December 1st Update

Just a quick update; it’s been a quiet week.  We’re waiting to get some electrical work outside approved and get the permanent electrical meter installed.  Once that happens the temp furnace can be fired up to get the house up to temperature for the first time.  In a way it’s like dropping a ship out of dry dock so it can finish being out-fitted.  I don’t think I’ll crack champagne over anything, though the thought of drinking alcohol appeals to me on a daily basis, so there’s that….but I digress.

My architect and EnergyStar rater are reviewing the preliminary blower test numbers.  While the numbers are good (better than any “normal” house), and the house still has to be sealed up a fair bit, the numbers aren’t as good as we hoped.  Right now the weak link in the system is the kneewall areas of our cape cod style house.  The roof areas are insulated and lined with plastic vapor barrier, but we’d like to see a more rigid material in these areas.  I’ll go in and probably remove the plastic barrier and then either drywall or use fanboard under the roof rafters.  Then tape all the seams.  Getting rid of the plastic will lessen the chance of heat from the HVAC ducts creating condensation on the back side of the plastic.  The rigid material will provide an airtight seal but not collect condensation I believe.  We’ll see how this goes, as of right now it’s difficult to get material in the kneewall spaces as everything will pass through the small access panels; lest I open up larger openings.  There’s a good chance I won’t do any of this until we move in.  Here’s a primer on blower test’s by the way.

 We’re around 3.0 ACH50 now I believe.  Good but not very good for everything we’ve put into the house.  Should improve once we seal up the areas we’ve already identified.  If I were building a new house I’d probably design it slightly differently to avoid some of the issues arising from the kneewall areas.  The issues were compounded by all the HVAC ducts running through them.  Oh well. We’ll figure it out.  It will be fine in the end.

I did get some cistern install pics from the excavator.  As usual, anytime a crane is involved, it looks kick ass.  Wish I was there.  Basically looks like a cement vault came in on a crane truck and was lowered into the hole.  Too cool.

10,000 gallon cistern being lowered into the hole.

Today I picked up the last window.  This is the 3’x3′ garage window I’d initially forgot to order.  The Rabbit and I rolled out to pick it up at the freight company that was holding it.  It was in a crate so I had to bust out my hammer and dispose of said crate.  No way it’d fit in the hatchback.  I had to be back across town so I made quick work of the crate and stashed the window in back.  The Rabbit then scampered out of the parking lot and lept across town; the two of us jamming to Twisted Sister holiday tunes the whole way.
Upon getting home I was met by our excavator and his father to even up on a bill and bid goodbye for the winter.  Jonathon is on his way out west to work.  His dad will wrap things up including the septic system and final grading.  Some items will now have to wait until spring as the weather in Northeast Ohio has gotten too bad to do much of anything outside of value.
The coming week should pick up in terms of what’s going on out at the site.  We’re also busy picking out more of the finishes including the garage doors.  I’ll keep you posted.

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