Not much for an update.
Friday they completed the block work so it has been curing.
Saturday I went out there with a 2.5" hole saw for the Bosch Bulldog Hammer Drill and punched a hole through the block into my basement. I then put 2" sch 40 pipe through the block into the basement. This is about 5' down on the inside of the foundation wall as I think I mentioned before. This will carry 3/4" cold and 1/2" hot PEX water pipes into the garage. It should be plenty deep and protected enough to where I don't need to worry about water year round out there.
It was raining pretty hard all day Monday so no progress.
Today the electrician stopped out with the contractor and we went over the plan for power. The contractor wants to get all conduit run while the foundation trenches are open so we don't have to dig as much later. I need to call the power company and get on the schedule to drop the overhead lines for the upgrade. I thought the electrician would be doing this but he said I need to. I will call them tomorrow.
The general contractor/framer said that we will be backfilling on Friday and then we move back into rain most of the weekend based on the forecast. That will help the backfilled dirt settle out a bit which is good. We then move to framing next.
Things won't look much different until late this week when the backfilling is done. Next week things should start to change a lot more if they get to framing.
Ouch weather is really not cooperating. Hopefully the power company is responsive. My last thing for now is getting doors done. I have no clue how lucky no it will take once they get the stain matched for the doors to be built and delivered. We wanted to see everything done before we made final door decision so itís our fault it is behind in the process.
One thing kind of interesting that they did is add some block going from the footing up the outside of the foundation. I didn't have a good photo of this so here is a pic from the surveillance camera. This three stacks of block is where the patio will be. They added these so that the patio has something to sit on against the garage and will be less likely to settle where they had to dig. In theory it will help prevent the slab from breaking too much.
Here is a shot of the 2" Sch 40 that I put through the wall into the basement for the PEX runs. I think I mentioned above that this was temp. We had rain move in on Monday so I just hacked off 14" or so and slapped on a 90 with a cap and caulked it into the wall so that we didn't get water into the basement. I will go back and knock that out and install the actual runs that should bring it out straight under the garage then do the 90 and come up. I did test fit the PEX in the conduit and it shouldn't be a problem pulling it through. It will be a run of no more than 20' with one 90. I will probably let the PEX warm up in the sun on a hot day this summer and then add some lube and it should pull through just fine.
I say that because I called to schedule and she put me down for that time. But then said because of the service upgrade I need to go through engineering to make sure there is enough power on the transformer. I explained that I did an informal assessment last summer when I was trying to figure out what my options were and that there is only our house and the neighbor off our transformer and everything is overhead. I then said that if I need to formally apply that is fine and direct me to the process. She sent me a link to apply for more power. As was discussed before, either way they have to drop the overhead line for a little bit. When it is down, I have two trees that I am going to cut down and drag out of the way. One is very dead and the other not much better. From talking to the electrician, they are going to upgrade my overhead lines regardless as I have the old style with 3 individual lines with the 1' or so gap. They now do a twisted bundle for the lines.
Now I said I think my appt is the 13th because when I filled out the app it made me put down a date. The earliest I could put down was 22 May even though I already have an appt for the 13th. I suspect that they want that 4 week lead time because of the engineer review. Maybe they can get it done early. I am not sure.
The siding/roofing contractors are stopping out today to get final measurements so that materials can be ordered. Once things are framed, I want to get them in to roof the house and the small garage. Then they will come back later to put up the LPSmartside on the house including new garage and the small garage.
The small garage is that 1.5 car garage across from the pole barn that is about in the middle of the surveillance camera photo above. I started working in there the other day. We need to gut that building. I hadn't done anything to it before because I suspect the roof was leaking a bit. With the new roof coming I started tearing into it. The subpanel in there is one of those 4 spot round fuse boxes. I am replacing that with a 100A breaker panel. I wanted to move it to a different position while I am at it. I noticed there was no ground rod so I need to fix that. When I opened up the wall I noticed the mice have been living in there. There is a strong smell of urine. I think I will rebuild the front wall for sure as that is the only part we have open at the moment and we want to put a service door in there. We are going to move one of the doors from the porch that is coming out to that building. Might as well reuse it. One thing interesting that I discovered working in there a bit more is that it appears at some point that the building was jacked up and a foundation and new slab was put under it. The cement appears much newer than the rest of the building.
Busy day Friday....
So the plan was to start the back fill of the foundation. Workers started showing up at 9 and had some discussions with the heating guy and general contractor. More on that in the next post.
First order of work today was to sort out a lot of the conduit runs. The general ran to the HW store to get supplies as the crew was digging. They were all short runs so they dug by hand. Before the general got back the excavator showed up with the bobcat to start back filling. We were not ready as the conduit wasn't in. Then I look around... Where is the insulation for the foundation??? I mention it to the excavator operator and he doesn't see why I am insulating. Well because of the in floor heat. He questions the need and I tell him it is needed. So I call the general who is on the way back. Do you have the insulation? "For what" Foundation. "Crap, I am almost back with the conduit and will drop that and run back to the store." The excavator operator says he is leaving as he came off another job. I convince him to give us a few minutes as the general is on the way. He gets here and says he will be back in 20 min with the insulation they go back and forth, it cost me a case of beer but I convinced them to take an early lunch (it was 11 by this time) and we can have it insulated to where he can start when he gets back with his guys.
The guys kick it in overdrive, I grab some more shovels and some gloves and jump in as well.
Two 2" runs to the pole barn. One will be power. The other water and CAT6 internet.
