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Archive for January, 2009

The Rain of Error

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Really I can’t complain. We had an entire January without rain. And… I know, we need rain in this drought afflicted winter in California. But man! we were SO close to getting our walls up before this rainstorm came along. So I’m a little sad. But overall I’m happy that we got as far as we did. The WarmBoard is in place and all the tubing has been stuck in the little channels and routed under the house to the main manifold. We measured out all of the walls and they are ready to be nailed together. All we need now is a couple days of dryness to build them and tilt them up. Anyhow folks, here are some photos of the first walls going up along with some other shots of our WarmBoard progress. Now that it’s raining I’ll work on all those websites I promised y’all.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We finally began installing the WarmBoard today. It was a bit more complicated than I anticipated because we had to make a lot of cuts to get all the grooves to line up for the different loops. I think the plan that WarmBoard provided me was probably the most efficient use of material, but not the quickest to install. Another great thing that happened completely by accident is that all the plumbing in the wet wall managed to avoid the tubing runs in the WarmBoard. I think the mathematical odds of this happening with or without trying to plan for it are just about nil. You can see in the photos where the pipes and the tubing runs manage to miraculously avoid each other. Had they intersected I would have had to get a router and cut special grooves around the offending pipes. 

Oh, I should explain what WarmBoard is and why I’m capitalizing it weirdly. WarmBoard is basically a thick piece of plywood that has grooves cut into it in a squiggly pattern. A sheet of aluminum is then pressed on top of the plywood and into the grooves. One then lays out these boards in a specially designed pattern and runs PEX tubing through it and voila – one has radiant heat! The aluminum is supposed to radiate the heat upwards as well as securely holding the tubing in place. Basically, it’s fancy. 

Paxton came over to help today and I’m sure that his hands are covered in construction adhesive. Both of us were falling through the joists today, accidentally stepping on insulation while trying to carry the heavy-ass WarmBoard panels and not step on tools and make jokes at the same time. And everything is covered in the heavy duty glue that is used to attach the WarmBoard to the joists. The tools, our hands, parts of my face and hair, etc.

Also of note, I think Reggie is beginning to succumb to Ed time. It takes me ten minutes to think about just about every single thing – from where I left my coffee cup to figuring out which end of the board to cut to determining whether I should drive to Ferguson or Orchard for copper ells. That’s thirty minutes to do basically nothing. In that time Reggie can frame a wall or rip 20 pieces of plywood. It must be maddening for him to work with the likes of me. Tranquilo man, tranquilo. That’s his new mantra.

Construction Adhesive is Nuclear Glue

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here’s a photo of my hands after using construction adhesive all day. This photo was taken after washing my hands vigorously for many minutes and then taking a shower and then rubbing parts of my hand strongly until I felt a burning sensation. So, in effect, these hands are as clean as I can get them.


Construction adhesive never comes off.

Construction adhesive never comes off.



Sexy Plumbing Photos

Monday, January 12, 2009

We passed our rough plumbing inspection this morning. To commemorate I’ve decided to post some hot details of the copper water pipes, ABS waste pipes and even some shots of galvanized gas piping. This is actually a pretty big moment because it means that now we can insulate and cover the crawl space with our fancy radiant subfloor. It also means that the real building begins. We’re out of the mud! 

After the inspection I was drilling some holes in the blocking to allow for the PEX radiant tubing to be routed under the floor to the boiler area, when I accidentally drilled through my leg. Whoops! The drill bit caught my jeans, tore right through them and dug a nice little slice just under my knee. I yelped, dropped the drill, cursed under my breath and immediately saw my near future flash before my eyes. Not being able to work at this moment would be a very sad thing. Luckily I didn’t tear my kneecap out or cut any major arteries. In fact I hardly bled at all. I ran to the shed and pulled out the first aid kit that Rudi and Steph bought for us last year and started rifling for x-large bandaids. I rubbed some alcohol on the wound and managed to secure a big bandage to my leg hair. Then I drove to the hospital and got stitches. If you ever are feeling sorry for yourself I suggest hanging out in the emergency room waiting area for a while. A steady stream of sorry sorts paraded in front of me while I read year-old Newsweeks (looks like Hillary is gonna win it!). One old man had lost a finger on a table saw. Another guy nearly impaled himself while fixing his deck. A college age girl came in with a harrowing panic attack and scores of other people were just slumped in their chairs, clutching their stomachs or staring into deep space with cold sweats. Well, after nearly five idle hours of last years news I got 14 stitches and a prescription for percoset. 

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll start putting on the subfloor. I’m especially excited for you blog readers because finally I’ll start having some pictures worth looking at.