16x32 1 1/2 storey, Manitoba

Started by upa, August 24, 2009, 12:13:05 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Got any Birch? I used to love the Birch I could get.

We had brown wall paper or a while inside too.  ;D

There are many of us who'd like to here aboiut your power setup.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.



Fortunately we are blessed with over a 140 acres of poplar, birch, willow,pine and oak trees on the property, all of which burn quite nicely.

Yeah, the insulation,furniture and pictures on the walls are a little ass backwards but it's letting me enjoy doing work indoors   c*

As far as the "powershed" the intention was to have a dedicated space for energy resources outside the house that is actually quite similar to your approach. I have a bank of flooded cells that I need to vent outside of the house and I wanted to keep the occasional din of the inverter /charger plus gas generator be kept at a minimum. For the moment I still rely on the generator to top off the batteries every couple of days as I only have about 100 watts of solar panels. Ideally during warmer weather I feel I could get by with 400 watts with minimal generator aid, maybe next year. I envision also a small propane supple being housed here,perhaps two 100lb tanks. All of these items would be suitable segregated and appropriately vented.


Finally got an opportunity to some exterior work/siding. It seems like things are progressing slower and slower but at least they are progressing ;)


Looking good.  What kind of stone is that on the front?


I have built full stone walls before but the original plan was to cut down on install time and weight and use a cultured stone product. I was virtually with a few minutes of buying a ton of cultured stone when I came accross another product I ultimately installed called polyroche.
It's a polyurethane siding made to look and feel like cut face stone. It's super easy to install, not unlike vinyl siding, light, and took half a day vs likely 10 days for a full masonry wall. It also is waterproof and has a R value of 5.5. Under the siding I also installed  a fan fold 3/8 inch polyurethane, alluminized siding underlay(Green Guard) with a R of 3.5. So in addition to the fiberglass batts at least my north wall has a insulation value of R29.

Here is a close up shot of the product.


You mentioned the types of wood that you will burn. I've heated with wood for most of my adult life and have been blessed with an abundance of hardwood. The common theme here in Michigan is not to ever burn pine due to the creosote build up in the chimney, raising the risk of fire.
Please don't misconstrue my comments. I'm not criticizing. I'm just wondering what you do to decrease your risk of fire. Do you clean your chimney frequently?
Nice place, by the way


Pine would not be my first choice of woods to burn but occasionally some falls into my wood pile. The local electrical utility recently came along and cut over 3 cords of mixed pines and poplars that were encroaching on overhead powerlines, left the cut wood neatly stacked on my side of the  property line.  [cool] Needless to say the wood won't go to waste.

Inspect and clean my chimney right before the burning season at least once a year

New pic, siding nearly done, new easterly window on 2nd floor


Hello from an ex-manitoban. I grew up and lived in Niverville for 38 years. Now I am in Alberta. Excellent build! Love the pictures. I have property close to Warroad, MN in the Sandilands Provicial Forest area that I will be building on. Hopefully in the next five years. The rock looks fantastic! Could you tell me where you purchased it?


Aidzee, the faux stone was from Rona(for our US friends ... a Canadian box store). Warroad,MN, that is some beautiful lake country. I look forward to seeing some pics of your land.

Installed backup heat to the existing woodstove, a 45,000 btu forced air Mr Heater propane furnace. The direct vent exhaust and black pipe to the pair of 100lb tanks went in uneventfully. Only glitch came from one of my square wave inverters. It seemed that the power it supplied was messing with the furnace's circuit board, making it call for heat/fan at unexpeced times regardless of the thermostat's suggestions. Oddly another older square wave inverter solved the problem. Nonetheless the furnace throws some nice heat, it dipped to 2 degrees celcius the other night and it was nice not to get up in the middle of the night to stoke the woodstove. As long as the propane flows I am kinda looking forward to the winter this year.

Managed to finish the powershed's siding to match the cabin. I even got a chance to take my teenage daughter on her first grouse hunt. I was very pleasantly surprised how much she enjoyed it. :)


Thanks Upa. Going to have a look at Rona this week end.


