Monday, May 13, 2019

Guest House { weeks 38-44 }

So much goodness has happened in these last few weeks... finally, it feels like we're getting somewhere... and as much as that feels like a relief for me, I imagine it's 100x that for my husband whose worked so hard to get it to where it is.

We passed inspections... electrical, plumbing and mechanical... and that alone, is huge... HUGE.

The hubby rented a skid steer, to celebrate passing those inspections, to cover up all the trenches, holes, lines dug into our ground. Man oh man, is our yard destroyed... I still remember hearing, "Mama... hellllllllp!" from the backyard... only to not find my little Mable, because she was stuck down in one of those huge holes, with a diaper full of dirt. Thankful to have the earth, semi back to normal... I'll be really thankful when we have grass again (which won't be for awhile). We moved some of the big rock that was delivered to the back, to start building a retaining wall beside the guest house. 2 drop offs of 7 ton rock, to be exact.

We ordered our tiles for the floor in the bathroom... hexagon (slate color)... and they arrived, after waiting quite a few weeks for them. They're even prettier in person, all together.

When you build a house to code, one of the final tests you must pass is a blower door test. That measures how “tight” the building is - and by “tight” they mean leaky. Tight buildings are much more energy efficient, require significantly less heating or cooling, and repel water much better. If your build quality is poor, the less tight it will be…but if you seal the seams, insulate with foam, and tape the exposures - generally your building will be tight enough to pass the blower door test. During that test - they hook a blower to a rubber dam that spans a door and they pressurize the house. By using pressure gauges inside the house they can tell how much air is leaking out per hour. That measurement is called Air Changes per Hour (ACH)…and generally, a tight house is less than 5 ACH. A leaky house would be anything above that. The blower door test usually comes at the end of the building phase, right before the final inspection…and if you don’t pass - you have to pay an insulator to go find all the leaks and seal them up with caulk. This can take a long time - and it’s usually pretty expensive.

Nowadays, there’s another option. Some one figured out how to atomize the caulk so it can be sprayed in the house while it’s pressurized, called AeroBarrier. As the air is being forced out of the house through those leaky holes - it rides the air through the gaps…and the caulk begins to build up at the seams of the hole. Over time (about an hour or two), it slowly builds up to the point where it seals the house. It's envelope sealing technology... so cool, and definitely worth a YOUTUBE video watch, if you haven't heard of it before. With the help of a local company, Cascade Aero Barrier, we were able to get our house well within a passing grade - specifically all the way down to 1.6 ACH... when we started at a 12 ACH... I know, appalling.…It's a good thing, because we definitely would have failed the final inspection without it.

Now that we're all sealed up, insulation has begun...

We also spied our first guests staying at the guest house... a mama and papa finch created a nest, right under the little roofing for the hot water heater. 4 little eggs. Happy to report, that the hatchlings are here, and growing bigger each day.

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