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  1. Top | #31
    Cutty72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    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?
    Not sure I follow exactly on your heating question, but I'll throw this out there.
    My parents put heated floors in both levels of the house. Basement it's in the concrete, upper levels its in the joists.
    It WAS laid so it would be tight to the subfloor, but when they went to lay the floor they were worried about hitting a pipe with a nail, so they dropped it down. Problem is it never got put back up tight to the subfloor.
    It still "works", but the floor doesn't feel warm except for a few spots where the pipe ended up really close yet.
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  3. Top | #32
    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutty72 View Post
    Not sure I follow exactly on your heating question, but I'll throw this out there.
    My parents put heated floors in both levels of the house. Basement it's in the concrete, upper levels its in the joists.
    It WAS laid so it would be tight to the subfloor, but when they went to lay the floor they were worried about hitting a pipe with a nail, so they dropped it down. Problem is it never got put back up tight to the subfloor.
    It still "works", but the floor doesn't feel warm except for a few spots where the pipe ended up really close yet.
    The issue is kind of what you are saying. First problem is the only way to mount it from the top is to attach to the joist. You can put it as high up to the top of the joist as possible to be close to the subfloor but then you run the risk of hitting it when securing the subfloor to the joists. Normally the way they do it is from the bottom. The benefit is first that the subfloor is already secured. Then they also can use an aluminum track to not only secure the tubing directly to the bottom of the subfloor but also to dissipate the heat a little better. It is also fastened about in the middle of the span between the joists.

    They use something like this.

    4 Ft - 1/2 PEX Aluminum Heat Transfer Plates, (100/box) for Radiant Heating (HP-4) by PEX GUY - Pex Tubbing - Amazon.com

    As you mentioned, unless it is tight, you are going to have cool spots. Keep in mind that there is batt insulation in the floor joists but this is unheated crawl space below the porch which is vented to the outside per code. While not common, we can hit -30F. Granted these are short spells but it will get cold down there.

    I guess this is an update to that "issue" right now what we have been leaning towards is to have the contractor do nothing for heat in the porch... That may seem odd but we think we have a plan. If he leaves things as they are, the inspector will come along and ask how are we heating the space. Point to the existing baseboard electric heat. The room got a little bigger but not that much and it is now sandwiched between the heated garage and house. Plus all the drafty windows are gone and either replaced with new much smaller windows or now a wall because we have to have a firebreak between the house and garage.

    We will just have him match the floor height and lay new subfloor in the new section of porch. Once we are done with the project and close out the permit, we are going to rip up all of the subfloor and we will replace it with Warmboard-S. This stuff isn't cheap at $10/sf. However, that does include the design (balancing loop lengths for the zone. As well as shipping and other costs. We are looking at about $3800 plus PEX. It is about 350 SF but I am padding that a bit for waste. The nice thing about this stuff is it puts the loops on the top where we can see them. We can add 2" insulation board between the joists while it is open and it includes the aluminum on top of the board where you want the heat anyhow. It also covers the entire surface of the subfloor. The other option is Uponor Quick Track. The benefit of this product is it is made locally and is way cheaper but it has a couple downfalls. It isn't structural like Warmboard-S. So, it will have to go on top of the subfloor adding to height. It doesn't have the aluminum top plate so it won't dissipate the heat as well. With Warmboard-S we may actually end up with a slightly lower floor than we have right now which is fine. We can make that up in the floor finish which isn't 100% decided yet.

    I don't know. It is probably going to be a wash for us but it is the direction we are leaning. To add the in-floor heat later this fall isn't a big deal. Save on the labor to make up some of the costs. We can punch the lines right through the wall into the garage where the boiler is anyhow and do the hookup. That is something I can even do. I think I will plan for an extra loop as part of that zone or a separate zone to include our bathrooms. That is right under the wall and I have access to the bottom of the subfloor to do the heat spreaders like I mentioned earlier.
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    sennister's Avatar
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    I did get a quick update from the contractor. Lumber delivery is Wednesday and they will start framing the walls Thursday.
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  6. Top | #34
    sennister's Avatar
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    I will have to post photos later. I am too tired at the moment. I took the day off work but it sure wasn't vacation.

