Thursday, December 20, 2012

The metal roof is on

Well it only took 2 days and we have a roof. It was completed just in the nick of time. Less than 24 hours later it was raining and then snowing on the new roof. We ran out there after day one with just enough daylight to see it. It looks pretty good in my opinion.

The wood stove delima

In our little house in town we put in a Jotul F100. Calee has fallen in love with the little stove. It has been our primary heat source for the past 3 winters now. This stove is rated at 35,000 BTU max. According to my calculations we will only need around 25,000 BTU to heat the whole house when it is 10 Degrees outside. So technically this stove would probably keep up. The problem is who knows how the achieved the 35,000 BTU. The f100 will probably burn cleanly anywhere from 17,000 to 35,000 BTU. Currently we can set the stove up to just barley have enough coals in the morning to get a fire going fairly easily. That is roughly 8 hours. If we don't do everything just right then there is nothing left in the morning and we have to start from scratch. So we would like to get just a little bit longer burn time. We would also like to have an ash pan.


The other stoves that we are seriously looking at are the Jotul F3 and the Jotul F400. I am worried about over heating the house with the F400. There seem to be very few examples of wood stoves in ICF houses out there. The F3 is rated at 42,000 BTU. So running this stove at half speed would technically keep our house warm on a 10 degree day. The problem is we have more 30-40 degree days than we do 10. So the big question is will the F3 over heat the house too? I don't know. There is only about a $200 difference between the F3 and F400 so that is not really an issue. The clearances are also about the same. Would it work to just build a quick hot fire in either stove? The larger fire box size and longer potential burn time sounds pretty appealing in the F400, but the F3 will still be an improvement of what we have now.

Ultimately this decision may just come down to what ever stove feels right in person.

Whoops! chimney and plumbing before the metal rooof

My roofer called me last week and told me the metal would be in by Thursday and that they may want to start getting it put up. The weather has been unbelievably nice for December. It seems like just about every day has been rain free and in the 60s and 70s. It could easily be 20 degrees with snow on the ground. So the roofers were understandably ready to get this job started. Fortunately I talked to my framer and he reminded me that I would want to have all my roof penetrations in before the metal goes on... Whoops. So I called the roofers off. Fortunately I have a plumber who is pretty easy to work with and he got out and put in our 3 vents that we needed. My father-in-law and I spent Half the weekend getting the chimney stuff figured out. Part of the problem is I am not sure what stove we are going to go with. So we took the minimum clearances for single wall stove pipe and added a couple inches. Hopefully that will do the job.

We spent the rest of the weekend adding fill to the garage. They are building a new CVS in town and they needed a place to get rid of the chunks of concrete so our property was volunteered. It has been a lot of work hauling this into the garage but it will save as thousands in the end. We also got more concrete than we bargained for. It will all work out in the end but right now the pile looks like a monster. We have been using the old backhoe to bring in a couple of large peices at a time. It has been extremely time consuming, but I think we are almost there. One more full day and we should be ready to pour the garage floor. The weather may not hold though, and that will push it back to spring.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stressful front porch issues

Our front porch has required a tremendous amount of fill. If you compare the top picture to the bottom you will see what I am talking about. The left side of the top picture shows the front and garage door. If you look at the front door on the bottom picture you can see that there is nearly 5 ft of fill here. The left side of the bottom picture is where we are really having an issue. There is 6-10 ft of fill here. We have dug down roughly 6ft and have hit some relatively solid ground. We will put will put a 8 inch concrete pillar up from there. This should hopefully keep the porch from settling much. If it does settle we should be able to shim it fairly easily. The roof is nearly decked. We are just lacking the north side. The framers should finish that up early next week. We got 5 of our 9 blocks in to finish our retaining wall. Hopefully we can finish that up this weekend too before the rain moves in. The rest of the weekend will be spent moving concrete. They tore down a kfc and dumped the whole parking lot on our place. It looks like a beast now but I'm sure we will find a use for it.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

75,000 pounds of blocks... and we have a retaining wall

It was a busy weekend. Our redi-blocks got delivered on friday. We were responsible to unload them... They are impressively heavy. The old back hoe cried a bit but it got the job done. We are still waiting on the end peices but the walls are done for the most part. We also used an auger to drill through the fill for the front porch. We went down about 5 ft. Hopefully that will prevent it from settling to much.