Archive for the 'Plumbing' Category

September Updates

Lot’s going on this month. If you follow us on twitter (@uphillhouse) you’ll know that we now have running water! Gould & Sons came out to install the pump and water pressure tank. They drilled the well a little over a year ago in June. See the post, Drill baby, drill!. They set the pump at 300′ which should give us 12-15 gallons per minute.

Last week also saw the installation of sheetrock on the 2nd floor and basement. Taping should be completed by the end of the week in those two areas so we can start priming and painting. As soon as we get the basement primed, we can move all the tools from the first floor to the basement. Then we can finish insulating and sheetrocking the first floor.

This weekend I was able to install the shower pan mortar base and drain. We’ll be using Kerdi-Drain and Kerdi membrane, a waterproofing material from Schluter, to water seal the shower enclosure. I’m hoping to get started with the membrane this week.

We also received several deliveries last week. Our water heater arrived. It’s a 50 gallon Marathon. It’s a very efficient electric water heater and well insulated. We decided not to go with the Hybrid heat pump approach, which is a great idea but not for our cold climate and dry basement. We decided against tankless hot water approaches because we’re all electric. I haven’t done a huge amount of research but it looks like the electric tankless approach is getting better over time. This may be a good approach in the future.

And our gutters finally arrived. Warren started putting up the front side gutters today. I’m working on a post about how we’re connecting the downspouts to the rain filter and cistern under the porch. It has taken quite a bit of research to figure it all out.

Tomorrow the tub surround will be installed. And hopefully the rain will hold off long enough tomorrow to finish installing the gutters and downspouts.

We’re trying to finish as much as we can for the Green Building Open House / National Solar Tour this Saturday. Many thanks to Paul and Joanne Coons from Clifton Parks for stopping by last weekend and dropping off the open house sign. You can find their house and lots of other amazing houses on the tour at the NESEA Green Buildings or the National Solar Tour sites. Stop by to visit.

July updates

It’s hard to imagine that it’s already August!

We’ve been busy with porch framing, painting the siding, sealing the deck, insulating water pipes and framing the last interior wall for the ASHP.

We still have a long way to go with the siding, but we’re getting a jump on the second coat of stain on the weekends. The Cabot acrylic stain really goes on well and the color (Thicket) looks great.

Warren and crew have completed the porch framing and deck, and about about a third of the ceiling v-groove. We sealed the edges of the porch deck this weekend. Bernie thinks we built the porch just for her. (The sealer is really to protect the deck from her drool.)

We’ve finished insulating most of the plumbing pipes in the 2nd floor. There is one area where the pipes are too close together to use individual foam wraps, so we’re going to try spray foam.

And finally the last interior wall. The refrigerant copper tubing for the interior unit of the ASHP can’t be bent in a tight radius, so we built a double stud wall at the stair to allow the tubing to bend more graciously. There is only a gap of an inch between the two walls. The tubing goes diagonally down to the lower right corner then through the first landing and out the exterior wall. The condensate drain also goes through this double wall. It passes through the second landing into the pantry to drain in the washer / dryer drain.

August promises to be even busier.

Bath Time

Last week the plumber roughed in the waste pipes and venting. Soon he’ll begin the hot and cold water supply lines. He asked what faucets we’re using to make sure he has all the right connections, specs, etc. This prompted a mini bath shopping spree, and an opportunity for me to share our bath plans.

Faucets: We really like the old-fashioned cross handles, and starting looking around for an updated, streamline version. We eventually settled on the Grohe Arden line as they are less expensive than similar models from Kohler and Berclay and got great reviews. We ordered the Watersense versions (low-flow 1.5 GPM) in chrome last Friday. Unfortunately it will take 2 weeks for delivery.

Bathtub: We are doing a separate soaking tub and shower. We bought the 6′ Kohler Archer drop-in tub before we closed in the house. Larry started working on the the framing for the tub surround over Memorial Day weekend, and I put a deposit on a Carrara marble slab for the tub surround yesterday.  Once the framing is done, we will make a trip to the stone yard to pick out our slab and the installers will come to the site and create a template. It will take about two weeks to cut, edge and polish the slab after templating. The tub drain was ordered with the faucets, so all the plumbing should be in place before the slab is ready for install.

Shower: We are looking into using the Schluter-Shower System to waterproof the shower area. It’s cool because you install it over regular drywall and it keeps everything water tight. We will be using a frameless glass door instead of a curtain to allow more light and help make the space feel bigger.

Tile: We were originally planning to tile the walls in the bath, but to save money we are now just tiling the shower enclosure and front of the tub surround. We are considering Lucian glass tiles from Ann Sacks and Optix from Waterworks. We have chosen a light gray porcelain tile for the floor and are looking at a flat pebble for the shower floor in either a blue/green mix or white (similar to Carrara.)

Vanity: Next big sale day, we will be ordering the Hutton washstand in dark espresso with Carrara marble top from Restoration Hardware.

Heat: We will be heating the bathroom (and our towels) with a Runtal Radiator Electric Omnipanel.

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