CountryPlans Design/Build Forum

General => Owner-Builder Projects => Topic started by: GSPDOG on June 10, 2013, 02:42:19 PM

Title: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on June 10, 2013, 02:42:19 PM
Things progressed this week even with more rain.  I do have a question as I get closer to siding.  Has anyone had experience with 5/8" x 4' x 8' LP SmartSide Grooved 8" OC Strand Panel or similar. 

It states it can go direct on stud is EWA certified as structure use.  Requires house wrap.

It is very confusing to me as some is EWA certified for direct connection on studs others are not considered structural material. One place they use the manufactures number other places use a name such as Precision Series without a series number.  So it is hard to get a fix on what is what. 

Comes with a 5 / 50 year warranty reading reviews at the big box Orange & Blue.  5 year complete replacement including labor and 50 year material warranty.   Reading the reviews there are folks who will claim it has buckled and warped up to six months later and I am skeptical considering the warranty is pretty specific and should have been replaced.

I expect they used non structural material and placed it on 24 OC rather than the required 16 OC.  Any thoughts?  Anyone here have any experience with this material they would be willing to share?
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on June 10, 2013, 03:01:15 PM
Picture of the progress along with my GSP helper.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2FFarm-4.jpg&hash=b553fd5d3ab806876087a9d7fd459b62)
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on June 18, 2013, 09:27:12 AM
More rain but we did make some progress this week.  I have also included one of the wood duck boxes I built.  Looks like we have residents, but not wood ducks ;).

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North and west walls up and braced. Looking North West. Bottom plates are down so they can be predrilled for concrete anchors and slip right in place.  We are lifting each in 16' sections.

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This is looking North East

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Looking south.  Note the headers are 2 2x12 with a 4 ply 1/2" sheet between them covering the full space.  Nailing schedule 16 nails 3" .131 gauge on both sides.  True I am not nailing 3 1/4" .131 gauge nails at an angle.  Like some feedback on hat before I get to the roof and anyone else's experience.  Yes headers are over built but I prefer them over building the short crips. 

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You can not see it from the picture and if I remember I will get a picture during dry out of the foam sheeting under the framing.  There is a lot of ways to build out corners.  I built these out in L framing.  Provides overlap for the interior sheetrock or wall board.   and provides a great deal of corner strength.  The door framing the bottom plate is still in place until we are ready to install the door at which time I will cut it out.  This makes it easier to put the wall up and keeps it true along the entire 32" length.   :D
 
So any feedback appreciated.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on June 24, 2013, 12:50:36 PM
Well A little more progress made this weekend before the rain set in.

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Tractor came in handy lifting these 16" wall segments solo.

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Final wall to go in this weekend, actually glad I did not get to it had to redesign this wall segment to fit a through wall heating (heat pump) and AC unit.  The one I was looking at was not sized correctly so I redesigned it for an Amana Hotel unit.

Anyone using one of these or have a cheaper alternative?  http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453062734 (http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453062734)
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: Carla_M on June 24, 2013, 04:39:37 PM

Anyone using one of these or have a cheaper alternative?  http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453062734 (http://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453062734)

Is cost the main or only criteria?  I travel a lot for work and try my darndest to avoid motels  or hotels that use those units. It's the noise I don't like.  I have a friend here who just installed a split mini system in a cabin of similar size. It is amazingly quiet. The wall unit sits there and whispers. The noisy part is completely on the exterior and isolated from the interior. Two pipes and wires pass through a three inch hole IIRC. That's it. They do cost more but I believe they are more efficient. Comparing gets confusing though when one unit is rated in EER and the other in SEER. There are not directly comparable, though I think the EER is usually a lower number than the SEER.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on June 25, 2013, 12:36:46 PM
Cost is always a concern though not the primary drive I will spend a little more for heat and AC. ;)  I will have to look one of them up Carla I do not believe I have seen one of those units.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on July 01, 2013, 12:18:51 PM
Well a little more progress on Sunday this weekend rain pattern I hope stops soon.

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Final wall went up Sunday.

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Post around the lagoon went in. I have 120 days to have this finished since the inspection. Missouri requires a 36" gate, 4 foot fence, and warning signs.

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Electric in place no need to use the generator for building.




Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on July 04, 2013, 10:34:57 AM
Follow up on the AC Heat Pump unit I found the one I was looking at for $200 less at https://www.acwholesalers.com/Amana/PTH153G35AXXX-PTAC-15K-BTU-Package-Terminal-Heat-Pump-Air-Conditioner/31685.ac?question=PTH153G35AXXX (https://www.acwholesalers.com/Amana/PTH153G35AXXX-PTAC-15K-BTU-Package-Terminal-Heat-Pump-Air-Conditioner/31685.ac?question=PTH153G35AXXX) I did look at the split units and talked to an AC/Heating guy here.  He gave me an education on them.  While they are convenient they are a pain to install. I walked through the installation instructions on a couple of them and I will have to evacuate the vacuum and fill it myself run the lines, break out the old copper flair kit none of the copper is provided flair and connect the units.  Fill the unit with Freon and test for leaks.  Having one installed really pushes the price up as it is basically an all day job.  I think  the mini was a good recommendation to look at and gave some real insight to something I had not considered.

The Amana Unit three elements
AC / Heat Pump ~800.00
Sleeve ~90.00
Grill and Drain Kit ~80.00

Excluding any labor for the 220 run and materials for that you have ~ $1000.00 in this unit assumes a 14,000 BTU unit.  SEER of 9.7  anything close to 10 is good anything over 12 is outstanding, saving difference is going to be based on you usage. So the numbers themselves mean very little until you finish the equation.  In my situation I would do my own electrical work, however I would not do my own AC work which is going to impact my decision later on.

PTAC - Disadvantages

- Takes up a significant amount of wall space.  In an existing building it would be a major effort to install considering the installation of headers and structural support.  Considering its 4x2 foot wall space location is going to be limited.  In new construction this would not be an issue you can plan it into the design.  Keep in mind elements of the installation if you have a heat pump included as I plan you have to have 10" of clearance to the left and right of the unit and it can be from 0 - 3 1/2" off the floor.

- It is going to be noisier than a split unit period no matter how quite it is still going to be noisier.  Don't buy a used one, I looked at some and they were all very loud most 10 - 20 years of age and came out of hotels that were torn down.  The newer units the Amana I am looking at went to see one installed in a local hotel.  Was not bad still noisier than a split would be but I am use to a fan running in the back ground as white noise and this was not as noisy as that is.

- Leaking inside and air leakage.  I read this in several places and in some ways have an issue with this disadvantage.  I could make the same arguments I read about this about windows and doors.  In an existing building I could see where this might be in an issue.  In new construction I see no excuse for this the proper wrap, sil pans and the sleeve installed correctly this should have never been an issue.  The sleeve have to title to the outside a quarter bubble.  It someone did not do that then yes they are going to have an issue.  How many of us would title our windows sil pans into the house. ;)

- Higher electrical cost maybe..... more on this later.

