Homesteading on the West Coast of Canada (BC) - from scratch

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by melli, May 11, 2016.

  1. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    3rd row almost up...have to make a decision as to height of windows. I'll likely take a while mulling that one over...want them low enough so one can easily see out while reclining on couch, but not too low that furniture will block a portion of window...hmmm.
    I like being able to make things up as I go along...lol, but I will overthink it. How high is a normal kitchen table?
    Being in RV doesn't help me...
    I marked where all rebar is on interior, so when I insert verticals (when all rows are up), I will know where to put them (they just need to mate reasonably close, but not be tied together).

    BTW - I mentioned the possibility of cutting the Styrofoam in situ but take that back...haha...when cutting Styrofoam you leave a mess of shavings, which I don't think you want in forms. Easy to pull them off and cut on side.

    20170414_141519 (Large).jpg
    20170414_141554 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 and ForestToFarm like this.
  2. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Lots of mucking about today...I decided to get door bucked in (frame), so I don't damage the foam every-time I step through and to give myself a reference so all the window tops match top of door (supposedly more architecturally pleasing to eye, than windows offset from door) Plus, I want to anchor the buck to the rows as I go up...debating that idea. I could anchor it after the pour. The manual says to put a mess of nails around outside (cross-hatch pattern) so the concrete will lock it into place...I didn't like that idea at all. For starters I want the wood (PT) not in contact with concrete at all (so I wrapped the outside with 6mil vapor barrier). I was going to use long 1/2" 'L' anchors. Drill a hole and stick anchor through bucking, then tie the anchor with rebar wire to the plastic webbing of foam. I will inset anchor, so it isn't protruding from face of bucking. This way, it would be easier to remove bucking down the road if I needed to repair/replace them...plus, anchors are much stronger than nails.

    You can see the bottom of the living room windows have been notched. I used my worm saw this time. Works like a charm, although the foam bits coat the saw...hmmm...hopefully the bits don't get inside saw and melt. I found my Stihl blower cleans up the foam chaff really well. BTW - be careful you don't drop anything in form...can be tricky to get out...;)

    You'll also notice the sills are 2-2x4s...this is to allow the concrete to be poured below window and doors. The rest of the bucking is 2x12 PT wood.

    20170416_131728 (Large).jpg
    20170416_131806 (Large).jpg

    20170416_131756.jpg
    20170416_132003 (Large).jpg
     

  3. ForestToFarm

    ForestToFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    344
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Location:
    SC
    Looking good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
    MoBookworm1957 and melli like this.
  4. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Fourth row...
    I better get cracking and get some bracing up before a windstorm blows it all away.
    I took some pics of the anchoring I was yammering about in previous post. Figured this way is more 'elegant' than a pile of nails.
    And it will serve a 'small' service in holding window and door frames in place when pouring concrete....

    I'm never happy with quality of materials for building stuff, and the ICF I got is no exception. It seems most of the damage is from poor handling...in my case, they tossed onto a flatbed without sweeping off pebbles/debris, so bottom layer is scored and pot-marked, not to mention full of rust. They accidentally gave me 'adjuster blocks' which had a 2015 date stamp! One can see if these blocks stay out in sun for a few years, they look like crap.

    20170417_135745 (Large).jpg
    20170417_135755 (Large).jpg
    20170417_135838 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  5. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Not a lot happening the last few days...just rain, except today. And putting in the interior 'batter' boards, and some vertical bracing was about it...and I went nuts with a can a spray foam first thing to get all the gaps, seams etc.
    Those horizontal 2x4's are not in the manual...I figured since I will have to put them in when I do interior (they will support a 2x4 wall for service runs - electrical, plumbing, etc), why not put them up now and they can act as bracing. Not sure if it is kosher...concrete guys will let me know.

    20170420_164508 (Large).jpg
    BTW - those vertical braces are 12' tall...wall will be about 10' max.

