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Old 01-29-2019, 01:40 AM   #81
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Hi guys, I want to know if I can make a paid thread on your forum with small description and dofollow link to my website dedicated to gambling news and games, please contact me here or via PM. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:46 PM   #82
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The concrete base, first 30 feet of tower, and the upper brace fabricated and bolted thru to the framing purlins inside:


Thirty more feet to go on top of that. Oy...
 
Old 02-11-2019, 12:30 PM   #83
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Sixty foot tower done and internet service online as of last week. The things you have to do in order to be connected to the outside world, when you build in the middle of nowhere...


Last edited by John in AR; 02-11-2019 at 12:49 PM.
 
 
Old 02-12-2019, 12:27 PM   #84
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Wow!
 
Old 02-12-2019, 01:38 PM   #85
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We had to pay for the tower, so besides having the internet transceiver on top, we can use it for whatever we want. I'm thinking it will be a good mounting location for a cell booster and an over-air TV antenna. Probably not at the top; more likely just as high as I can reach on the tower while standing on the roof. (I've only been on the tower twice, and only went as high as that standoff bracket; no plans to ever climb to the top.)

I don't like cell boosters generally, but in our case it's going to be nearly mandatory in order to get usable service inside, since the upstairs has metal roof & walls and downstairs has a tighter-than-normal grid of rebar in the concrete walls. All of those things work together, to the detriment of cellular signal.

On the TV antenna thing, right now other than AM/FM radio the internet is our only communication path to the outside world, meaning no local TV channels. We don't have cable (obviously) or satellite TV service, so I'm thinking a long-range antenna pointed toward Little Rock would get us some local channels. In addition to the internet service, that should set us up pretty well.

I'm also thinking the tower might be a good mounting spot for a high-def PTZ camera one of these days. Our house location is on one of the highest spots around, and as far as I can tell, the tower probably is the highest. We have good (fixed) HD cameras in place now, but a PTZ way up there could be kind of cool.
 
Old 02-25-2019, 02:46 PM   #86
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This weekend, got the fan & air filtration system up & running in the storm cellar. A lot of concrete drilling, bolting, and adhesive sealants involved, but mounted solid & runs smooth now. (There are some AWESOME concrete fasteners and adhesives available now, and a really good hammer drill will let you tear up a lot of crap in a hurry...)

For the actual filter elements, went with MERV 14 primary & carbon post-filtration, installed in such a way as to keep a negative pressure on the filter and slight positive pressure on the room itself. (Most home furnace filters tend to be MERV 1 thru 4, on rare occasions reaching MERV 6 or so.) I debated a more stringent filter size to allow a higher (up to MERV 16) rating, but those are all thicker and would have required a filter housing size that meant locally available over-the-counter filters wouldnít work. After looking into it some and finding that anything MERV 13 or above is rated for hospital operating rooms, I decided to compromise the top-end capability for the sake of having more options to choose from. I expect that before Iím done, Iíll likely cut in a second filter plenum on the downstream side of the current one, for a higher-rated filter; and just leave that second one sitting empty most of the time, with some of that size filter elements on hand just for emergency use. But for now, the MERV 14 operating-theater level of filtration is within my comfort zone.

The system overall is a collage of different components; largely greenhouse-ventilation equipment along with some very heavy-duty pieces where appropriate. Inline 4-inch brass & stainless ball-valve cutoff, installed as the first thing on the intake line to allow cutting off exterior air completely if desired, one-inch thick aluminum flange with four-inch pipe threading, wedge-bolted and epoxied into the concrete at the sleeved intake point, etc.
 
Old 05-01-2019, 11:49 AM   #87
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Lately, been doing small things (really doing small bites of big things) at nights & on weekends. I've mentioned that my wife's dad passed away right before christmas, but our builder (also a family member) passed away unexpectedly not long after. So in addition to my wife losing both her dad and her closest uncle since Christmas, we've now got a house probably 80% done and no builder at this point.

Being that the downstairs is done and we're living in it, does take some pressure off, and I've been doing things all on my own for a little while now. Main thing lately was building the stairs between the two floors, so now we can easily get from the living space to the garage, and not have to park outside. I'd never built a stairway before, and there was a lot to it -
fabricating the three 14-step stringers out of 16-foot 2x12's,
adding cosmetic skirt boards to the outer two,
installing the stringers with the skirtboards attached, in the stairwell from one floor to the other (that's a LOT of fun by yourself),
making and installing the treads themselves (stained & urethaned),
framing in around the stairwell on the upstairs side (got to have walls around the stairwell, even on the unoccupied floor),
framing the sloped ceiling in the stairwell itself,
sheetrocking the entire interior space around the stairwell, and
installing the door at the top, handrail, etc

Took me two entire weekends and a few nights in the middle. I'm a stronger than average oaf, but I'm getting tired. Seriously looking into possibly selling the business just to free up some time & money; to spend both of which with my wife in what time we have.


On the more positive side, we do have some horses in the pasture now that my wife loves feeding carrots to.

Not ours, but a cousin nearby agreed to keep the ~30 acre pasture bush-hogged if we let him keep some of his horses there. Right now I don't have the time to mess with it, so win-win for both of us as far as I'm concerned.

Last edited by John in AR; 05-01-2019 at 01:10 PM.
 
Old 05-14-2019, 11:39 AM   #88
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Have lately really appreciated the ventilation setup in the storm cellar since it's been up & running. The space isn't heated or cooled, and last summer it gradually built up heat and held it. Now, being able to pump in filtered air just for a couple hours at a time when it's cool outside in the evenings has kept the entire space below 70 degrees so far. It certainly won't keep it that cool once summer sets in, but it helps a lot.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:07 AM   #89
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Decided we're going to put the upstairs finish-out on hold for a bit, and finish up some downstairs bits & pieces first. The downstairs is functionally done to the point we're living in it, but there's still some peripheral & cosmetic things I want to finish up before creating new partially-finished things upstairs.

This weekend I trimmed out most of the walls on the recessed porch downstairs; would have done it all except I bought two pieces too few. Plan to pick those up today and hopefully finish that tonight. Then will finish the insulation on the porch ceiling (below the upstairs floor). Since the upstairs floor above is above this non-climate-controlled space, insulation is more critical there than most places, to avoid a very cold floor in winter. Have 2" thick closed-cell foam cut in between the trusses already, and have another kit of the 'foam it green' spray closed cell stuff to trim & edge with. (The hanging wires are for one of the security cameras.)


Once that's done, will just be a matter of soffit on the ceiling and putting out the porch furniture. It's one of my wife's favorite sitting places; it's convenient, it's where she can be outside but out of the sun (has to avoid too much sun exposure with her current meds), and can watch the pond which is where the horses often hang out.

After the porch, will move on to finishing some other, more minor things in the storm cellar and storage spaces; and when those are buttoned up, move on to the upstairs work again. Figure this way to have fewer 'not quite finished' projects at any one time.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:05 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR View Post
Well, finally...

Not completely & truly 'finished', but moved in & spent our first night there last night. Only the downstairs is livable; the top (main) floor isn't. But it's a hugely major milestone for us.

I've mentioned in PM's to some here that my wife has had some significant medical issues come up this year - full story is that in May we found out she has stage four cancer. No idea of how long she has, but it was important to me that we get to the point where she can wake up christmas morning in her new house, and now she can.
Omg, Im sorry I missed this prayers sent for her.

I've been von here in a spotty amount due to some personal issues.
 
Old 06-17-2019, 12:34 PM   #91
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Took me two weeks of nights & weekends, but finally finished the small downstairs porch. My wife loves being outside but can't be in the sun much now due to her medicines, and she's loving this. This faces the back yard toward the pasture & pond and there's often deer literally close enough to toss apples to.



Dark spot on the floor is just water; I had to spray away some dauber nests. The wiring on the right is temporary - they're currently feeding outside back floodlights, which will eventually be controlled from a different switch than now. A typical 'carriage' porch light will be there eventually.

One more project down, fifty or sixty to go...
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:45 PM   #92
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What is your chance of a hazardous bush fire in that area?
 
Old 06-17-2019, 01:58 PM   #93
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Quote:
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What is your chance of a hazardous bush fire in that area?
Odds are as high as anywhere, probably, and higher than most. Our property is literally encompassed on all sides, inside a ~14,000 acre paper-company pine growing forest. So there's a lot of potential fuel surrounding us, albeit a decent ways from the house for the most part due to the property lines.

Pretty much done about all we can do to insulate ourselves from that particular threat. I've been in the fire alarm & life-safety industry for a long time and am more twitchy about fire than most folks anyway. That porch siding is vinyl, but it's on a wood frame that is itself attached to concrete walls; so we could lose the siding, but structurally things would be fine. The upper level that's setting on top of the concrete basement is metal siding and metal roof on red-iron frame structure, so it's about as fire-resistant as can be. Additionally, all vents & wall penetrations have fine mesh in them to keep embers out, on top of coarser mesh to strengthen the fine mesh. Not a lot of folks think about mesh for wall & roof penetrations, but other than house-to-house jumping fire, most homes that burn from a forest fire are due to embers flying well ahead of the actual ground fire. Embers landing on roofs and entering home penetrations like attic vents, etc, are a much bigger culprit than most people realize.

I've looked into roof-mounted fire sprinklers:


but with our steel roof, steel siding, and meshed penetrations, am not quite sold on a sprinkler system yet.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:37 AM   #94
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We've had one section of one basement wall that had a problem with seepage when we got massive rains, most likely due to there having been a trench dug there for water service line during construction. So this weekend I tried UGL Drylok for the first time - three coats of the nasty-smelling oil-based version on that section of wall. Time will tell if it does what it's supposed to.

Also built the base for an inline water storage tank (base is just tall enough to raise the bottom tank outlet up high enough to allow a bucket under it). Don't have the tank plumbed in yet, but have the base in place, the tank on the base, and the tank secured to the concrete wall with steel strapping. Will hopefully get it plumbed this week, weekend at the latest. Still busy with work and working with a broker who is dealing with potential buyers for our business.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:20 AM   #95
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Haven't updated this, but did finish the inline water tank. Set up as isolated from the incoming line but with valving to allow it to recirculate when we want to refreshen it, it holds 119 gallons so we won't be caught off guard (again) when water source is compromised. Went the extra mile on the installation, with the tank on just enough of a platform to allow a bucket below the main bottom outlet, vent valve at the top to break a vacuum if draining when isolated from source, and expansion-air tank above to prevent problems from thermal expansion and contraction. (If you fill a tank or water heater with cold water, if no faucets are opened as it warms up, the pressure can sometimes build up enough to break pipes. That's why water heaters have P&T valves on them, and why expansion tanks are a good idea in general. Basically acts like a shock absorber for the system.)

This weekend I started on the gun room inside the safe room. When we originally designed the house the safe room was to function purely as storm cellar and storage and have pretty much no everyday use, but the mid-project addition of another storage area means the storm cellar (safe room) will now also serve as somewhat of a family area; TV, small sleeping area, game area when visitors are over, etc. Due to that expanded use, I wanted a small space inside it to serve as truly secure storage while people use the big room for tv or video games or whatever. I originally planned to build it out of brick or block, but since this is inside the concrete safe room to begin with, just building a reinforced version of normal framing. Used typical wood framing, with concrete anchors through the bottom plates, drilled & screwed the top plates thru the steel I-beams at the top, and F-26 adhesive on all of them. For sheathing, have a bunch of 3/4" plywood left over from forming the concrete ceiling, so using two layers of that; with the first layer glued & screwed to the studs and the second layer glued to the first layer and screwed through into the studs with 3 1/2" screws. (Love me some F-26 and Gorilla Glue, they're great stuff.) Gluing together and staggering all the seams basically creates a near-monolithic 1 1/2" thickness of plywood on the walls, which are glued to the framing, which is glued (F-26'ed) to the concrete and I-beams. The plywood is fairly ugly, so my wife asked that I cover it when I'm done, with a wood siding that we used in the storm cellar bathroom; so that will add another 1/2" or so on top of the plywood, but not really strengthening anything very much. Door will be just a standard commercial steel door. Better than a residential door, but not a FEMA door like the outer safe room doors.

Definitely not a true 'safe room' or anything, but imo more than adequate for my purposes since it's already inside a concrete safe room anyway. Not huge, about 8'x6' inside is all. Worked on it most of the weekend but not finished yet; that concrete & steel anchoring is a lot of work. Still have probably half the wall sheathing, electrical, and door to do; but nice to have it underway.
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Last edited by John in AR; 07-22-2019 at 08:25 AM. Reason: {edited for typos & clarifications}
 
Old 07-22-2019, 08:40 AM   #96
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Impressive! Thanks for sharing this!
 
Old 07-26-2019, 07:29 AM   #97
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Worked till 9:30 last night and thought I had the framing & rough sheathing done, and was down to the electrical and siding, until I realized that I still have the inside of one wall to do; the concrete wall itself inside, I need to furr in with treated lumber to give a nailing surface for the siding we're using as the finished walls.

Darn close, but not quite.

It's a small space only 7x8 feet or so, but already used five tubes of F-26, four bottles of glue, ten lbs of 3 1/2" screws and around 8-9 lbs of 4-inch screws, plus the tapcon concrete anchors. Might have overdone it some.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:35 PM   #98
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Not finished, but darn close. Canít really tell in the pic, but the base is raised in the front & angled down in the back, to lean the long guns against the barrel cutouts better. The blue tapes were just to mark stud and conduit locations.





Bought the door today that goes on it; should get that installed tonight if all goes well.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:10 AM   #99
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Low-res pics, but finished the long gun racks in the new gun room. Tall stuff on the bottom row, short stuff on the top, medium stuff (like that 16" 1892) can fit on either. Don't have enough long guns to fill all of the slots, so the plan is to steal some of the upper-row space for handgun-hanging shelves.





Door is in & reinforced with 4-inch #14 screws and metal plates, which may be really unnecessary as this little closet-size room is inside the safe room itself. Honestly think having the guns all visible may lead me to selling off some of them. They've been kept mostly in safes for years, out of sight and split up into smaller groupings, and I'm thinking that having them all consolidated and visible will eventually lead me to pare down some. Used to be, a new gun was fun, but anymore it feels like baggage more than anything else. Not going to pare down to the bare 'essentials' or anything; still plan on keeping toys for toys' sake, just probably will get rid of some toys.
 
Old 08-08-2019, 09:16 AM   #100
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Have you given the though of buying more guns to fill the racks?
 
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