Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A lot has happened since the last post. After the concrete dried I took all the forms apart to use the wood once again for something else. With the footer done I could then bolt on the bottom plate. This is the only wood I have had to buy from a lumber yard so far because this piece needed to be treated wood. A layer of felt paper was placed on the footer first to form a vapor barrier between the concrete and the straw even though the straw will sit an inch and a half above the concrete anyway. My daughter Bethen helped me bolt on the bottom plate. She put the washers on, then started the nuts on the bolts and tightened them with a wrench. She really got into it. (Daddy went back and tightened them a little more later ) With the bottom plate on I could then measure out exactly where the bathroom walls would be. Then the digging started. I dug out all the trenches where I needed to place plumbing for drainage. This took a while with the rocky ground. Once the trenches were done, I put in all the plumbing and capped of the pipes coming out of the ground. Next I put in a layer of gravel, then a vapor barrier, then a layer of 2" rigid foam insulation on the ground and up the sides of the foundation. The foam is not very green and is very expensive. I think next time I build one of these I will find a cheaper more eco friendly solution for ground insulation. There are several layers of flooring to go before the walls go up. All of the groundwork is time consuming and I was dying to start building with wood. I have to keep the site clear so I can dump loads of dirt in with the tractor for the next floor layer. One night Carrie mention that since I can't get the tractor around the South facing wall, why not go ahead and put up that wall. I ran to the building site with a big grin on my face and had the south wall up in two hours! I am frantically trying to get the floor layers in so I can continue the other walls. When I begin, it will take me less than one day to finish the walls minus the window framing. It will go from a square on the ground to something that resembles a house very quickly. Getting that one wall up was very motivating. The next floor layer is 6" of compacted earth. (dirt) on top of my foam. I am installing an earthen floor. Yesterday I put in the first section of that earth layer. At first I thought, what am I doing putting dirt all over my nice looking insulation. Then as I leveled and compacted it, I thought what a great feeling having earth in the house. It fells great to stand on and I instantly fell in love with the idea. With the radiant heat under it, it will be very cozy. Any kind of wood flooring would someday eventually rot. The dirt I used for my floor has been around forever, and will continue to be around forever. It will take me at least seven more days to complete this floor layer. Tonight I am excited to put up the east wall. I will not need to access that side with the tractor anymore. I will post some new pictures of the earth going in and the walls so far. The next floor layers are the radiant tubing followed by two more inches of compacted earth. I have purchases all of my radiant tubing parts. Now I just have to figure out how to install it! After that I will put the last two walls up and the roof. I have ordered the roof trusses and the metal, which are coming soon! Once the roof is up protecting the floor I will then put in the adobe layer. 1 1/2" of adobe floor. This will dry out while the walls are open. Once dry I can stack bales! Then once the house is done I will put a half inch finish coat of adobe on the floor followed by seven coats of linseed oil. It should make for a nice floor finish.
Today I picked up three huge loads of recycled wood for a very good price. I am very excited about. That should about be all the wood I will need for the house and then some. All of my wood so far has been well under half price except for the bottom plate.
Stay tuned for more pictures...