Monday, October 18, 2010

Duct. Done. Dude.

Spouse (aka Mr. Super HVAC guy) and I spent the weekend completing the installation of the duct work in the new place. When we bought the place, it had radiators. Yes, I know, radiator heat is awesome and super efficient, and doesn't cause bloody noses and headaches the way forced hot air can. Radiators, however, take up a ton of space in a tiny little house (one radiator beneath every stinking window), so they were demoed early on. We had intended to install radiant floor heat throughout the place. Then, the reality of the budget set in. We value engineered (go, me, with the construction terms) the radiant floor, and will instead have forced hot air. Mr. Spouse will install a humidifier so that I don't get dry air bloody noses and headaches. (They work fabulously, we have one in our current house heater, and I haven't had a problem since Mr. Spouse installed it.)

The plumbing is in progress. I forgot to take a picture of the big ass trench in the basement floor where the drain line was installed. If I disappear before that trench is filled in, you know where to look for the body now. If all goes well, the plumbing should be done this week. I still won't have a real toilet in the place though. Me and Mr. Porta Potty are getting used to one another. The key is to keep the number of people using the thing to a minimum. Unfortunately, this contradicts our need to have actual people doing work at the house. Maybe I should force all of our helpers to maintain a liquid only diet....hmmmmm.

For some reason, we've delayed starting the electrical work. Fingers crossed we get to that this weekend.

Once all of the mechanicals are completed, we will move to what is proving to be perhaps the most expensive part of the project: the spray foam insulation. We have decided to go with closed cell spray foam insulation in all of the exterior walls and in the ceiling. Because we vaulted the ceiling, and the joist bays are so shallow, we actually do not have the space to use traditional fiberglass insulation. Which is good, since fiberglass insulation is actually crap. So, what have I learned about spray foam insulation? One: it is not cheap. You can save some money by using open cell foam, but you need more of it, and it is not as good as closed cell foam. Two: It outperforms traditional fiberglass insulation so well that traditional R value ratings are irrelevant, and theoretically, you should only need a minimal layer. However, your local inspector will probably force you to install the code required R value anyway. Hence, you will be getting prices for 5.5 inches of closed cell foam in the ceiling, and you will drop dead from shock at the cost. Then you will start cutting the budget in other places to make up the money. C'est la vie.

This week will be a bit chaotic, since Mr. Spouse will be playing Mr. Rock and Roll Guy. Having house guests means I have to clean the bathroom instead of just wiping it down with a Clorox wipe and calling it a day. It also means we will get nothing done at the new place. Sigh. At this rate, I only hope we get to live there for the winter holidays.

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