Sunday, January 20, 2013
Easy Steps to Create Your Very Own Moat™
Life's tough like that sometimes.
Eric made a good point reading my last post regarding our foundation work. Given the fact the work took three summers, we needed to protect the uninsulated parts of our foundation from frost heave. Our sweet old neighbour, the venerable Monsieur Lefebure, suggested an old-time method. We used hay bales piled up against the sides of the foundation, effectively preventing frost-heave from shearing insulated and non-insulated portions. Again, while unorthodox, it worked marvelously. We must be trend-setters too, because the hay-bale concept is popping up all over our neighbourhood. People are using this method to keep their water mains from freezing, their septic drains from freezing, you get the idea. Monsieur Lefebure was definitely on to something, and we miss his pragmatism.
Christo? Eric's channeling him and doesn't even know it). It's just an added layer that water needs to seep through to get to the foundation. By this time of year, it's dark early and we just want to back-fill everything before the snow starts to fly. It's been another long, mucky summer.
To finish the surface above ground after we back-filled, we cut the polyethylene sheet at the ground-line, and used that horrible red Tuck-tape to affix it to the pink insulation. That stuff ain't going anywhere. We then covered this with a waterproof aluminum membrane. We used a two-part epoxy-based mortar from Sika to protect the pink polystyrene. If memory serves, we applied a layer of adhesive fibreglass mesh, and then Eric troweled on the mortar. Then we capped the top with an aluminum flashing that's tucked under our siding, and Bob's your uncle, as Eric is wont to say.
We'll get around to changing the siding of the house at some juncture. While aluminum siding isn't our product of choice, it's still doing the trick so we don't see the need to change for esthetics only. We've got bigger fish to fry. Eventually, we'll replace it with a fibre-cement covering, something like James Hardie shingles or paneling, or a combination of both. Our house is crooked, so uneven shingles could nicely mitigate the fact we're not working with right angles or straight lines. But that will be for another decade.
We'll move on to part III, or the summer of 2006, when we tore down our entry (I use that term lightly), with plans to replace it with a 10' x 12' timber-frame structure built on an actual foundation and basement we can stand up in, unlike our non-functional crawl-space.
Again, nothing goes as planned, and while the foundation and slab are complete, we didn't expect what we found, which is why we moved our renovation show to the inside of the house again.
Remember I told you that if you listen closely enough, your old house will tell you what it wants done? Well, our old house told us we needed to pay attention to the upstairs. So did the government. Before they decided to can their Ecoenergy retrofit program, we moved indoors, where my hammer-blow-by-hammer-blow account of our upstairs renovation, AKA The Knotty Pine Purge, starts.
And I'll also try to explain why there's still a drill press in the living room, but that's another digression all on its own.