    While it was raining, some time in Bobby was in order (full cab with heat). Those forms I used to make the carport posts will be reused to make a workshop carport/woodshed (half carport, half enclosed shed). I will place them properly, anchor them, and get some rebar in them. As I mentioned before, always a good idea to have 'overflow' forms. When I do walls for bunker, I always over order, as one never wants to be short...and the excess can fill these forms.

    20170420_164544 (Large).jpg
    Instead of strapping (cradling) the completed form (far one) from underneath (I was lazy and it was raining), I just stuck a 5/8" bolt through saddle on top and used chains to haul it into position...heavy concrete block! Bent 5/8" bolt like spaghetti, but didn't break.
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  6. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Finally got the windows sorted....all the bottoms cut out. Really was a head scratcher, in terms of deciding appropriate window heights, especially for Kitchen windows...how far off counter? Did I want a back-splash, and maybe I want to raise counter-tops (as I am a tad taller than average). If I raise counter-tops I have to make sure I have windows high enough....blah blah blah.
    I went to a couple of houses in hood and measured their window heights. I settled on 43-1/2" (finished height). But it depends on what I do with floor as to exact finished height...lol
    The bathroom and 'bedroom' window heights are same as kitchen (just easier to be the same as kitchen).

    Took a interesting pic down the ICF row....
    20170422_130819 (Large).jpg
    In my seismic zone, we are required to have double row of rebar around all openings (windows). They have to extend about 26" past opening (for 5/8" rebar). I screwed up the living room windows, as I was trying to snake rebar with row complete (a real hassle)...I realized one can just put in window pieces (removing rest of row), then it is easy to slide rebar in. Doh! I was wondering what the manual meant when it mentioned this step. Now I know.

    20170422_131053 (Large).jpg
    Things should progress more smoothly from here on out...no thinking involved, except making sure window boxes align with top of door. Just need a few nice days (windstorm tonight). Speaking of wind, for those folks on the prairie where it blows 24/7, really secure your works (not only building site, but Lego pieces yet to be used). A good 30mph gust will send these suckers to the next town.

    20170422_131031 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 and ForestToFarm like this.
  7. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    20170424_173012 (Large).jpg Was supposed to be gym day, but when your staring at a construction site and a sunny day, I thought better of playing hooky. Besides, getting window boxes in sort of had me excited, until my back started screaming at me. Those PT 2x12 window boxes weigh a ton, and doing the overhead lift is not my strong suit (hate doing weights - I am a treadmill hamster).
    And then I had to secure them, as we seem to be getting minor wind events. Still, very glad I pushed through. Now, it is all lego, and building a scaffold.

    20170424_170235 (Large).jpg

    20170424_170248 (Large).jpg
    Oh yeah, you can see a tiny drain hole (wet spot) in concrete footing in last pic, about halfway across garage door entrance...no idea if having keyway full of water during pour would really hurt it (probably not), but the water was bugging me, so I drilled a 5/8" hole from keyway to outside.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  8. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    The Lego build has slowed a bit since I got 6 loads of screened sand. Had to cover up a slash burn and hump in hill. I am pushing it for planting grass, but since we've had a late spring, I planted seed. Since my property is on top of a hill, it was virtually all BC rock. I try to scrape enough money together to buy a few loads once or twice a year. Keeps me entertained (with Bobby), and over time, my hilltop will be under feet of dirt. This one spot was bugging me...
    20170128_143925 (Large).jpg
    Wanted to round out hill...

    20170427_130924 (Large).jpg
    20170428_092802 (Large).jpg
    Three loads for that spot...makes a difference with screened material. Raking is so much easier...lol

    Back to the ICF...got most of the verticals in place...just a matter of making a catwalk at the 5th row level, so the concrete crew can pour (half the building will go to 7th row (to accommodate attic floor), and half to 8th row).
    20170429_115904 (Large).jpg
    As you can see, I'm on the fifth row (far end done). Rain day.
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  9. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    After getting sidetracked with dirt and rain, back at the Lego build. Had to get up a scaffold....which is so tedious.
    Now that it is done, I can continue...2 more rows to go for one half, and 3 rows for the other half...

