Mopar Trucks and Stuff

The Garage => Other Stuff => Topic started by: Griff in Fairbanks on September 25, 2010, 12:07:40 PM



Title: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on September 25, 2010, 12:07:40 PM
About ten years ago, we dug a pit and laid the footings for a house.  Things happened and we got diverted to other issues, priorities, and projects.  Late last winter, I polled my wife, daughter, and son-in-law regarding what they thought I should work on this summer, from a list of possibilities.  Number one choice for my wife and daughter was the basement for the house.  (Even though I was only asking his opinion, I don't think my son-in-law was comfortable with the idea of 'telling me what I should do.')

This is how things were at the beginning of the summer ...


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on September 25, 2010, 12:16:52 PM
... and at the end of the summer, when we quit because of the risk of mortar freezing before it cured ...


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on September 25, 2010, 01:27:25 PM
This is a 3D concept for the basement ... main floor above and gambrel (barn) roof housing second floor.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Leeann on October 12, 2010, 08:27:05 PM
Looks pretty good to me - can't wait for summer to hit again to see further progress  ;)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on December 28, 2010, 04:39:34 PM
Looks pretty good to me - can't wait for summer to hit again to see further progress  ;)
Progress continues ... work on plans, organization, hunting good deals, etc.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on December 28, 2010, 06:19:57 PM
If I get the plans firmed up and have enough money saved up for preceding parts, I will begin assembling and storing parts of the exterior walls. (Semi-modular construction.)

The truck farmers here in interior Alaska consider May 15th to be the date after which a hard frost is unlikely.  I hold off until then so I don't risk freezing green mortar and grout.  Otherwise, I'd start sometime in March.  (I swept snow out of the cabin three times before I got the roof on when I built it.)

Some background on the design:  Basically, the house is a cube ... 24 feet by 24 feet, with three 8 foot high stories.  (Each floor is really a little over 9 feet high when you add in the floor framing, etc.)  A cube maximizes interior space while limiting exterior exposure, which is a distinct advantage when trying to heat a place at 50 below zero.  I added an 8' x 12' extension on the north for split level entry and to move the stairs outside the main part of the building.  Large windows or patio doors to the south, slightly smaller windows to the east and west, and minimum window/door area to the north.

Original plan called for the basement to be a woodworking shop (I build fine furniture, among other things) with a full bath.  Plan has been altered to incorporate two bedrooms and a kids' common area/family room.  Main floor will be a open great room, with kitchen, living, and dining areas, plus a half bath.  Upstairs will be master suite and library.  (Main floor and upstairs will be expanded by 2 feet on the east and west sides to 28' x 24'.)

I really hate paying any more than I absolutely have to for heat so I'm going for airtight, super-insulated construction.  R30 to R35 on the basement, augmented by earth backfill, R35 to R40 in the upper walls, and something approaching R70 in the attic.

Decor will be a rustic blend of country farmhouse and cabin, with Japanese & Korean influences thrown in.  (Imagine a late-1800's farmhouse converted into a country vacation home/cabin, which was upgraded only as necessary.)  A lot of emphasis on functionality, comfort, and livability.

The live-in basement will be geared towards kids' living ... bedrooms for relative privacy and a common area with couch, TV, DVD player, desk and computer.  (Four code-compliant egress windows for multiple escape avenues in the event of an emergency.)  The bathroom design, in particular, borrows heavily on Japanese and Korean design elements, especially the way entire bathrooms are designed to serve as washing and shower areas.  The entire floor, and at least half way up the walls, will be sealed with shower pan liner, covered with cement board, and tiled, with in-floor radiant heat.  Instead of the central floor drain and low curb across the door threshold typically found in Japanese and Korean bathrooms, I'll be sloping the floor towards the door and putting a trough-type drain across the doorway.  (If necessary, I'll be able drag a pressure-sprayer in there and blast it clean without worrying about anything.)

