirt on the right behind the well.

So here is what we ended up with. Note the 7-foot high pile of dirt on the right behind the well.

On Wednesday the contractor brought in a small tractor-backhoe and dug a temporary drainage ditch to dry up the pond. All has been quiet since then as we wait for things to dry up. Work is expected to resume tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on the weather (storms are expected both days.) The next step is digging the footers.

All of this digging was done on the basis of this drawing I did.

All of this digging was done on the basis of this drawing I did.