Dollar Stretcher "Silly Questions" thread - Page 4
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  1. #46
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    WOOHOO!!!! The heat tubes passed the inspection. Relief for real. The concrete is booked tomorrow morning at 8:30am, OR Friday noonish (if it is too rainy thursday). Lots of people say they want to come watch concrete pour and it will be cool, but there is no safe parking and if the concrete truck rolls, we need the driveway completely clear. Can't put people up hill above the pour either as one option for getting the truck up the hill if it gets too wet/slick, is multiple other trucks and things pulling it up.This is why I TOLD the builder that June and July are really my construction seaon, but he's not a super good listener. I spent a day tightening up the tubes and let the builder OK the final location for the manifold (which sits down in the concrete) before I hooked the tubes up. Cut a tube and there is really no going back. I hooked them up myself (it was crazy easy especially because I rehearsed many times and built a sample to go from...I am very very tired and could screw up the 4 simple steps)

    That said, I am really liking the work. One of his employees today said he'd never seen so much rebar in a project. They also hadn't seen the heat tubes (it's just "pex" but I like "heat tubes" better) go in so precisely (I am anal about that sort of thing). I really like the heat tube manifold I got from "radiantec". All in one unit with the pressure gauge integral to the systm. Otherwise you have shenanigans trying to get air in the system and damonstrate the pressure.

    When the county inspector came to check the rebar, he said that I Had to air pressure test the heat tubes...which were not hooked up yet. There was a bit of rebar to finish. He agreed to let me send him a picture showing the pressure over time. Start at 100lbs. I didn't ask how long the test was but late this afternoon he told
    e to quit sending him pictures. it was FINE. I can be exhausting if I need to be. I admit it...it went down to 92lbs overnight (COLD weather and the tubes relaxed in position) so I pumped it back up to 100 for the last photo. It was holding steady at 92. The website said it would lose about 10% overnight but that is NOT a leak. A leak is major pressure loss.

    So, Cool.

    On another job the builder had the same plumbing inspector fail an owner installed system! That owner is a plumber and did a perfect job but the inspector asked for a change anyway. The builder thinks that plumbing inspector has it in for the owner-permit on plumbing. He wants plumbers hired. I literally have 4 drains (toilet, shower, bath sink, and kitchen sink) within a 2' by 6' area. Even with the wasted materials from his fail and the redo, I'm only out about 600$ (that includes feeding my help a few times at their fave restaurant). I can't believe I would have gotten a plumber 25 miles out of town for that amount and gotten the job done.

    The heating system cost me about 700$ and I am trading or selling the extra pex tubing we didn't use. I offered it to a friend at 1/2 of my cost per foot for the roll ends (about 250') but, I think I'd rather just trade for help or her teaching me to run a mini-excavator.

    And now, I'm tired and overstimulated but at work checking email and what not.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow (Thursday) getting the concrete in!

    And when I go return the unsued plumbing fittings and have to see my ex again. Cripes.

  2. #47
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    No concrete today. The builder NOW believes that my hill gets slick when it rains. I mentioned this 1 million times. I managed not to stab him in the neck so that's a positive.
    We are booked for tomorrow noonish....

    I have people who want to come watch, which is fine except there is no where to park and I don't want them driving up the hill. 3 concrete trucks up and down that mudhole will be enough of a challenge for my nerves. I just sent an email with a map showing where they can park out of the way of a possibly sliding or rolling concrete truck. THe parking area requires a walk up the hill and one guy I know does NOT want to do that....I'd love to have him there if he'll walk up the hill. We'll see.

  3. #48
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    No concrete today. The builder NOW believes that my hill gets slick when it rains. I mentioned this 1 million times. I managed not to stab him in the neck so that's a positive.
    We are booked for tomorrow noonish....

    I have people who want to come watch, which is fine except there is no where to park and I don't want them driving up the hill. 3 concrete trucks up and down that mudhole will be enough of a challenge for my nerves. I just sent an email with a map showing where they can park out of the way of a possibly sliding or rolling concrete truck. THe parking area requires a walk up the hill and one guy I know does NOT want to do that....I'd love to have him there if he'll walk up the hill. We'll see.