The two that come up together are the ones from the pole barn. The one at the bottom is the one that goes to the basement where hot and cold water will come in as well as CAT6 to the house. Then there is the gas line for the boiler and a 2" and 1" to where the utilities come to the house. I will run COAX for TV through the 1" and power from the meter center to the garage panel.
In this shot you can see the laser level they were using set up on the tripod at the corner of the porch.
Here you can see the spacing between the new garage and pole barn. I wanted to maintain enough spacing to get a well truck between the two.
Today I was out there compacting things a bit more with the X585. Found a new use for the FEL. Ballast!!! I picked up a bucket of fill to add a bit more weight.
My estimate is the machine with me, the fill, FEL, suitcase weights, fluid filled tires and other stuff was a bit over 2000#.
So, on to the discussion with the heating contractor.
As you can see in the surveillance camera shots the current porch has a crawl space under it. That is why there is a missing block in the foundation. There are additional missing blocks on the other three sides as of today. 2 of those walls are going to be closed off and I am not sure what we need to do for code to maintain ventilation. Because it is dirt under the porch the ventilation is needed in our area because of radon issues though where we are at specifically it isn't much of an issue but code is code. So, this means that this is potentially cold space below the existing porch. As for the addition to the porch the wall with the patio door will move to the new foundation and new trusses go on the porch. However as you can see there is no block between the garage and this new porch space. This is because this new section will have cement poured under it. This is for code of the radon issue. I asked if the cement under the porch will be heated, they said it can be so I said yes. Now we get into our issue.
The plan originally was to cut the subfloor in the porch about 1' from the walls. Pull it up in the middle. Then lay a reflective material above the insulation, staple the heating loops along the floor joists in what will be the corner up against the subfloor and then put it back down. In talking over this plan with the heating guy he said that this won't be very efficient. He recommended pouring 1" of cement over the subfloor with the lines in that. However that will raise the floor an inch plus the thickness of the floor. We are thinking that click together vinyl but would be open to ceramic tile as well. We don't like that idea because then it will cause the floor to be a strange step down into the house. If we want to go that route, we will have to tear up the entire subfloor and lower the floor joists. Of course this isn't in budget.
So, I think I will ask what it will add to the cost. We can tear up the subfloor and possibly prep things. The hard thing is if we have them do it all, does it add how much to the cost and what does it really mean to efficiency? I mean what is the real pay off? If it adds $10/mo to heat it with just the coils under the subfloor vs the cement, but it adds $3-4K to the bill, It is a lot of extra work for something that we may never see a return on. I do get that the cement would provide more of a thermal mass where it provides a more even heat. It might have hot spots with just nailing it to floor joists without the cement.
After they left I thought of another idea. Maybe this doesn't make sense but I will toss it out. I suspect that the subfloor is two sheets of plywood. What if we did one sheet of plywood and one sheet of cement board? Would it just crack because of too much deflection of the plywood? What if we added in additional floor joists? Not sure what the spacing is but we might have room to add even just a 2x4 or 2x6 to beef it up a bit for less flex? It might be a less expensive compromise.
The other idea that the heating contractor had which I dismissed was baseboard heat. We have baseboard heat out there now that is electric so the thought that would be a good option. However the ultimate goal of the porch is to turn half of it into a laundry room with cabinets all the way around that half and the other half a mud room with those build in locker style coat hook/shoe storage that you see in many newer homes. In this use, I don't see how we could do baseboard heat and he agreed. The only other idea was a heat exchanger of some sort but we didn't think that was a good option. Because of this we went back to in floor heat as we originally planned on.
One other thing he mentioned is that he will install a couple extra stubs so that we can run a loop to the furnace. He said that we can install a heat exchanger in there. Since the boiler is running anyhow and is more efficient, the furnace will become more of a backup for us. I need to get a quote on that but I think we will add the PEX run to the basement through another hole through the block for this so we can add it later a little easier.
I think we are going to find out what the cost is for the cement option. The general contractor mentioned around $1000-1300 for the pour, not sure on labor or materials. That is why I said $3K above as a guess.
What are your thoughts? Do you thing cement board might work as a third option?
Great progress, hopefully your weather keeps cooperating.
Nothing much to report. There was no work on the project last week because the the rain. That was fine, it allowed the ground to settle quite a bit and I brought in some more fill here and there.
The biggest thing going on right now is a battle with the mortgage company. Part of the driving factor on this project was we have hail damage to the house and we got a pretty big insurance check to replace the roof and all siding. We had been talking about doing the garage as part of a 5 year plan but it got moved up since we are putting a new roof on the house now and not wanting to try and match shingles later or mess with the roof again for a long time. Same goes for the siding. Well the battle isn't so much with the insurance company it is between the mortgage company (US Bank) and the contractor. The bank wants a bunch of paperwork to include a lien release but the contractor isn't wanting to sign one saying what if I don't pay them. I explained that they are not going to get paid unless they sign one because I can't cash the check without the bank's endorsement and they won't endorse the check without the lien release. The bank wants the dollar amounts from the insurance estimate and contract to match but we are paying out of pocket for several upgrades like ridge vents instead of turtle vents and of course the additional shingles/siding for the new garage. I explained that I am willing to sign a second contract to cover the additional work if they would like. When I had gone into the branch office of the bank asking them to endorse it originally they looked at the check and said it was for way too much money for them to endorse at their level. Until I get this sorted I don't mind the slight delay due to weather.
I did talk to the office person with the contractor and told her that I haven't done an insurance claim like this before but this is kind of what you do for a living. Don't you know what the bank needs, I assume you have run into this in the past. But she said no. It is new to them. I don't get it. :banghead: