We're building an ICF house

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by adam_c_eckhardt, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Home stretch!

    We started moving into the basement today. It'll be a little campy for a bit but the exodus from the apartment is long overdue.

    The fir ceiling in the main living area (it's been complete for a while now):
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/j71NGv-rqBnK47Qje5iuQtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GLE986NBaew/UX276ThtZaI/AAAAAAAAAmw/uBtLfjwhhxc/s640/P4100006_1.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    Our basement bedroom- mainly wanted to show the interior doors we chose. The GC found a great deal on these solid pine doors- 4 panel shaker style, which is just what we wanted. We thought for budget reasons that we'd have to go with something cheaper but he got a good deal and passed it on to us.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/glpDWXgtFsleBhgQANM_cdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-99FQyhFY5Ko/UX27mr3GGbI/AAAAAAAAAmo/bW_JbSogsa4/s640/P4280024.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    Basement bathroom. With running water! First flush today! (Better get that septic pump hooked up soon, we've got 1700 gallons before the pump needs to come on:lol3)
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CUBVbl9qYyCHKy34n6XDjdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kYjiqiYHiQg/UX27goZ7xFI/AAAAAAAAAmg/T_vO3HCbXjo/s640/P4280021.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    This gives an idea of the trim detail on the main level. My wife found something like this online, passed it to the GC, and he really liked it and made it happen. Basically just took 5/4 clear pine and butted it up to the window jam. (Remember the walls are about a foot thick) Sheetrock is taped right up to the trim, so there's no need for casing around it. He left a slight reveal so the trim sits about 3/16 proud of the sheetrock. It's really clean looking.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/0svA3iOfGaI4gkv0T3TIctMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-udLrYR2itnM/UX27UrIMtfI/AAAAAAAAAmY/jXyPkN7rzGk/s640/P4100005.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    And the brackets are up! We really like how it looks in real life.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Q7zlp0DgcAcMZ0tn9wPy59MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-17NkbNbmETE/UX27Lwn2GjI/AAAAAAAAAmM/X6qn_-cKnjY/s640/P4160008.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    And our cabinet maker friend installed the kitchen the other day. He really did a bang up job. Now I've gotta get my act in gear to get the concrete countertops built. I've got a wet grinder/polisher on the way along with some special concrete mix and additives. If future picture shows formica tops you'll know that there was an epic concrete countertop fail. :lol3
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2t_VUT62Aun1bEd1jPuJc9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-D8KWCY_vkf0/UX27DyHODUI/AAAAAAAAAmE/Gd4I89U2F5w/s640/P4280015.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/April282013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">April 28, 2013</a></td></tr></table>
  2. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    You kept saying "brackets" and I kept thinking you, mistakenly, meant corbels. Seems I'm the one who was wrong. Those are beautiful. Fantastic architectural feature I've never seen used before. Very nice. :thumb
  3. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    I learned something- had to look up corbels. :lol3 Pretty similar if you ask me- but I've only been calling them brackets because that's what the architect and GC called them.

    What I really would have liked was for a post and beam house where features like that are actually structural. Post and beam + SIPS = more $ than we have. :deal We're broke as it is. If someone catches me in a weak moment they could probably score a 2006 R12GS.
  4. flyinfuzz

    flyinfuzz 2 Quarts low

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    Sweet house , really liked the window trim. Looks like it is coming together :clap
  5. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

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    Really like the pine doors you chose and the ceiling finish.

    About that pump. The company I worked for was moving into a new commercial space and while I was getting familiar with the generator controls and automatic transfer switch, I noticed a pump panel so I called he landlord. He said it was for something the previous tenant had done and not to worry-being wary, I asked him if he was sure. He said yes and not to worry about it. A couple of days later, the stench was unmistakable. Turns out, the building is below grade and used a lift pump to get effluent to the sewer mains. Worse, the pump had failed and the vault was within 6" of the top-which was just outside one of the side entrances to the building....so yeah, the pump should be a priority :lol3
  6. DUNDERHEAD

    DUNDERHEAD Been here awhile

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    How big is your pump chamber ? The ones we install are 1000 gallon. You will fill that in a few days.
  7. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Been without Internet since May 1st. Still won't have it at the house until the end of the month. Kinda nice to be out in the sticks without TV or Internet.

    The main septic tank is 1500 gallons. The pump chamber is 1000, and will pump when it gets to about 200 gallons. I checked the pump chamber yesterday and it hasn't started to fill yet- so I guess we're a low water use couple. :lol3

    I'll update the thread with pictures when I've got web access at the house.
  8. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    A few pictures to update.

    I feel like we're just about done- just a little bit to finish in every room. We're pretty comfortable living in the basement. I'm amazed at how comfortable and steady the temperature is. It was over 90 today and it's 64 down here. We have a nice view into the woods- hardly feels like a basement.

    The GC and his crew have been fantastic.