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  5. #49
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Hope your concrete gets poured tomorrow, you'll have disappointed spectators if they don't show up!
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.[FONT=Arial Black][/FON

  6. #50
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    The concrete was poured friday. And stamped. Cleaned and sealed yesterday (Sunday) right before a light but steady rain...it was dark by then and dark when I left the place this morning so I'm hoping the seal is OK. The builder recommended I put thick visqueen and strawbales on it. So, I will do that for the winter. I am begging him to get going on the roof and have lied about when it MUST be done to keep my water right. They just had water right issues as well so seem to be sympathetic to that.

    From what I can see, I love the stamped brown concrete with the dark and light stain randomly around the top. It didn't look like much until the sealer went on. Then it really did look like rock! I think the uneven surface will be nicer to walk on than just concrete. It isn't super deep stamping, maybe 1/4 maximum depth change from the highest point to the lowest. I can tile or something over it late, but I think I won't. THis looks good and I can scrub the be-jeepers out of it like a driveway. I have tons of thick wool and cotton rugs (braded, woven, etc) that should look quite cool on this.

    I did make one stupid mistake (well, one that I care to mention at the moment). In "testing" the heat tubes...I left the valves OFF...all of them. All I tested was the pressure guage and 8" of copper pipe. OOOPS!!!! The crew put air in the tubes before the pour and a crew member noticed that the valves were off. I am happy to report that they held air throughout the pour. So, that's a relief. The only real failure points are at the places where tubes join the maifold. Had a tube been pinched or punctured during the pour, a blast of concrete would hit the offending crew member. That did not happen.

    THe builder is now off to southern Idaho to move an old barn or something. That's his main deal. Moving buildings and salvaging others.
    Here's hoping he comes back from teh 10 hours on the road with a bid for my roof. I copped to letting him put a road up the hill if he'd work through the winter.

    The crew likes me because I tease them and bring them treats. If they work the winter, I will make them stews on the days I can be home.

  7. #51
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    Well....one shouldn't count one's concrete until daylight. It rained on the wet sealant and there are cloudy crusty blotches all over. I texted a picture of this to the builder's wife with the words "the finish is ruined. what is the solution?" and she IMMEDIATELY called me (never happens) and said they would fix it Yeah. I know they will. Anyway, I'm sure this isn't the first time a finish has been ruined by a builder working in the rainy season (if only SOMEONE had told them that the SUMMER...june, july and august) is the only reliable work time at my place...oh wait.... I did. And they live 25 miles away so they KNOW you shouldn't try to do things like that in September. But, they did so now they spend more time fixing it. Whatever. My builder cousin told me that since I paid for a pristine floor, if the fix doesn't work, I get the alternate floor of my choice. I like that option and will hang on to it. Other than the blotches, I do love the completed work so far.

    I am once again wondering why people are asking me silly questions like "have you thought this through"...uh, no. I'm in my 50s, paying cash as I go and living ina shed to facilitate the job (in the shed for the 5 winter starting now...) but no, I don't plan and think things through. Or when they ask if I know how I'm going to set the kitchen up. These are people who KNOW me! I love to cook and can. I know how I'm setting up BOTH kitchens (the inside one and the summer/canning kitchen ont he west porch). Yes people, in the 20 years I've spent saving and planning...I did indeed think this through.

  8. #52
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    Looks like things are wrapped up until the next phase. The concrete finish is still dodgy, but it seems a powerwash and re-application fixes it. The builderman tested an area that will be under walls and it looks good 18 hours out. I will keep checking it. His worker thinks the rain floated the finish (petroleum based) up in the dents (because the slab is stamped to look like slate there are low bits and higher bits...not totally smooth). The lower bits seem to be without finish so the floating theory would explain that issue. The builder proposed redoing the finish once he has a roof on it.
    I could be fine with that as long as he doesn't want full payment until it is done.
    THe other thing is the rock walls. They are up and look great. He had planned to put small rock among the boulders to hide the erosion fabric between rock and dirt. THat didn't get finished. And there is no spare rock. He said he'll bring another load in the spring.

    I'll finish thinking these things through and then make an offer of 90% payment or something. HOlding the final 10% for the completed job.

    He'd supposed to get me a bit to get to the roof by June 30, 2020. Here's HOPING.

    Overall, I like the work but you'd think the guy was giving birth by the production he makes of things. Oh well. It will be pretty.

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