Saturday, July 27, 2013

Nose progress

During the time between electrical and insulation I started work on the battery box and electrical compartment at the nose of the trailer. There is still work to be done on it, but honestly I just sort of abandoned it when the opportunity to work on the interior came up. I'll have to go back to it soon though, so that I can order the solar equipment and have somewhere to actually put the batteries.

As the house gets closer to being finished, Willow is spending more and more time here- and is getting territorial about it- chasing away the other beasties, and hiding indoors when the neighbor's dogs come for a visit.

This trim covers the gap between the siding and the tongue jack. If  the siding had been flush I wouldn't have been able to move the handle. As it is I had to put some notches in where the handle is stored and where it pivots. The top two screws are left exposed in order to allow access to add oil to the jack if ever needed. 

Hard to see, but I had to notch out the area where the handle is stored.

Not sure what these are called, but they are great for holding the door frames at a right angle
- and it looks like a little robot.

I made the door thick to allow for insulation since that will be where the batteries are stored. 

Insulation time

A big thank you to Kevin, Brent, Luis, Walter, and Pedro for all their hard work on insulating the house. It looks great. - On Friday the 19th, the guys from Hudson Valley Green Insulation braved the excruciating heat to begin the insulation of the house, and then finished on the following Monday. It was pretty amazing to see the space transform over that short period of time. (Basically since October the interior has looked the same).

I'm lucky to be building this on property that is not itself off the grid. The equipment in the truck requires a 100amp breaker- something my house will definitely not have. 
I chose to go with closed cell spray foam for a number of reasons. 1- highest R-value for the thin walls. 2- adds structural support, which is a benefit with any racking issues. 3- will not have any moisture issues with closed cell. I also chose to NOT do it myself because for one, it probably would have cost about the same if renting one of those kits, and it is super messy if you don't know what you are doing. Also come to find out, everything has to be spaced out time wise, because if you fill a wall too quickly the A and B mixture can heat up too rapidly and catch fire.... go figure.



This picture actually captures the mint chocolate chip color better than the others.

 The guys were able to come out about 2 weeks after I called, a time gap that was actually a blessing. It gave me time to double check everything- since once the insulation is in there's no changing anything without a big headache. I actually ended up rewiring a few things and make a few other minor changes I would have missed otherwise.

I was a little concerned about the siding nails that did not make it into a stud,  since the ply is only 3/8 as well as the fact that the house will be moving, and so I ended up using speed nuts to reinforce the nails in question.

Because the insulation will push out any wires, conduit, etc. I used these brackets, but didn't sink them all the way in (would have poked through the outside) and still keeps the mc cable in the center area of the wall. 

For the ceiling light mc cables I used some brackets to make sure they exited the ceiling exactly where I wanted them, and didn't shift during the spraying. 

When my folks were refinishing the kitchen in their 1860 farm house, they found a number of treasures stuck in the walls including a child's shoe. This is common in many old houses, bringing good luck to the new home, and so my folks put the shoe back in the wall along with one of my brother's old sneakers. I decided to continue the tradition, and put one of my niece's shoes above the door, with a penny (minted this year) hidden in the toe. Maple was a little confused and kept asking if I needed to tools to help take her shoe down. Apparently the reasoning that it will bring good luck is not a sufficient explanation for a 2 and 1/2 year old.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Odds and ends before insulation

Insulation time is just around the corner. In a little over a week the house is going to be completely sprayed and ready for interior work. Yippee! Until then I'm just doing little bits and pieces and will be doing an idiot check with family members to make sure I don't insulate 
and then find out there is a stud 26" on center.

All of my wires are run (minus one conduit that I am waiting on until the solar equipment arrives so I can run the necessary wires for the monitoring system). I used a vacuum cleaner to pull a string through the conduit to lead in the fish tape, and for those diy-ers like me who look to youtube for a number of how-tos, after the recommended piece of tape on the end of the string (to help with suction) got stuck in one of the conduits, I found doing a few small knots on the end of the string worked much better. 

The battery and electrical compartments is all framed out. Actually, it is already wrapped and has some trim, just no pics as of yet. 

I found this nifty attachment for exterior lights that conveniently fits bevel siding. 
The glass is carefully packed away during construction, 
but Dawn found me this very cute glass fixture that goes with this base. 

For the extractor fan vent I made the base using three separate pieces from scrap siding, 
one of which I had to sand down on a belt sander. 
Took a bit of time to get all the pieces to sit flush, but I think totally worth it.