PTAC Advantages

- Easy maintenance
- Easy Installation
- Self contained easy to replace
- Low cost

Mini Disadvantages

- Compared to PTAC it is expensive ~$1700 for the condenser unit and about ~$700 for each air handler at the high end and ~1,500 to ~$500.00 on he low end, strange observation lower BTU condensers were more expensive than a high BTU condenser.
- Unless you are an AC / Heating guy this is not a DIY project from three points.  Copper work and flaring.   Remember you can not use a compression fitting on the high pressure side of the AC unit!  It will leak Freon and oil.   The entire system has to be brought down to a vacuum of depending on the area of the country you are in and your elevation will impact this, the equipment has to be calibrated for your elevation.  Once the system has been purged then it has to be filled with Freon.  Warranty on these units with most of the manufactures I looked at was void if it has not been professionally installed.
- As any of us that have spent time in the country know things in the country take a beating when left out in the elements.  This is a personal opinion so take it as worth just that. ;)  I have not seen enough of this in the country to see how well they will last.  Specifically the condenser unit if placed a significant distance from the structure which is the purpose of quite operation, and the unit any unit full size, mini or PTAC is going to be noisy outside dependent on the location.

Mini Advantages:

Quite operation period hands down.
High SEER ratings ???? maybe.  Energy cost savings SEER of 20+ and maybe it is.  however the energy usage based on my savings might be ~$100 dollars a year.  Now I don't want to throw out $100 dollars but it would take me 12 years to break even based on the up front cost and it I followed the cost of money it would take about 15 years and I would probably be looking to replace the unit by that time.  Compressor warranty is typically 7 years and parts warranty typically of 5 years none included labor.

Higher tonnage ratings PTAC's up to about 1.2 where minis can run higher not uncommon to find 2 Ton units or 26,000 BTU.  However all these units need to be sized for the space so keep that in mind bigger is not always better when it comes to this has to sized to the building and rooms to be cooled/heated.

Small indoor foot print no changes to the framing specifically can be located most anywhere.

Ability to add zone units through out the building, however how any of us are going to tear out the walls we built a year from now to put in a new unit somewhere else.  If it is planned during the initial construction definite advantage. after the fact maybe not so much.

So those are my thoughts like to hear others thoughts on this as well.  Think for the moment since 20 years in the Air Force had a negative effect on my hearing and fact I like a little white noise in the back ground, I will probably stick with the PTAC unit. ;)  For simplicity and ease of maintenance it is also a less expensive option.

Another advantage that was personally important to me.  Something I did not mention that actually kept me with the Amana brand; built and assembled in the USA in their Tennessee plant.  All the mini Units are built and assembled off shore including the LG.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: Carla_M on July 05, 2013, 02:58:54 PM
Just goes to show that we work on our own personal balance sheets. :)   I mentioned the split minis as many people here in the USA don't know a thing about them. Split minis are all over the place in Europe and Asia. Years of experience with them. I myself would not have any worries on their utility and lifespan.

I lean heavily towards mini splits after being exposed to the ones three different friends now have. Yes, they do cost more for purchase and installation. Each of us has to weight that in a manner that suits us as individuals. I place a high value on the whisper quiet operation. By quiet I mean indoors quiet. Doesn't matter if the noise is outside, the windows are closed when one is operating. A friend in CA runs one and the interior temperature is very pleasant. Soft music in the background is readily heard and converstation is no strain.

Operation cost: Split minis save money 5 or more months of the year in some places. That can affect the decision. I do know they are sufficiently efficient to make it possible to run one off grid using only solar power. That says a lot as far as efficient operation goes.

??? I don't see flare fittings as much of a drawback. Copper propane lines require flared fittings as well. It's just another tool.  My friend here who has a split mini said the tech guy was only on site for a few hours to check the work he had done and then to do all the legally required things to charge the system. Maybe it is a matter of different locales and different rules or some tech who doesn't like them for some reason. ???  I had a conventional heat pump system and that required a tech as well. Not al that unusual.


Made In America is important in many ways. I do place much value on that. However, I do not let that overpower my balance sheet. The USA does not have a monopoly on good ideas and good products. Sometimes our manufacturers can be slow to accept change. There's no reason I should accept a product that does not offer the performance of an import just because it is made onshore. I believe that results in more of the same old stuff.

My view is that if the product is not American made perhaps it is the fault of the US mfg not seeing the light. Not to sound unpatriotic, the USA has missed the boat on a variety of things over the years. Manufacturers need to keep an eye open and an open mind to different ways of doing things. If there was an American product that was comparable in features, operation, quality and cost there would be no question I'd buy the American made one.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on July 06, 2013, 03:02:27 PM
Mini's were a very interesting option and it probably the fact that until you mentioned them I had not seen anything pop on it so thanks for the heads up.  Yeap we do all work to our own personal spreadsheets.  :D  That was differently a plus on the SEER for off-grid solutions that would play a critical decision factor over price.  Around here AC  Heating guys get an arm a leg and occasional a few teeth for the work they do.   ::)
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on August 04, 2013, 08:10:53 PM
Well a few updates  starting with the interior framing finished....

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2F20130728%60Farm+Phone+505.jpg&hash=e463b94c1f94ac623cefa0fb365fc077)

Required fencing around the lagoon ..... along with the required not drinking, swimming or fishing warning ......

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2F20130728%60Farm+Phone+503.jpg&hash=bdf0f10f93c079c0127435a7a931516f)

Tyvek in place .....

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Window flashed out .....

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Really cut though the metal saw horse like it was not there  ???  Nice saw blade ....

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Siding going up .....

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2FIMG_20130801_195918_380.jpg&hash=ee76b9f0490888ae11983da50d4dc416)

Getting closer to wrapping up the siding (back) .....

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Three more sheets on the front and off to start the roof system .....

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View out the back on a nice calm evening after baling hay  .....

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: mwhutch on August 06, 2013, 04:08:28 PM
It's really looking great, and moving right along!
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on September 10, 2013, 08:52:11 AM
Water updates:

Water line went in this week.  Couple of points.

Meter 1" service line exit from the meter
Depth 48"
Distance 800 feet
Pressure at  the meter 55 psi; Pressure at 700 feet 55 psi; pressure at house shut off TBD
From meter to cabin 700 feet 1" ADS Polyflex Potable Grade 200psi final 100feet 3/4" ADS Polyflex Potable Grade 200psi
Union type Ford all brass compression fittings
Terrain minor rolling hills elevation difference from the meter to cabin +3 feet
No rock over 99% if the distance ran into one every large sand rock by the dam had to be broken up with a backhoe to get past it.

Pictures

Meter Connection
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2Fcabin+008.jpg&hash=cd94d4f1255fed58cb834f4a7bac7c3d)

Crossing the pond
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Union Connection in the trench
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Watch your step
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Hard to see from this picture but run into the house, PVC pipe put in place prior to concrete pour to run waterline into the cabin.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2Fcabin+023.jpg&hash=e07347426aa6422e8176e816bd052fcd)

Trench clean fill
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Things to be finished this week I am putting in a standpipe, and I am putting in a second meter pit, with a external water shut off and a below grade drain.  Even though all the plumbing will be PEX I still want the ability to drain all the water if I need to.

So we now have water ;)






Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 18, 2014, 01:59:35 AM
 d*  Been awhile there is been little movement through the winter due to the amount of snow we had this year. So I sealed things up and winterized the cabin, with Spring coming on it is back to finishing what I started.  The roof is taking shape and the metal I hope to have on today here is the progress so far.   We have the roof trusses in place these I built on site.  I modified the plan from the original as most will notice and extended the roof to include 8' porches n both the back and front.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2FFarm+House+5-17-2014+8-16-45+PM.jpg&hash=152a443153246001de67b121fa3d8316)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.autumnoakskennel.net%2Fgallery%2Fcontent%2Fpictures1%2FCabin+Plans%2FFarm+House+5-17-2014+8-18-00+PM.jpg&hash=2854c8f73106dbdc55cac2542accb8d0)

I will take more picture in the coming weeks.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: dablack on May 18, 2014, 03:51:59 PM
Looks good Jim.  I know a couple of guys install their own mini splits and just have an ac guy charge them.  Just wanted that info out there.  I'm not using them but if my brother in law wasn't an ac guy and I was having to install it myself, I probably would. 