    A little before 8am the electrician showed up. I had stored his stuff out in one of the buildings but had it all in the bucket on my FEL ready for him to get to work when he got there. The power company was set to show up between 8-10 so he got started right away and he had an assistant show up a little after 8. I was running around getting them what they needed and doing things like powering down sensitive things and tripping the main breaker. He pulled the meter out of the socket then went up a ladder and cut the power lines right at the mast. I was sitting there thinking crap, those lines are still hot. He had the meter box off the wall and the new meter box mounted and was starting on the new mast by the time the power company showed up at 9:30. While they were doing that work I had been getting the chainsaw ready and tied a rope to the one tree that I wanted to motivate down in the right direction. The second tree wasn't going to cause any concern so I used gravity on that one. Power guy drops the lines and said to call the 1-800 number to have someone come out for a hookup. Ok. They get back to work and I run down and drop the two trees and cut them up into chunks I can move with the FEL. They were dead pines that I don't burn for firewood so they were destined for the burn pile. Around this time my Father in law got there and he started moving the logs to the back yard to burn them as I went to check on the electricians. They were done and I pointed out that the power guy was sitting out on the road. I said I could run out there and see if he will hook us back up. I went out there and he was a little shocked when I walked up to his cab. I said we were ready for a hookup if he had time. He was shocked. What about the trees and the electrician. They are done, the trees are down and getting moved to the burn pile as we are chatting. Dang that was quick. I'll pull my truck around. He had us hooked back up to the grid by 10:30 and he and the electricians were gone. Here the contractor said it would be an all day thing. I texted him saying everything was done.

    One guy showed up to start demoing the porch to get ready to pull off the trusses. I started hand digging along the inside of the foundation to bury the insulated PEX run to the pole barn. Kicking myself every foot that I dug that I didn't get this stuff before they backfilled. I had to hand trench about 65'. Before the day was done I punched a hole through the foundation to feed the insulated PEX through and another 3/4 PEX that I plan on using as an air line from the shop where the big compressor is into the new garage. I will add a 20 gallon tank salvaged from an old compressor many years ago. The pump died on it and they were throwing it away. The tank is fine.

    Throughout the day more guys were showing up. A crew was up on the roof demoing the chimney as that is getting rebuilt before the roof gets replaced. They also cut and nailed together all the headers that they will need for framing. I spend part of the day talking to the roofing and siding contractors and I think I have things sorted out with them. They are coming out on Wednesday to get final measurements.

    Tomorrow will start framing and Wednesday the trusses will be here. I suspect they will be starting to set them maybe later on Wednesday or Thursday. We have really good weather foretasted for this week. So they are kicking it in high gear. The contractor has extra people available this week so more hands to run more nails.

    What sucks is I have to leave in the morning for a conference. I will be back later on Wednesday so I may be coming home to what looks like a garage starting to take shape. I had enough time to work through several things with the contractor so I don't think there will be many questions while I am out. I am not sure I can take Thursday off or not from work being I was out today and will be out of the office Tues and Wed for a conference. While the conference is in state, it is far enough away that I got a hotel for the night.
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    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

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  7. Top | #35
    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    I did get a quick update from the contractor. Lumber delivery is Wednesday and they will start framing the walls Thursday.
    As you can tell from the post above this didn't happen. We had a ton of rain on Wednesday. I think we got 2.5". I guess I forgot to update this post. Because of how muddy things were on Thursday they didn't work. They brought in sand and tried to bring it up to grade.

    As I mentioned above, framing should be starting tomorrow. Weather is good so there shouldn't be any holdups.

    Since I left it out of the post. Saturday I went to WI to a place that sells those outdoor wood boilers and picked up 70' of that insulated PEX that they use. It is direct burial. Imagine a 5" drain tile jacket that has a couple 1" PEX lines perfectly centered in the jacket and is filled with that expanding foam. That stuff is heavy, very stiff and not cheap. After tax and the termination boots it was right at $900. There were some options a little cheaper, most are not as good or I had to buy rolls that were way too long or special order them which takes longer. I have some pics of it that I will post later.
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  8. Top | #36
    sennister's Avatar
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    I am back in town again and with the good weather this week, they have been making progress.

    I will jump back in time a bit to document some work from last week. Again I apologize for some of the sideways photos.

    Last Wednesday we had a delivery of wood.



    Last Saturday we ran over to a place that sells those outdoor wood boilers for heating homes and bought a section of insulated PEX. This stuff isn't cheap. 70' with two termination caps ran a tick over $900. I got home with it and rolled it out so it could start to relax as it had been coiled up for a long time. We were heading out of town and with Mother's day there wasn't much time to work on anything to do with the garage build.

