Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Soffit/Facia, drilling though the wall for ERV duct, windows/doors adjusted, ...

Armin visited today and adjusted all the doors/windows that were binding - there are a couple that remain to be installed and we don't have the proper tool for the front door (it's a heavy duty hinge to say the least!).  The installation tools work for all the other windows and you can adjust not only the vertical height but the sealing pressure (with cam-shaped adjustment screws) and the alignment of the windows to be parallel to the frame (top and bottom can be moved left/right).  I believe each hinge set has about 6 different adjustments so that if things settle over time, you can realign the windows and keep them functioning properly for years.

Armin also inspected my taping and gluing of the outside and advised me on how best to seal the tougher gaps (some caused by the tape being cut slightly short or not being able to use the expanding foam tape).  Armin told me I could be employed as a window-installer in Germany but I think that was more of a joke than a reality - and the commute would be very painful (though a nice Dunkel would help ease that pain significantly!).  Armin also made it clear he's paying for the time and materials for the concrete grinding as well as ensuring we were happy with the final results; we really do like these windows and it's very noticeable how much they insulate on these cold mornings (yesterday was 38 degrees and today was about 43).  We'll be getting the written 5 year guarantee by mail in the near future and none of the installation techniques we've used (grinding the concrete or adjusting the sill spacers) will impact that warranty. We've made sure to install the spacers at the bottom of the glazing which is crucial for the drainage system and associated warranty.  It is very useful to get the tutorial on all the hinge adjustments and the location of all the screws - I'll be taking pictures and documenting the location of the adjusting screws and their impact for future reference.  Armin also made sure we knew how the screens installed on the windows - which is through an ingenious clip system unlike anything we've seen in the US.

  We had a professional come today to drill the two remaining 6" holes in the concrete for the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).  One will be the fresh air intake and the other the exhaust.  We were able to get engineering approval to drill through the LVLs so that we did not have to install a couple 90 degree elbows to get below that LVL (which would have required an added soffit for each in the office).  We have placed the ducting holes within inches of a ICFVL hanger on each side to ensure there's no sagging due to the holes (as required by the engineering solution).   Marv is an employee of Ideal PreCast (they agreed to do the drilling at their expense - many thanks Justin and JoeDon!) was invaluable in getting these holes drilled - the first hole was difficult but the second was "the hardest I've done in 25 years" in Marv's words.  We managed to find rebar in both holes - a single #3 stick in the first hole but two #3 and one #5 sticks in the second hole.  The concrete itself was over 7" thick at this point because it carries the floor load.  Kevin and I were very happy to have someone else doing the hard part of this work!  We've saved the piece of concrete for show-and-tell when future folks ask about the wall construction.

The framers finished more of the soffit and facia yesterday and today as well as installing the metal tensioning structure that eliminates the middle column on the deck.  It's a very neat looking addition to the structure - and having a clear view of the forest to the West is AWESOME.

We have the bathtub in the master bathroom installed and the plumbers connected the fixtures as well as placing the shower pan liners in the 3 bathrooms.  We did have to put some leveling concrete under the tub to make sure the sill was level with the decking.  Even though we're not frequent soaking-bath aficionados, we may become that with this bathroom.  Again an awesome view of the forest out the windows on both the South and East and the tub we chose (Jason soaking tub) is deep enough that you can actually get the majority of your body covered with water.  .

Marv at work on the first core-drilled hole in the wall.  While it may look a bit sketchy, the core-drill is actually bolted to the wall with a concrete lag and the ladders are our belt and suspenders support. This first hole took about 45 minutes of drilling while #2 took significantly longer. 

Here's the core removed from the first hole - it's a 6" core (top to bottom) that's over 7" thick (left to right in the picture).  The second core had to be broken up so Marv could cut through the rebar - and we used all the water we had to flush the concrete dust from the drill and prevent it binding in the hole which it still did several times.  Thanks again Marv!

Here's the deck roof and the tensioning assembly (which is the red primer colored steel plate and 3 rods).  That middle column can now be removed and the framing crew was finishing up covering the ceiling with Hardi panel.  

A view from West to East along the back of the house - that wood post isn't really holding anything up but was being used to support the Hardi panel as the framers were installing it on the underside of the soffits (it's heavy stuff).

Danny hamming it up for the camera...

Again a West to East view of the South side of the house.  Now that's a cool look!

If you look closely you can see the two holes that Marv drilled (one over the step ladder and one at the same height to the right of the office doorway)

Yep, that's a tree in the picture - the camera I was using didn't have as wide a field of view as necessary for a closer picture.  

Here's a view from East to West along the south wall.  

The East wall in it's finished state - all that's left is prepping for paint by caulking the concrete panel joints and the Hardi panel seams.

For those nature-lovers out there this is evidence that our Raccoon hasn't left the area; this is the top of the Weber Grill cover that's on site for the weekly burger burn we have.  We've been seeing his footprints in the mud around the house - so we figure he's scavenging for scraps left by the crews.  The framers also had a bat fly out from inside one of the eaves as they were working on it Friday so we're going to have to install bat houses around the property to help control the insects.

And luck was on my side that day - I was inside the house when I heard a loud crash and saw some leaves moving in my normal parking spot.  Kevin had told me no crews were coming to the site that day so I parked closer to the house.  The tree was about 40' tall and pretty solid - the piece you see on the right is the top that snapped off due to the force of the crash and it dug a hole when it hit the ground where it's lying.  I think this may have cause a bit of damage to that Civic!

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