Also, what is the deal with no sheathing?  I've seen that done with a shed but not somewhere you would sleep.  How thick is that siding you put on?   Will it resist racking?

The build site looks great!   Beautiful place you have there. 

Austin
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 18, 2014, 06:47:32 PM
I went with the Amana PTAC it did well last year it is a little more noisy however the environment out there is not friendly to a split event though that would have been my preference.

The sheeting is rated SmartSide not finished but primed engineered structural siding.   I actually bought one of these and intentionally left them in the woods in the worst conditions for a year without and protection and it did not warp or swell.  Typically the type we get around here for sheds won't last very long and I was skeptical that this would hold up but so far it has really stood up to the claims made by LP about this product.

Here is a link to the product from LP http://www.menards.com/main/store/20090519001/items/media/BuildingMaterials/LPSpecialty/Prod_Tech_Spec/LP_SmartSideSpecificationsGuide.pdf (http://www.menards.com/main/store/20090519001/items/media/BuildingMaterials/LPSpecialty/Prod_Tech_Spec/LP_SmartSideSpecificationsGuide.pdf). 

it is 5/50 warranty it is important to note this is the Precision series product and is specifically rated as "Structural."  There are a number of similar products even from LP that look the same but are not certified as "Structural."   One of the things I ran into even the lumber guys had to look up which ones were rated as "Structural."

The other thing about this with all the rain we have had I took a scrap length and used it for the past year as a walking path so we were not dragging mud inside I washed it off last weekend and if I had needed it was still in good enough shape to put up on a wall which I find amazing considering what we have dropped on it from more than 10 feet in the air.  ;D

The other thing about this product the auto ignition temperature is 400 - 500 F compared to normal wood which is about 150 F.  Not that I would want to be inside this thing when it got that hot.  :D

Addition FAQ http://bluelinxco.com/Portals/0/FAQ_LP_SmartSide.pdf (http://bluelinxco.com/Portals/0/FAQ_LP_SmartSide.pdf) about this product.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: dablack on May 19, 2014, 03:48:53 AM
Thanks for all the info on the SmartSide product.  That is very interesting.  So will your insulation be up against the house wrap? hmmm  It is just very different than what I'm used to!
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 19, 2014, 09:08:48 AM
That is correct the insulation will go against the house wrap and I agree it was different than what I was use to as well but so far it has lived up to the billing.  Something else you will find different they do not want caulk between the panels since they overlap by design you can actually feel them snap together when you are installing them and installed properly they allow for proper expansion and contraction without flexing.  You do have to use caulk on corner edges.  I trimmed with rough cut cedar on the corners and caulked before I installed them.

During my research and looking at customer feedback most people were very happy with the product those that were not happy with it after a little investigating found they did not install it as specified, I met the nailing schedule for the product and ran it on 16"oc.   They make a similar but different product model for those going with 24"oc.

I used a nailer to attach the panels hand nailing in this product is like trying to nail concrete.  Saw goes through it very clean but I do recommend a new fine toothed wood blade and if you are using a battery powered rip saw have plenty of batteries charged up.

The other thing was the primed versus the finished panels  which around here are about $28 Primed and Finished which has a 25 year paint warranty for 60$ a sheet.  My issue other than the price are you really going to nail into this and not paint over it anyways to cover the nails. ;)
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 25, 2014, 07:01:57 PM
Well roof is finished this weekend. Whew....

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: peter_toyota on May 26, 2014, 05:03:47 PM
Well roof is finished this weekend. Whew....

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Your build thread caught my attention when looking at the picture where you put those LP panels directly on top of the wrap. It is VERY relevant to my interest, as me and my spouse are building our first home on our own.

When seeing your picture, I thought " Hey, that is perfect because it might save on additional weight of raising the walls (ours is a two story 24x36, 2x6 16oc), and takes care of sheathing AND siding the wall in one step. ".

Then, after following your links for specs and marketing (thanks for both!) a couple of questions came up:
How much do these panels weight?
What did you use to separate the siding from the concrete slab at the bottom sill? (The spec sheet warns not to place the wood panel in contact with masonry).
What is the thickness of the panel you used? The spec sheet seems to list both the siding and the Precision structural, but fails to clearly spec out the structural panel thickness.
How 'solid' does the panel feel when compared to standard 7/16 OSB? My concern is both having a solid wall, as in no flexing at mid height, and also achieve outside noise reduction. Do you feel it would be able to resist an hypothetical object thrown at it (as in a windstorm, etc), in the same manner a 7/16 OSB panel would?
Did you have to use special nails to affix this to the studs? Not sure if ring-shank 10d's would work.

And last couple of questions: why did you put those 2 by boards on the bottom and the crown of your wall? Is that needed to secure the panels to the wall?

Thank you in advance.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 30, 2014, 06:51:33 AM
Panels are light I put most of these by myself 4x8 sheet of anything is bulky to move around. 

3/8 inch thickness.  As far as strength is concerned this is silly marketing but has some truth to it we did the golf ball test without the cool gun. ;)
http://lphowto.com/impact.aspx (http://lphowto.com/impact.aspx).  For structural make sure you are getting the Precision series as far as I understand it is the only one structurally rated.

If I have one complaint it is that Lowes and Home Depot's staff were not even aware of the difference and it does not say much about it on the listing.  Not sure how hard it would have been to just add Precision series to the labels. ;)

Separation from the slab was done with paint sir sticks you can get from any hardware store. and I took them out after I had the distance right.  I also ran my house wrap below the siding and trimmed it off flush.

I used my Bostitch nail gun with Hitachi 10d ring shank equivalent with no issue.  Only word of advice test before you start putting it up so the pressure is correct.

There is no flex in the building we had 70 MPH winds here last month and no flex.  I am not sure what if anything that would mean to a second floor.

The crown boards are for future planning they were not needed but I am probably putting a lean-to carport on one side in the future and a something else on the other side and wanted some there to connect to.  My father continues to threaten putting a door up there and building a second level deck one week while I am out of town.  :D

The way it is designed the gable ends will not need a "z" channel to redirect water where the panels would normally meet.

 
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 30, 2014, 07:18:00 AM
Well we got more work done this week which was good had some bad long with it though as one of my three German Shorthair Pointers passed away.

GCH/ICH/CH Bleugras Brown's Hearts of Fire (Blade)
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But work went on I took some additional photos and details albeit a little slower.

West side ready for siding.
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View East
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Upstairs attic
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Ridge beam connection
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Post notching.
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East end ready for house wrap.
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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: _JT on May 30, 2014, 12:35:07 PM
Sorry to hear about your dog. That's never easy.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: peter_toyota on May 30, 2014, 07:34:31 PM
My condolences for such a fine companion. I want to believe it's now in doggie heaven, where all my dogs go to spend eternity chasing ducks and the occasional rabbits.

Thank you for the detailed response, it really helped a first-time builder such as myself to understand. Your pictures are wonderful. I went to the local McCoys and they stock the 3/8 version, but as you related, they had no idea there was a SKU for the 7/16 panel. I will be ordering those soon.

