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#266464 - 07/31/11 10:02 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Bing]
Brettski Offline
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...a little more progress
-
We continue to focus on completing the shop area. The ceiling insulation is next. This is a pain for a number of reasons, but the first and foremost is the fact that the ceiling is just short of 10 feet above the concrete slab. This calls the expanding aluminum plank into service, stretched between 2 ladders. It goes slow, like most facets of this entire project.
The engineered I-joists that frame the ceiling/2nd floor are 16" tall. At 16" on center, this creates a huge cavity. This is a blessing for hiding all the wiring and HVAC and mechanical stuff. It's a curse for insulation. Why? Well, my original plan was to just use R-25 (8" thick) and call it good. After sharing thoughts and making a few phone calls to respected builders and engineers, I find that leaving an open air space in a cavity like that is less than ideal when it will separate a heated space (the upstairs living space) from a cold space (the entire first level which is comprised of the shop, and the garage). Furthermore, some sort of vapor barrier or retarder should be used close to the warm side. This would ideally be installed, somehow attached to the underside of the subfloor....or use kraft faced insulation and push it all the way up to the top of the 16" deep cavity. First off, I hate that kraft faced junk on insulation. It's a questionably effective method of controlling vapor transmission. At least that's my opinion. So now I'm worried about how to create a vapor block when it dawns on me that we used that Advantech subflooring across the entire 2nd floor. I called Advantech and their tech people agree that it will provide a decent level of vapor retardation. It is just slightly less than the vapor transmission of (drum roll please)....the kraft facing on insulation. So the tech guy switches me to the next level, their staff engineer. It winds up that his expertise is thermal engineering, amongst other techy stuff. Anyway, he agrees that the Advantech subfloor should provide suitable vapor retardation and recommends that I use plastic right on top of the subfloor in any areas that are carpet and hardwoood/laminate. This is great news and pretty much cures my need for a vapor barrier at the warm side of this huge cavity.
Whew....
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Next issue....
So, while I have this brainy thermal expert on the line, I describe the little twist that we plan; to live in the shop area for a little while, likely thru this entire coming winter. This will effectively reverse the entire plan by making the bottom side the warm area and the top side the cold area. This would normally dictate a vapor barrier at the bottom side of the ceiling cavity. He waves me off this idea for the obvious reason that it will create a trap for any vapor that might sneak into the cavitities. For the short amount of time that we plan to be living in that shop area, it is the lesser risk to use no vapor barrier in the shop ceiling. Besides, we use a dehumidifier in the shed where we are staying now. It will be used in the shop to help control any vapor during this "transition period".
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OK, so that leaves the amount of insulation in those big 16" deep cavities. He has the same reaction as others that know...I really shouldn't leave an air space if I can avoid it. It's not a huge deal, but it will make a difference in performance to do my best to fill the cavity.
Wow; what a pain. There is so much junk up there with the HVAC and wires and stuff, plus it's 10 feet overhead. We considered blowing it in. Well, blowing fiberglass is nowhere near as good as cellulose when it comes to finding and filling voids. OK, then let's look at cellulose. I call the factory and talk to their tech people. The cellulose actually has some moisture in it and they waved me off of a sealed cavity (which makes me wonder about blowing it into wall cavities...?) Anyway, I have gone full circle and wind up back at fiberglass batts. Moreover, we decide to just bite the bullet and stuff the entire 16" depth of the cavities. Oh yeah, there's more. Since we are going berserk with insulation, let's consider that most of the HVAC ductwork is fairly low in the cavity and would have very little insulation protecting it at the bottom side. So, we buy a few sheets of 1-1/2" formular foam insul-board and use spray foam along the edges to seal it in. Yeah, I'm nuts that way.
-

-
Every bay that has some HVAC ductwork is protected with the R 7.5 foam on the bottom and the balance of the 16" deep bay is meticulously stuffed with custom cut and hand fitted fiberglass batts. Yeah, it took a long time, but in the end it is the ultimate cocoon. The other bays are just plain stuffed, working around all the wires. In the end, the shop ceiling is something like R 45. It's one of those things that cost very little (comparatively) and I'll never look back and wonder "what if".
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I should take a moment to admit that I did make a few really bad moves during this work. The aluminum plank that I lived on for the entire summer of 2010 during the exterior siding and trim installation was put to work on a much lower scale for this project. It was set about 4 feet above the concrete floor, stretched out between 2 ladders. I must admit that when I was 15 feet above the ground last year, I moved very slowly and calculated every step. Looking back, I am certain a higher power was watching over me cuz I got out alive. Now, at only 4 feet high, I am much less attentive. My bad. I fell....twice. Both times was the entire 4 feet, sideways down to the concrete floor. At 53 years old, I don't bounce like I used to. The first fall was the worst when the back of my head blasted the concrete and knocked me outfor a few seconds. Dski said the lump was the size of 1/2 a small egg, not to mention the bruises on my hip and elbows. I take a 30 min break, put some ice on my new egg, and hobble back up on the horse that just bucked me. The rest of the day went a little slower. The next day, I freakin' did it again. Worse than that, I landed on the same hip and elbow. This time I kept my head off the floor. I just don't get it...or maybe I do.
-
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When we came down to do this ceiling insulation, we came prepared for the next step.
-