    BTW - I ordered these adjustable alignment clamps for ICF walls...get them next week. As I was chatting with seller, it turns out he sells Nudura, another maker of ICF. He flips me a link to their product. http://vancouvericf.com/nudura/whyNudura.php
    Why I discover these things after the fact or halfway through build is beyond me, but I would have gone with Nudura in a heartbeat. Many pluses with Nudura over Plasti-fab and prices are similar. The one knock I see with Nudura is they use what appears to be XPS (off-gassing foam). Nonetheless, their locking system is what every ICF maker should have (keeps form aligned, no floating and no settling). Just something to mull over if your in the market for ICF.

    20170502_132002 (Large).jpg
    20170502_132020 (Large).jpg
    My building inspector will be proud that I made the worksite safe with railings...lol
    All these wonderful worksafe regs...
    If I wasn't hiring a crew, or was doing a stick frame build, I don't usually have railings, as they get in the way...lol
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  10. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    7th row! For half the 'bunker', that is as high as I will be going...the half near garage doors will be 13-1/2" higher so the top of wall will match attic floor height.
    A pro would have erected this in about a quarter of the time it has taken me...however, it gave me time to 'massage' the build to my liking.
    20170507_124344 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  11. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    What are you going to use for inner and outer walls? I'm guessing your electrical will be between the foam and the inner wall and the plumbing will be in the floor. No wonder you are calling it a bunker!
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  12. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Yeah, the 2x4 inner wall will carry electrical and plumbing (mostly water lines)...the floor will carry toilet, tub and washer drain lines.
    Probably Hardi on outside (B&B or Staggered Hardi like I did with well shed).
    Inside...no clue really. Really would like white marble in bathroom...lol
    Depending on many things, T&G cedar on ceiling, some white tile in kitchen, and wood floors elsewhere...windows will be dressed with a stained wood.
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  13. oldtruckbbq

    oldtruckbbq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Hey, you deserve a splurge. White marble in the bathroom it is! My wife and I love white cabinets, black counter top, and white tile back splash in the kitchen. It looks sanitary and ageless.

    Just an idea - I helped a friend repair water damage and replace a bathtub. He wanted to do something special for his wife so he decided to do tile for the tub surround. In the center of the side wall he put in a tile mural he bought on eBay. It was a scene similar to this one, and it was pretty neat for under $100. She said it made her feel like she was on vacation every time she took a bubble bath. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-por...753064?hash=item3604eb2428:g:zw8AAOSw0kNXhUZY
     
    MoBookworm1957 and melli like this.
  14. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    That is pretty cool.
    I do like the minimalist look, as I will clutter the space. Whatever I do (can afford), thin grout lines. I did have glass tile back-splash (3x6) I installed on my old place. Liked that, but was a pain to install (really hard not to chip tiles when cutting even with thin kerf glass tile saw blade). This pic is when I had a horrible camera...back in the day.
    GEDC5442.JPG
    I think I'd like off white counter-tops (Corian). I need bright colors in kitchen and bathroom (not a lot of sun in winter).
    Light stained wood accents and maybe wainscotting in living room/bedroom. No painted wood! Never liked the idea of painting wood...give the living room a soft cosy feel with lots of stained wood.
    I can't think that far ahead....lol. Need to finish the Lego and get concrete in there...do the drain tile, and get a concrete floor laid, so I can motor on my own.
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  15. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Getting close to completion...lots of fussing blocking around windows and doors, and bracing. I got these Nudura wall alignment braces...very skookum (as we say up here). Solid galvanized and heavy duty. I practiced with one, and tilted the wall with ease.
    My missing corners will arrive tomorrow, and the walls will be done.
    Be a mad dash to the finish line...

