Author Topic: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine  (Read 163466 times)

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Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #175 on: December 16, 2011, 12:26:37 PM »
You really did good work and payed attention to detail nicely Jeff. I started a Victoria this fall just North of Crossville Tn. and am planning on getting hot and heavy into my project in March. I'd love to see some interior pics of your creativity also. We are planning to go with board and batten siding but boy have we ever been considering the New England look of your cedar shingled home since we saw it. You did a great job and are inspiring. Thanks.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #176 on: December 17, 2011, 06:40:53 AM »
I love it :)  The [cool] porches specially!

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #177 on: December 17, 2011, 02:15:34 PM »
Thanks for the kind words Dave and OJH.  Best of luck with your build Dave   [cool]  Post pics!.  The Victoria's is a great little design.  I'll be posting some interior pics soon as I finish drywall work.  The last month has been a lot of work on the heating system.  Yesterday I fired up the system for the first time.  I love radiant heat!  Warm concrete is awesome.   :)
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline Sassy

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #178 on: December 17, 2011, 08:00:20 PM »
Beautiful!  I love the Victoria's Cottage design, too.  Seems like people come up w/such creative ideas w/it.  Looking forward to seeing the interior pics  :)

The only time I was ever on radiant heat floors was when I was 5 y/o & was in the hospital for a tonsillectomy.  I remember sitting on the floor playing after they brought me back from the surgery - it must have been a ward because there were other children.  Felt so good on those warm floors.  In fact I still remember it 55 yr's later. 
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Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #179 on: December 22, 2011, 09:14:47 AM »
So far I'm very pleased with this radiant heat system.  It was a lot of work to figure this all out and get everything to fit into such a small space but I was able to fit all of my home's mechanical stuff (water heating, space heating, well water stuff, filter, domestic hot/cold water supply) all in a footprint of 2' x 3.5'. 



I'm heating all of my domestic hot water and water for the radiant floor with this little tankless waterheater (140,000BTU max).




Making good use of vertical space...




I have two zones, each controlled with one of these little boxes.  There are sensors in the slab to read the floor's temperature.





The tankless unit's remote in the living room allows me to keep track of my system's incoming temp, outgoing temp, flow rate etc.  Here the outgoing water is 131 degrees.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline MountainDon

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #180 on: December 22, 2011, 09:34:55 AM »
I like the "mechanical room".  Stubs for any future new ideas.  :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #181 on: December 22, 2011, 09:55:39 AM »
Yeah Don, some stubs on the hot and cold lines (I had them so it didn't cost anything) as well as ports on the radiant for another zone (or hot-tub perhaps  :)).
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline pocono_couple

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #182 on: December 27, 2011, 02:59:05 PM »
Hi Jeff.. nice job on the plumbing - looks like you put some thought into the planning before cutting the copper :)    we were planning on coming north to NH or Vt for the christmas holiday as we have the past few years, but decided instead to spend the time at the house which is very comfortable at this point -  i need to post some new pics.    it looks as though this was a good year to skip the trip - not much snow for skiing up that way just yet!     we have yet to enjoy a snow storm worth talking about here in PA..   good luck with your projects for the new year!   jt

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #183 on: December 28, 2011, 07:04:25 AM »
You picked the right year to skip it.  In the 13 years we've lived in ME, this is the warmest and rainest - ugh.  We just got back from PA last night.  I did some canoeing!  Crazy! 
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #184 on: January 13, 2012, 08:15:11 AM »
Jeff, You did a good job on your radiant system. I'm planning on doing something similar in my Victoria also. I'd planned on using on demand heating as well and then later switching my radiant heat to a home made solar collector that's built into a workshop. I believe you mentioned ordering your components through Radiantec? They recommend not using an on demand system and going with a hot water heater specialy designed for radiant heat. I'm curious what your thoughts are after using the tankless system? Also what components did you order for your system? Thanks for the info and keep up the great work! Oh and do you have any more interior pics??

