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high desert. small house.

Days 245-246: Framing Inspection & Insulation Preparation

Tuesday, 3/15
First thing this morning, at 9am sharp, was our framing inspection.  Considering we had overbuilt the bathroom and had made minimal stud penetrations, we figured it would be an easy pass.

Hurrah – we passed!  Now, time to frantically install the HRV, install the bathroom fan ducting, tape the rest of the insulation seams, finish the water lines and bury the plumbing trench.  All before our appointment tomorrow morning at 10:30am.

Pause, back-up, reconsider…that’s too stressful.  A better plan is to postpone our insulation appointment one more day so we have all of Wednesday to take care of the loose ends properly.  We lucked out again – the insulation crew had an opening Thursday morning.

Our next point of investigation was with regards to the LP Smartside.  Brian has attempted several times to check whether or not our insulation plan (damp spray cellulose) was compatible with our LP Smartside composite panels.  We ended up calling the company and received some discouragement with regards to using ‘wet spray’ cellulose.  However, after some research, it became clear that what was once ‘wet spray’ has been improved; “damp spray” is now the industry standard.  Plus we’ve seen Smartside fully exposed to the elements year round here and it holds up better than expected.

We made a judgement call and decided to still use it.  We’d prefer it over the dense-pack cellulose because it kind of sets in place and creates a better air seal.  Plus it’s relatively difficult to do the netting for dense pack on the arch walls.  And there’s less dust.  This page answers a lot of questions.

Wow, we knew we had a big rat problem but what we hadn't realized is that we have a big problem with huge rats.

Wow, we knew we had a big rat problem but what we hadn’t realized is that we have a big problem with huge rats.  Maybe he’s making custom cellulose insulation.

Bummer Tuesday - Rip in the side wall = flat tire and carpool week.

Bummer Tuesday – Rip in the side wall = flat tire and carpool week.

But no worries, we have the super smart car!  Look at how nicely that Ditra roll fits!

But no worries, we have the super smart car! Look at how nicely that Ditra roll fits!

Wednesday, 3/16
Brian and I worked together to install the water line on Tuesday night.  He finished it up by installing the hose spout Wednesday morning.  By his afternoon check-in, he had installed the bathroom fan ducting and made progress with the HRV connection.  Remaining tasks – fill in the plumbing trench, finish the HRV and tape the seams.  [Featured image at top of post is the completed HRV.]

We unloaded the uhaul and decided to store everything on the north side of the house. We had been told by uhaul that we'd get a free month of storage...but apparently each uhaul facility gets to say yay/nay to participating. [Our local location is not on board.]

We unloaded the Uhaul and decided to store everything on the north side of the house. We had been told by Uhaul that we’d get a free month of storage…but apparently each Uhaul facility gets to say yay / nay to participating. [Our local location is not on board.]

Funny side story – With no Honda Fit for dog transport, we had to come up with an alternate means of transporting the dogs to the property.  I said to Brian, “Well, I can sit in the back of the Smart, with the tailgate down, and hold the dogs.”  He agreed with the plan.

When it came time to load up the dogs, it became clear that we had different interpretations of the plan.  He thought I was going to sit in the back and hold onto the dog leashes while they RAN along behind the car.  I thought I was going to sit in the back, with them beside me, like the back of a pick-up truck.  Unsurprisingly, my version of the plan won…I have zero faith in Trooper to keep up with a vehicle.  Not because of his age or physical condition; but because of his stubbornness and dislike of physical activity.  [Brian likes to refer to his plan as having them ‘water ski’.]

Back to the house – With 1.5 hours until sunset, we split up – I started filling in the trench and Brian took up where he had left off with the HRVs.  At 7:45pm, two hours later, I finished the trench, very dirty and cramped.  Trooper and Sydney, the wannabe-cave-dwelling-canines, kept me company.  I then left to go home and make dinner.  Brian stayed for another hour, visited home briefly to eat and then returned to the house for another hour.  Pending tasks for the morning, prior to the arrival of the insulation team –

  • Finish taping the seams
  • Remove nearly everything from the house
  • Clean up the space near the endcaps and vacuum up the construction debris
  • Remove the collection of odds and ends from underneath the house.
Look at all that nice dirt....Plumbing trench is filled.

Look at all that nice dirt….Plumbing trench is filled.

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