Unrelated to your build, but I want to share with y'all anyway; Its funny sometimes being a newbie and all, because when ever I ask questions @ HD, or Lowes, they never seem to understand what I want. I figure I do not speak in "builder's terms" like y'all do. Simplest thing as example: I was looking for the sill plate sealer. No one knew what the hell I was talking about. I had to describe it as "a foam strip used between the slab and the bottom plate of the framing. It comes in a Foam roll". After one associate asking three other guys, the fourth figured what I wanted.

Another is when ever I ask for quote on some framing lumber. I ask for "framing 2x6 in 92 5/8, Grade #2, please" The reply: "White wood or yellow?" In my mind:"What the hell? I just want framing lumber in grade #2! I do not care about the color!" So, to not sound clueless, I reply " I want the dry one."  :) They show me the wood, and I look at the stamp and it says Grade #2.  d*. Oh, and HD nor Lowes carry 2x6 in 92 5/8 length. So now at least I know what not to look for in their stores.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 31, 2014, 12:07:03 AM
My condolences for such a fine companion. I want to believe it's now in doggie heaven, where all my dogs go to spend eternity chasing ducks and the occasional rabbits.

Thank you for the detailed response, it really helped a first-time builder such as myself to understand. Your pictures are wonderful. I went to the local McCoys and they stock the 3/8 version, but as you related, they had no idea there was a SKU for the 7/16 panel. I will be ordering those soon.

Unrelated to your build, but I want to share with y'all anyway; Its funny sometimes being a newbie and all, because when ever I ask questions @ HD, or Lowes, they never seem to understand what I want. I figure I do not speak in "builder's terms" like y'all do. Simplest thing as example: I was looking for the sill plate sealer. No one knew what the hell I was talking about. I had to describe it as "a foam strip used between the slab and the bottom plate of the framing. It comes in a Foam roll". After one associate asking three other guys, the fourth figured what I wanted.

Another is when ever I ask for quote on some framing lumber. I ask for "framing 2x6 in 92 5/8, Grade #2, please" The reply: "White wood or yellow?" In my mind:"What the hell? I just want framing lumber in grade #2! I do not care about the color!" So, to not sound clueless, I reply " I want the dry one."  :) They show me the wood, and I look at the stamp and it says Grade #2.  d*. Oh, and HD nor Lowes carry 2x6 in 92 5/8 length. So now at least I know what not to look for in their stores.

LOL Peter completely understand before going in the Air Force I spent my time working construction with my father and grandfather (1970- 1978) as day labor and general gopher, actually made good money at it, though at that age I spent most of it on fast cars and girl friends.  :D  The running joke in our family there were no child labor laws.   :D  But I must have been paying more attention than I thought because most of it stuck with me.

There are a couple of helpful apps from the AWC (American Wood Council) on wood types and when to use them.  Besides the on-line calculator at http://www.awc.org/calculators/span/calc/timbercalcstyle.asp (http://www.awc.org/calculators/span/calc/timbercalcstyle.asp) they also have the app for Android and Apple mobile devices.  It will help you describe to them what your lumber needs are. It is hit and miss in the big box stores sometimes you catch a trade guy working there in the evening they can be a valuable resource.

Also with the Interweb there are good and bad resources, I tend to navigate to the old school guys like this site and guy like Larry Haun.    Look up Larry Haun house framing tips on You Tube for example.  Great advice on framing. I think there are about 11 videos in that series and you might find it useful.  Larry has since passed but he is a great example of useful information on the web. ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQWjA7u9LzM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQWjA7u9LzM) 
Regardless of experience level there are always some good tips and tricks to be learned.
 
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: Don_P on May 31, 2014, 03:09:05 AM
Salespeople at building supplies are really hit and miss since they are often not experienced in the trades and really don't know what they are selling. The net has made it easier to get to the real specs rather than relying solely on what a salesperson is saying. For "white wood" or "yellow", if you go to the link GSP posted and dig enough you'll see that each of those species groups has different strength characteristics, a #2 in "white wood" (look under SPF) is not as strong or stiff as a #2 in SYP, southern yellow pine. I've met few salespeople who know the difference in allowable spans for various species and grades. Rather than calling for a 92-5/8" stick, ask for a stud or a precut stud and they should be able to point to the stack. These are usually a little cheaper than buying from the 8' pile but not always. There is a little inside knowledge when buying a stud though. A stud is for use as a stud only, a vertical wall member, where an 8' stick can be a stud or is strong enough to be used horizontal, something like a ceiling or floor joist if the species and span are correct... a stud is actually a #3 grade with #1 edges (so you can attach sheathing to it) where the 8' pile should contain nothing weaker than a #2. Even though the 8'er may appear uglier they should be stronger. If you walk on a job and see stud stamps laying on their sides as joists or rafters, there is a thinking problem going on.

I really like the concept of the roof on this, the principle rafters carrying the purlins are balanced over the kneewall support. It has a whole lot going for it. The beamwork is too light for most places and should be checked if someone goes this route. The purlins are basically loading the heavy rafters much the same as joists would load a built up floor girder. Single members for the rafters are probably not heavy enough and the connections need to be capable of supporting those beam loads. Checking those is tough because awc doesn't have a beam calc on their site. Their WSDD manual is of some help when sizing beams, and my calcs are online but it gets into a good bit more work at the drawing board stage.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on May 31, 2014, 09:33:39 PM
Good point by Don this is a 7:12 pitch roof the 2x6 inverted U beam design while simple the lumber for it has to be very specific as does the design.  In this case the 20 foot 2x6's were specifically selected for this job and are specifically SYP (Southern Yellow Pine) the remaining 2x6's will be used on a pole barn wall girts.  Even though they are SYP #1's.  I also left them covered over the winter and strapped the borderline 20 footers that had a tendency to warp did and were demoted to girt duty.   

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Based on the best calculations I had available there should be no more than 11 feet from ridge to the first connection at the knee board and the same at the knee board to the exterior edge support post and beam.  In my case both are at 9 foot spans.   The knee walls are aligned with the  first floor exterior walls.  Weight is distributed down the knee walls to the foundation a some of the weight is transferred to the outside post.  Thanks for the feedback Don.   
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build - Plumbing and electric
Post by: GSPDOG on June 08, 2014, 08:00:53 PM
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!/4 bubble drain flow from bath room to kitchen drain to the main drain.

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View of both drains in the bathroom and kitchen. neither wall is a load bearing wall important to keep in mind considering the reduction of the lumbers strength with these holes cut in it.  After running this I regret not making the wall between the bath and kitchen a 2x6 wall like I did between the bath and utility room.

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View in the drain into the main drain.  Notice the inside cleanout I also have 2 exterior clean outs.  The vent pipe runs on to the upper level across the porch and out to the side wall and not  the roof I will show pictures of how that works once I am that far.  Here we are required to have the vent pipe a minimum of 6 feet above the highest drain.  While it is a 4 inch drain from the floor level to the outside it only requires a 3 inch vent you can have to much vent for a drain. Also the bathroom has no window in our area that means it must have a vent running out side.  I have a bathroom fan and light unit installed that also runs similar to how the drain vent runs again not through the roof.  The fan vents through a 4 inch PVC pipe primary purpose is to take humidity out of the room. 
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Bathroom progression with the pex cold and hot water lines installed.

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Floor tiles bath and shower installed.

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200AMP service into the Utility room, 3 8 foot copper rods driven into the ground 12 feet apart.  Can run any of my power equipment, fridge without any flicker or dimming of the lights.

