Monthly Archives: November 2012

Manual J Calculations

Manual J is a product of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America for determining the heating/cooling load to size equipment for a home. They have a spreadsheet available on their website that requires filling in all the product info for … Continue reading

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Radiant Heat Intro

This new slab floor and our goal of energy efficiency point towards even, warm floor, radiant heat instead of the existing baseboards. Since hydronic radiant heat requires a lower temperature than baseboards, it is capable of incorporating several different heat … Continue reading

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Another Sewer Installment

Figuring out the sewer layout has been a bit more difficult than anticipated. One of the most difficult is communicating the completed design. The diagrams of each plumbing layout just didn’t have enough accurate information. All the tees are actually … Continue reading

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More Sewer Fun

The previous post accounts for the biggest open question about the plumbing in the master bathroom–do we need the dry vent for the toilet? Well, what would it hurt anything right? In the family room bath the toilet is at … Continue reading

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Sewer Simulations

What? Now we have to replace the sewer to “code”? Yep, that is a permit’s requirements. These fussy cities, what do you do? Umm, figure out the code? I was able to download the codes after feverish searching on the … Continue reading

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Permit Possibilities

I went to the city To buy a fat pig (permit) Home again, home again, jiggidy jig. I have been very pleased by how helpful the permit office in Arvada has been to me. I have visited a few times … Continue reading

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Repurposed Materials

Mark Benjamin, of Crown Jade, recommended this very imaginative business in Denver as a source of the R-15 insulation I needed for the perimeter of the foundation.   Repurposed Materials is mostly dedicated to reusing industrial materials in new, imaginative … Continue reading

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Into the Void (Our Caisson Foundation)

We were very pleasantly surprised to find that the rear wall that holds back the earth bermed north side of the house has a caisson foundation. I had never heard of this type of foundation, and it is not generally … Continue reading

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Dirt Can’t Hide (From Intensified Digging)

Excavation resumed after the plumbing was dug out. The goal was 16 1/2 inches down from the top of slab or about a foot of digging throughout. The first few inches were completed before the plumbing was dug out, just … Continue reading

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The Trouble at the Bottom….. (Pete Seeger)

We can say it is a good thing to find the trouble at the bottom which would have reared its ugly head someday especially if we had tried to install a cosmetic fix for the existing slab. Excavation of the … Continue reading

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Back at the Ranch

Now that the players have all been described, how are things going at the house? The slab was removed after days of breaking it up with the jack hammers and hauling wheelbarrows of concrete out to the rubble field. We … Continue reading

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HP Geotech

I asked the Asbestos test engineer, Rick Luce, for a recommendation for a soils engineer, as he had mentioned that he worked with several and would give me a recommendation when the time came. He recommended Alan Lisowy at HP … Continue reading

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Waffle Mat Slab

The Waffle Mat system uses 19 1/2″ X 19 1/2″ X 8 1/2″ recycled plastic boxes. The boxes have a rim on two sides and can be used in sets of 4 or individually depending on the design. I decided … Continue reading

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Crown Jade Design and Engineering

At Greg’s strong recommendation, I decided to seek out a structural engineer who would be willing to take care of the specific design using WaffleMat for our installation. The person I chose had presented at a USGBC event as a … Continue reading

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Mountain Brawny

Just after Labor Day I realized we were getting close to needing the brawn to remove the concrete and excavate for the new slab. I contacted four listings that advertised concrete services and two responded. The first one was Mile … Continue reading

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Waffle Mat!

While researching issues with slabs on grade and expansive soils, I found this very interesting solution to building a mat (raft) slab. Originally invented by Matt Gonsalves, the boxes are still manufactured by the family’s Conco Corporation. There are a … Continue reading

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An Engineered Solution

The slab was the major issue that made this house virtually unsellable. Like most foreclosures, the house suffered from years of delayed maintenance, like peeling paint on the windowsills, and broken glass in some of the windows. Once it was … Continue reading

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HumaNature

The Design Charrette changed the focus of the remodeling project. I went from dreaming of LEED glory to the hard facts of the limitations of a budget. We had committed $50,000 to the project. That is the whole project of … Continue reading

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Late September Reinforcements!

By late September, the project needed a boost. So my husband and son came out to help and to cut down the dead trees at the entrance and one that was planted too close to the house. That one rattled … Continue reading

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Bagster Truck

The debris began to overwhelm the garage with the three filled bags so I called the Bagster company to find out about hauling it away. They declared that the bags had to be in the open, and could not get … Continue reading

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