    Monday I took the day off work but it was anything but relaxing. It was a busy schedule from sun up to sun down as I had to get some stuff done as I was heading out of town again.

    Electrician showed up at a few minutes before 8. I like it when workers show up on time or better yet, early. His task was to upgrade the meter box on the side of the house to prep for 400A service. The power company was to show up at some point between 8-10.

    The electrician and his co-worker decided to get to work to get as much done as possible before the power company got there. My main tasks were to cut down two trees that were near the powerlines as long as they were down. I made sure the electricians had what they needed and I started staging the saw and other equipment. One tree was going to be easy but the second one was a little questionable on what way it would go so I put a line up in it so I could use my X585 to motivate it in the direction I wanted.

    The electrician cutting the power while the lines were still hot. I was kind of shocked that they cut all the lines and did all the work without cutting the power on those lines but as long as you don't complete the circuit you are fine.




    The utility company got there at 9:30. He asked what we were doing to verify and then he dropped the power lines so the electricians could complete installing the new box and mast and I could to work dropping my trees. Then he said that we can call the 1-800 to schedule someone to hook up the power. I was thinking, what, you are not staying to hook us up. I guess not.



    With the lines down I used the X585 to motivate my tree in the right direction.



    I then went around and cut up the trees in 5' sections so they could be taken to the burn pile which was overflowing. The trees were pine and I didn't want them. I got that done and went to check on the electricians. They were done with their work and he was on the phone with the power company to schedule the hookup. I point out to the street and mentioned that the power truck was still there. I'll run out and see if he will hook us up. He was a little shocked when I walked up to his cab and asked if he could hook us up. "You are done with everything!!!" yep. "Dang you guys work fast, give me a minute and I will get turned around and back over to hook you up."



    It was interesting with the Mast that the size of the head is about 4 times bigger with a 2.5" mast compared to a 2"



    Power done and everyone was off site by 10:30. Not bad.

    I do still need to work with the design team to get them out again to swap the meter. It is only a 200A and do a voltage drop test to see if they are upgrading the lines. That can happen later.
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    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 60" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, Sprayer cart

  9. Top | #37
    sennister's Avatar
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    Now that the electrical was done and they moved on I called the contractor and said that power is restored and we are back up and running. "What!??!! Already???" I will send some guys over.

    In the mean time I started my work. Next task for the day was to hand dig a trench from where the boiler is going to the pole barn for the insulated PEX. I really wish I would have picked this up before backfilling. I dug the trench while my Father-In-Law used the X585 to haul the trees to the burn pile. It was a nice calm day so we got that going and burned up all the existing stuff so we could add this new wood to the pile. It is actually still burning today because of the stumps that were dug out which are also in there.

    I drilled a hole through the foundation and fed the PEX through. That was like wrestling a 400# dead anaconda.







    I then punched another hole through the block for a 3/4" PEX. This will be an air line from the shop to the new garage. I am going to add a 20 gallon compressor tank that I have laying around up in the utility room then feed a couple air hose reels from the ceiling.



    The crew showed up and started dismantling chimney which needs to get rebuilt. I want that done before the new roof goes on the house.



    I also went down to the basement and pulled the old 60 gallon water heater out. That way I could tell them we don't need that exhaust duct going up through the chimney anymore. The new water heater is tankless and vented out the side of the house now.
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    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 60" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, Sprayer cart

  10. Top | #38
    sennister's Avatar
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    Then I was back out of town for a few days watching the security camera as they came out and started framing. I got home last night and took some pics.



    The two outer doors are 9'x9' and the middle door is 10'x'9



    They have a small section on the south wall where I have my access door to the shop to do yet this morning.



    I find it interesting how they did the headers for the windows. I am used to seeing them right above the window. This way it would be easy to convert one later to a door if we wanted.



    The trusses are here and this morning at 9am a crane will be here to set them.



    Can't tell from the photos but the trusses are storage trusses so there is quite a bit of room in the middle for an attic. They had the end trusses on top of the pile.

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    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 60" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, Sprayer cart

  11. Top | #39
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    The roof has been removed from the porch so they can start setting the trusses.





    Gizmo2, BigJim55 and JD4044M like this.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 60" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, Sprayer cart

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    Starting to take shape, looks like it will be a nice one.
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    2018 2025r, FEL, 60" autoconnect deck, pallet forks, some other stuff.

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