Had 1.6 inches of rain during the week and 1.5 on Saturday so the roof is doing its job.  :D
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on August 11, 2014, 12:57:07 PM
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Well I am getting there. ;) We are officially closed up and I started putting the soffit in on the porches.  Some paint and we will be done with the outside for the year.  Just the decking to go in next year for the outside.

We have the security cameras in LED flood lighting and an Oregon Scientific weather station since the Weather channel never gets localized weather correct and uses a generalization for the surrounding area.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on August 18, 2014, 07:29:39 AM
Continuing progress will be completely sealed by the end of the month. 

One question before pics.  Lowes carries a 4x8 2" poly installation foam board with a foil backing any one have any experience with it, considering it for the ceiling insulation against the metal rated at a RF of 10.  Any thoughts?

Pics of progression.

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Front porch area rear porch will look the same.

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Poly soffit material in a J channel 8" pieces 12 foot long with about 1" overlap meaning they really cover 6" at a time.  snaps together once you get the trick to putting them together they go together very easily.  24" OC battens attached soffit with 1/2" dry wall screws. do not tighten to tight though.  Make sure your cutters are sharp and you will cut with hand sheers very quickly.  They do make a larger cutter but they are expensive and considering this will probably be the only time a do this in the next five years does not justify the cost.

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Other end and the guttering is up.  No trees close by went with a 5" seamless solution.


Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: dablack on August 19, 2014, 02:26:56 AM
No, I wouldn't put the foam under the roof.  There is always going to be a gap and that gap is going to sweat!  I would go with spray foam.  It will seal up against the metal.  With just 1" of spray foam (in your location) it will stop the metal from sweating.  Then you can use fiberglass to fill the rest of the space.  1" thick spray foam usually goes for about $1/sqft around here. 

I will be using foam board in my build but it is going above the roof deck and under the metal. 
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on August 21, 2014, 01:53:12 PM
No, I wouldn't put the foam under the roof.  There is always going to be a gap and that gap is going to sweat!  I would go with spray foam.  It will seal up against the metal.  With just 1" of spray foam (in your location) it will stop the metal from sweating.  Then you can use fiberglass to fill the rest of the space.  1" thick spray foam usually goes for about $1/sqft around here. 

I will be using foam board in my build but it is going above the roof deck and under the metal.

Thanks contacted someone local to see what the cost would run.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on September 12, 2014, 05:34:33 PM
Finished with the front the decking will not go on till next spring.  Will give me some time to consider some decking options. 

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Hey a thermometer I can I can read without my glasses ;)  Came from my local feed store.

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Another angle of the finished front, back will be finished up this weekend.

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Final image the soffit on the porch.

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on October 15, 2014, 06:21:32 PM
Since I am at that point that I am doing mainly inside work all if not 99% of the outside work for this year has been completed I wanted to take a couple of lines and knowing me probably a couple more than tat to discuss insulation.  Now I got on this subject because I am in the process of installing insulation and as a younger man in the 1970's s as day laborer during summer vacation from school.  I use to help with this and the products have changed significantly since then.

In full disclosure I do not have a dog in the fight I am going to give you my observations over the past few weeks and would like to hear the feedback of others.  I am going to focus on one specific product we could debate for months over the advantages of bats / rolls vs. spray foam installation and even open or closed foam.  So for simplicity I am going to focus on faced fiberglass bats from John Manville and Corning further defines to 15.75" bats for 2x4 walls. 

For those who have no idea what I am talking about a couple of definitions

- Bat - length of fiberglass insulation that goes between the interior and exterior walls, floors or ceiling depending on your application.  Can come in rolls or precut wall lengths comes in widths designed to fit between 16 and 24 inch OC studs and 2x4 and 2x6 wall thickness.  There are others but we will be focused on these two.
- Faced - An insulation bat with a paper facing on one side and un-faced insulation on the other side.
- Un-faced insulation has no paper facing our barrier on either side.
- OC On center

* Note there are similar products that do not use fiberglass strands and are made from recycled materials.

So here were my observations -

Corning - Pink, Faced for 16 OC both 2x4 and 2x6.

- I read a good deal about this product smelling like burnt candy, I did not have that experience
- Bats ran narrow on 16 OC
- I noticed on some that was let out that the pink faded completely after a few days left in the open air.
- Bats also ran very thin.

John Manville - Faced for 16 OC both 2x4 and 2x6.

- Less dust
- Bats filled the cavity completely
- Nice feature they have a perforation through the length of the product that allows you to separate the product length wise.  No need to cut various sizing made it easy to size for irregular cavities.
- Material seems to be thicker and heavier

So those were my observations any thoughts from anyone else?
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: germanbird on October 15, 2014, 09:24:29 PM
I think I used a bit of both those brands when insulating a garage apartment last summer.  The main thing I remember is that I felt a lot less itchy after handling the JM insulation.  Not sure that really speaks to the quality of the product, but it sure made it a lot more pleasant to use.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on October 15, 2014, 11:20:36 PM
I think I used a bit of both those brands when insulating a garage apartment last summer.  The main thing I remember is that I felt a lot less itchy after handling the JM insulation.  Not sure that really speaks to the quality of the product, but it sure made it a lot more pleasant to use.

Same experience with JM, the Corning eco touch was not bad either compared to some products I have seen in the past..  I also used an unfaced product from JM that felt almost like a wool or cotton type material.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on October 19, 2014, 12:06:56 PM
So here is the finished product managed to get the lower level finished this weekend.

So on precut batts with from JM you will notice they run a little long so what I do is peel the paper back far enough to reach the bottom of the top plate (1.5 inches) and staple that in place.  You will have enough leftover to do the same at the bottom plate (1.5 inches) another item of note over this product vs Corning's product the batt wings are longer and makes it easier to staple them in place.  Yes you can use friction to hold them in place however this looks neater and will make drywalling or  tongue and groove boarding easier.

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on October 19, 2014, 02:47:08 PM
.. and now for something completely different....  Electricity disclaimer I am not a licensed electrician.  I thought I would share what I have done and the decisions I made around my electrical planning.  I have also been working with electric for a long time and while I am comfortable doing electrical work I have a great deal of respect for electricity it will kill you.  So if you are going to do electrical work make sure the power is off either at the main service box or at the pole and test to make sure it is off.

So I went with a 200 AMP service panel from Square D's Homeline collection.  This is typically the product used by builders in new construction due to cost and functionality.  Square D also has a QO product line which is described as the top of the line product and carries a top of the line cost.  Not only for the service panel but also for breakers.  Homeline 20 Amp single pole breakers cost about $3.49 where QO breakers $6.74.  They are not interchangeable as the bus bar is different between the two.  Key point I am using all 20 AMP 120v Circuit Breakers and all 240v will be 30 AMP circuit breakers as required by the AC and Water Heater.  It is important to size the breaker to the manufacture specification.

I set about dividing my wiring into zones with 12/2 NM-B with ground wire for 120v circuits and 10/3 NM-B with ground for 240v circuits.  This is for indoor use only.  I will be using all LED lighting, bulbs and flood lights.  While I could have went with 14/2 wire to switches it just did not make sense to keep track of what I ran where and you cannot run 14/2 on a 120v 20 AMP circuit.  Except on the 220/240v 30 AMP circuits where this is very critical.

Zones

Zone A1 - Front Porch lighting entry way, 2x floodlights and outdoor ceiling fan.
Zone A2 - Front porch outlets x 3

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Remember the top area of both porches is enclosed.

