Thursday, April 21, 2016

Concrete is Poured!

Things are slowly starting to move forward.  Late last week, the excavation began on our new home.  Wonderful Hubby spread several feet of gravel for the base to help with drainage.
Concrete forms were erected.  The footings were poured earlier this week and the basement walls were poured today!   
This side of the house will have the bedrooms.  Our master will be on the main level and the kids' rooms will be in the basement.  Each of them will have a window and there will be a walk-out in the middle of this wall.  I hope the guys have them figured in there somewhere!?!
The section with the grass will be our covered patio.  The angled framed area (lower left) will be the outdoor fireplace.  Our dining room/kitchen is to the right.
Here is the same area from another perspective.  This is looking though the patio area all the way through the main level.

I brought Dear Mother-in-law to watch the pouring process and we were amazed how cleverly it's done now.  The concrete trucks pour the concrete into a large pumping truck which then uses a long, jointed boom to deliver the concrete exactly where it's needed.  
What a contraption!  Dear MIL was quite impressed!  No more carting concrete in wheelbarrows!  The pumper truck operator uses a remote control to manipulate the boom.  He's the man on the right in the gray shirt below.
The guys then smooth out the wet concrete on top of the forms.  They had the forms filled in just about four hours.  The concrete will be left to cure for a day or two, then the forms will be removed.  

It's getting exciting now as we can actually see the footprint of the house!  

The weather forecast for next week sounds a bit wet and stormy but hopefully we'll 
be able to see some construction!   Thanks for stopping by!  

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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

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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