The main floor, with exposed beam ceiling and two patio doors facing south onto a 16' x 24' raised deck, will have lots of vintage elements, including a potbelly stove, Delft wall-mounted hand-crank coffee grinder, dime store bubble gum machine, and rustic lamps & fixtures.  One of the focal points of the 12' x 16' open kitchen will be a Kohler Gilford K-12700 sink (first picture below), on the east wall surrounded by windows overlooking the driveway.  The north wall will have an Aga Legacy stove and refrigerator, with a prep sink between them that has a faucet reminiscent of the old farmhouse hand pump (second picture below).

The kitchen island will have a Wolf Multifunction Cooktop (third picture below), for use with a wok, shabu-shabu pan, cast iron grill pan, or teppanyaki-style griddle, for Japanese restaurant style dining.  (The southwest corner of the house will have a table and chairs for Western-style dining.)



Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on December 28, 2010, 06:40:27 PM
The main floor half-bath will be all vintage, bordering on Victorian.  The toilet will be a high-tank, pull-chain type and the sink will be modeled on pitcher-and-washbasin stands found in hotels and homes in the late 1800's.

I've managed to track down a $79 (plus shipping) deal on a new vessel sink that normally sells for $200+, if you can find anyone that has them in stock.  (First picture below.)

We also found a rather unique faucet to go with it.  (Second picture below.)

Originally, I had planned to mount these on a dry sink-style vanity cabinet until I ran across the third and fourth pictures below.  Now, I'm planning to blend the wood, finish, and legs in the third picture with the 'furniture' style in the fourth picture.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on January 07, 2011, 01:44:03 PM
Late breaking news:

For years (decades), I've been following a design style, in both the furniture and buildings I build, that I knew at an instinctual level but have never been able describe well.  It turns out to be the Craftsman Style, sometimes called the Arts and Crafts Movement or Greene and Greene style.



Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on January 07, 2011, 01:47:37 PM
Oh, BTW, the gambrel (barn) roof went bye-bye.  Too much time and material to frame it adequately so we're going with a 'simple' gable roof, with a 6 in 12 pitch, which actually fits the Craftsman/Arts and Crafts style better.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Leeann on January 07, 2011, 02:04:30 PM
I am definitely a fan of Arts & Crafts/Craftsman. Good choice ;)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on February 14, 2011, 06:54:04 PM
Been working on plans, materials lists, estimated cost, etc.  Because of the short building season and the need to spread material purchases out to match income, I've broken the project into three phases.  Each phase (and the associated tasks) intended to reach the end of each building season with the structure at a point where nothing will deteriorate while waiting for the next season's start.  (Depending on what I get done during the summer and fall, I may be able to continue some of the work during the winter and early spring.)

The following is the framing elevations for phase one,  (In order, south view, east view, north view, and west view.)

Note:  I'm using a modular braced shear wall construction and what appears to be sheathing is 5/8" OSB bracing.  (The local area is subject to strong seismic activity -- earthquakes -- equal to or greater than southern California.)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on February 14, 2011, 07:06:10 PM
Phase one completes the basement and phase two adds the main floor.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on February 14, 2011, 07:13:20 PM
Phase three adds the upper floor and competes the entryway/staircase section.

Note:  The roof is designed to be taken apart each spring and reassembled in the fall when each phase is complete.

(Only the south view and east view provided -- the north and west view can be inferred from these two views.)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Leeann on February 14, 2011, 08:36:42 PM
I really like it, Griff - especially how you've designed it to cover itself while you have to wait for spring....then uncover until you have to cover it again.

Excellent engineering and architectural work  8)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on March 07, 2011, 11:17:45 AM
Over the past several weeks, I've been working on a dimensionally accurate 3d model of the house to check various assembly and structural details.  The Microspot Interiors Professional software I use allows me to to look at the model from various angles, horizontally and vertically, and to zoom in on details.  (It also allows my wife and grandchildren to see what I have in mind.)

