Sunday, December 26, 2010

Roofing started! Stopped! and started again!

Our roofers from Schreiber & Associates made a start last week on our 2 ply modified bitumous membrane roof! Then stopped 'cause the temperature was -20.  Then started again at some point!  We have about 1/4 of the roof done.  I won't start insulating until it is totally done. We have a few layers of rigid insulation on top of the roof sheathing- there will be more insulation stuffed inbetween the i-joists as well!  The roof will be approximately R80.  The roof deck will be a little less, as there will not be enough space to put down as much rigid insulation as I would have liked, due to the need for a roof deck door.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Framing Passed! Yay! But windows have issues! Doh!

Sunrise at 8:50am.

Sun at noon- right over the refinery.

90 bags of insulation. Anyone wanna' help install?
Green stickers make me happy. Mostly. 
We scheduled the framing inspection today, hoping to get a passing grade so we can start insulating the house.  Rant: Why, in this day & age, can't the city give a person a call when the inspector will be on route to the site? I needed to be there first thing in the morning - and had planned to stay until they came, as they would not even tell me if it would be the morning or afternoon.  I had Matt on standby to cover for me, just in case it may have happened in the afternoon, as I had a meeting at 1:30pm.

It was a cold morning at a -20C. When I got there, I decided to keep warm by shovelling all the snow off the loft level. My toes almost fell off from the cold. Thank goodness Dan, the framing inspector showed up around 10am.  We received a lovely "acceptable" sticker with a few issues.  One might be a problem.  Apparently our bedroom windows on the main floor don't open to provide a 15" wide clearance because the pivot for the casement is a couple inches offset into the frame. Doh! So, hopefully, we'll find a solution with Duxton. The other issues were known and the framer will be fixing them after the holiday break.

After just as the inspector was wrapping up, our big shipment of roxul mineral wool insulation arrived! Yay! All 90 bags of them! This will only be the first layer of the outer walls of all the floors above ground. After trying to "hand-bomb" a three-bag bundle into the house, I was afraid I would be too exhausted to move after doing it 29 more times. But I was much warmer due to all the exertion. Thank goodness Matt arrived just as I struggled with a couple more bundles! So, now to get the rest of the snow out of the house and out of all the stud spaces and start insulating! Any volunteers?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Our main panel. Wanting to be powered up.

Our electrical service was installed. But now, due to some misunderstandings and permit issues, we can't get hooked up. I was hoping it was straightforward, when I picked up the permit last week from the Inspections Group.  I even had it all scheduled today for the inspector to come by.  But he calls to say why is the permit for an underground service?  And then why was it issued to someone who isn't a master electrician? I didn't realize you needed a master electrician to "pull the permit" for any service over 100 amps.  All I wanted was a simple electrical service at 150 amps so I can have some power for continuing work! Nope.  Not only do I need a master electrician to pull the permit, I also need Epcor Power to provide a letter to the permit people stating that 150 amps is available to me! So, I call Epcor.  And then I get transfered to "Metering" then transfered again to customer engineering. Only then to get the guy who is away until Jan. 14. I phone and listen more closely, to get the number of his covering person.  I call them- and it's 12:15pm- and go directly to "I'm away from my desk..." Lunch time.  Sheesh.  So, I call the "Inspections Group"  to see what they know. So they tell me they made a mistake issuing the permit. And I need a master electrician. And even if I want a 100 amp temporary service, I have to pay a termporary service fee of $177 and change, not to mention pay Epcor to connect the "temporary" service. And that could be hundreds more. Wow. So, I'll stop ranting now.

I was thinking 150 amps would be reasonable, as we are using electric baseboard heating. We are also going to have an induction range/oven. And an HRV. And a PV system. And a basement suite. And power to a future bike garage/workshop. So, better be safe than sorry with 150 amps, right? Sigh.

So, hopefully in 2 weeks, Epcor will send out a crew to check if a 150 amps will be do-able with the existing pole-mounted transformer and capacity for our neighbourhood.

I only wished they would have told me to get this sorted a few weeks ago- or at my building permit stage.

This is where the service comes into the house.

I need a power meter!
The panel is connected to the grounding plate.

Service reaching up to the overhead power line.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More windows in! Roof framing complete!

Roof Deck
Bridge to roof deck!
Kitchen window!
Loft windows for view to the west.

More progress today!  The roof framing is complete!  Well, except for the supports for the Photovoltaic system.  And they installed a few more windows on the upper floor and most on the loft!  I forgot to update the drawings to account for a smaller window on the east and west elevations, so they were not able to put in a few of them. Darn it, 'cause it's suppose to snow tonight another 10 cm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stair stringers in fabrication

Lots of dimensions on the drawings!
Large stringer taking shape.

