Sunday, January 9, 2011

Battling cobra conductors, and wrong way doors

Well, I better post before certain people start to complain :-)

December, I did planning, and made some purchases. But between a big project at work, the holidays, and weather that was not in a cooperative mood, the house did not progress much. It also didn't help that the daylight hours just kept getting shorter. I actually took some vacation time, and did some planning and bought materials for working on some of the duct work. I ordered my generator, which was available in about a week. Just in time for us to get hit with a good snowfall. The house looked pretty.

Buried in a winter coat

However, I was not going to ask them to even attempt a delivery with that much snow. I was using four wheel drive to get to my driveway. They were not going to be able to make a delivery. So we postponed it.

I ran the little propane heater, and it certainly warmed things up in the house, but not warm enough for me to put the primer on the edges of the Hardie panel. This weekend, mom and dad went out there with me on Saturday, and we tried to warm things up better. We weren't going to be able to get the whole house warmed up enough, but dad thought we could wall off one room, and get that warmer. We hung plastic on the family room walls, and ran the heater and some lights in there.

The heater unfortunately was not cooperating and kept going out. So while we were able to raise the temperature a few degrees while we were out there, it wasn't able to get it up to a temperature where I could put on the primer.

While we were out there, we did inside things, because it was pretty cold outside, and the wind chill was nasty. We had plenty of things to work on. We unpacked one of the doors that will lead from the house into the garage. We wanted to see what we would need to get to install it, and just to double check that it would fit in the framed opening. We opened it up, and moved it over to the opening. It would fit, but the door was going to swing the wrong way! It was either going to swing into the hallway, and would run into things I planned to have in the hall, or it would swing into the garage, and swing away from the adjacent wall. We looked at it, and decided that we would simply have to have it swing out into the garage the opposite way from what I had intended. With the built in threshold, it will work better that way. With the insulation on the wall, we needed to add some furring to the studs by the door, so that the finish trim work could be done properly down the road. We found some pieces that were already about right. Then we needed to add a piece of material under the garage side of the door frame, so it would sit in the opening properly. We found a scrap of Trex that was very close to being just right, and trimmed it so it would fit the slope of the floor, and come right up under the threshold. With that, all the pieces are ready for the install. We just needed shims, and some adhesive. We may get to install the door next weekend.

I had pieces sitting around for parts of the duct work for exhausting air from the bathrooms, and for the house ventilation. So we worked on some of that stuff. Some of this stuff is rather bulky, and while it can be installed by one person, it works better to have at least two to wrangle it. As we were working on installing the big insulated ducts for the house exhaust, my dad thought of snakes, and was reminded of a term that someone we know used to use. Dad called the ducts cobra conductors. I remembered immediately some long ago dinner time discussions. We both got a chuckle from the memory, then went back to subduing the ducts.

Fishing the flexible duct up between the joists.

These will take stale air from in the house, and vent it outside.

We were going to use pieces of strapping material that I had bought, to support these ducts, but we found that using scraps of wood that we had laying around, worked very conveniently. So I will keep the strap material for other duct work. A number of the pieces of wood had been used to hold the tarps on the roof last year, and now have been moved inside, to hold the ducts up in place.

Today, we worked on cutting pieces of lumber for the supports that will go in the joists to support the electrical wiring, and plumbing lines.