Spring/early summer of 2016, and I’ve been doing some sanding. OK, a LOT of sanding. But before I get into that, here are a few things Clare’s been up to while I kick up the dust.
When I mentioned to Clare that I thought we should make all the duplex electrical outlets (okay, receptacles!) into quads, she took it in stride and commenced to wiring up a storm. Now, there’s no way we’ll ever run out of places to plug things in (ha!). Then she took care of some more lighting fixtures. Installing lights over the doors makes the outside look even more finished:
Continue reading “Demanding Sanding”
Once we finished cordwooding the house, it was time to start working in earnest on the interior. Clare and I decided it would be best to start the finish work upstairs and work our way down, so that the mess would fall into the as-yet-unfinished first floor, rather than on stuff we had just finished. During the fall and early winter of 2015, our friend Matt had some time to give us a hand (fortunately for us!), and he framed out the area above the second-floor cordwood walls. He then drywalled the whole area, aside from where the second-floor bathroom will be – since we decided not to put any cordwood walls in the bathrooms, we’ll be finishing that room separately.
Clare and I took over at this point, painting the drywall, and putting up trim that I made from leftover cedar boards. Most of the second floor looks pretty well done at this point, as long as you don’t look down at the temporary plywood flooring on the second floor.
Continue reading “The Light Pours Out Of Me”
While insulating the ceiling we had to take into account areas where infrastructure such as the chimney and the plumbing vent would eventually have to get through the roof. This involved adding some extra baffles to leave openings in the insulation. We also had to run some electric wire (Romex) for overhead lighting and a ceiling fan.
By February of 2011, we were finished with the ceiling for the time being, and were working on pulling wiring through the conduit with a fish tape, and wiring the outlets. We had a few circuits live in no time.
Another important task was to cut 2x8s into base plates for the inner cordwood walls. As we spent all this time inside in the now well-insulated house, we noticed how well our passive solar design was working. On sunny days, the house warmed up and the in-floor heating kicked in rarely, if at all.
Before we could have the contractor come to spray the walls with insulation, there were a few more things to take care of. We had to plan for electricity and water infrastructure before winter weather set in. We hired an electrical contractor to run metal conduit along the walls of the house for the electrical wiring. This conduit would ultimately reside in the insulation layer, between the two cordwood layers.
We also cut some baffles made of corrugated plastic to place between the roof joists above the walls.
Once the conduit was in place, we had a local contractor, Superior Polymer, spray the walls with open cell foam. They completed the job very quickly, in under a day. It was a really striking difference to walk into the newly insulated house.
The contractors were very thorough, and generous with the foam. I mean, they sprayed the bejeezus out of the place. It was like walking into a foam cave. It was immediately much warmer, and incredibly quiet inside. Although I knew it was only temporary, it was a bit sad to no longer see cordwood on the inside.
Our next important item was to get running water inside the house. This would be necessary in order to heat the house using the in-floor heating system.