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We managed to get a few sheets of the 5/8" firerock up before we called it a (long) weekend.
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Thank God for the drywall lift. I picked it up about 3 years ago...I think I got if off'a Ebay. When we crank one of those 5/8" thick sheets right up to the ceiling and just roll it around until it's just right, it pays for itself.
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#266468 - 07/31/11 10:34 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
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You need roller derby equipment. Great work.
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#266474 - 08/01/11 12:37 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: ewest]
Dudley Landry Offline
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Registered: 10/10/03
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That four foot drop doesn't give you much time to think about the brilliance of the move that started you on the trip, does it Brettski?

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#266475 - 08/01/11 01:05 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Dudley Landry]
blair5002 Offline
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Registered: 07/15/08
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Be careful buddy. We bought a grain trailer once off of a widow that lost her husband from a fall off a 4 foot ladder onto concrete.
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#266532 - 08/01/11 04:59 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Dudley Landry]
Brettski Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dudley Landry
That four foot drop doesn't give you much time to think about the brilliance of the move that started you on the trip, does it Brettski?

Ironically, thinking back on that very moment that it occurred, I do remember the "life flashing before me" urgency that I felt. I do remember the only thought I had was "how bad is this gonna really be?". Then I cracked my noggin on that concrete slab and had a millisecond to realize that I was either gonna make it...or not.
When I look back, it seems like no biggie, but I also know that it was the exact same recipe used for a dangerous freak accident. Besides, I'm not quite ready to have my widow sellin' my utility trailer to Blair5002.
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#266537 - 08/01/11 05:33 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
blair5002 Offline
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Jeeze when u put that way brettski it sounds bad but looks like my point got across. What size trailer is it.....jk. Be safe!
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#266538 - 08/01/11 05:33 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
esshup Offline
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Brettski, you'd better check on skateboard elbow and knee pads the next time you're shopping e-bay. Those bones aren't getting any more flexible, and you'll really feel it whenever you bump that spot on your head. You don't want a 3-peat!

I'm sure you could fix up some railings for that plank if you tried. They might not hold you on, but they'll be a reminder what your boundaries are.
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#266567 - 08/01/11 11:53 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: esshup]
Dudley Landry Offline
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Registered: 10/10/03
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Blair, I think your chances of getting that trailer are pretty slim. Brettski probably learned a lot when he took that second ride.

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#267683 - 08/12/11 12:13 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Dudley Landry]
blair5002 Offline
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I hope so!
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#268004 - 08/15/11 10:13 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: blair5002]
Brettski Offline
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I wanna share one of the cooler "cheater" tools that I found.
-
I am not much for drywalling, but I can do it. Cutting it and screwing it to the framing is no big deal, particular with the incredible boost that Dski gives by hanging onto the other end of each sheet. The drywall hoist comes in second, but is also irreplaceable for this 2-horse team.
The real bugaboo for me is cutting the holes for outlet boxes.
For those that are up to speed with drywall installation, the hot setup is a spiral saw, the most popular being RotoZip. I have a knock-off brand, but it works just fine. The tough part is actually using it. Compound that with the fact that we are using plastic boxes and it gets a little more complicated. There is a special "guide point" bit that helps from cutting thru the plastic box, but it can still burn through if you don't have the right touch and experience. I really don't, but I'm getting better.
My problem is feeling confident that the hole I am cutting blindly is, indeed, right along the outside of the box. Sometimes I am sure I am right on the money, then I realize the bit is halfway to Phoenix and I just FUBAR'd a sheet of drywall. I need reassurance that I am still in the ballpark as I cut, and somebody realized it and invented this thing. It's called Blind Mark.



Those round dots are super strong magnets. You place one of them right inside the plastic box. The "Locator" has the same magnets on the bottom side.

This example is actually a two-gang box, so I am going to use 2 "targets".





Then, lay up the sheet of DW and screw it in with enough screws to hold it up, but keep the screws at least 32" away from the box (exactly the same way a Pro does it without using these cheater magnet things).
Rub the "Locator" on the sheet until the magnets "grab it"....and man, they do grab it. It will line up exactly with the target behind the sheet. Mark the outline.



Then, do the same thing for the locator next to it.



Given these lines, I now have the confidence to begin cutting.