Well thought I would post an updated picture of the inside, still no finished floors but drywall is up and painted, window and door trim are up. We are very slowly getting closer to something liveable  ::) Solar system with 3 kw array  has been up a nearly a year and its been running flawless. Been running refrigeration and a 6k btu air conditioning unit most of the summer without issue. Its almost hard to tell we are off grid.

Now that I am a few years wiser and closer to completion I am going to update my original completion estimate closer to $45 sq/ft( not my earlier and wildly optimistic $25 but I still happy with this). I have to also note for anyone time budgeting  a similar project how I  underestimated how long the finishing stuff takes. Closing in the structure took a good couple of months full time work as a solo builder( in retrospect this was the easiest part)and you could probably add another solid 2-3 months(maybe more as I still have tons of stuff) for things like electrical, plumbing, interior finish, etc .

All in all not too bad. I was talking to a work mate who is having a house built by a pro contractor, their budget is $175 sq/ft( nothing too fancy) and a 2.5-3 month time budget for all the trades to complete. Well I guess they get a house very much quicker overall vs a very slowly built weekend warrior house but at the same time mine has no mortgage and the self build experience was priceless.


To my wife's delight the kitchen is in.  Sorry about the images, not sure why my ftp client keeps flipping the image sideways


Tiled the back splash, coated the butcher block counters with tung oil, installed a heavy(130lb  :( ) cast iron sink and faucet this weekend. Grout, toe kick finish and assorted kitchen accessories next weekend and we will call the kitchen done. I am quite pleased with the final kitchen budget. Not including the appliances,  the cabinets, counters, vent hood, tile, sink, faucet,pulls and assorted hardware ended up just under $2500


Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Thanks Don. This weekend had the back splash tiles grouted,toe kicks and wifey directed kitchen do dads installed. The kitchen is officially done and open for business.


Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.


Got tired of the window shaker a/c and thought I would step it up a notch so I installed a 9000 btu mini split on the main floor over the weekend. It's the first time I have installed one of these fellas. Took me a solid six hours even though the install was relatively uncomplicated. I guess between running a new dedicated electrical circuit, resizing the lineset, flaring  new connections, giving the lines a nice decent vacuum and checking for leaks the time flew. Thought I was being smart by wall mounting the exterior unit to avoid the snow in the colder months but in retrospect I should have just done an elevated ground mount to avoid transmitting the inevitable minor motor harmonics through the house framing. Might just do that some day d*.

Even though my unit is the low end 15 SEER unit, the inverter compressor is really impressive how little juice it uses. I ran the manual j load calculator. Based on my well insulated scenario it calculated I only required 6000 BTU cooling capacity on the main floor and approximately 12kto 15k  btu heating capacity. Since I heat mostly with wood and propane the heating portion of the mini split was less significant to me. On its lowest setting its using only 300 watts to power the exterior condenser and interior fan heat exchange unit, which is no problem for my solar array. Total outlay was around $625 US dollars for the unit with lineset, taxes and shipping. I spent another couple of hundred on incidentals such a electrical supplies, a 5/16 to 1/4 inch adapter for my gauge hoses, a new copper flaring tool. I already had hvac gauge set and vacuum pump from previous automotive a/c work. Of course by DIY I void the warranty which has questionable value with me in the sticks and getting a certified HVAC tech to commission the system seemed to be next to impossible irregardless of the unreasonable fees. I figure I saved over 2k in labor and could replace the entire unit 3x over in the unlikely event it fails prematurely without warranty. ;)


Cool!  You see them hung on exterior walls all over Europe.  Maybe more rubber between it and the mounts?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

John Raabe

Nice little unit. I've had impressively low electrical bills since I installed my Mitsubishi version of what you have. Mine is about 1/2 again as big and heats a 1,450 sf open plan house down to about freezing. This last winter we fired up the wood stove perhaps 4-5 times. At that burn rate, the three cords of firewood I have cut and dried might last us close to a decade.

This summer I may get a chance to see how it does in cooling mode. I've only had few days hot enough to turn it on.
None of us are as smart as all of us.