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Old 11-16-2017, 01:23 PM   #21
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This is one of the I-beams installed; ten inch I-beams, spaced at 80" OC for the entire 40' length of the room. The center web looks thin, but that's primarily because the things are so massive overall. Even the thin-looking web is more than a half-inch thick, plus there are interim flange braces between the upper and lower flanges, so they're plenty strong. If you look close, you can see one of the 4" steel columns on the left, under the I-beam a couple over from this one. Also can see that the I-beams are welded to steel plates (with angled legs down into the concrete) that were embedded in the concrete wall when it was poured. The bent-rebar 'stirrups' welded to the top of the I-beam are because concrete gets poured 6" thick on top of these. The top stirrups & bottom wall-embedded plates keep the wall concrete, steel I-beam, and ceiling concrete all mechanically locked together in the event of earthquake upheaves, etc.



I'm not generally one for bragging or one-upmanship, but my floor joists are cooler than your floor joists...

Last edited by John in AR; 11-16-2017 at 01:32 PM.
 
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:49 AM   #22
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Got the metal building delivered to our property; a simple 40x60 that will be half living space and half garage/shop area. Will probably be several weeks before erection begins.

To improve security, added some 1080P cameras on site with digital recorder; powered by 220AH batteries which are charged by 600 watts of solar panels. Previously had been just relying on a cellular game camera, but with this much building material on site just laying around, wanted to have more coverage with constant day & night recording.
 
Old 12-07-2017, 08:12 AM   #23
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Had our fifth pour of concrete this week; another 36 yards, taking us to 199 to date. This was porches, one of which also serves as the ceiling cap for a 16x40 downstairs storage space.

Have only one more pour of 21-23 yards yet to do, to be completely done with concrete except for the driveway. Thank goodness; getting old dealing with concrete over & over; looking forward to doing some electrical and framing & such. First order of business will be to close in the door end of the downstairs storage space that just got this concrete cap, so we'll have an enclosed space to have heat & semi-permanent power in place to make work go smoother.
 
 
Old 01-09-2018, 03:59 PM   #24
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Finally... The weather cooperated (far from ideal, but at the bottom edge of the acceptable spectrum), the contractor was amenable, and the stars were apparently aligned; so we got the last of the concrete poured today. Took a little more than I'd earlier planned, as I initially forgot to include a couple short retaining walls when calculating today's pour. Today was 24 yards, taking us to 223 yards total for the house. Still will have the driveway to do, but not a 'right now' thing.

Once we can remove the forms (will be several days with this weather), we can get things in motion on the metal building itself, which will open the way for a lot of other things.
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:01 PM   #25
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Got to walk on the garage floor (storm cellar ceiling) for the first time on Wednesday. Pretty friggin awesome.



In the pic a few posts above with the guy running the concrete polisher in the basement, this is the ceiling of that space, with this concrete on top of those I-beams. The slab is now covered with hay and plastic sheeting to help insulate it in the abnormally cold temps for a few days, and we have a couple small heaters running underneath for the same reason. Just doing a little extra to help it cure gradually and happy since this really isn't the best time of year to be doing concrete work.

The weather is ugly and getting uglier for the next few days, so it'll be next week before the metal-building erector comes out to confirm anchor bolt locations & such in preparation for constructing the metal building. But just having the last of the concrete finally in place is a HUGE deal in our world. We've been working and fighting concrete since about June, with all the contractor and weather issues we've encountered along the way. Two main schools of thought on installing post-pour anchor bolts are either wedge-bolts, or epoxied bolts. In the spirit of insecure whackjobs everywhere we're using wedge-bolts, epoxied in place; figure the only additional cost is some epoxy and it certainly won't hurt. Ninety-two 3/4" anchor bolts epoxied 5" deep into the concrete - ought to be plenty to keep the metal building from floating off into space...
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:55 PM   #26
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During that week of non-stop cloud and funk, the 600 watts of solar eventually couldn't keep up with the cctv system's needs; when putting it together I calculated it initially with a three-day reserve, but not a full week. It's back up & running now as we've finally had some sun, but I went ahead & ordered another 400 watts of panels and a larger controller. They came in yesterday, and will get them installed this weekend.

The new controller is not only larger, it's also a more efficient technology; an MPPT instead of the old-tech PWM that came with the 600 watt kit. That will substantially help as well; making more use of the panels' output even in the same sun conditions. The different controller alone should make around a 30% difference; most reviews and studies I've read say 10-40%, with 30% being the most common. The extra panels are just gravy, to let me add another camera, and also since we'll probably need that much on the greenhouse even if we don't use it on the house itself.



Also on Saturday, got the one tree knocked down that would pose a substantial threat to the house in a storm. Big oak tree on the left in the rainy pic of the slab above, before we took it down. Hated to lose it; it was a huge beautiful oak at least 90-100 years old (my FIL is 79 and says it was huge when he was a little boy), but it was just too close to the house for comfort, so it had to go.
 
Old 01-30-2018, 11:29 AM   #27
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Metal building going up. Started yesterday, a crew assembling the prefab red-iron shop building on top of the basement.

Put the new MPPT controller on the solar-charging system as well. All good so far; with the new controller, it's keeping the batteries topped off completely, so I haven't bothered installing the new panels. May just save them for the greenhouse someday.
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:15 AM   #28
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Main level going up. Pretty typical shop-building construction.

The big oak tree we took down is in the background; very glad we did knock it down, its roots were surprisingly shallow.

 
Old 02-07-2018, 04:24 AM   #29
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And Saturday night when returning from the property after working the day, a dog followed my wife and I up the driveway. Never seen it around before, it spent the night on the front porch and then left Sunday morning, and haven't seen it since.



Was kind of bummed to see it go, it was a sweet, well-behaved dog that even left the cats alone after I told it to the first time.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:52 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR View Post
And Saturday night when returning from the property after working the day, a dog followed my wife and I up the driveway. Never seen it around before, it spent the night on the front porch and then left Sunday morning, and haven't seen it since.



Was kind of bummed to see it go, it was a sweet, well-behaved dog that even left the cats alone after I told it to the first time.
I would be out looking for it, but I am the world's biggest sucker when it comes to Dogs.
Attached Thumbnails
House build-starlight.jpg   House build-img_0042.jpg   House build-img_0310.jpg  
 
Old 02-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #31
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I would be out looking for it, but I am the world's biggest sucker when it comes to Dogs.
It seemed like a great dog, but it apparently just decided to leave, the same way it just showed up. When we left for church on sunday morning, it followed us down the road for a little while and trotted up the driveway at a house a half-mile or so away that (of course) belonged to one of my wife's cousins. Asked him about it later, and he said it hung around for a while and just wandered off again; none of us have seen it since.

I suspect that somebody chose that very sparsely populated country road to drop it off; it had a collar with no tags, and was clearly very people-friendly.
 
Old 02-16-2018, 08:50 AM   #32
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Walls and roof finally up.

This was earlier this week, when the walls were up but not the roof. Window-frame looking thing up high is an in-wall fan to cool the shop & loft space in summer. Where the plastic-covered subfloor drops down a step to the concrete, is where the living space ends and the shop space begins. Window frames are lined on the inside with treated lumber, to make it simpler to use normal residential windows; allowing mounting to wood (as normal) rather than the steel framing:
 
Old 02-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #33
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The steel-building contractor mis-measured (I suspect he didn't really measure, and just mis-assumed) the slope from the front to the back. On the backside, they ended up having to rent a longer skytrack from Little Rock to reach the soffit and gutter; his regular one wouldn't extend out far enough.


But the siding (except for above one porch) is all up, and the roof is complete. Still have the porches and some more trim & gutters and such, but pretty much weather-tight at this point.
 
Old 02-16-2018, 09:13 AM   #34
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Never realized it until yesterday, but this thing looks a lot like an ark...
 
Old 02-16-2018, 10:10 AM   #35
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Looking good!
 
Old 02-16-2018, 01:50 PM   #36
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John do house builds normally take this long? Having trouble with contractor's? I can't get a sidewalk poured here; They advertise but somehow they never seem to show up!
 
Old 02-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #37
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No, not usually this long. Ours is taking so long for several reasons.

Overall biggest reason is that our original general contractor became suddenly unable to do the job at almost literally the last minute, due to an injury. Heís a family member, a builder who retired a few years ago and agreed to go back to work to do this one job for my wife (his niece). Then after we broke ground and were doing the excavation for the basement, he tore up his shoulder so bad he couldnít even leave the house, so he was suddenly out of the equation and we started functioning as our own GC. We knew it would add time, but itís not a huge deal since we have a place weíre renting on an open-ended basis now and the added time meant somewhat decreased cost. (He's still having problems; has another surgery today in fact.)

Then our concrete contractor hugely dinked us up. Actually took an oilfield job in texas and disappeared one day. We were in the process of setting up forms for pouring the basement walls at the time, and he left with no notice whatsoever, either to us or to his guys. We still have his forms sitting on our property; no idea if/when heíll ever show up to get them. He disappeared right about the time we started pouring concrete in June, and we struggled on slowly on our own until we finally got a decent replacement in September, so that alone cost us probably two months. Then had to have the I-beams custom fabricated with those stirrups to embed into the concrete ceiliings, etc.

Itís been a long project, but itís all good. Weíve spent more than we planned to, but still less than what it normally would have. Weíll be right at $220-$230k when complete, and the preliminary appraisal we recently had done (based on drawings and in-process site visits) put it at $403k estimated value. So between that and the money we used out of pocket to reduce borrowed money as much as possible, we should walk into it with around $200k equity or so. Iím willing to put up with some temporary annoyances and delays for that kind of return.
 
Old 02-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #38
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I kind of thought some kind of contractor problem. It seems like everyone I talk to, no matter where they live has problem's with contractors. This Summer I had a real tough time just getting a house painter. I was lucky enough to find a very good one, but even he disappeared for a couple of day's with no warning.
 
Old 02-20-2018, 12:04 PM   #39
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I kind of thought some kind of contractor problem. It seems like everyone I talk to, no matter where they live has problem's with contractors...
We're subcontractors a lot of times, and you're completely right. While it's annoying and depressing to see just how low the bar is set in this field, I take advantage of the fact that it makes it easier for us to be above average.

If you're not a crack-smoking retard, you're above average in the world of contractors; and people will pay extra to use you.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 08:50 AM   #40
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FINALLY... the rain has stopped and the hvac contractor started running ductwork yesterday.

Ductwork is one of those "bottleneck" things on a construction site; a lot of things are at pretty much a complete standstill until the hvac ductwork is done. Plumbing, electrical, etc, all have to wait for ducts to be in place, since you can run an electrical wire around an hvac duct a whole lot easier than vice-versa. They're just doing the downstairs at this point and hopefully will finish it by the end of today. If so, we can truck on with plumbing and electrical right on their heels.

Plan for this evening and weekend is to install the boxes and wiring for porch lights. Doesn't sound like much of a goal, but my wife has 23 recessed porch lights in the plan. (We have a lot of porch; 40x16 on one side and ~45x16 on another.) Thank goodness for inexpensive, cheap-to-operate, recessed LED lights. We're using some of the same lights in the basement, and it's only something like $270 for 30 of them at Lowes.

Last edited by John in AR; 03-02-2018 at 08:52 AM.
 
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