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Building a new house and shop

Discussion in 'Workshop and Home Improvement' started by 1911, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Well, the latest round/layer of waterproofing seems to have done the trick, we had 1.5-2" of rain over two days last week, and the inside of the house was nice and dry. So I signed-off on the waterproofing and paid the balance on it. Dirt contractor was out again yesterday to go through the plan again, though he can't start on it for two weeks. Looking forward to making progress again.
     
  2. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Progress, finally! Tried to lay out the 10-mil plastic sheeting over the top of the house three times this week, each time, the wind was too much (even at only 10-12 mph). This stuff is HEAVY (145 lbs. per roll), and each roll unfolds to a 20' x 100' sheet - but with any kind of breeze, it quickly turns into a 20' x 100' sail. Even if you can get it laid down, the breeze just picks it up again, almost no matter what you weight it with (tried rebar, clay, rocks...). Looking at the weather forecast, some wind was forecast every day this week - except in the wee hours of the morning today. So, up at 1:45 am, out laying plastic by 2:00 am. It was dead calm, and it went down easy. Had to cut holes for the vent stacks and solar panel support pillars. Overlapped like shingles; laid the valleys between the domes first, then all of the parapet wall, then the ridges (domes).



    There was no moon to speak of, so we rented a Generac portable light plant.

    3.5 hours later, it was complete, and we started putting soil on top to hold it down. The dirt contractor rented a cool track-mounted conveyor belt that is self-driving by remote control. Puts soil up on the roof without having to drive equipment up there yet (you don't want to ever drive on the bare concrete - only after a foot or so of dirt has covered it).


    You feed the conveyor at the bottom with a track steer or similar:


    Another 2.5 hours work, and we had enough soil piles on the overlapped seams to keep the sheet plastic in place for the remainder of the back-filling process. A light wind came back after the sun was fully up, but everything is holding so far.
    Rain is forecast for tomorrow, that's why I wanted to at least get all the plastic sheeting on by today. Hopefully there won't be enough rain to wash much of the soil away. Less than an inch is forecast, last time I looked. Back-filling will resume again in earnest on Tuesday.
     
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  3. scrapdaddy

    scrapdaddy Standing on the corner SILVER Star

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    Wow, what a cool story you'll have to tell the grandkids. A lot of work now, but down the road it will be fun to think back about all of it.

    Keep at it man!
     
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  4. Ol Yeller

    Ol Yeller

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    Git er done!

    Sometimes you gotta work with what your dealt, good on you guys for pushing through with a light plant, should gather some momentum now!
     
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  5. imyahucklbrry

    imyahucklbrry "En cervisia veritas" SILVER Star

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    Ahhh.... I ran out of 40 tech stuff that interested me early this morning and ran across this home saga! Admit to mostly looking at the pictures but did read some too... great way to spend a lazy Saturday morning... got so into it I forgot to make coffee :rolleyes:

    Look forward to “The Rest of the Story!” :cheers:
     
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  6. onemanarmy

    onemanarmy

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    anxiously waiting....

    thanks so much for sharing
     
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  7. gunracer1

    gunracer1

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    looks awesome
     
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  8. mdsims

    mdsims

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    chop chop!!! We're ready to move in already!
     
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  9. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Progress, though never as fast as you think. Have a lot of sifted dirt up on top of the house, and more along the back side, but rain has delayed us several days the last couple of weeks. Here is what it looks like now, as seen from the hill above the back:


    No rain is forecast for the next 10 days, so we should get a lot done this week. Now there is enough dirt on the back side to drive a track steer up there and on top, to start smoothing out this base layer of dirt. Once the base layer is down and smooth between the domes (and only 1' or so above the dome peaks), we will put down a layer of 1" thick expanded polystyrene foam board over the whole house, then another layer of 10-mil plastic sheeting over that, then as much dirt as we can over that and re-contour the hill side.
     
  10. ceylonfj40nut

    ceylonfj40nut Hate Design Obsolescence SILVER Star

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    It’s biblical. Moving mountains. Epic. Looking great
     
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  11. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    OK, more progress this week, it's finally starting to look like something. Nothing happened all last week; the dirt contractor took the week off to take his daughter to the national archery championships in Louisville, Kentucky. His daughter won Texas for her age group (high school), and placed 68th out of a thousand contestants in Louisville. Her first time at this competition too.

    Once we had enough dirt on top and in the back to make a ramp for the track steer, it went pretty fast up on top. You just have to be careful to always be pushing dirt in front of you, so you don't run on the plastic sheeting and waterproofing underneath. The 1st layer is almost complete, just need a little more on the edges by the parapet wall, and to smooth everything so we can lay down a layer of 1" expanded polystyrene insulation and another layer of plastic sheeting:



    The other thing you have to be careful of, is never to touch (with the track steer) any of the vent stacks or concrete pillars up there. Fortunately, there is enough room between most of them to maneuver, but you still have to watch, especially when backing up. Fortunately, the dirt contractor is an expert and an artist with his track steer. He rented a smaller 75 hp one just to work up on top.

    It's starting to look like something, now that the domes are all covered and valleys between them filled in and smoothed out. One more day of track steer work should make us ready to lay the EPS and sheeting. Hopefully the wind won't be bad when the time comes - the EPS sheets are 16' long by 4' wide, but they're really light and would blow away easily.

    Meanwhile, back up the road at my shooting range, the soil processor is still at work. Another big (95hp) track steer is feeding it. You put raw material (excavated from the hill to build the house) in at one end, and it goes through a big turning drum. The drum exterior is a 1" open grid, so everything less than 1" in diameter goes out a conveyor on the side, and everything 1" or larger goes out another conveyor on the end. Powered by it's own diesel engine. This thing is expensive to rent, but really worth it, to have sifted soil to put on the top of the house and not have to worry about grinding rocks into/through the waterproofing.


     
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  12. ceylonfj40nut

    ceylonfj40nut Hate Design Obsolescence SILVER Star

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    Nice. Looks like you had fun with some big toys. Envious. Well done. One of a kind and for the ages. One open house I would go to.
     
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  13. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Thanks!


    That can be arranged ...
     
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  14. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    I've actually been thinking about putting a tiny one together for some projects around the house. I was thinking of using a portable concrete mixer, cutting "windows" in the drum, and welding in some perforated metal. Seeing the rotary brush on the one your using is a good idea. I should have a brush or scraper of some sort because I know stuff tends to get caught in the holes.

    Unfortunately, I've seen too many situations at job sites where some operator got cocky and ran into something at full tilt in reverse. It reminds you to stay humble about such things. ;)
     
  15. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    Yep, that's exactly why the rotary brush is there, to knock rocks and stuff out of the holes. I don't see why a homemade small one like you describe wouldn't work.



    It made me really nervous at first, and I was up there with him all the time. Even a single bump on a vent stack could possibly (probably?) cause a leak. But the operator is an artist with the track steer, and has done an outstanding job so far, so I am sleeping better at night.
     
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  16. mdsims

    mdsims

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    Paint all the stacks with pink chalk/marking paint, disturbed paint makes it glaringly obvious if someone were to hit one. Then you have the opportunity to fix. All the future heartache I've seen stemmed not from the initial damage but from the tendency of people to hide the error and move on without inspecting/correcting.

    I know you're on it, just 0.02
     
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  17. scrapdaddy

    scrapdaddy Standing on the corner SILVER Star

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