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #185 on: January 15, 2012, 08:53:59 AM »
          Dave, I ended up going with RadiantFloorCo.  Radiantec was unwilling to work with me when I told them I wanted to use a modulating, tankless hot water heater.  There is a lot, A LOT of bad information floating around on the internet about the pros and cons of tankless hot water heaters.  People who have a vested interest in selling expensive boilers are very opposed to them.  Often they make the claim that tankless water heaters were not designed for space heating applications. THIS IS NOT TRUE.  Check out different manufactures and look at the installation manuals online.  The Takagi manual for professional installers includes a schematic for space heating.  Also, some of the older information is irrelevant because older tankless units did not MODULATE and were therefore inefficient/inappropriate.  My Takagi is a very high quality product and only cost $650.  It will supposedly last 15 -20 years.  Seems like a good deal to me.
          There is a lot of bad press on the internet about RadiantFloorCo, and Radiantec.  Most of this stems from the highly controversial use of Open Systems.  I don't want to get into that right now but if you are considering an open system, I have some good information that may help you decide.  I priced out all the parts it would require to assemble my own system and personally, I think RadiantFloorCo is a good bang for the buck.  Radiantec's quotes for my system were similar in price - I have the impression that they are both good companies.
          When I ordered my system I included an extra port on the manifold for future expansion if needed (addition, outbuilding, hot tub, who knows?).  This only added like $50.  The over-the-phone service I got at RadintFloor was great, but I noticed that it does depend on who you talk to - some of the sales staff are not as knowledgeable as they should be IMO.  It's worth sitting down and reading the information on their web page.  Especially if you plan to install the system yourself (which I recommend).  You will need to learn this stuff anyway. 
        I've been running this system without my woodstove backup and (granted it's only been about a month and a half) I'm really happy with it.  It's quiet and works great.  With the thermal mass of my thick concrete slab the system comes on about two times in a 24hr period, running for 2-3 hours at a time.  I haven't really had enough time to see how efficient it is as far as fuel consumption goes but it seems to be good.  Two pieces of advice:  Don't use a tankless if you have hard water (or you need to get a softener - $400).  And the intake air must be particle free - lint from a dryer will destroy the sensitive electronics.  I did mine as a direct-vent (combustion air comes from outside) because our washer/dryer share the space with my Takagi.  Anyway, hope that helps.  I've spent many, MANY hours researching this stuff.  If you have an specific questions about your installation don't hesitate to solicit my amateur advice.  :D
           
Oh, and I'll be posting more interior pics soon.  I'm going to finish the bathroom this week and then go back and finish drywalling.
"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #186 on: January 29, 2012, 05:13:54 PM »
Great info Jeff! I gave RadiantFloorCo. a call and they were really very helpful. I'm going with a closed loop system, my home built solar collector will feed a collection tank located in my workshop to feed my heating system. I'll locate a coil of copper tube in my collection tank to be used as a heat exchanger to preheat my on demand system for the household supply. This is all very interesting technology and from everything i've read, very cozy and efficient. I appreciate your offer for info. on the install process. It may come in real handy in the near future. Thanks a bunch. Keep pounding those nails!

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #187 on: February 03, 2012, 04:56:07 AM »
        This week I finished the bathroom.  There is still a little trim work and some shelves to build but I have a tub, toilet, and vanity sink!  :)  This is a major improvement.  I started this project with the foundation pour in the fall of 2008 and, as of this past week, I finally have the convenience of indoor plumbing and hot water.  I had been filling a 15 gallon barrel of water at home and dragging it to the job site.  I would then transfer water to a 2 gallon container with a valve/spout using a siphon.  This was all I had for running water.  If I wanted hot water, I had to heat it up on the stove.  My toilet was the ol'5 gallon pail.  For bathing, I used an outdoor shower arrangement comprised of a blue tarp wrapped around some trees for a curtain and a pulley and rope to hoist up my solar shower bag.  The solar shower worked great...in the Summer...when the sun was out.  In the fall and winter things were not always quite so comfortable.  Often I would heat up some water on the camp stove and shower as fast as possible in the frigid Maine air, sometimes at night with a lantern hanging on a tree branch.  Other times I just toughed it out with cold water showers.  The coldest air temperature I was able to tolerate was 35 degrees with snow on the ground.  I confronted the daily dilemma;  temporary discomfort of an open-air shower or to just stay filthy from a long day of work.  Lets just say that my hygiene wasn't always the best. 
         I suppose I could have rearranged my priorities and configured some temporary plumbing.  Maybe an old hot water heater.  A sink in a temporary 2x4 frame.  But I like to think the discomfort provided a little extra incentive to get the job done.  Also I like to do things in a logical sequence, avoiding setting things up that have to be undone latter.  Many times my wife would ask what had to be done next and I would always respond "I'm not sure...the house will let me know".  And the house really is my boss.  The house isn't concerned with my comfort or convenience.  The house only wants one thing from me; my labor to finish the job! 
        But I also came to learn that many of our modern "necessities" are somewhat overrated.  That 15 gallons of water could go a LONG way if I was cautious and didn't treat it like there is an endless supply coming from a mysterious pipe in the ground.  You learn to think ahead; "I need to shower, cook, clean some paint brushes...will there be enough?"  It gives my a different perspective.  And then there is summertime open-air hot showers. The warm air, the sun on your face, and the smell of balsam fir as you shower.  It doesn't get much better.  But that first indoor hot water shower sure was sweet too!