Zone B1 - Back Porch lighting entry way, 2x flood lights and outdoor ceiling fan.
Zone B2 - Back Porch outlets x 3

I will talk more about Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) in a moment and a change I made to this design and why.

Zone C1 - Inner wall shared by the bath and kitchen outlets and bathroom lighting.
Zone C2 - Utility room  outlet (120v) and lighting.
Zone C3 - Utility room 22/240v 30 AMP water heater.

Zone D - 220/240v 30 AMP Heating and AC.

Zone E - North and West wall outlets (6 outlets) both 1st and 2nd levels stair light and under stair lighting.
Zone F - South and East wall outlets both 1st and 2nd levels (4 Outlets) and second floor ceiling fan.

Zone G - Living room and kitchen ceiling fan / lighting.

Important to note  The split is based on what the load may be on any circuit.  20 AMP circuit caring more than 20 AMPS better trip the breaker.  This becomes important for appliances where the initial startup draws more amps to start and then goes back to a normal draw. 

See this example video from my friend Dominick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar7qkMHKw40&list=UUMqBEHMJkdsyICgJ6BkgLHQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar7qkMHKw40&list=UUMqBEHMJkdsyICgJ6BkgLHQ)

So back to our 60watt light bulb example it draws .5 amp. So in Zone E for example I have 3 - 60 watt bulbs they would pull 1.5 Amp, how ever I am using LED bulbs of a 60 watt equivalent and for 60 watts equivalent they only draw .07 amps, the LED light only draws 8 watts.   Amps=Watt / Volts  this is important because a 60 watt bulb on a 12 volt system pulls 5 Amps.  Now the 6 outlets a couple of bedroom lights , clock, television worst case 2 amp draw and DVD player and maybe a cable box.

You start adding these up assume worst case with everything turned on possible but not likely I am never going to come close to 10 amps.

I said I would mention GFCI.  A GFCI outlet is required in any high risk area, bath, kitchen and exterior outlets.  Basically they work by breaking the circuit when they detect a power on the neutral line varies from the power line (short to ground) which will save your life.  Now you can put a GFCI in line and if wired properly will protect all outlets down stream from it.  However I am taking a different approach.  Square D make GFCI breakers for the service panel and while they are not cheap $40.00 for a 20 amp Homeline breaker and nearly $70 for a QO GFCI breaker.  I decided to change out my normal 20 amp breakers for GFCI breakers.  I am doing this as a personal preference since there is a good chance that for what ever reason I come in when it is raining, heavy dew maybe out on the pond with the dogs there is a good chance.

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So the last breaker on the left side is the GFI breaker.  Here is also a video of how they are installed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhuTS9I_d_o (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhuTS9I_d_o)

Hope this was helpful and as always comments are welcome or if you see something I have done incorrectly.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on October 28, 2014, 08:07:01 PM
So the exterior is done the porch decking will go on next year but basically outside finished.

Front
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Using an Oregon Weather Station which is working out well for giving me more pin point weather conditions. Also the security cameras have been helpful and have prevented me letting the dogs out twice when there were skunks passing by outside.  :D

Back
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Things will move along pretty quickly now finished electrical, and insulation down stairs meeting on Thursday for a quote on spray foam insulation in the roof area and managed to dry wall the bathroom.

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Should have the bathroom mudded in this weekend and ready for paint and ceiling.  My wife is just happy the walls are closed up so I don't come in when she is in there with just half walls.  ;D

I am not going to close up the other side until after the winter to see how the pex holds up over the winter.

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on November 02, 2014, 06:41:43 PM
So spray foam insulation it is I found a local guys that will spray the entire roof deck with 2".  Not cheap but I feel better about getting it done this way.  I will post pictures and how it went.  Coming in to do it on the 17th of November.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on November 25, 2014, 09:40:35 AM
So I found a local closed foam installer.  I researched DIY products and it was actually cheaper to go with a local contractor.   here in my area http://www.nemowinsulation.com/ (http://www.nemowinsulation.com/) Nemow did the job for about $1,300 for 2 inches (R13) of foam that included the gable ends behind the knee wall.  Doing the same area with DIY similar and equal DIY setup was about $1,500 and that did not include that I was going to need a spray coveralls and a new respirator which you have to have to spray this stuff.   It also did not include my time and considering I have never done this before spraying learning curve and the right mixture about 8 hours of work.

My initial impression, it made and immediate difference.  Note when this is sprayed on a tin roof it will rive the roof a slight wave on a glossy roof this is a little more noticeable than on a flat finish.  Either way you have to loo for it to see it.  I was aware of this before they started work.  Putting ply wood under the metal would have prevented this but would have defeated purpose of the metal.

I went with closed foam rather the open cell.  Here is a very good article on the difference. http://www.energsmart.com/spray-foam-insulation/open-vs-closed-cell-foam.html (http://www.energsmart.com/spray-foam-insulation/open-vs-closed-cell-foam.html).  Since this is a roof deck and ceiling future water leaking in a steel roof is always a potential due to condensation and other factors.  Closed cell has the advantage here.  Also close cell is more rigid and while it weighs slightly more it had better adhesion and sealing properties.  Closed cell while more expensive is has a higher aged "R" value than open cell.  During my research I did come across situation where people complained of smell.  While the initial installation has fumes, don't mean to be sarcastic about the articles I read on this but "duh."  I have also seen the same said about fiberglass insulation.  Once it had cured and the area given time to vent there was no smell, 30 minutes after they finished.

So For some photos. Before ....

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During and after ...

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Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: MountainDon on November 25, 2014, 10:21:46 AM
 [cool]   I like it!!
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on November 25, 2014, 11:41:47 AM
Thanks Don, I should mention as well to put this into perspective.  This is about 1,100 sq ft of coverage including the area behind the knee wall.  I plan to insulate the knee wall as well with R13 JM batts.  While not necessary that is a storage area and as many of us know things stored in a hot attic do not fair well.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on November 26, 2014, 08:12:01 AM
I wanted to do a follow up to this conversation we had last year about HAVC.  I included the quote from the original post.  So we have had a year with this with and without insulation installed a couple of comments and lessons learned.  Here are a couple of Data Points.

Lower Level 32 x 16 Gross 512 sq ft Net 490 sq ft fro heating purposes.
First test of Heating and AC over the summer with no insulation.
Second test Heating and AC over the fall and start of this winter season.
Wall type frame 2x4 16" OC walls with standard sheet siding no OSD and Tyvek house wrap.  Insulation R13 JM Bats.
Foundation concrete slab 6 bag mix 8" thick with a boarder footing.
Impacting factors open stair case to second floor second floor is not insulated during the period of this test
During the cold phase the cold phase 4'x8'x2" foam board was put over the stair opening.

For the moment we are only going to focus on the lower level and will retest over the next few weeks now that the insulation is installed.

Here is the nomenclature from the second floor
16x32 2x4 16 OC walls slanted to 4" knee walls on the north and south (32 foot side)
Ceiling 2x6 beam framing roofing material metal.

Below is the historical temp and electric usage over the past 12 months.


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The unit is a wall type AC with heat pump option exactly as listed in the previous post from Amana.

My impressions.  This is a good little unit for a wall type unit and after using it for a year I can understand why hotels and motels use this unit so widely.  It is quite from my perspective but keep in mind I spent 20 years in the Air Force around aircraft so my hearing is not so good. ;)

This unit 1-10, 10 being the best 5 being average and 1 being useless, this unit is a 9 from a cooling perspective during the summer, but for my use a 5 or 6 for heating. 

