A Driveway...to a Cleared Lot!

Over the past few days we've made quite a bit of headway.  We now have a driveway!...leading to a cleared lot!  Grubbing has been completed at this point.  We have lots of topsoil in places. There is at least 20".  The plans is to push this out to the sides of the lot and use it after backfilling is complete.

I was hoping that the footing was going to be sitting higher on the lot.  It is actually sitting down below the road much more than I had originally anticipated.  However, my excavation guy, Jason Wade, says it won't be an issue.  We have dug down to solid ground in a couple of places and it is very, very, solid.  Once the pad area is excavated, we'll lay a rock pad.  We'll track that in with his excavator and then rent a roller for a day to roll as we go.  We are expecting to make quite  a bit of headway in the coming week.  We hope to finish moving the soil and mark out the pad for the foundation tomorrow. On Tuesday we will bring in some loads of rock to bring everything up to level and create a pad for the foundation.  We'll then get the well drillers in to drill the well.  A surveyor will mark out the corners of the foundation and away we go!


  1. Moving right along. Don't have the house built before I get home ! Ha ha

  2. David, only 40 hrs of sun in April up to the 24th, and as the glitter on your photos shows. Wood burning time no doubt. Record 60 hrs of freezing rain, so not the usual benefit on my attic mount HP either. A typical day this April I use 10 or 11 kwh, on a good solar day, it is 5 kwh for heat.....yesterdays sun helped keep the thermal mass effect of the attic such that the HP was on minimum of 430 watt until 5 am, then it shot up to 580 w, and dropped quickly once the sun came up again. So the science is good, and your design will take advantage. Seems as though you are way back in the country.......Is any PV solar in your plan........I have wondered about PV mounted in the attic, protected from snow , wind and ice.........any thoughts.......maybe 25 percent less capacity from reduced light, I guess, ......

  3. Yep, I agree, would have been a wood burning month. Amazing to watch it all crash off the trees yesterday afternoon once the sun was up in the sky. Its an amazing free source of energy! Originally I thought about solar and the house orientation is perfect for it. the steep pitched roof will be great for snow slipping off the panels, even with a couple of cm of snow on them they are still pretty effective. The solar potential on average yearly is not too bad. A 1kW system will give you about 1000kWh of energy. My home would require a system about 7kW which would easily fit on the roof with room to spare. The biggest issue with PV solar is storage. With no net metering feeding the power back to the grid is not possible which really makes PV a very cost ineffective option for renewable energy here in NL. having to purchase a battery storage system is very very expensive. Thats why I went for wood, its renewable, clean, and cost effective. the plan is to run a wire in a conduit to the attic for future PV if net metering becomes reality. Later, and keep watching, the rock pad will hopefully go in this week.

  4. I remember some 10 years ago that PV solar for my house in Logy Bay would run something like 100,000 dollars....before the steep slide in costs.
    A 1kw PV without storage can be good to help run a HP or other,and in lieu of a gas generator if the power fails. I admire your roof slope for solar.
    I see some mfg make dense cellulose panels for housing for walls, but probably expensive as to shipping costs.
    As a contractor, in the future, some, perhaps many customers may want the convenience of passive and minisplits or as back up for wood. Your engineer or architect may be interested in my attic mount performance, if you wish to run it by them. I have been brushing up some more on hydroscopic properities of cellulose, and wood....which seems to have significant advantage of working well together.
    My cottage had cellulose on the original,25 x 30 ft size. I build on all 4 sides, with fiberglass on the add on. My HP is in the south add on attic, with the tubing enters through a cut hole in the original roof, this hole being only about 4 x 12 in.........so taking only a small volume of air through there. My attic RH by the HP was about 74, and a few weeks ago I wondered if it was much difference in that coming from the core original part that had cellulose.......amazing the RH from there was 9 point lower! So you are right in the hygroscopic nature, and may offer an opportunity to make that hole bigger and further improve importance.
    AN article on the cellulose prefab panels used the phrase `we monitor our work, because when others depend on modeling, we want to keep the modelers honest`. I like that, much like `The proof is in the pudding`. Wish you the best of success in your design and workmanship.

  5. I have researched PV solar extensively. It can work here and can be up to 30% more efficient with a solar tracker. However this can get quite expenisve and mounting to a roof at a good angle to maximize gains during the sunniest time of the year is the most cost effective option. A battery system can run thousands and thousands of dollars not to mention ongoing maintenance of the batteries due to cycling. Using a grid tie option is the best as the grid is being used as a kind of an instantaneous battery. you feed power out and get paid, however when you draw power, you're still pulling down power from the grid where the source may be driven by thermal generation. Your source power is still oil, but you offseting some of the CO2 production using your grid tie. Personally, I think the best use of power is onsite. Maybe using a PV system to charge something like a Tesla PowerWall2. This is a nice system and decreases the cost of batteries by a huge amount. My understanding of it is that it is able to switch load between grid and battery and can store excess power from the PV system. THe other option is a PV system to offset hot water generation. Direct current PV immersion heaters are nice in the sense that they can be used to heat water directly, converting PV electricity in to thermal energy stored in a water tank. THis would work nicely in the winter to offset days when the house is already warm and you wouldn't want to fire up the wood stove. And I have seen new solar assisted heat pumps that depend on PV. These could be used quite effectively for both radiant heating and cooling applications so you are getting the best of both worlds year round.

    I will ask engineer about their use of heat pumps and whether or not they have ever seen it used in the attic. they may be interested.

  6. Much agree with your analysis of PV solar. Local installed price is about 50,000 for 4kw, but does not allow for space heating or hot water.........as capacity not sufficient except short term at 4kw load.
    There is a model of HP to hot water that is about twice as efficient as the one you propose ,about 4 COP instead of 2, an inverter control style, but physical bigger, and more costly........are you familiar......I have been considering adding to the R2000 house being monitored for hot water production, especially since the HPs there are typically very lightly loaded, and could supply heat in the house to feed that for hot water. Main HPs this winter typically loaded at 25 percent , and only 60 percent at -17C, so part loading gives efficient operation.
    I can make my data from monitoring ,using attic solar assist, to you, if you engineer wants to assess its advantage, where HP are to be used. I am evaluating info also like effect of frosting, while not triggering defrost, and also when defrost is triggered, and where defrosts are frequent when mounted outdoors under high RH.......typical in coastal regions. Seems to me attic mount can make average COP comparable with ground source units, which are the ideal units, but two pumping systems, one to the ground, the other to circulate hot water, impact their COP......but also very expensive systems overall.
    Yes , the Tesla is a good product.......ordered one of their cars a few months ago,the 35,000.00 US model......may get into production late this year.......they received some half million orders in about 30 days. Presently into 12 years on my Prius hybrid........so now going all electric, the Prius has largely been trouble free, only one issue.
    Wonder.....if you evolve to contracting.......would it be worthwhile to make your own dense pack cellulose wall panels......does not seem overly complicated and gets R4 instead of 3.5 per in. Could make standard panels indoors in the slow winter months......

  7. Winston,

    I know that we don't really have a cooling season like on the mainland. Although it does get warm on times, we lived with a warm house in the summer for about 10 years before considering an air conditioner. So although cooling may not be necessary, it may be desirable. How does attic mounting affect summer performance? Is it impeded in anyway?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts