Archive for December, 2010

Tree trimming for electric service

Today the tree trimming company Asplundh arrived to clear the areas where the electric service would be installed along the driveway. Although I looked forward to any progress getting permanent electricity to site, I knew it would involve removing more trees. Fortunately many will be taken to a local sawmill and returned as framing lumber for future projects. Now we’re ready for the poles to be installed in two weeks.

Snow Delay

Between the holidays and snow storm, it has been a quite week at the house site. But I did make it up to the site today to see how the house looks in 2 feet of snow. Very peaceful.

Last week we took down 10 or 12 large mature trees within striking distance of the house. I’m glad we did it before the snow and high winds Monday.

The tree trimmers for the electric company are scheduled to be on site Thursday. And the electric company itself is tentatively scheduled to be onsite week after next.

Wall section at top of foundation

I promised a long time ago to post some better section details to indicate what we are doing for air sealing, water drainage and  insulation. Thought I would start where the wall meets the foundation. I have a few more details in mind, wall at 2nd floor ceiling, attic hatch, and window and door openings.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Soffit and roof update

The soffit and trim around the roof is mostly completed and the metal roof arrived Thursday last week. Now all we need is a few days of good weather (i.e. no snow) to get the roof on.

No more window woes

Today a local window repairman for Accurate Dorwin came out to fix our window woes. George, from Geo Glass in Vermont, seemed very experienced with our windows. He swapped out four sashes in a few hours and was busy adjusting the remaining windows when I left. He will have to return with some new parts to finish the job.

Overall my experience with Accurate Dorwin has been positive. They make a great product but I think they could exercise a lot more quality control before the windows leave the factory. Their customer service has been fairly good.

 

CFLs, who knew?

I’m putting together a list of all the known electrical appliances and devices in the house. One of the items on the list is lights. So I started looking around to see how many watts CFLs consume in comparison to incandescents. Then I came across this page…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

Who knew there were so many things to consider when choosing a CFL?

 

Updates

Windows

A window repair person is scheduled to be at the site Monday morning to swap some sashes and glass units, and adjust the remaining units. We’re hoping this goes smoothly and we don’t find any other issues.

Driveway

We officially own our entire driveway as of yesterday when the final papers were filed. Before yesterday, the center section of our driveway was still on our neighbor’s land. This adjustment has been in the works since April.

Electric Company

National Grid is like any large organization, lot’s of forms to fill out, they never call you back, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I have spared the blog my venom, but this is getting to be a chapter right out of the movie Brazil. I have to report that we still don’t have a scheduled date for electric service to be installed to the house. It could be Spring before we have power from the grid.

Solar Electric

I really wish it made economic sense to go off the grid completely, because so far we’ve gotten a much better response from one of the solar vendors in our area, GroSolar. They came out to the house to do a solar survey and sent us an estimate that same night. To summarize, after all rebates and tax credits, we’re looking at spending roughly $14k for a 6.9 kW system that should bring us to net zero in energy usage. Pretty awesome.

Window and doors update, siding and snow arrives

Yesterday we had a sales rep for AccurateDorwin come out to the site to see first hand our window woes. He confirmed our findings and promised to set things straight. But as of today, still no official word.

In more positive news, two of the three doors have been installed. We now have a weather protected space to work while its 29 degrees outside. Too bad all the work is on the outside.

Speaking of outside, our siding has arrived. It’s all primed and ready to go in 20 foot long pieces of hemlock. And it’s just in time because we had our first snow yesterday.

We’re still waiting on the metal roof. It was suppose to be delivered last week.

On a final note, I met today with a solar PV installer from GroSolar to get an estimate. More on this when I get a quote from them, hopefully in the next day or so.

Window Woes

As we finished installing the windows Tuesday we started to notice some things that didn’t add up. In our initial review everything seemed to be correct. But upon closer inspection we noticed that the tempered glass unit (2 mulled casements) that was to be used in the bathroom only contained one tempered window, the other was not tempered. So I emailed the AccurateDorwin rep to say we were missing a tempered glass window.

Then we found that one of the larger units on the first floor (pictured above) had a tempered glass window. We had found our missing tempered glass casement. All the south-facing operative windows are the same size, so theoretically we should be able to swap them out. Then we found that the bathroom unit really is the bedroom unit, it has the special egress hinges. So essentially 3 of the window units (out of 14) were assembled somewhat randomly.

Disappointing. Now we’re waiting to see how their customer service responds. Stay tuned…


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