We have been celebrating a big milestone in our project and I want to share that with you:
The tire walls are finally completed!
We have compacted and assembled, at the last estimate, some 950+ tires.
We have also completed the preparation of all the forms for the foundations of the internal load bearing partitions and the door sills.
There cannot be an update without starting by the most important factors in our beautiful country: the weather and winter which is knocking at the door.
We have been quite fortunate once again with the weather as we only had a few hours when rain forced us to shut down.
However, this last week has seen some pretty cold conditions and the first thing we do in the morning is to light the fire place close to the construction site. Overnight frost is becoming more and more frequent. Last night the mercury went down to -8oC and tonight we expect -9oC; yesterday and today we have some snow-flakes showers in between brief appearance of sunshine. Two concerns with the weather:
1. The primary concern is the project and being able to finish all tasks by mid-November
2. The other challenge of course is for me to survive living in our trailer in these conditions.
Update on planned activities:
Next activities on our calendar:
1. We receive and pour just under 3 cu yds. of concrete Monday Oct 19th taking advantage of the no frost weather forecast for early next week.
2. We finish putting all sill plates in place on top of the walls. To be completed next Friday
3. We do all the framing for the load bearing walls and build the beams which will support the roof. To be completed by October 27th These are the four east-west non-tire walls:
a. The long south external wall.
b. The long internal partition between the green house and the living area.
c. The short wall closing the recessed part on the north side of the house containing the utility room
and the root cellar.
d. The short west side door wall.
4. We receive the custom trusses between Oct 28 and 30th.
5. We install the trusses. To be completed by November 6th.
6. We put the decking. To be completed by November 10th.
7. We put the ice and water protection membrane. To be completed by November 11th (without forgetting a minute of silence).
8. We install the metal roof between the November 10th and 20th and close the site.
A number of important decisions that were made:
Framing wood supplier:
At first I was tempted to use wood from a local Mennonite lumber mill ‘Northwood Lumber’ because it was of course very nice quality wood and it was larger size because it was raw/un-dressed. For instance, a ‘2x4’ measures actually 2’’ by 4‘’ when everybody knows that they always measure 1 ½’’ par 3 ½’’. However, there were a few inconveniences:
1. NL’s wood dimensions being different from the planned dimensions, I would have had to recalculate all design sizes.
2. NL’s wood is not certified and getting that certification adds a cost.
3. NL’s price quote was not better than that from Tim-Br
4. Tim-Br proposed me to use a decking material called Durastrand for the roof instead of tongue and groove plywood. It is an engineered material, cheaper and apparently stronger and easier to assemble. I will use 3/4“board (as recommended by Norther Lumber).
I decided to buy all standard lumber and the decking material from Tim-Br.
Trusses supplier and type of truss to use:
I had asked for quotes from the local Tim-Br store for my custom trusses (made by Kingdon Trusses in Lakefield) and from Ontario Trusses & Walls (between Belleville and Madoc). This was my experience:
1. Tim-Br took 2 to 3 weeks to give me a quote after repeated calls to the store. My contact there was a sales man who made the liaison with the engineer at Kingdon. I had asked for a comparison between using custom trusses or standard TJI joists but never got it.
2. Within a week, Ontario Trusses & Walls sent me the high level comparison between making custom trusses and purchasing TJI joists. This allowed me to make a quick decision to use the custom trusses. The choice was made based on:
a. Purchasing the standard TJI joists was cheaper in terms of material but
b. Using standard TJI joists would make us incur additional labour and material due to the fact that these joists would have to be hung rather than rest on the beams and we would have to add pieces for the overhangs.
There was no question that I needed to stay with the custom trusses.
Some of the other benefits of dealing with Ontario Trusses were:
a. Direct contact with the engineer
b. Faster and better customer service
c. Delivery expected within 3 weeks (Kingdon wanted 6 weeks which would not have allowed us to put the roof in before winter.)
Once again this was an easy decision to decide and do business with Ontario Trusses and Wall.
Metal roofing supplier
I asked for a quote from the local Tim-Br store and from Northwood Lumber.
Tim-Br gave me a quote quite immediately, but they behaved like salesmen and I did not have the feeling that they took strong ownership of the challenge posed by the shallow 6o slope of my roof and the risk of leakage.
Northwood Lumber at first was not very committed, but when I challenged them, they did take ownership and worked with their supplier with my drawings. They came back with a solid proposal with a different profile with higher ridges and no apparent screws. Their quote was more complete. They had done their homework and I appreciated that. Also their material is thicker.
This was an easy decision and I will get my metal roof from Northwood Lumber
· We celebrated the wall completion milestone this week, so of course the spirits are up and we are pumped up ready to forge ahead.
· The cold weather is increasingly a concern and many a night, I worry about the water installation freezing, but it seems to be doing quite well this year so far.