Category Archives: Construction

Building it up.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Courtesy Inspection

Laying the drains and vents for the house took several days. We had hoped to have an inspection after only 3 days of layout and gluing but after 3 days we ended up asking for a courtesy inspection instead of … Continue reading

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HP Geotech Geotechnical Engineering Study

We wanted this house even though it was not in great shape. We knew we had to figure out why the slab had cracked so badly and repour a slab that would not have the same damage in the future. … Continue reading

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Plumbing Disaster!

Construction is exhausting work. Sometimes being tired at the end of a work day will lead to an error of judgement that causes a “disaster”. Unfortunately this happened while pressure testing the new drains for the first time. It was … Continue reading

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Passing the Underground Rough In

Signed Sealed Delivered. 12/10/12 It was not easy to pass the plumbing inspection. Not because the inspector was difficult or picky, quite the opposite. Our inspector was VERY helpful and wanted to see us pass and recommended wet venting the … Continue reading

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Structured Plumbing

We are interested in wasting as little water as possible and to that end, we designed a structured plumbing system that allows for the hot water to circulate within a loop system of pipes to deliver hot water at the … Continue reading

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Crown Jade Engineering Drawings

Mark Benjamin of Crown Jade Engineering delivered the final plan for the Waffle Mat system just was the plastic vapor barrier was being installed. The plan is engineered with the PSI concrete standards using a PSI computer program that took … Continue reading

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Insulstar!

Quite a bit of time went into researching the insulation for under the slab. The engineers were concerned about the insulation holding up to the stresses that the wafflemat would be mitigating. Apparently no other customers of Wafflemat had required … Continue reading

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Really Rebar

The engineering plan from Crown Jade uses rebar instead of post tensioning cable to reinforce the concrete in the floor. The computer program that the engineers used to design the floor system was a Post Tensioning Insitute product. Post Tensioning … Continue reading

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De Floor, de floor!

The concrete was poured on March 18th after six months of work by Alberto’s crew to remove the old concrete and dig out for the waffle boxes. Then the installation of the vapor barrier and the boxes, the insulation, the … Continue reading

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Radon Mitigation

Zone 1 has the highest concentration of Radon in the ground. Radon has been found to be a naturally occurring cancer causing element that is concentrated in homes that have direct contact with the earth especially in Level 1 (Red) … Continue reading

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Boiler Flue

The boiler flue and air supply need only plastic pipe to connect to the outside. Most new furnaces use PVC now instead of metal flue. I didn’t want to put another hole in the roof so I ordered a concentric … Continue reading

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