Steel waiting to be transformed!
Today was exciting!  I was able to see the steel channels that are going to be fabricated into our stair stringers by Dan at River City Metalworks.  I am hoping to convince Serena to leave the steel natural- no primer, no paint- just steel.  I like the raw-ness of it.

And Serena was able to get up to the loft floor today- her first time up there. Now, if we can get those stingers installed, she might have more opportunity in the future [provided we get a door knob on the back door!]

Wrap around roof deck.
West side of roof deck.
Loft level~ lots of windows!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We have a roof! [almost]

Looks like its the right shape!
Who's that on the roof?
What's different in the rendering?
View of the loft space- looking west.
The framers made good progress on the roof today- almost having it all sheathed. That was good, as there was a heavy snowfall warning issued today and it started to snow just as I arrived on site. The interior double stud walls were also put in place on the loft [3rd] floor. It was nice to see the overhang take shape too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bald Eagles?!

Loft, Open To Below. Dressed For the Weather. Brrr.
I find it amazing that construction continues during winter. As long as the temperature doesn't dip too low, the framers are out there working! Dressed for the weather, they get their jobs done. Unfortunately for me, our framers are working on other homes too. Today, they are at some other site even though they seem sooooo close to giving me a roof!

Much of the work this week has been on the third floor loft, but basement windows are now in place as are most of the stairwell windows.

Third Floor Balcony, South Exposure
With the advantage of height, the framers confided that they've spotted a bald eagle flying in the river valley a couple of times! How cool is that?!
I'm very excited ;-)

So far, Adar and I have seen the usual suspects: jack rabbits, Canada geese, mallard ducks, beaver, and muskrats. It will be so awesome living this close to the river valley and getting to know it even better!

Top of Stairwell Windows

Loft, aka Homeschooling Space. Already Messy!

From the Back Alley

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Anyone up for an insulating party?

This is what you will look like! Except cooler.
It feels like it's been cold for so long!  I think I'm getting use to it.  It's almost time to start stuffin' the 15" wide stud walls with lots of insulation. I would like to start on the outer insulation layer, so the plumber & electrician can do rough ins on the inner wall.  Anyone up for hanging out, music cranked [provided we have power] and putting in batts of roxul mineral wool insulation between studs?  I chose to use roxul as it is something I can do myself without the messy-ness of blow-in cellulose. And I can seal all the hard to get pieces with spray foam as we go. I will provide gloves, eye protection, dust masks and food & drink! And of course, eternal gratitude and good karma.  I'm hoping we might start December 11th, thinking the framing will be complete and the house more or less closed in.

We have a front & back door! {but no door knobs]

Our front door!
Putting in the back door!
We have a front and back door now, thanks to my friends Mike Gismondi and Lori-Ann Claerhout, who are almost complete building their super-efficient home in Athabasca. I learned a great deal by watching their house go up. And they recently passed the blower door test with a result of 0.63 Air Change per hour! I bought the two surplus, slate grey, triple paned, fibreglass doors from them!  I'm glad there is an element of their house that will show the continuity of the design process. Check out their blog- and their house has turned out beautifully, thanks to their very diligent contractor, Doug Hyde.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Window Specs

Peaking Into My Own Home

Sorry for not putting in such details as window specs, I usually defer that to Shafraaz; my posts are usually more general updates or reflections.

But I figured other people may wish to know as well, so I'm copying Shafraaz's response to the last comment as a proper post. This also makes it easier to search for later.

"We have triple paned, argon filled, fibreglass framed windows from Duxton. All of the south side have high solar heat gain coatings and the east, west and north have TiAC40 coatings for better insulating value. We also put in operable lites to encourage cross ventilation through the rooms."

Hope that helps.
Keep the questions coming!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Main Floor Windows Installed

Just a few photos to share.

No work was done today, but the main floor windows were installed after I left yesterday. Oh, that and they boarded up the house... I'm locked out

At least our windows are safe, lol!

Let Me In!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Nicer View!

Taken Yesterday by Shafraaz, 2nd Floor
We arrived to the framers hard at work and I was grateful ;-)

The third floor was being laid and I noticed the windows had arrived! Yay! I believe they're all intact but I'll inspect them tomorrow when the framers aren't all busy nailing and throwing wood around.

Taken Yesterday by Shafraaz, 3rd Floor

Windows Arrived Today!!!!

Framers Hard At Work!!!!

Missing Patio Floor

From The Back Alley

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nice view.

Looking east at the dining room/kitchen. Stairs on the left.

Bathroom window.

Looking west at the dining/living room.

Big 5 ply wood beam over the bathroom!

Pretending to be on the roof deck.

This would be looking down at the kitchen.

This 16" wall cavity will be filled with insulation!

I dropped by the house today to see what progress was made yesterday.  Finally, some framing moving forward. I did some small acrobatics to get some of these pictures! Couldn't resist!