Sunday, February 03, 2008

Gloomy Sunday

These photos don't look gloomy but they were taken last weekend I believe. This weekend is drizzly rainy and dark but not too cold. It has been raining on and off for several days now and we are all very glad. So maybe it's not so gloomy after all. I actually had to go into work today as someone from our company has to be on the job if a subcontractor works, so I was the lucky one to get to go in. Anyway, I have been working on some stuff at the house but not anything really big or exciting. I ran some trim around the windows and worked on getting more of a temporary kitchen set up. Things are going well; just not enough money coming in fast enough to do some of the big projects that I need to do. You can see from these photos a little better the amount of sunlight that comes in. The book that I went by said that for people in our region, we should not have any more than 7% (of your square footage) in glass on the south side. I think that is actually a little slim. I think I could have gone with 10% and done OK. Of course, unless I just ran windows solid across the back, I could not have gotten too many more in. I did need some wall space. This is taken from the other side of the living area. There is a lot of work still to be done. This wall obviously needs sheathing and the tile work done and I think I will build a small hearth under the little heater. I am not really satisfied with the supplemental heating of the house. Even at 70 degrees inside the house still just feels cold. So, by way of an experiment and at Allen's insistence, we started heating the underside of the house, the basement area and turned this heater in the house way down. We put a propane heater under the house and directly under the bathroom where I had poured a small concrete slab for the water pump that did not end up going there. Well, the results have been astounding. That slate floor in the bathroom heated up (and the bedroom floor too) and it just warmed that whole area so incredibly. Before, that slate was so cold I could hardly stand to step on it. I knew it would be cold before I installed it but it seemed to chill the entire space. Now, it is so nice. When I have it heated you can't pry Grendal off that floor with a crow bar. I even laid down on it myself. It is really amazing how much difference having a warm floor makes. It warms the whole floor too; even out in the living room etc. Now, I have noticed that at 67-68 degrees the house actually feels warmer. I think that psychologically, having cold feet makes you cold all over. I was afraid that this would double my gas costs but the heater in the living room rarely comes on when the one in the basement is going so I think that it will not add that much at all.
I'm thinking now that if I install a good, efficient wood burning stove under the house and some vents in the floor, I could heat the house very nicely at very little cost. And on days that I don't feel like fooling with the wood stove I still have my gas back up. There is plenty of head room for such and it's all on concrete down there. I just need to figure out where to vent the smoke from a wood burning stove. I don't want it coming up right beside the house. As I mentioned before, I would also like to preheat my water through the use of a wood stove because that would save money on the water heater and I am also having some trouble with condensation in the house. The water going into the toilet and kitchen cold water line is SO cold the tank on the toilet and water lines sweat almost constantly.
I tried to get a decent photo of the bath since it has gotten a little more completed but there is not much room. This will one day be the guest bath so Pablo, if you and Libby come visit, this will be for you. I'll make Grendal stay on the other side.


Woody said...

Annie...The house is looking awesome! I especially like the truss in the LR. We too are putting in a wood burner in our basement. The cost of propane is way too high for us to continue not using a resource that we have in abundance.

Heated floor to go along with that solar toilet...ya'll are living now!


edifice rex said...

Thanks Woody! Yeah, that truss gets a lot of attention. I like it too. Yeah, propane is expensive and those little heaters use more than you would think. I never realized how luxurious heated floors would feel! It's incredible.
I would be interested to see how ya'll install your heater in your basement too. Are you using ductwork with it etc.?

Woody said...

we are planning on running triple wall-zero clearance through our walkin closet then out the roof. Framing the pipe and running it through the closet was the most direct. Our basement is unfinished and the cold air return will be in front of and over the stove. I think that a louvered vent on the return will allow us to use the blower only on the system if needed. Hopefully we won't have to use any assistance and just let the heat soak the house.