Monday, July 12, 2010

Solar equipment, and buffer boards

Well, I guess it is about time I fill everyone in on the goings on at the Hobbit Hole. We have been having some very good weather for doing outside work. I have been taking advantage of that, and have been getting a lot done, using all the hours of daylight I can get.

I got a number of things delivered, the front door, Hardie panel, Trex, and pipes for the fresh air intakes. My garage got quite a bit put in it, and the rest was out on the driveway. I worked through the week to drill more holes in the roof, and I trimmed down a path around the house, through the plants that have been growing like weeds ;-)

Some places had quite a bit of water!

I needed to get the gravel dug out from beside the footers, around where the retaining walls would meet the house. I needed to do this so that we could set the Trex boards all the way down to the footer and protect the foam for the whole wall height. I started on the north west corner, where mud has filled in over the drainage. The mud that has washed over from the excavation, made it quite challenge. I also decided it was time for the concrete in front of the garage to be "cleaned up". This made for a good work out.

Dig out gravel under the waste concrete, then hit the concrete with a hammer to break it up. Rinse and repeat.

Concrete chunks will probably just end up in the backfill.

Front of the garage is cleared.

July 4th weekend was very productive. First we worked on the parts of my battery box. We are constructing it out of wood which will get painted to protect it from any battery acid that gets on it. This will enclose my batteries and protect them and protect people from them.

One of the ends of the battery box.

July 4th, we installed the first solar equipment...

We needed to dry some clothes, well may as well use the sun and wind.

Although it is a convenient location, I am not sure that the clothes line will stay in my front yard.

My dad helped me, and we got some of the Hardie panel (that stuff is heavy) and Trex boards moved over into the kitchen area, out of the weather for now, and closer to where they will be installed.

Dad noticed that my green roof was already starting to sprout.

A rooftop volunteer. Although the roof isn't quite ready for residents.

We spent the afternoon getting foam boards cut and attached on top of the front wall. The area above the concrete walls, and between the joists had been open up to this point. We had the blue tarp covering it, and keeping the weather out, but we needed something more solid to put the waterproofing and drainage material over. This will eventually be buried, so it needed some good support. We attached pieces of the Nudura ICF that was left over from building the forms for the walls. Then we added another sheet of foam board that was left from other insulation that had been ordered for insulating under the floor.

Adding Nudura blocks to the top of the wall.

On the way back to mom and dad's home, we saw fireworks light up the sky all around as we drove.

July 5th, we got a whole day to work. We were working on the west side of the south west corner. We needed to cut Trex boards to fit in next to the window, then install the Trex boards that would protect the foam where the retaining wall would sit, and finally we needed to attach the drainage layer material over the waterproofing.

Dad trimming the Trex to fit.

First buffer board (as we decided to call them) being installed.
The two buffer boards were installed, now we were working on securing the top drainage layer.

Dad and I didn't have as many hands as we needed. The drainage material was stiff, and trying to secure the pieces of Trex to hold it in place, required more than two hands. I pushed against the Trex with a board, while dad put a screw into the wall to hold it in place.

We got the top layer secured.

We needed to attach a second piece under that one so we would have a drainage layer all the way down to the gravel around the footer. We worked until it was quite late. As I drove home, I got to see quite a fireworks display, put on by one of the local cities. I was driving through just as people were leaving to head home. It was like rush hour. The next evening I got this photo showing what we had done.

Its pretty well secured to the wall, and then we put some boards up agains it just to add some insurance.

Through the week, I got more gravel dug away from the foundation. I moved a number of the Trex boards on my own. Then the next day, I asked Marcus for some help moving them. Marcus came over and helped me move a bunch of the Trex. Adam started working on getting the driveway by the garage graded down to the proper level, helped me move some more Trex, and bush hogged the field.

Last weekend my dad and I continued to work on the waterproofing and drainage for the south west corner. This time on the south side.

Additional layers of plastic were put in place and attached.
A second piece of drainage material was attached under the top one coming down from the roof.

Last Saturday it was very late when we left. We set up work lights so we could work until well after dark.

We got the buffer boards up, and put a piece of Trex in next to the window.

We secured a bottom piece of drainage material. On the top edge and on the vertical corner, we also put some heavy waterproofing tape that is normally used around windows. It is fairly thick and I wanted some extra protection for those corners as they get buried. The south west corner is now ready for the retaining walls to start being constructed. We still have the other two locations where the retaining walls will be installed that we have to do before Scott can start building them. I am hoping that by the end of this next weekend, we will be ready for the retaining walls to be built.

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