I offset my tub trap and provided a little access hatch.  Better than having to pull the tub out if there is a problem.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:21:52 AM by Jeff922 »
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #188 on: February 03, 2012, 05:20:17 AM »
Nice work Jeff.  It is the little things in life that are the most rewarding.  I bet you do not miss the frost on the seat. ;D [toilet]

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #189 on: May 18, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »
Hey all.  A few of you requested interior pics and I finally have some for you.  The upstairs is now complete.  Now I am able to contain the drywall dust to the downstairs and have a clean place to sleep!  It sure is starting to feel like a home.



A look from stern to bow.





The front bedroom (the bigger one).









Nothing says "classy" like drywall-pail nightstands. 





Trim carpentry was fun - like being on my "home turf".









Nothing too fancy.  I should point out that all of my trim work is #2 construction-grade lumber. 









I call the area between the two rooms "the landing".  It will make a great little reading nook.





This fan helps move the heat around.  I do not have any heat upstairs and even without the fan, there is plenty of heat that flows naturally up the central "chimney" area of the house.





A look from bow to stern.





The back bedroom.  This area is a open loft in the plans but I put a partition in and made a little bedroom. 





Attic access.





"They don't grow trees so close together that you can't ski between them"

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #190 on: May 21, 2012, 07:15:34 AM »
Very nice!

Offline Sassy

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #191 on: May 21, 2012, 08:50:14 PM »
Beautiful stair railing!  The whole place looks great, very nice work  [cool]
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Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #192 on: May 22, 2012, 05:27:51 AM »
Jeff you've outdone yourself on the whole package! GREAT work!

Offline John Raabe

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #193 on: May 22, 2012, 06:49:26 AM »
Jeff:

Thanks for your fine documentation on this build. It is a project to be proud of and we all got to tag along. :D :D :D

PS - I just posted a link to this thread at the top of the right hand column (Forum Topics) at the CountryPlans main page.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 07:03:21 AM by John Raabe »
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Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #194 on: September 08, 2012, 10:20:35 AM »
Hey Jeff, i'm just finishing my floor on my Victoria and will soon be framing up the walls. My question to you is on headers. It looks like where you framed your walls that you used beam material for your headers. I like the look of how you finished the 2x8 finish blocking in the bathroom and wondered if your headers are visible and finished similar to them? If you have a few pics of the living room and kitchen that would be very helpful.

Haven't seen you on here in awhile, I hope your summer is going/went well. I've looked over your build several times and use it as somewhat of a guide to where i'm going with mine. Very inspiring! Thanks for all the great info and pics.

Offline Jeff922

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #195 on: September 30, 2012, 06:40:27 PM »
Hi everyone.  NavyDave is correct, I haven't been on here much lately.  But I have a good excuse - My wife and I had our first baby!



So needless to say I've been a little preoccupied since August 14 when she was born.  I'll post a more thorough update when time allows but let me get right to ND's question for now (sorry this took so long):

When I framed the walls I made "box-beam" style headers with rigid insulation, but there are other ways to do it also.



Between the beams, there is 2x8 "trimmer band joist" as seen in this pic of the living room.



I took this pic with my phone sorry for the crappy quality.  The living room and kitchen are painted and just need the trim work.  When I go out this week I'll get a bunch of new pics and post them.  Not sure if that helps at all.  Hope your project is going well ND!  Hard to believe it's Fall already.
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Offline NavyDave

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #196 on: October 01, 2012, 12:22:52 PM »
What a beautiful little girl!!! I hope she brings as much joy to you as my daughter does us...I understand your absence now. Thanks for the pics  [cool] headers!

Offline Sassy

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #197 on: October 02, 2012, 02:50:54 PM »
Congratulations on your beautiful little girl!  She's going to be the envy of all the girls with that thick head of blond hair  :)
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Offline mldrenen

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #198 on: October 03, 2012, 10:37:55 AM »
oh wow....what a cute little girl!  it appears that everything you make turns out great.  congratulations!

Offline tristan

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Re: A Victoria's Cottage in Western Maine
« Reply #199 on: November 20, 2012, 11:16:40 AM »
the place looks great! We're getting set to order some trim stock and really like our interior trim design.

One question: how did you bevel the side casings on the doors and windows?