Taa-Daa...almost like the Pro's....almost



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#268005 - 08/15/11 10:30 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
Brettski Offline
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OK, enough toys...put 'em to work.
-
The entire shop area is drywalled. We also got the mechanical room door set. The main entrance door (fire door) is temporarily screwed in and fully functional. I even got a few of the many wires twisted and some of the outlets and switches hooked up.
-








Yeah, it don't seem like much, but this is a pretty big deal after living in a 120 sq foot "cottage" for the last 2+ years.
We are not going to tape it. In fact, the plan is for Dski and I to install all the drywall in the entire project. Then, pay Pro's to come it and tape the entire shootin' match. In the short term, we can live with the bare drywall.
Next trip will be spent twistin' wires and prep'ing for a move-in date....soon.
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#268009 - 08/16/11 12:38 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
esshup Offline
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Looking good! I was wondering about the taping part. I don't mind hanging it, but absolutely hate taping it.
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#268010 - 08/16/11 12:40 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
blair5002 Offline
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Registered: 07/15/08
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Looks like home to me Brettski good work.
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#268020 - 08/16/11 06:20 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: blair5002]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13088
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Those magnets make perfectly good sense. Where have they been all my life?
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#268030 - 08/16/11 08:47 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Has magnetism made it to Mule Shoe yet?
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#268039 - 08/16/11 10:10 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Theo Gallus]
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Now you are homeward bound Bret. grin

I still like the windows. The work bench has much potential. The clock is in the wrong place - you never want to see a clock when you are looking at the lake - the two are polar opposites.
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#268040 - 08/16/11 10:30 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: ewest]
jeffhasapond Offline
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Registered: 07/28/06
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Wow fantastic progress.

I own and really like my Rotozip. I've used it to cut off large bolts, circular holes in wood and composite paneling, small sanding jobs and to trim down one of my fingers.

There are so many great new tools out there it's hard to keep up with them all.

Damn your place is looking so good!
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#268048 - 08/16/11 11:55 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: jeffhasapond]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
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Heck Theo, they are still trying to get used to gravity.
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It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#268215 - 08/18/11 04:50 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
rockytopper Offline
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Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 1239
Loc: texas
Now thats slick right there I don't care who you are.


You gonna use rounded corners on your outside edges? We just did it or should I say had it done and they really look great.


Edited by rockytopper (08/18/11 04:51 PM)
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#268218 - 08/18/11 05:17 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: rockytopper]
Brettski Offline
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you mean bull nose on the drywall outside corners?
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#268221 - 08/18/11 05:46 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
rockytopper Offline
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Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: Brettski
you mean bull nose on the drywall outside corners?

yes
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#268222 - 08/18/11 05:56 PM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: rockytopper]
Brettski Offline
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Ya know, I hadn't seriously considered it. We have it on the roof windows in our principal home and yes, it does look snazzy. Now ya got me thinking, particularly since this will eventually be a shop. Keeping bull nose corners clean is alot easier than casing. And it would be cheaper to install than wooden casement.
You wouldnt' put it on an outside wall corner, too....would ya?
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#268238 - 08/19/11 07:48 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
rockytopper Offline
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Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 1239
Loc: texas
We used it on the wall edges also but does make it a bit more tricky running base board. I was lazy and just ran the boards straight which leaves a small gap in the corners but I have seen it done with short mitered pieces placed on an angle to close the gap at the comers which looks a little better.
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#270741 - 09/26/11 06:51 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: rockytopper]
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
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Loc: Illinois
The Iron Pig arriveth...

I've been scanning Craigslist for a few months, and the tank deal comes together. The next decision is locating the tank on the site. When we consider all the other utility logistics, we decide the best location is right in the middle of the septic field...NOT. Long story short, a location is selected that works well for engineering, but is not the best for aesthetic appeal. It's not horrible, but will require a small fence section or bushes (or both) to hide it well.
The pads get poured for support.


Our next living space is pretty much complete and ready for habitation. No, it ain't perfect, but it's a huge advancement from our previous digs.

The floor slab has the radiant heat tubing embedded, but we don't have the cash, nor the time, to install the necessary supporting equipment to make it work...at least, not yet. Instead, I took the easy route and wired this area for a pair of 1500 watt baseboard heaters. Cheap, easy, and effective. They are hooked up to a programmable thermostat. Yeah, the electric bill will suffer a bit, but it gets written off as part of the cost of development.


Another issue we wanted to corral was the exposed foundation wall section at 3 sides of this new space. We poured the concrete wall 6" higher than the slab (see above pic), so when the temps begin to drop and that concrete mass freezes, it's gonna be a chilly radiator. Since we spent so much time and effort to insulate all the walls and ceiling, it seemed senseless to allow this concrete ice cube to go unattended. 2" of rigid foam insulation (R10) is glued to the exposed edges, leaving a narrow gap between all the adjoining edges to allow for expanding foam sealant.



Anyway, the shop is as far as we are gonna take it for now. It will serve as a very nice upgrade for living quarters. We are both pleased with the results.










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#270747 - 09/26/11 10:40 AM Re: Building a garage-apartment with a pond view [Re: Brettski]
Victor Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 239
Loc: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Welcome Home! After living in a shed smaller than most prison cells I bet this feels great. We are very happy for you. My only suggestion is to get rid of the clock. wink The flowers around the pond seen in the background look like they are going crazy. Looks great!

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