Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Giant PEX Puzzle Maze

On Tuesday and Wednesday April 22nd and 23rd, we worked on creating the giant barrier PEX maze that will allow hot water to flow through it and help insulate/heat the basement ("Hydronic Heat"). We screwed more than 500 pex clips into the rigid foam board to secure the 1000 feet of 1/2" oxygen barrier PEX tubing in place. In most places, the tubing is 12" on center, except for where it is closer to the outside window and door walls, where we tried to loop it 9" or less on center due to higher heat loss potential. The basement is divided into 4 different "runs", but it is considered all one "zone". There are 2 copper manifolds, each with 4 ports which allow for output of the hot water and return of the water post heating of the slab. We needed to pressurize the system to check for leaks before the inspection (and during the concrete pour). No Leaks! The system stayed pressurized at 50 psi (which was the inspection requirement) and we successfully passed our 2nd plumbing inspection on Thursday April 24th. The 4" thick poured basement will encapsulate all of this tubing, so everything needed to be perfect before pouring. Once the basement is poured, it is difficult to change or fix anything. After we are in the house, we plan to hook the system up to its own heat source, most likely a tankless hot water heater.

Foam Board Installation

On Monday and Tuesday, April 21st and 22nd, we began the task (under the assumption that our basement was being poured on Friday April 25th . . . this had since been moved to Tuesday, April 29th due to potential rain) of leveling the earth floor in the basement to prepare for the radiant floor underlayment. Ade went through a process of using a large landscape rake, 2X4 and a level to even out all areas of the basement based on the level of the house and jackpost footings. After the leveling was complete, we covered the floor with a 6 mil visqueen vapor barrier, and started piecing together (like a giant 1300 square foot puzzle) the 2" thick "Foamular" foam board to cover the entire area (except over the top of the 6 jackpost footings). The so called "extruded polystyrene" foam boards themselves will lend an R-10 value to the floor.

Sub Slab Plumbing

Ade and His Dad were able to complete the "sub slab" (translated into "below the basement floor") plumbing on Saturday and Sunday April 19th and 20th. Our Plumbing (and Mechanical) inspector for Grass Lake popped out Monday evening to inspect and we successfully passed our first plumbing inspection. Mom and Dad Chauvin and I were busy bees during this process, cleaning up all of the building junk that has been scattered around the house and on the property since December (not to mention all of the scap and other crap collecting inside of the house shell).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pre-Sierra Leone Updates

We took some pictures the day before we left on our mission trip to Sierra Leone, but ran out of time to upload them to the blog. All of these shots are from Friday, March 28th. More to come now that we are back . . .