Archives for August 2014


Mudding is in full swing. Frank the Tank has completed his signature ceiling texture on the main floor and will be moving to the basement next.

Chunky Monkey

A Stiff Pour

The driveway was poured today. This will be a two-part pour, with the largest pour happening today. We got a half inch of rain last night, but it soaked in pretty quick so it was still a go. The concrete is 6″ thick with 47B aggregate and rebar reinforced. This is the same high-strength concrete used on roadways and is rated at 4000 psi.

Soften It Up

The plumbers came today and hooked up the water softener. We went with a Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 grain softener. Fleck is not a well-known brand, but they are a fraction of the cost of a Culligan or Kinetico system.

We knew that the water in this area was hard, so before we settled on this softener we got a water test from Servi-Tech Laboratories out of Hastings. The hardness test came back at 16 grains per gallon. We used this calculator to determine that a 40,000-48,000 grain softener would be optimal for our conditions.


Fill ‘Er Up

The wall insulation was blown in today. This is an ultra fit blow-in insulation rated at R-24. A traditional batt insulation would only be able to provide an R-19 rating on a 2×6 exterior wall, so between this and the brick veneer we should have a very airtight home. Once the sheetrock is hung on the ceilings they will come back and blow in enough insulation in the attic to reach an R-49 value, per Energy Star’s recommendation. We did opt for an R-13 batt insulation on the basement walls as well as all of the interior walls to help with sound dampening.


The new house has nearly 3000 ft. of CAT6 and 1000 ft. of RG6 quad-shield coaxial cable. This may be just a skosh of overkill, but what would you expect from a couple techies? Most rooms have a minimum of 3 CAT6 and 1 RG6 drops in a single gang box. We’ll be using a keystone system to fit them all neatly into one faceplate. All of the runs terminate beneath the stairs, where we will have a two-post rack and patch panels.

Our electrician had to curiously ask, “What are you going to do with all of that?” CAT6 is the swiss-army knife of low voltage cabling. It can be used for ethernet data, telephone, video (HDMI over CAT6), IP cameras, and can also be used for some audio and intercom systems. We also wired for surround sound in the basement and ran a couple audio and HDMI cables there as well. Needless to say, you only get one chance to run cabling through the walls, so we loaded up!


Rock You Like a Hurricane

The electrical inspector came and gave the all clear on Thursday. Insulation went up in the garage Thursday afternoon and sheetrock started going up Friday morning. We’re still waiting on the blown-in insulation subcontractor to come this next week, but at least they were able to get a start on things in the garage.

The rockers did have a bit of an oops today. They were taking down the garage door openers and they accidentally dropped one. It busted up the motor, bent the rail, and also put a crease in the bottom section of the door. Not cheap, but at least it’s all easily replaced.