Archive for the ‘Radiant heat’ Category

Last weekend we poured the footings for the new posts we will be installing for the beefed up basement beam. On Friday, we purchased 5120 lbs of concrete mix, that’s 64 80 lbs bags or 2.5 tons or two loads in the sprinter. Luckily, the store was able to load the pallet right into the back of the sprinter with the fork lift so we only had to move each bag once. We hauled about 55 of those bags down into our basement. We rented a 3 cubic foot concrete mixer and on Saturday, we proceeded to mix 2 bag batches over and over again. After about 25 batches, all of our small graves were filled and we only had to return 13 bags to the store.

A. watching the concrete mixing

You can see both the front and back footing are done and we are working on the 3rd.

Over all, this project could have been a lot worse. Moving the concrete bags worked out alright and the little mixer we rented worked out well, especially fitting down our narrow basement stairs.

We were done with the concrete work on Saturday night and A. was able to finish up screwing up the heat transfer plates for the radiant heating and install insulation under the bathroom. We still have two bags of insulation left to install under the bedroom floor. We are holding off on this project to keep some heat toward the basement.

This weekend we plan on drilling the holes in the concrete that will hold the epoxy anchors for the post footings and ledger board that will hold the new beams on either side of the stairway. We won’t be able to do much else as we just ordered the supplies yesterday. With the extra time, we hope to work on some gas piping and electricity for the dryer. We realized this winter that drying laundry inside adds too much moisture to our house and that we end up running the dehumidifier to remove the moisture. Running an electric dehumidifier is more expensive that running a gas dryer so we decided to get a used dryer from a local appliance rehab place. With our super mild winter, we will probably be able to dry our laundry outside again in a few weeks but we might as well get this project done if we have the extra time.

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We installed the PEX tubing into the heat transfer plates over the last few weekends. Working overhead like this really beats us up. Our necks hurt the next day, our knuckles are scuffed up and our hands sore but we got it done.

Looping the PEX through

Yup, that would be moi pounding in some PEX

In other news: We made our first batch of beer last Friday. It looks like this:

Waiting for the right temp on the grain mixture.

Loading up the carboy

To finish out our brewing day, we went on a brewery tour at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, ate a fish fry and listened to the Brewer game on our way home.

And I had my first art fair which as wet and I made a loss. Let’s hope it can only get better from here.

My booth at the art fair

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Unfortunately, the not so exciting structural projects are not done at Little Eastside Bungalow and we are currently in the process of sistering the floor joists of the first floor. Now, you might say that this project should have been done first and you are right. But like many new homeowners the path isn’t always so clear and we really needed a new roof first. Over the past few month we have been slowly working on simplifying the mechanicals and electric underneath the kitchen to make room for the sisters. This also allowed us the move all our electric into the new service panel and get the subpanel for the garage and finish the garage electricity. A. also noticed that the flooring nails stick out below the subfloor about 1/2 inch or so. Since we are planning on installing radiant heat from below with aluminum heat transfer plates and PEx, the nails need to be cut flush with the floor.

Flooring nails below the subfloor

This is just another one of those nasty projects: working overhead with the sparking angle grinder and the smell of burned wood. A. worked really hard this weekend and got about 5 joist cavities done.

Nail end ground off.

We had worked on installing the blocking last weekend and were able to get two new joists up this weekend.

Two sisters and you can see that there is a lot of stuff in the way.

Double joist hanger installed on the beam.

In our house, the joists are hung onto the beam by being notched and set onto a ledger. This leads to cracks in the wood over time right at the corner of that notch. I don’t think new growth wood would even survive this type of construction for a year. The old joists have held up OK but we can see evidence of cracks developing. The floor already feels a lot stiffer were the new joists are installed.

Even though this project isn’t necessarily pressing from a structural sense, we need to get these sisters in before we can install the radiant heat. But we can’t get this all done unless we rip out the duct work from the furnace. With temperatures in the teens (-8°C) over the last few nights, the idea of abandoning the furnace anytime soon seems impossible. And once that is done, it is another race against time, since we only have about 5 months in the non-heating season. So, it may look like we are not going to get a lot of exterior work done on the house this year.

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