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What's Gouin On 8/24/08?

It's been a while since I provided any sort of update except in pictures. Things were slow today so I figured I'd take some time to catch you up.

It has been exactly one month since the modules were set on the foundation. We continue to wait for Penn Lyon to pick up their trailers in order for us to backfill the left side of the foundation and dig the electrical trench.

We are also waiting for the Penn Lyon service crew. They need to:

1. Replace the front main roof (misaligned shingles)
2. Complete roof drip edge (sections missing)
3. Frame returns (incomplete)
4. Complete framing of collar ties (incomplete)
5. Replace the staircase and surrounding wall section (water damaged with mold)
6. Replace the refrigerator panel and a kitchen drawer (water damaged with mold)
7. Align the 2nd story modules (floors uneven by about 1/2")
This is holding up a great deal of the finish work (drywall, finish carpentry) due to a concern for cracking and having to re-work. We still do not have a definite date for this work.
8. Furnish missing cabinet/vanity components
9. Raise base moulding to 3/4"
10. Fix a wavy ceiling in dining room / great room area
11. Replace a damaged closet door

Unlike earlier delays, this delay is costing us significant money and time.  We still have no firm commitments on when the trailers will be picked up, or when the service crew will arrive to get this stuff done.

In any case, we are making some progress in other areas.  We've managed to get the exterior left side of the house completed. All the windows were installed, insulation added and seams taped, modular seams foamed, and siding installed. The rear is nearly complete except for the slider. Alpen accidentally shipped it unassembled and missing a few small parts. Our first "care package" of parts didn't have the ones we needed to install the door panels, but we should be able to at least install the frame on Monday in order to complete the rear exterior siding work.

This wait is frustrating.

The carpenter (Russ Collete) has completed the stairs to the basement, and will complete the rough framing for the front portico on Monday. Our countertops (The Stone Cobblers) are ready and waiting to be delivered - all they need are safe front stairs. The plumbers started making their connections. We started interior framing of the windows (Pro Painting) this past week despite concerns that shifting the modules will cause problems. I guess we'll see what happens.

My wife has taken to calling me "Mr. Foam". Rather than leaving air sealing to someone else, I decided it would be best for me to do it in my spare time. I purchased a professional foam gun from EFI (see vendor list) and have been an air sealing madman. I promise to provide pictures of important details at a later time.

Bob Scales (see vendor list) came out to deepen our well and adapt it for use with our GSHP. Unfortunately, he broke a bit and drilling ceased. We are now contemplating the risks vs. rewards of trying to deepen the existing well with a smaller bit or simply drilling a second well. Since we will have two heat pumps, this option would work just fine. It just costs more. The jury is still out on this one.

I made the decision to add 1/2" of rigid foam board to the exterior of the house prior to installing the vinyl siding (MTS Siding and Roofing). While this may seem like overkill for a house with R40 SIP walls, I have a clear method for my madness - eliminate all thermal bridging. Despite the SIP walls, there is still quite a bit of framing that goes inside to outside (window and door framing, band joists, attic framing, etc). In fact, I estimated that approximately 250 square feet of the exterior walls is framing. These areas would have an R value of ~9 without additional measures. The foam board is an economical way to increase the R value and eliminate the thermal bridges. Seams in the foam board were taped with Tyvek tape for additional air sealing.

There are a lot of details to this house that could easily go un-noticed or forgotten. At some point in the future, I will provide pictures of the things I have considered, the actions I took, and the reasoning behind my action so others might do the same for their house. In most cases, it simply boils down to insulation and air sealing.

That's all I have for now.

Ed

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