    I poured the concrete countertops in the kitchen and it went really well. I'm halfway through the grinding/polishing and things are looking good. I have to do a slurry coat to get the pin holes and then they'll be ready to finish and seal. Certain people have liked what they've seen and I've been given several other concrete countertop projects. :lol3

    I've been enjoying spending time on the deck. It's peaceful and quiet.
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Unj5uCva3GO9FnWUZt2RttMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zooA7j5iffk/UalC-2fmb8I/AAAAAAAAAqw/GqgdVYc9EJI/s640/P5120030.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/May312013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">May 31, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZdncW51JINnBpAcrt85SutMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-U4vY_s9exJ0/UalDALVSZMI/AAAAAAAAAqc/AJJIusFNryM/s640/P5240041.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/May312013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">May 31, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-lhVX25Aa433uZkW7fX9V9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-SCi_i8yvoeU/UalC-wZtMeI/AAAAAAAAAqQ/9fpI8DWGjlM/s640/P5240043.JPG" height="640" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/May312013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">May 31, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/44q3uMh2Bvc-ojMOjk3mvdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-YdhXjChw4Rc/UalC_6LsFdI/AAAAAAAAAqY/NhcqXTecNFw/s640/P5240044.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/115670853405340716908/May312013?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">May 31, 2013</a></td></tr></table>

    Photo sharing site is being a pain in the ass- half the photos won't embed.
  9. slackmeyer

    slackmeyer Don't mean sheeit. .

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    Very cool. Are the floors not in the kitchen yet, or do you have some sort of cover over them? How long do you think you'll spend grinding the counters, all told?

    Are you doing the tile in the bathrooms, too? I see that someone is using kerdi there. That stuff is not as easy as it looks for getting a nice flat surface to set tile on.

    Edit: and yeah, it seems like Google is making picasa more of a pain to use so that people will join google plus. argggh.
  10. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

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    Deck looks great!
  11. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    The kitchen floor is concrete. Our plan for the time being is to clean it up and seal it, maybe tint the sealer a bit and see how we like it. If we don't like it we'll just tile over it. So for now we don't worry so much about getting it dirty/wet, although we've taken precautions to protect it.

    Grinding the counters hasn't been all that bad. I bought a pretty nice wet grinder made just for this sort of thing and I've patiently gone up through the various grits. That one section I've got in along the perimeter of the kitchen is about 45 square feet and each grit takes about 45-60 minutes to do. My wife stays right next to me with the wet vac to keep things as clean and dry as possible- it's a real pain doing them in place, but I still think it was the right thing to do given the location of the sink and cooktop cutouts. The GC is really impressed with the fact that there aren't any joints in it (and that was another reason I chose this method). So when it's all said and done it'll be less than 6 hours of grinding for that section. I've still got the island to do, but I'm casting that upside down in a mold and will be able to work on it outside. That will go faster since I don't have to keep pace with the wet vac. All in all I'm very impressed with the whole concept and will be doing more of it in the future. Some aspects of it are harder than expected, and some are easier.

    Our lead guy is doing the tile in the shower. We've found that he's exceptional at just about everything he touches, and the tile work is no different. I can do a pretty decent job on the floor tile- I'm pretty anal about getting everything flat and straight- but I wasn't willing to tackle a shower just yet.

    Better get to work!
  12. Dastard

    Dastard Just another guy

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    Nice thread. I atarted last night and made it through the whole thing. Very impressive.

    D
  13. kobudo28

    kobudo28 Banned

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    Looking really good A!!!
  14. Going_Commando

    Going_Commando Been here awhile

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    Hey Adam, I did some work in a house the other week with a finished basement and some awesome stained concrete floors. I'll host hem and shoot you the link when I get a chance. I couldn't see the whole floor since there were drop clothes down, but what I saw was gorgeous. I also snapped a picture of the under cabinet lighting we did at a different house, so I'll shoot you the picture of that too.

    At the rate you're going you'll be moving upstairs in no time! Bout time anyway ya slacker :lol3
  15. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Appliances come on Thursday so I had better get moving on those countertops!

    Yesterday's storm set me back- we lost power until today.
  16. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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  17. bassogap

    bassogap Haulin' the kids around

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  18. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    ha, sometimes it does dip into the 50s in the winter. About half the houses here seem to have fireplaces. Mine doesn't and I can't say I miss it. :norton

    That's not even one of the cheaper waterfront homes. Loads of them in the 300-400k range. I'm renting a waterfront home in the same area for $1,400/mo. :freaky
  19. therivermonster

    therivermonster Been here awhile

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    You guys are doing a great job on the project!

    I love the house, and these types of projects in general, but it's refreshing to see both you and your wife working side by side on a project like this. It seems to me that this kind of family team work is a rarity in the world these days.

    Do you guys ever plan to sell the home, or are you in it for the long haul?

    Keep up the hard work. The finish line is just around the corner...
  20. adam_c_eckhardt

    adam_c_eckhardt halfway there

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    Thanks!

    Now that we're in it while it's being finished I spend a lot less time on ADV, so I haven't been updating the thread. Most of the stuff we're doing now doesn't really photograph well anyways. The stuff that will look nice in pictures is still a week or two away- but we're getting there.

    I enjoy being married to someone that isn't afraid to jump in and help by taking on projects. Building this house has been stressful on our marriage but we'll come out of it just fine- which is better than a lot of people from what I hear. :deal I DO have ideas for if we ever do this again. We will make a list of projects that we're taking on and split them up. She will be in charge of certain things and I will be in charge of certain things and there will be no collaboration on those things. There are literally thousands of decisions to make and discussing every single one is really draining and stressful. It's gotten to the point where I tell her that I don't care what color she wants to paint the kitchen- just pick a color and let's move on. That may sound harsh, but I think it's a pretty reasonable way to handle it next time. If it's important to me I'll take charge, if it's important to her she can.

    We're planning on being in the house for at least 10 years. Long term we'd like to move back to Montana, but that's probably not going to happen until retirement, if we ever get there at all.

    Gimme another week or two to get more pictures up. The kitchen should be completely done by then, along with the master bath, etc.