Archive for December, 2008

Windows are In!

Monday, December 29th, 2008

OK, it probably doesn’t mean much to others, but to us having the windows in the temporary site office is a huge milestone for 2008.

The major benefit is that having a secure temporary site office gives Bryan a place to go every morning. With an internet connection and mobile phone, he will have no excuse to hang out at home. Straight to work!

Windows are in.

Windows are in.

Looking east across deck.

Completed deck AND windows.

Inside site office with view over excavation.

Inside site office with view over excavation.

Yeah, we know, the windows need to be cleaned. This will be Bryan’s #1 task for January 3, 2009.

I had a great site visit to Hillsborough this morning.  Matt Jung invited me to see a project he is working on there.  A combination of radiant heating with Hi-Velocity Systems.  Unfortunately, Matt had to go to San Francisco so I didn’t get the full review of the HI-Velocity air but the radiant heating design was excellent to see.

Matt’s project in Hillsborough includes some 6,000 + sq ft of radiant heat that is covered with hardwood floors.  The design includes ~1 inch subfloor, ~5/8 inch radiant layout on 7 1/2 inch centers, and 5/8 inch The subfloor is on concrete on the lower level and joists on the upper level.

One of the learnings from this site visit is that the hardwood flooring boards need to sit for at least two weeks on the working radiant heating system so the boards can adjust to the working temperature and humidity.  According to the flooring expert on site, this will make the boards tighter and prevent unnecessary expansion and contraction during their life.

Here are a couple photos showing the flooring boards being ‘seasoned’ prior to installation.

Hardwood flooring 'seasoning' prior to installation.

Hardwood flooring 'seasoning' prior to installation.

Hardwood flooring layout over radiant flooring.

Hardwood flooring layout over radiant flooring.

Ready for Windows

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

We completed the west window bay of the temporary site office today. After returning today with the 6 ft. level and finding that, yes, the framing was square, we completed the window.

Ready for windows.

Ready for windows.

As well, the final 4×8 sheet of plywood was tucked into the south-east corner of the decking and screwed down. I convinced Paul Fulton to drop by the site and give me a hand positioning the plywood (more problems with the the tongue and groove. The deck is now complete (and the pipe is even painted florescent orange for safely).

Completed deck.

Completed deck.

Just as I was about to leave the site, Matt Jung of 88HVAC returned my call.  We discussed the visit to Hi-Velocity Systems in Edmonton and how I was impressed with their product line.  Matt asked about the final radiant design and then asked me to visit a job site in Hillsborough on Monday.  He said that it would help to understand the alternatives that we are considering so we can finalize the design.

Monday will be a busy day.

Bought a Davis Weather Station

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

In order to monitor the rain and winds on the building site, we bought a weather station today.

After reviewing the various systems, we decided on Davis Weather Stations as it appears to be the most scaleable and reasonably priced system available.

We reviewed a number of sellers and spoke with Ryan Wilhour, of Archer Trading Post. Ryan helped guide us through the product alternatives, and outlined the difference between wired and wireless models. Although our preference would be for a wired system, the wireless have more ports available for input modules. Thus, wireless is a more scaleable system.

We decided to buy a wireless system from Ryan.

We bought a Davis 6152 Pro2 Wireless Weather Station with a Davis 6510 USB port datalogger and software. It is being delivered and should arrive on Monday.

Setting up and configuring the weather station may take some effort; the benefit will be that we will know the wind speeds and precipitation so we can understand exactly what is happening on our job site.

Meeting with Hi-Velocity Systems in Edmonton, Canada

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Matt Jung of 88HVAC arranged for me to meet with Sean Provost of Hi-Velocity Systems during our trip to Edmonton, Alberta.

I met Sean at their offices on 124 Street and 127 Avenue and he took me on a complete tour of their operations. First, we reviewed a hard copy of our plans and discussed our requirements for air circulation in the basement. After reviewing the plans, Sean walked me through the relevant parts of their product line and showed me their demonstration models.

Following the product review, Sean took me on a tour of their facilities. Of particular interest was their training room and their test lab. Building a distribution network requires qualified installers so they have a set training schedule and dedicated training facilities.

Matt had mentioned that he attended a training session, which is how he got to know Sean.

I was impressed with the Hi-Velocity and, after leaving a complete set of house plans, left with a complete hard copy and electronic copy (CD) of their product documentation.

Next steps – Hi-Velocity will review the floor plans and recommend how to design and structure the ducting and return lines, including the outside air supply as well as the fan units.

Very cool …

Doors Installed

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Pressure is on to complete the site office.  We leave for Canada tomorrow morning (6:30 am departure) and I wanted to get as much ‘buttoned down’ as possible today.

I have never hung a door before and I wasn’t sure exactly how it should work.  The first issue that I needed to address was cutting the bottom 2×4 plate that the structure was framed on.  I called Stafford and he explained to me, in no uncertain terms, that the plate needed to be cut.

The next issue was, ‘how to hang the door?’  Reed called me and stopped by at lunch for a few minutes.  He showed me how to hang the door and fit the shims.  Easy with two people.

As he left, Reed said, ‘good luck with the other door.’

West door complete from inside.

West door complete from inside.

You can see the windows from the existing house that are leaning against the east fence in the photo below.  With the deck completed, it will be much easier to move the two windows.

East door, showing bottom plate cut.

East door, showing bottom plate cut.

The east side is now complete.  Sure, I can add some trim around the door to make it tighter but that can wait.  The windows are next.

East door installed and now complete.

East door installed and now complete.

Darren showed me on Sunday how to stand the materials up inside the site office.  Floor space is important and everything should be easy to find.

Materials standing up inside the site office.

Materials standing up inside the site office.

The sun is very low in the sky now.  The overhang allows the light to come in at this point in the year.

Low sun angle.

Low sun angle.

Well, the day is over and we’re off to Canada tomorrow.  Everything is done now – I’ll be back on December 26.

Site office ready for windows on Monday, December 29.

Site office ready for windows on Monday, December 29.

Completing the Temporary Site Office

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Darren made it back to Edmonton last night without incident.  And then he tried to start his vehicle.  He made it to bed at 2:30 am.  Ouch!

I arrived at the job site early in the morning – the site office was looking great!

Site office in the morning sun.

Site office in the morning sun.

The back of the site office is looking exactly as planned.  We wanted to have an overhang and part of the deck exposed so materials could be leaned again the site office yet sheltered from the weather.  Easy access was a key criteria in the design.

Rear of site office showing protected outside storage area.

Rear of site office showing protected outside storage area.

The punch list for completing the site office includes the plywood on both the east and west sides.

Requires plywood and door to complete east side.

Requires plywood and door to complete east side.

After a few hours, the east side is complete, and ready for a door.

Completed east side of temporary site office.

Completed east side of temporary site office.

And here comes the next rain storm.

Rain storm approaching in minutes!

Rain storm approaching in minutes!