The good.  Even during the summer in the hottest of days (106F) this unit was set on 72F and even before the insulation went in it kept the building at a steady temperature and did not run 24x7.  It also maintained a steady and consistent humidity.  I did not need to close off the upper level to maintain this temperature.  Even with the roof radiating a significant amount of heat the AC part of this unit kept up with no problem.

The not so good.  The heat pump suffers from the same problem most air based heat pumps of this type suffer from when the temp drops below 32F it struggles to keep up.  In the units defense once the insulation on the lower level was installed and the upper level opening was covered performance improved, however, with an outdoor temp of 12F temp inside would not get above 61F indoors.  Again this is more of an issue with these air based heat pump designs.  The unit had to run consistently to keep up.  As a result I have decided to buy an additional electrical wall heater for the room.  With that said when the temp was above 32F it easily kept the temperature very comfortable in the room.

Overall impression very happy with the unit.  Runs on a 220/240 power ran 10 gauge copper and it has not failed to perform.  Filters are simple to clean.  One other note when I am not there I set this to 58F it does have freeze protection meaning that even if the unit is turned off if it detects an indoor temp below 32F it will come on and heat the room building above freezing.

Follow up on the AC Heat Pump unit I found the one I was looking at for $200 less at https://www.acwholesalers.com/Amana/PTH153G35AXXX-PTAC-15K-BTU-Package-Terminal-Heat-Pump-Air-Conditioner/31685.ac?question=PTH153G35AXXX (https://www.acwholesalers.com/Amana/PTH153G35AXXX-PTAC-15K-BTU-Package-Terminal-Heat-Pump-Air-Conditioner/31685.ac?question=PTH153G35AXXX) I did look at the split units and talked to an AC/Heating guy here.  He gave me an education on them.  While they are convenient they are a pain to install. I walked through the installation instructions on a couple of them and I will have to evacuate the vacuum and fill it myself run the lines, break out the old copper flair kit none of the copper is provided flair and connect the units.  Fill the unit with Freon and test for leaks.  Having one installed really pushes the price up as it is basically an all day job.  I think  the mini was a good recommendation to look at and gave some real insight to something I had not considered.

The Amana Unit three elements
AC / Heat Pump ~800.00
Sleeve ~90.00
Grill and Drain Kit ~80.00

Excluding any labor for the 220 run and materials for that you have ~ $1000.00 in this unit assumes a 14,000 BTU unit.  SEER of 9.7  anything close to 10 is good anything over 12 is outstanding, saving difference is going to be based on you usage. So the numbers themselves mean very little until you finish the equation.  In my situation I would do my own electrical work, however I would not do my own AC work which is going to impact my decision later on.

PTAC - Disadvantages

- Takes up a significant amount of wall space.  In an existing building it would be a major effort to install considering the installation of headers and structural support.  Considering its 4x2 foot wall space location is going to be limited.  In new construction this would not be an issue you can plan it into the design.  Keep in mind elements of the installation if you have a heat pump included as I plan you have to have 10" of clearance to the left and right of the unit and it can be from 0 - 3 1/2" off the floor.

- It is going to be noisier than a split unit period no matter how quite it is still going to be noisier.  Don't buy a used one, I looked at some and they were all very loud most 10 - 20 years of age and came out of hotels that were torn down.  The newer units the Amana I am looking at went to see one installed in a local hotel.  Was not bad still noisier than a split would be but I am use to a fan running in the back ground as white noise and this was not as noisy as that is.

- Leaking inside and air leakage.  I read this in several places and in some ways have an issue with this disadvantage.  I could make the same arguments I read about this about windows and doors.  In an existing building I could see where this might be in an issue.  In new construction I see no excuse for this the proper wrap, sil pans and the sleeve installed correctly this should have never been an issue.  The sleeve have to title to the outside a quarter bubble.  It someone did not do that then yes they are going to have an issue.  How many of us would title our windows sil pans into the house. ;)

- Higher electrical cost maybe..... more on this later.

PTAC Advantages

- Easy maintenance
- Easy Installation
- Self contained easy to replace
- Low cost

Mini Disadvantages

- Compared to PTAC it is expensive ~$1700 for the condenser unit and about ~$700 for each air handler at the high end and ~1,500 to ~$500.00 on he low end, strange observation lower BTU condensers were more expensive than a high BTU condenser.
- Unless you are an AC / Heating guy this is not a DIY project from three points.  Copper work and flaring.   Remember you can not use a compression fitting on the high pressure side of the AC unit!  It will leak Freon and oil.   The entire system has to be brought down to a vacuum of depending on the area of the country you are in and your elevation will impact this, the equipment has to be calibrated for your elevation.  Once the system has been purged then it has to be filled with Freon.  Warranty on these units with most of the manufactures I looked at was void if it has not been professionally installed.
- As any of us that have spent time in the country know things in the country take a beating when left out in the elements.  This is a personal opinion so take it as worth just that. ;)  I have not seen enough of this in the country to see how well they will last.  Specifically the condenser unit if placed a significant distance from the structure which is the purpose of quite operation, and the unit any unit full size, mini or PTAC is going to be noisy outside dependent on the location.

Mini Advantages:

Quite operation period hands down.
High SEER ratings ???? maybe.  Energy cost savings SEER of 20+ and maybe it is.  however the energy usage based on my savings might be ~$100 dollars a year.  Now I don't want to throw out $100 dollars but it would take me 12 years to break even based on the up front cost and it I followed the cost of money it would take about 15 years and I would probably be looking to replace the unit by that time.  Compressor warranty is typically 7 years and parts warranty typically of 5 years none included labor.

Higher tonnage ratings PTAC's up to about 1.2 where minis can run higher not uncommon to find 2 Ton units or 26,000 BTU.  However all these units need to be sized for the space so keep that in mind bigger is not always better when it comes to this has to sized to the building and rooms to be cooled/heated.

Small indoor foot print no changes to the framing specifically can be located most anywhere.

Ability to add zone units through out the building, however how any of us are going to tear out the walls we built a year from now to put in a new unit somewhere else.  If it is planned during the initial construction definite advantage. after the fact maybe not so much.

So those are my thoughts like to hear others thoughts on this as well.  Think for the moment since 20 years in the Air Force had a negative effect on my hearing and fact I like a little white noise in the back ground, I will probably stick with the PTAC unit. ;)  For simplicity and ease of maintenance it is also a less expensive option.

Another advantage that was personally important to me.  Something I did not mention that actually kept me with the Amana brand; built and assembled in the USA in their Tennessee plant.  All the mini Units are built and assembled off shore including the LG.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: dbeers02 on December 05, 2014, 06:39:40 PM
Howdy almost neighbor. Looks nice. I am also going to use the closed cell foam. I have a guy down in Lincoln Missouri going to come spray it when I get everything on my cabin dried in. I have been tied up with work and kids/grandkids lately so I haven't gotten much done. Hope to get some done this weekend and next if the weather isn't too bad.
Let me know how the foam is working. My guy said 1.5 inches of closed cell in roof and a thin coat on all the side walls would all but airtight my cabin. I asked him about putting 4-5 inches in the roof and he told me it was overkill.  I am a firm believer in insulation and believe if some is good, more is better.
Happy building.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on December 06, 2014, 07:26:19 PM
LOL I agree more is better the closed cell is rated at R13 which is a bit misleading since it really seals it better than R13 batts.  I am really happy with it so far.  I went with 2" that's what they priced and I have to say these guys did a nice job all round including cleaning up and cutting down so all I have to do is come in with all covering now.  at the end of the gable they went close to 5" and though they price and billed at 2" it is more like 2.5".  I did ask for a large piece they cut down and socked it in a bucket for about a week.  No noticeable absorption.  Let me know how yours comes out would be curious to hear if it is consistent.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on December 14, 2014, 09:12:45 AM
I am crazy I know it, I admit it and I am happy with that state of mind.  :D  So now we have that cleared up I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

So I took a little detour this week from my normal building discussion since I am more or less done with the exterior and I was attempting to research some options for Internet connectivity.  Funny enough for my own crazy reasons I wanted to connect to Pandora to listen to some Christmas music.  I blame my wife since she is the only Christmas Elf I know and if I have to listen to another corn report this week I am going to scream,  and I know your saying hey there is a thing called an iPod.

However, I have the same problem all of us have in a remote setting cell connectivity.  So I started researching some solutions and since most major providers just laugh when I tell them where I am located and what I am wanting to do.  Being that by trade I am a technology person I thought there has to be a solution to this problem.  So starting with cell connectivity the first thing I located was a .kmz file with all the cell tower locations in the nation.

Now for those that do not know what a .kmz file is.  KMZ is a file extension for a place mark file used by Google Earth. KMZ stands for Keyhole Markup language Zipped.  In other words it is a collection of place markers on a Google Map.  So I found one for all cell towers at http://www.mapcruzin.com/google-earth-maps-resources/google-earth-cell-towers.htm (http://www.mapcruzin.com/google-earth-maps-resources/google-earth-cell-towers.htm).

So armed with this information I start looking for a cell booster.  Now keep in mind cell coverage at my location is 1x at best with no 2G, 3G or 4G connectivity.  If you would like to know what kind of real coverage you have in your area take a look at Open Signal http://opensignal.com/ (http://opensignal.com/).  Cell providers probably would not like this information out there because of the difference in the marketing coverage maps and reality. 

Using this information there are towers in my area with 4G panels installed and active I am just to far for my phone to pick them up.  In steps Wilson Electronics and the DB Pro 4G Directional Booster http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/display/246/46/db-pro-4g-directional (http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/display/246/46/db-pro-4g-directional).  I picked one up this week it will be here on the 30th of December and once I have it installed I will let everyone know how it worked out.

While this unit is for whole house with about 1,000 foot range I figure it will be helpful if I am out at one of the buildings as well.  It is also not cheap ($700) however it was better option to use my existing cell service than pay for a wireless broadband Internet service in our area that runs about $1,000 a year and connectivity to it is no better than my cell service.

Might seem like a lot to go through just for Christmas music.  :D  I think I did mention I am married to a Christmas Elf and I am crazy.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on December 18, 2014, 02:53:50 PM
Well it came early I have the cell repeater so looks like I know what I will be doing this weekend.  I have listed out the components and some changes that have been made so if anyone is looking at this there are a couple of things to note.  One the unit I purchased from Wilson is in compliance with 2014 FCC regulation changes.  Two you have to contact your cell provider and register you repeater with them.  So off to the equipment.

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This is the actual amplifier RG6 connectors one goes to the outside antennae and the other to the internal antennae, I will talk more about that in a moment.  This is the new amplifier if you are doing research online on the intarwebs youtube they all show the older model with manual gain controls.  One of the FCC changes was reduce gain range from 75db to 70db.  The new unit has smart gain meaning that as conditions change outside the gain will automatically adjust.  Hence no manual gain controls.  This is mounted in doors near a power source.  In my case in the attic and I put an outlet in just for its use.  This is the only powered part of this setup.

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Item number two, this the outside antennae know as a Yagi antennae.  It is a line of sight focused directional antennae, meaning you need to point it at the tower location you are looking to talk to.  Unless you have mountains or large buildings in you way range and signal power is better.  There is a broadcast type antennae you can use with this system however it does not have the boost power of a Yagi.  I should be able to talk to a tower up to 20 miles away realistically with tree cover and such it is going to be closer to 15 miles max.  We are fairly flat here so hills should not be an issue since I can see the tower warning light at night from the roof where this will be mounted.

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Ultra low loss 40db RG6 comes in the kit in two lengths 60 ft and 75 ft connectors already attached.  Keep in mind cell RG6 cable must be at least 20 ft long.  This cable is matched to this system so I am not going to adjust it and will leave the unused portion coiled in the attic. 

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Finally the internal antennae  will be mounted on the wall preferred location 20" or more feet below the external and facing the opposite direction from the external antennae so not to create a feedback loop.

So there it is I will take some picture of it installed and let you all know how it performs.



 
Title: Re: 32x16 Northern MO Build
Post by: GSPDOG on December 29, 2014, 02:51:47 PM
Installed the cell repeater and the results are so so.....

Couple of items first frequency signal strength is measured by a negative number, the close to -0db the better.   As an example -100db is a useless signal and -50db is a great signal.  In close vicinity to a cell tower -53db is the best I have seen.  Most systems on average run between - 60db to - 80db (3 to 4 bars on a cell phone).

So at the homestead I would run any where between -87db to -110db depending on other factors such as weather.  Typically not enough of a signal to even trigger the phone to ring.  When I did get a signal the best I could hope for was 1x so don't plan on any data transfers.

So as I mentioned I picked up a Wilson unit to strengthen the signal and localize the antennae. 

Installation - Very simple, straight forward and instructions were clear.  30 minutes I had lines run and the three components installed.  Now in complete transparency, the amplifier needs and electrical source and I had planned for this ahead of time.  It is the only powered component and can be any where the coaxial cable can be run.   In my case it is going to be behind the upstairs knee wall next to the access panel going into the storage area.

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The Yagi antennae is a external directional antennae and I attached it to one side of the house near the roof line however I am going to make a change to not where or how it is mounted but how high.  I will explain the reason for that change in a moment.

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The final component the indoor antennae has to be 20 feet horizontal or 50 feet vertically from the outside antennae.  I am a little shy of the 20 horizontal and no way I could do horizontal.  and the antennae's must be back to back to each other meaning if one is facing west the other has to face east to avoid a feedback loop.

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With the components install turn on the amplifier all the lights flash and off to start making adjustments.  This is where it started getting to be a pain and if you are thinking about one of these this is where you really need a second person.  I know where my towers are located using several tools I mentioned in a previous post.

Remember the Yagi antennae is directional so it has to be directed and focused at the tower you want to talk to and fine tuned.  So using my handy old military compass and map I knew that the closest tower was 3.2 miles away at 270 degrees or -90 degrees off of true north.  So I pointed it at the tower and wow signal overload.  The manual will tell you if you are being over powered by the tower to off shift by a degree or two which I did and great stuff overpowered solved.  Get down from the ladder run the numbers on the phone and well -60db but still 1x.  Improved signal strength for sure.  But no 3G or 4G signal yet.

So I start checking and pointing to other towers  still no 3G/4G signal.  This is where settled for the moment after a dozen trips up and down the ladder I thought I am going to wait till my wife is here so I can make smaller adjustments without falling off this thing.

The other thing I am learning the standard antennae j pipe is to short so I have ordered a 39" so I can get up over the top of the roof. 

If you were to take a compass and draw a circle around my homestead 7 miles out, everything outside that circle is 4G and everything inside is not.  So I will let you know how it turns out.

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