Sunday, June 12, 2011

Radiant Heating Pipe in the Bathroom

I've just finished installing the radiant heating pipe in the upstairs bathroom.  The pipe I'm using is 1/2' PEX pipe with an oxygen barrier.  (More on that in a later post.) 

I'm working with a 500' roll of pipe, so I've made up a quick n' dirty unspooler out of a couple of long clamps and a piece of 4" ABS pipe.  When installing the Pex pipe, it needs to actually be unrolled, as opposed to just laying the roll of pipe on the floor and uncoiling it.  If you just uncoil it from the roll, it will get twisted and be almost impossible to work with.  (Think of how a garden hose gets all twisted up when you just uncoil it.)  By hanging it up and unrolling it, you don't get any twists in the pipe and it installs easily.

I began by putting the end of the pipe down through the floor and into the chase that goes down to the basement.  Then I layed the pipe in the long, winding slot in the floor.  When I got back to the beginning again, I cut the pipe with enough length to go back down to the basement again.  The entire length of pipe was 130'.  Eventually, the two ends of the pipe will get connected to the radiant heating manifolds in the basement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bathroom Floor Preparation

Today I was preparing the bathroom floor for the radiant heating system.  The first step was to lay down 8" wide strips of plywood such that there is a 5/8" gap between them.  At the ends of the strips of plywood I've cut semi-circles out of plywood as well.  The goal is to create a continuous pathway that the Pex heating pipe will lie in.

I've also installed aluminum heat transfer plates in the straight sections.  As the name implies, the heat transfer plates will help to transfer the heat from the warm Pex pipe to the floor by spreading the heat over a larger surface area.

You can see a short length of white Pex pipe in the photo below.  I just put that in there to test the fit of the aluminum plates, and it all fits fine.

Where the Pex pipe exits the floor and heads down towards the basement, I've put 1/4 circles made out of plywood under the opening in the floor.  That ensures that the pipe bends downward without getting any kinks in it. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Installing the Bathroom Exaust Fan

I’ve recently finished installing my bathroom fan system.  Rather than have an individual ceiling fan in each bathroom, I’ve installed a single remote fan to ventilate both bathrooms.  The fan is installed in an area away from the bathrooms and exhausts out the roof.  This results in a quiet and efficient system.  I’ll put in a timer switch in each bathroom, so the fan can be set to run for 5 – 30 minutes and then shut off automatically.

The white vent pipe you can see in the photos is 4” PVC pipe.  I’ve used the rigid PVC pipe rather than the flexible accordion-style pipe because the PVC pipe walls are smooth, so there is less air resistance than in the flexible pipes.  The pipes run from both the bathroom ceilings to a Y-fitting on the intake side of the fan unit.  The fan exhausts through a 6” diameter pipe to a roof vent.  The 6” pipe is flexible aluminum pipe, but it’s only two feet long so there isn’t a lot of air resistance to deal with. 

The fan I used is a Fantech FR 150.  It’s rated at 263 cfm, which should be plenty for both bathrooms.  It’s amazingly quiet.  Even when standing right next to it, you can barely tell that it’s running.  All you can hear is the air rushing through the pipes. 

Here’s a link if you’d like more information:

The ducting connections to the fan are sealed with aluminum duct tape.   It's different than traditional duct tape; which will dry out and peel away.  This is actually made of thin aluminum and will last for the life of the fan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Roof Vent For Bathroom Fan

I've installed the roof vent for the bathroom fan system.  I removed a couple of shingles and cut a round(ish) hole for the vent. 

The top of the vent flange is tucked up underneath the roofing felt, and the new shingles get installed over top of that. I've used silicone sealant underneath the top and sides of the flange to ensure a good seal as well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Loft Insulation

I've been installing the pink insulation baffles in the loft area.  Their purpose is to ensure an air space is always present between the insulation and the bottom side of the roof sheathing.  That air space is essential for proper roof ventilation.   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Insulation Progress

Today I installed the insulation and poly in the bathroom walls and ceiling.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Lights Installed

I have finished up a bit more wiring and installed a few more lights.  The half-bath wiring is done now, and the lights over the stairs and in the loft are installed. 

These are all just temporary light fixtures; I'll eventually install an appropriate bathroom light and some sort of pendant lights over the stairs and in the loft.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Siding Progress

I've finished up the siding and soffits to the peak of the roof on this side of the house.  All that's left to do is the fascia.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Siding Done

I'm gradually making my way up the walls.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bug Screen for the Rain Screen

I'm just about finished installing the siding on this wall.  However, I first have to install the bug screen for the rain screen system.  The bug screen stops bugs from getting into the air space between the siding and the outside of the wall.  (There is also a bug screen at the bottom of the wall.)
I use a piece of fiberglass window screen 12" wide for this.  I tuck a third of it behind the tops of the plywood strips, and then fold the remaining part in half and staple it to the plywood strips.  Folding the screen in half gives it some bulk so that it fits somewhat tightly to the backside of the siding.

Now I can install the frieze board and then the last row of siding.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flashing Details for the Wraparound Eaves

This shows the flashing detail at the top of the wraparound eaves.  I've put the shingles on first, then tucked the top leg of a piece of L-shaped aluminum flashing up underneath the housewrap and sealed it with tape.  The bottom leg of the flashing sits on top of the shingles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Soffits Finished Above Patio Doors

Today I finished the soffits above the patio doors. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wrap-around Eaves

I've just finished building the wrap-around eave section at the front of the house.  Now I can continue with the siding on this wall.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Installing Soffits

As I'm moving along with the siding, I'm also installing the soffits as I go.  The soffits are what covers the underside of the eaves.  Like the siding I'm using, they are made of vinyl.  I'm using the perforated variety as they allow for free air movement up into the roof cavity.

The soffits are held in place by placing one end into a vinyl channel (called an F-channel) that's screwed to the wall underneath the inside of the eave, and by nailing the other end to the underside of the fascia board on the outside of the eave.

The soffit panels are interlocking in a way similar to that of the vinyl siding.  Once you install one piece, the next piece hooks around the edge of the previous piece.

The finished product.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Siding Finished on the Front

I've finished up the siding on the front of the house... almost.  There is still a partial row to go up at the top once the soffits are installed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Flashing for an Outdoor Light Fixture Box

I've discovered some plastic flashing blocks that work great for protecting outdoor electrical boxes from getting water inside them.  It's a two-piece unit... once piece goes over top the electrical box before the siding goes on... and the second piece goes on after the siding is installed.

This is the electrical box for the outside light at the front door.

Here's the back half of the flashing block.  It just slips over top the protruding edge of the electrical box.

Now the siding goes on.

Now the front half of the flashing block slips on overtop and outside of the back half.

Once the light fixture is installed, the electrical box is well protected from getting wet inside.