More renovation fun as we have the old house re-sided. We are having the west and south sides of the old house redone. These walls are wood framed (4½”) with interior wood lath and plaster, and exterior clapboards right on the studs. No sheathing, no insulation (well, almost, see below). We are adding fiberglass batts, then OSB sheathing, house wrap, and the same HardiePlank siding we used on the addition. So we are going from R-1 to R-12+ in insulation.
The north side is covered by the new addition, and the east side has the verandas on it and the wide horizontal exterior boards are in good shape so we are leaving those alone.
… in for a pound, as the saying goes. The addition looks so good it makes the main house look, well, bad. So we are going ahead with re-roofing and re-siding it. The roofers started this morning, and here is the progress after less than 3 hours.
The underfloor hydronic heat in the addition will consist of 3 zones with 4 loops total: basement 1-loop zone, great room 2-loop zone, and under-loft 1-loop zone. Each loop is 300′ 5/8″ PEXa tubing. The expectation is that the great room zone will the most active. The intention is to run each loop at 1.75 gpm, 90°F water in, 75°F out, which should produce 13K BTU/Hr/loop. So the system should produce 26K BTU/hr in “normal” great-room only mode, with an additional 13K each available in the under-loft area and in the basement.
After much research, I have decided to go with this 800 Liter Solar Water Heater System from Duda Diesel. We will be adding the Turn-Key option and upgrading to Freeze Protection tubes so the collectors can handle routine temps below 14°F (which, based on this past winter, I would have to say that we get). The choice between evacuated tube and traditional flat-plate solar collectors was difficult. The reasons why I chose tubes include: lower weight and individual components for easier rooftop installation (we do not have enough non-floodplain sunny areas for ground-based collectors); space between the tubes provides a lower wind resistance; purportedly better performance on cold and/or cloudy days. My concerns are mainly related to the fact that because the outside of the tubes stay cool any frost or snow can take longer to melt than with flat plates. Oh well, a grand experiment awaits!
The heating is a open direct system, with a 211 gallon solar storage tank supplying the underfloor hydronic heat, as well as preheating the water for a standard domestic hot water heater. The 211-gallon solar tank has a built-in heat exchange coil for rooftop solar collectors and an electric heating element for backup. It is not at all certain whether the electric backup, combined with the large thermal mass of our insulated suspended concrete slab floor will be sufficient to keep us warm during extended bad winter weather (but I am quite confident that we will remain at most chilly, not frozen!). Our backup plans include the fact that we still have wood stoves in the old house (our only heat for 17 winters.)
The solar collection side is a closed-loop system with a glycol mixture to prevent freezing. The collectors will mounted on the addition’s east-facing 5/12 pitched (22.62°) metal roof. They will face 11° east of south (the orientation of the house itself) and be tilted up at a 45° angle.
Click on any of the images below to see a larger version:
Underfloor Heat Components [already purchased unless noted otherwise]
We got 6½ inches of snow last Thursday, followed by an arctic blast, and then, finally some unseasonable warmth. Today is a typical cool and rainy March day. We are certainly ready for Spring.
Slow progress lately, working around the snow/ice/cold, but progress nonetheless. The plumbing rough-in is done, as is the main floor electric. Stairs are in, drywall about 75% up but not yet mudded. Exterior siding also at 75%. Next week, hopefully, wallboard should all be up and the attic insulation should be in. Then after the cold retreats we will get a portable electric furnace in and start the wallboard mudding and chimney coating (probably satin polyurethane.)
Also, some of the plumbing has been roughed in and most of the basement wallboard is up, but pics will wait for another day.
Over the holidays the roofers completed the metal roof, and the insulation sub did round one on the inside of the exterior walls: sprayed 1" closed-cell urethane foam followed by fiberglass batts. Then last week the general contractor crew came in and did some wallboard. They did what they could while still leaving space for the plumber, who has been delayed. Once the plumber is done with his rough-in, it can be inspected and then the wallboard can be completed and then the insulation as well. This week (once the ice melts) the siding sub will start putting up the HardiePlank siding.
Christmas Eve day was busy around here with four different construction-related visits: framers, to complete a few odds and ends; electrician, ditto; a debris-removal visit; and an inspector, who OK’d the framing and electric. The day before the roofers got started on the metal, as seen below from the pasture.
The kids are under the attentive watch of our sole remaining chicken — the rest were killed in a series of fox attacks in the early fall, and this one decided to move out of the hen house down in the obviously dangerous meadow paddock up to the loafing shed with the the goats and the dogs. She lets the goats kids play with her … well at least she tolerates it much better than when our dog Bersheba “plays” with her.
Well, for the past month there has been progress. All the windows and exterior doors are in place. The first round of electric wiring rough-in has been done. The roofers should be here (maybe this week) to put the metal roof on. Next up is the plumber.