Backfill and roofs

Today it’s starting to look like a house.  The rafters and dormers  on the second floor bedroom section are done.  The roof  rafters 18′ x 12″ TJIs were a challenge to get up.  It took much longer than the framers though. You can see from yesterday’s photos how they had to swing them into place. It also looks like we can’t use the window designed for the second bathroom  because of the angle of the porch roof.  We will swap it with a smaller one form the office.

Backfill and rough grading is done and a pad is set up for the shed.


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Family Room end

77 Roof & Dormors (4)


77 Roof & Dormors

Office end

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Shed pad

78 Shed pad


Busy Monday (Backfill & Framing)

In the first photo the Bilco door crew was still on site, the excavators started backfilling and the framers were working on the roof rafters.  Look how long the rafters are and the framer swing them into position to be lifted up.  A very uneventful day other than it was the first day of Deer season and shotguns were going off in the distance and deer were running around.

Three things at once.

71 A busy day

Second floor framing

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Doing the roof rafters.75 Roof Rafters

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End of Day

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Busy Monday (Bilco Door)

Was a very busy day.  The framers finished the second floor framing on Saturday.

Today started off with the Bilco door installation.  Easy, the guys from Bethlehem Precast really know what they are doing.   I just noticed I didn’t take a photo of the completed installation. (I’ll add that tomorrow)

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Sill plate details

Just a rainy day in Jersey.  Just the Township’s back fill inspection today, passed.

With a full day of  rain forecast for today and tomorrow the isn’t any progress, the bilco door system is rescheduled for Monday. They need dry weather for their seal to dry properly.

But since the sill plate seal is so important and different with the Thermomass  CIP foundation I thought I’d post the design and photos of the result.  My engineering friends have never seen a sill plate like this.


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Basement Floor

I got to the lot at 8:02 and Marone’s guys were already working.  Two concrete trucks later the floor was poured, Spread it out, shot the height with a laser, then let it set up. After a few hours they were back at it smoothing the floor and cutting the expansion join. Gabe my Grandson can over to watch and the pump truck operator let him move the boom around,

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The Steel & Floor

After fabrication the supporting steel was installed. The columns were installed and leveled one day, and measured for the correct height.  A crane lifted the heavy cross members into place. There were bolted to the support columns and welded to bolted in end plates.

Then Marone’s guys placed 2″ rigid foam panels (R-10) including 4″ up the side walls. The covered it with 15mil Stego vapor barrier and taped all the seams and around any openings.  All ready to pour the floor tomorrow.62 Steel 62 Steel (2) 62 Steel (3) 63 Vapor Barrier (2) 63 Vapor Barrier

Stripping Forms & Water Proofing

After two days of curing the forms were stripped and a water proofing membrane was added and covered with perfective panels of fiberglass.   I’m not worried about water, the ground is very pours, sand, loam, some clay and rocks.  So many rocks we will have to bring in backfill. Since the hole was opened we’ve had two different days of heavy rain (2″ +) with no acclamation on the floor of the hole.

60 Finished wall (3)60 Finished wall (5)

60 Finished wall 61 Waterproffing (2) 61 Waterproffing (3) 61 Waterproffing

Pouring the Foundation Wall

It was actually very simple.  A pumper truck, a bunch of cement mixer trucks, and  about 6 guys made it look easy.  Thanks to the Thermomass Reps Marone’s guys knew just what to do.  Two guys worked the nozzle pouring about 2 feet of concrete on either side of the insulation panels and just circled the wall. 180 degrees away on the other side of the wall another two guys also circled the wall with a vibrator.  I lost count of the cement mixer trucks but by just after noon the walls were poured.  Two guys went around installing the tie downs, over a hundred.  Now just wait for the concrete to cure.


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The Foundation

The Foundation,

A house looses about 20% of it’s heat energy through the basement.  So to build a high efficiencies house you have to start with the foundation. There are a number of ways to add insulation to the foundation.

  1. The outside:  you can attach XPS panels on the out side walls.  This didn’t make much sense to me, because I didn’t see how this would keep the concrete wall from trying to get to the ground temperature.
  2. The inside: putting insulation on the inside wall is better than the outside, but there are a number of choices.  Sprayed open-cell foam. A good solution if your finishing the basement, I wasn’t .  Another is attaching XPS to the inside wall, there are a couple of ways.
  3. Both sides:  ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms) are another choice. But I saw issues and looked for a better solution
  4. In the middle:  Thermomass CIP system.  Four inches of concrete, four inches of XPS (R-20) and four inches of concrete.  The exterior wall adjusts to the ground temperature (apx. 55 degrees; the inside wall is a big mass that adjusts to the basement temperature (65 degrees); nd the four inches of XPF keeps them apart. Plus blocks moisture from migrating through the wall.  That very large thermos mass of the inside concrete wall will hold the basement temperature.

So the Thermomass CIP solution made the most sense to me.    I met with the local Thermomass rep, Gary Pascoe, and I was sold.  A Deptford concrete company Manone Construction gave me a quote.  The XPS panels have non-conducting stand-off the center them in the forms, concrete is poured on either side of the XPS.  See photos of the insulation panels being installed.

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