Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Digging Begins....Finally!

Have you heard the saying "The watched pot never boils?"  Well, that's what this Spring has felt like WAITING to start digging our basement! Today, we FINALLY have soil moved and the beginning of our new home has commenced!

Mr. Excavator Man delivered his equipment at the end of last week and began digging this morning. Wonderful Hubby will help moving the rock for the base. We hope to have the majority this stage done by tomorrow. Later in the week, the concrete team should put up the forms and pour the concrete basement walls and garage and porch footings.  (Keep your fingers crossed!)

Since this post is all about moving dirt, I'll share how we've decided to heat our home.  It's not a pretty post but is kind of fun and something we were able to do mostly ourselves.  

Our current home is heated by a Hardy Wood Furnace.  We installed it 25 years ago when we built our current house.  Wonderful Hubby has cut wood for it from our property and has (mostly) enjoyed the time outside and the exercise.
He's had some help from yours truly and the kids but as he ages, a wood furnace for our new home was not a consideration.
He did a lot of research on the subject and we decided a geothermal heat pump was right for us. If you're not familiar with the geothermal concept, here is a description from energy.com:

Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps, have been in use since the late 1940s. They use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300% to 600%) on the coldest winter nights, compared to 175% to 250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days. 

We chose a closed loop system that circulates an antifreeze solution through plastic tubing that's buried in the ground.  A heat exchanger transfers heat between the refrigerant in the the heat pump and the antifreeze solution in the closed loop. Our loop will be in a vertical configuration.

Not only are we building on the backside of our farm with lots of space for the pipes, but WH also has and enjoys using a mini-excavator.  It was perfect for digging the pipe field.  

So last fall, that's just what he did!  The weather and soil were perfect for the project and he had it done it less than three days!  Here are a few pictures.
He dug five trenches, each 250 feet long.  We laid the pipe in each trench, looping it so it ran the length and back.  Each trench then had 500 feet of pipe.  
Here you can see the pipe loop on either side of the trench.  You can also see the 'beautiful' clay soil of eastern Missouri.  :/
Our HVAC guys came when we were finished and connected all the pipes into two larger pipes that will enter the house through the basement floor. Those will be connected to the actual Heat Pump. 

When everything was in place and connected, WH filled the trenches back in. No one will ever know this pipe field is in our front yard!
This view is facing where our house will be.

This is looking at our circle drive and the county road beyond.  I'm standing on the pipe field.
Well, that's the nitty gritty part of our new home.  More interesting design and decor posts are planned in the future but I actually helped some with this project and wanted to share it.  I'll let you know how well it heats and cools our house, too.  It's an interesting concept and a bit costly in the beginning. With some tax credits and rebates and the energy savings, it should pay for itself in about 5-10 years.  Anyway, it will certainly beat cutting all of that wood!
Thanks for stopping by.  I'd enjoy hearing from you! 


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8 comments:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

This has to be so exciting! All the planning is finally coming together.

Kim said...

The building of your new home does sound exciting. What an excellent way to heat and cool a home. It sounds as this method will reap monetary rewards for you in the end.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Yay I'm excited for you! We had two homes built many years ago and I enjoyed the whole process. Yes there are frustrating days but all in all it's a great experience. I only know one person that did a GEO thermo system but in their case a well was dropped in to use for the water. As far as I know they were very happy with it but they didn't live there long so I don't know the history. Anyway you'll love the poured walls for the basement. Not only is it fast but they are supposedly even stronger than block walls (so I was told). It's so exciting to see the framing go up. Then it really feels like a home! I hope you'll share frequent posts!

Creations By Cindy said...

How EXCITING! I love how the plan is finally coming together. Oh I can't wait to see you post more pics as you go along with this process. It will be sooooo worth it in the end! I am so excited for you and your man! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Carol said...

Such an exciting adventure for you and your family!

trishie said...

How exciting that work has began!!! Look forward to more updates..

My Kentucky Living said...

How exciting! We have built three houses...each with their unique experiences. Ha! Looking forward to watching the progress. Sheila

Art and Sand said...

How exciting!

I can't wait to watch the progression.


Thanks for sharing with SYC.