Friday, November 27, 2015

Ugh. Plumbing In The Crawlspace.

I headed to Home Depot first thing in the morning and dropped more money than I care to admit on plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, and a countertop.  It took me two trips through the checkout and then another trip to Maier Hardware to finally get everything I was going to need.  Basically blew out the morning!

I arrived home to literally pass Donna on our driveway as she left to take Kenny to a homeschooling meetup at the Makerspace at the Waverly Library.

I had a quick cup of tea to gather my thoughts, then began the hard work that was going to be needed to get things done under the floor of the kitchen.

Let me assure you that I was not looking forward to returning to the crawlspace.  It is not a pleasant place to be.  Thankfully, I didn't listen when someone suggested that I could get away with half the cost of the foundation for the cabin by only putting in a single layer of cinder blocks.  Even the double layer I insisted on makes for a very tight fit to get any work done.

Not to mention the dust.  And gravel just calling out to destroy my knees and back.

Anyway, I pulled out the existing drain connection from the kitchen.  It was a hacked together frankenstein where I had the sink draining into 1" poly pipe, and then an adapter down below where the poly pipe drained into a regular 1 1/2" ABS drainpipe.  I replaced this with standard ABS - but I did have to drill a new, larger hole through my floor.  Yuck!

My first chore under the cabin was to add the final pieces of foam insulation along the outer walls.  This was not too bad really, and it's nice to know it's finished.

Next I used some screws to put up a piece of veneer that had come loose and was exposing the insulation in the floor.

Then I cut off the main water line from the sauna.  The Rubicon had been crossed - we were no longer going to be getting water from the tanks in the sauna - we had to fend for ourselves!

I did take the time to cut that line shorter, fold it over and clamp it, so that if or when sauna water returned, it wouldn't drain out into our cabin crawlspace.  At some point in the future I can go down under the floor of the sauna and cut the line there as well.  I'll probably even try to pull out that line at the same time, but we'll see.

I drilled a new hole for the new waterline in the corner of the cabin, carefully arranging it so that there would be room for it to pass through my particulate filter before continuing on up to the holding tank above.  I also took this opportunity to drill another hole by the south wall close to the patio door to feed the electrical line up to the receptical that we've opted to place there.
Getting dark outside.
Back under the cabin I cut the water line from the new well a bit shorter, and with Donna's help, pushed the off-cut up from the crawlspace and into the cabin.  She pinched her finger but managed to stick with a challenging job - kudos!
See that light far off over there?  Yeah, that's me!
I then threaded the new water line through the stiff grey pipe I had bought to lend more support to the poly pipe.  This proved a challenge as the grey pipe was a ten foot length and there are lots of obstacles down there.  I ended up cutting the second piece of grey pipe down to about 7 feet, but everything looks well aligned.

In a burst of energy, I connected the feed line from the well to the line we had just put in through the floor.  And then in a moment of inspiration, I connected the power for the kitchen directly to the well pump (when I removed the wiring in the kitchen, I turned off its breaker.)

So, upstairs, I made a systemic loop by pushing the end of my poly pipe from the well into the open drainpipe.  Then, with fingers crossed, I asked Donna to flip the breaker for the kitchen circuit.

Wow!  I could feel and hear water flowing!  Something worked!

I then pulled out a bucket and Kenny photographed proof of my concept!
We have water!
Yes, that's just how filthy my butt gets from scootching around in the crawlspace.
That was enough for one day...  A submarine sandwich and a trip to sauna rounded things out.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Assembling Ikea Cabinets

In an effort to streamline the kitchen, we opted to purchase presized and made cabinets from Ikea.  This was also facilitated because Ikea had the best deal on a corner sink that we were able to find.

Our existing sink was placed directly under the kitchen window, which at first made sense to us, but as it turns out, the driveway runs away from the front of the cabin at an angle, and so standing at the sink put us in the wrong position to look out and down the driveway, which feels like the more interesting and important view.

With a sunny day dawning, I began unpacking the boxes.  I even opted to follow the instructions as carefully as possible!

First up was the small cabinet on the south wall.  This was to cut my teeth on the process.  It went just fine!
Kenny?  Can you take a break from Minecraft to help me?

Kenny?  (...crickets...)

This doesn't look like an allen key!
Then I did the larger cabinet for the east wall.  I found it curious that while this was an identical cabinet sizing notwithstanding, putting one set of brackets in place was in a different order from the previous cabinet.
Yeah!  My favourite assistant appears!
Finally, with Donna's help at certain key points, I assembled the corner cabinet.

We flipped the sink upside down and placed it on the corner cabinet to get a feel for positioning.  I fear that the sink may be set in too far, but only using it will really tell us for sure how it is.
Won't fit this way, time to flip it!
Next I removed the existing sink and counter that Grandpa had so nicely built for us two years ago.  It has found a new home on the porch, but I'm sure that's not the last we've seen of it.
Hrm, that wiring doesn't look like it meets code.
Donna helped me to push the units close to their final positions just to get an overall feel for how tiny the kitchen would be.  And yes, it will be tiny!  But still will have far more space than what we've been use to.
I can already imagine the delicious meals that will be prepared here!
Now it's time to move on to the plumbing and wiring...  Not to mention trying to cut my teeth on a countertop!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Installing A Bit More Paneling, Reminded Of The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

The arrival of the kitchen cabinets from Ikea the other day prompted even more pressure on me to find space in an already overwhelmed cabin.

Luckily the way Ikea flat packs all their products certainly takes up far less space than one would even expect.  22 boxes and a sink prompted me to bring the truck to pick it all up, and then it was with bemusement that I realized that even our little Echo could have easily handled the entire load.

Even with the pressure to get the kitchen installed, I decided that perhaps my time would be better spent trying to slightly reduce the pile of siding that had been sitting in the middle of the cabin floor for a few weeks now.

I worked my way up higher on the west wall of the cabin, eventually matching the height of the panelling I had installed on the wall beside the stairs.  This made me realize that the boards on the staircase wall should be installed before the ones on the west wall, as the strapping in the corner was arranged with that order in mind (If I installed the west wall first, then the staircase wall wouldn't reach the strap in the corner for nailing or support).

And so I decided to put up a few boards on the staircase wall, leading up past the loft floor and one or two boards up the outer wall of the guest bedroom in the loft.

This had the side effect of covering up the gap between the loft floor and the top of our bedroom wall.  Donna had been complaining gently for some time that at night the gap was allowing light from the staircase light to come into our bedroom, disturbing her sleep.
You can see the gap about to disappear forever!
It was also easy to see how the existing paneling had darkened over the years, compared to the new paneling I was installing.
A whiter shade of pale for these boards!
One thing I have been doing as I panel interior walls is to add insulation between the studs.  This has the hopeful effect of reducing sound from room to room, as well as allowing us to better regulate the temperature by simply shutting doors.

As I started to put down boards over the studs of the loft wall, I was annoyed to discover large gaps along the sides of the batts.  I was taken back to when I was first building the wall and succumbed to the suggestion to space my studs out slightly wider than normal so that I could save myself the milling or purchase of any extras.  Sigh.  Unintended consequence.  It has put me of a mind to stop skimping or trying to do things non-standard (entire lifestyle notwithstanding :).
Ugh, these gaps are annoying!
Readers know that I seem to have lots of extra insulation from other projects, so I packed the gaps with closed cell foam, and will do so up to the top of the wall, so it shouldn't be a huge problem, although I have to admit that it is a challenge to get the batts to stand up without a friction fit.

I managed to get enough boards on to keep the batts in place, and then repiled the remaining pile against the shelf under the television.  Now I had enough space to move on to assembling the kitchen cabinets!  But that, is another story...