    20170510_131511 (Large).jpg
    20170510_131605 (Large).jpg
    20170510_131704 (Large).jpg
    20170510_131802 (Large).jpg
     
  16. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    In a bit of a holding pattern...it seems they sent me too many left handed corners, and then I messed up and ordered more by mistake, and then they messed up by sending 8" corners (a week per mistake)...doh!
    Hopefully, by this weekend, I will have it done less mickey-mouse stuff (plastic and taping things to protect wood from concrete pour). Was hoping to get pour in before June, but not looking good...maybe first week in June.
    As you can see I am trying to make garage door entrance as big as possible, in case I need to slide in RV for another winter (god, I hope not!). Was kinda hoping to sell RV this fall. Best time to sell an RV (not for vacationers, but for folks looking to beat paying rent).
    20170517_171642 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 and ForestToFarm like this.
  17. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    DONE! (sort of) - Felt good to get all the missing bits before long weekend, and like a kid at a candy store, I felt obligated to rip them up (on table saw) and get all of the Lego installed (what you see, is all there is).
    You can see the 'step' on top row...the lower part will be attic floor, and the top of that floor will align with higher step. So, when it comes time to put up a wall on the high side, I won't have to mess around framing in a step. The roof will be shed style (single sloped roof). The high side will have 5 transom windows up high for more southern light (1' x 3').
    My dad thinks I should bump up roof so the attic storage area can become a bedroom. Would be nice, but it adds another 5k or so...where do I stop? lol
    Then, with a bedroom, I'd be inclined to have balcony doors and a deck on second floor...another 5k....
    The big issue I have, other than spending more money on a 'temp' home, is I will lose a bit of insulation value in second floor, if I bump it up (it will have wood framed walls). Also, it defeats the purpose of having a concrete bunker (upper floor becomes a liability if a tree whacks it). Still, the extra room would be huge (as would having a second floor deck). Hmmm, I just thought a cantilevered deck would be awesome...just 6' x 16'. It would shelter door and kitchen window.
    20170519_184159 (Large).jpg
    You can see RV (26') scaled up against build.

    20170519_184311 (Large).jpg
    20170519_184337 (Large).jpg

    About a day or so of bracing top, figuring out where to put all the anchors (mark them so concrete guys put them in right spot), spray foaming and gluing all the natty bits, and finishing the corner straps....
    I've called a concrete crew and pumper truck dude to have a look and give a quote. $$$$
    Initial estimates (my own) for amount of 30mpa concrete required is about 12 cu meters ($2500). Big money day.
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  18. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Things fell into place quickly and the pour is tomorrow. I got a crew and a pumper truck...hopefully, I won't be a spazz.
    Love concrete, jut not a fan of working it. I usually end up completely exhausted, and soaked.
    Fingers crossed...
    20170525_124313 (Large).jpg 20170525_124347 (Large).jpg
    20170525_124504 (Large).jpg
     
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.
  19. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

    Messages:
    12,059
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    How will you be vibrating it?
     
    MoBookworm1957 and melli like this.
  20. melli

    melli Otiose Endomorph

    Messages:
    2,250
    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Apparently they (Concrete crew) won't be...they will add a plasticizer to concrete to make it flow. Speaking of which, I should call them up and ask what type they are using.
    Even the pumper truck guy said a vibrator was a recipe for disaster. Yet, the manual specifies it. I have one on hold at rental shop nonetheless.
    My #1 concern is voids. I'll probably be banging the walls (have a 2x4 on wall, then whack it with hammer...gently).

    Edit: after some quick googling, it appears high slump admixture (plasticizer) is the way to go...looking at this report http://www.icfmag.com/documents/PCA_Consolidation_Report.pdf
    it is apparent high slump admixture is the way to go. They did mention using a vibrator helped, but I have no issue paying an extra $11/cu meter for admixture.
    BTW - thanks for bringing it up...made me look into it a little more and feel better about the crew...lol.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
    MoBookworm1957 likes this.