The panels in the picture below are not the outside sheathing ... they are structural shear wall members designed to resist racking forces from earthquakes and wind.  A layer of 7/16" OSB will be glued and screwed or nailed horizontally over the entire outside, with the siding applied over that.  The primary wall studs and plates will be 2x8s, kept to a minimum to reduce thermal bridging.  Between these will be a double layer of 2x4 framing, on 16" centers, with a roughly 1/2" thermal break between the inner and outer framing.  The wall cavities will be densely packed with blown-in cellulose insulation for a nominal R28 rating.  The vapor barrier will be applied inside the 2x8/2x4 framing, with 2x2s applied over that to provide space for electrical and plumbing runs.  (I'm probably going to add 1-1/2" thick XPS foam between the 2x2s to increase the insulation by roughly R7.5.)  This allows for an almost continuous vapor barrier by reducing penetrations to an absolute minimum.


Title: Summer 2011 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on April 14, 2011, 01:37:18 PM
Renaming this to "Summer 2011 work"

Roughly four weeks to go before I can start mixing mortar without worrying about it freezing.  Temperatures have been stubbornly remaining below average, with highs often below freezing, and there's still a lot of snow on the ground.  Any snow that has melted is largely due to direct sunshine rather than ambient temperatures.

Have lined up a tubing bender that I can use to bend rebar when I get to the bond beam courses (11th and 15th courses), which will cut out the cost of having to rent a rebar bender.  Also trying to line up concrete vibrator to borrow so I don't have to manually rod the grout.  Seriously thinking about buying a concrete mixer because I use one enough to justify the buying one.

(The tubing bender, which is being given to me, can be used eventually for the frame for the chopper I planning to build someday.)

Haven't bought any more building materials because I don't know when Congress will stop paying my military retirement and disability compensation.  I have money saved up for buying building materials but won't release it in case I need to buy food when Congress stops paying my income.  (Note:  I said "when" not "if".  Congress got too close for my comfort on April 8th so I've gone into a "bunker" mode when it comes to finances.)

I do have some building materials on hand and there are some building tasks that don't require money that I can do so the house project doesn't need to stop completely ... just slow down considerably while Congress fiddles around and pisses at each other.

Also, have received a serious job offer.  (Actually, they're actively trying to talk me into taking the job.)  If I take it, it would mean 50 hours per week that I couldn't spend on building or other projects.  (Yes, I'm itching to get back to my motorhome project.)  On the other hand, it would mean surplus money that I could spend on things like having the rest of the engine rebuild done.

To summarize, I'm bored silly and just waiting for the &*%#@ snow to go away so I can get out and start doing things!!


Title: Re: Summer 2011 work
Post by: Leeann on April 14, 2011, 06:13:54 PM
To summarize, I'm bored silly and just waiting for the &*%#@ snow to go away so I can get out and start doing things!!

I can't blame you one bit ;)


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on April 22, 2011, 09:14:50 PM
Still lots of snow on the ground and temperatures have been remaining stubbornly below average, with forecasts indicating breakup will be roughly a week behind normal.  Fortunately, it looks like it's finally warming up, with forecasted highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s and nighttime lows in somewhere between 25 and 30 degrees F.

Congress finally got off their asses and passed the FY2011 budget ... six months into the year ... so I know I'll be getting paychecks through September 30th.  Things got way to close for comfort and it's kinda hard to come out of "bunker mode" so the only thing I've spent money on is a cement mixer.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on June 12, 2011, 07:07:08 PM
Well, I guess it's (way, way) past time for an update ...

Finally warmed up enough to start mixing mortar ... about a week after our projected start date of May 15th.  (Used the time between May 15th and our actual start date to find tools and get things ready to go.

All the block for the entryway is finished and the top bond beam is poured with the anchor bolts set.  A little bit of clean-up and we'll be ready to put the entry sill plates, floor joists, and subfloor on.

Had some trouble adjusting to the fact the entry way masonry work is complete.  (Wow, that part's done ... don't need to do anymore of that there ... we're ready to put in the that part of the basement floor and the entryway floor in ... wait, I've been putting off finalizing details for that part ... ooops!)

Yup, the project flat ran over my ass so I've been scrambling to catch up.  Biggest part is the radon mitigation system, which needs to go in before the basement floor.  (It'd cost several thousand more -- and a helluva lot of work -- to do it later rather than now.)  So, I've been pounding the 'net and running all over town talking with experts to work out the details of the system.  (For one thing, the Alaska expert on radon, Richard Seifert, says some of the EPA's recommendations don't work in interior Alaska ... apparently the EPA failed to take into account 50 below zero temperatures ... or just chose to ignore one of the fifty states.)

Other work has been proceeding but slowly because we want to move the construction ramp and stairs into the basement from the current location (though one of the windows in the east wall) to the entryway.  It's already been -- and will continue to be -- a hassle keeping the block clean and keeping people (especially grandchildren) from bumping into freshly set block where the ramp and stairs are currently.

In other news -- brace yourself -- I got my hair cut.  Now it conforms to the old AFR 35-10 military standards.  I did it for safety reasons ... I'm hoping to do some work on the wood lathe later this summer or next fall and the danger of long hair around a lathe was more risk (and hassle) that I was willing to accept.  (Hints as to what I'll be doing on the lathe are located above and Leean -- along with a very few other people -- have seen the actual plans.)

Also, I got a job ... delivery driver for the local CarQuest.  (The other -- by a distant second -- reason to cut my hair.)  The job is a good fit for my disabilities, gets me away from my five-year-old PITA granddaughter, and gives me a chance to meet and help people.  Also, the extra money will allow me to move up the schedule on some projects, especially MLP.  (Plus, the store supports quite a few medium and heavy duty truck shops in town so it's a good place to look for parts ... at an employee's discount.)

Yup, I've also started working on my motorhome project again.  One of the possibilities for the extra money is getting the rest of the engine work done.

BTW - the new brake calipers for the chassis that I had located in town were still on the shelf in the NAPA store when it caught fire and burned down a couple of weeks ago ... %^&**^%!!!

Finally, I bought another pickup ... a I-don't-know-what-year Dodge Dakota with a V6 and five speed.  May put the drivetrain from it in the late-60s Sweptline body I've got sitting in the yard.  (The Dakota's PO is an idiot so it may not have anything significantly wrong with it but the Sweptline's body is in better condition.)

Another possibility for the extra money is a 35th anniversary vacation for Grandma Griff and I.  One possibility is a week or two in Korea or Japan.  Another possibility is going to the Daytona Speed Week next year, especially considering the 2012 Daytona 500 falls right on our anniversary.

Gotta run ... need to email a pick-list to my favorite lumberyard so I can pick up more materials tomorrow or Tuesday.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Leeann on June 12, 2011, 07:27:45 PM
I was starting to wonder ;)

That's great about the entryway masonry work. That's a big step.

No, you have to put in the radon system now. You really have no choice. We had to add some things to my parents' house in CT when they first started worrying about radon - the effects were discovered in the volunteers at Old Newgate Prison in East Granby (next town up from my parents). It was a real PITA.

Your hair cut  :o really  ???  Okay, okay....working around a lathe is a really good reason to keep your hair trimmed.

A job? Wow....oh, I get it - extra money and employee discount for parts....got it  :P

Nooooooooooo - oh, man, that really sucks :(

Oh, a 3.9/5 spd in the Sweptline would be pretty dang cool.


Title: Re: Summer 2011 work
Post by: Griff in Fairbanks on September 11, 2011, 11:03:23 PM
Between work and the weather, we didn't get as much done as we hoped.  (When I was working, it was nice outside and when I was off, it was raining.)

Got through the 11th course of block, which is the third bond beam and, like last summer, a good place to stop for the winter.  Four more courses to do early next summer and we start the framing.

Did get the entryway part of the basement floor done.

Will try to get some pictures before the snow flies ...

Oh, yeah ... wound up using the drawbar and ball on the trailer hitch to bend the rebar ... worked just about as well and as accurately as anything else we tried.


Title: Re: Summer 2010 work
Post by: Leeann on April 14, 2013, 07:59:52 PM
Any new developments?