gable end sunburst design, garlic growing in Nova Scotia, green building, greener building in Canada, hackmatack raised bed gardens, John Otvos, Tamarak raised bed gardens, window installation for air tight homes in Canada
It’s not like I wasn’t busy in September. Etienne, Anthony and Andrew have gone off to find other work and I’ve chosen to go it on my own for the siding, windows, garden and small other jobs of a general contractor builder.
As I’ve mentioned in my ~Circularity post, the house is while crucial, incidental to the real purpose of becoming self-sufficient in food and electricity. Now, since I am Hungarian by extraction, garlic is not far from my plate nor my lips. Garlic is the king of herbs! Lennie Levine has been growing garlic on the North Mtn of NS for over 25 yrs. He has his methodology and judging from the size, taste, heat and plenitude, he’s the man!
I took delivery of enough hackmatack or what I knew back in ON as tamarack, to build raised bed vegetable gardens. They will be mostly 4′ x 8′ and 2′ high. These serve multiple purposes. Firstly, I have no top soil as the site is on the south side (good for passive solar) of the North Mtn. Secondly, I don’t wish to bend over as the years pass, so it’ll be much easier to garden at waist level, straight in and at 4′ wide, ‘we’ will be able to reach the centre of each bed. Lastly, I believe in no-till gardening. That’s what healthy soil is all about. The worms and bugs and microbes do all the work. We grow the soil. The veggies are The Universe’s byproduct.
Here, the future garden beds are drying out as they are fresh off the saw, before next springs bed building. One set has been set aside for this Oct. as garlic needs to go in according to Lennie, after the next full moon. Alison from Maple Hill Farms told me that many planted too early last fall and the garlic sent new green shoots above the winter mulch. To the left of the drying pile, one can see the levelled off area dedicated to a vertical wind turbine probably later in 2012.
I used fiberglas windows and doors from a firm in ON. http://www.fibertec.com/ In Canada there are only 4 manufacturers of these entry portals. Fiberglas insulates the best between aluminum, wood and vinyl or even vinyl covered wood. The sash and frames are insulated. These units are triple glazed, argon gas filled and have a low E coating on panes 3 & 5. It’s a long technical discussion as to why these glazing units? Why panes 3 & 5? And why triple vs capital amortization? I also went with awning windows, as in my estimation, they provide the best shield from wind driven rain, if left open. Yes, the horizontal mullions can get in ones vision standing up. They’d be in our vision sitting down if the awning was on the bottom. If they were casements, the centre mullion would divide the picture view in half. Mere choices. Mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
The purpose of the Blueskin WB http://www.henry.com/airandvapor/nonpermeable/blueskinWB is to seal the opening from outside air and moisture penetration. Since this new house is getting vertical siding, it needed to be strapped horizontally for nail bite. This meant the Blueskin WB had to get in touch with the house wrap. Since I am 1/12 Jewish, saving money now is important. It was cheaper to get a 9″ roll and cut it length wise, then Tuck tape it’s leading edge back to the housewrap.
My building style has always been contemporary with a little funkiness thrown in for comic relief. I like lots of natural light. Even these doors are triple glazed, argon gas filled and low E coating on panes # 3 & 5. Very heavy as were all the windows to remove down the gangplank from the delivery truck and to insert in their respective rough openings. My *only* real quibble with this excellent product is that the so-called snap-in covers don’t. I’ve been told that the jig that makes them is so old that they now only slide in. Hey fellas in ON, for the kind of money you were paid . . . ahhh . . . *and* 2 months in advance, the jig should have been re-jigged, rather than letting the man, jayöh in the field do the work of fitting them. Another wasted two days coming up! Oh well. Remember those two little words as they’ll get you through all of life’s trials and tribulations.
Let’s get one more wrinkle out of the way. The Wolfville store that sold me a scratch and dent floor model JÃ¸tul, http://www.jotul.com/en/wwwjotulcom/ [weigh cool crackling flames on this page from their website!] also sold me a stainless steel flashing for the steel roof. Trouble came when I special ordered a Selkirk chimney from my Berwick BBS supplier and it was too large. Turns out the flashing is made only for Excel chimneys. http://www.icc-rsf.com/en/icc/insulated-stainless-steel-chimney Nice ploy guys except the entire chimney now set me back an additional $250! Made in Quebec. Wouldn’t you know it, in light of the latest published cover article in Maclean’s magazine of provincial corruption. Ha ha ha ha! http://www2.macleans.ca/
Above and below is what has really consumed 3 of the past 4 weeks of my working September. The 3 gable end sunbursts. They are prefabbed in cove siding from Cape Cod. http://www.capecod.ca/ This necessitated cutting a new rabbit on the taper rip. Each piece needs to be completely isolated and laid out in full before cutting. there was no simple mathematical formula. If there was, it would have probably flown over and past this man’s brain anyway. 44 separate pieces have gone into the east wall alone.
Traditionally, these sunbursts are made with clapboard siding which does not require re-cutting an overlapping rabbit. That would make all the ray points line up on the circumference of the sun before the half-way point or 90º verticity. [I made that one up. A writer’s prerogative, n’est pas?] It would mean as well the cutting through [taper ripping] of some of the cove, exposing the backside and preventing full overlap to exclude rain. ˆ´ I made an executive decision and . . . “did it my -y-y-y- way.” Thanks Frank!
I’ve always placed high value on organization and efficiency. While not a cult with me, my three offspring might tell a different story, it’s quite helpful, especially in these later years.
This jig was at least three or more early morning wakings, laying in bed, thinking; “Now how would this work if I . . . ?” Actually, it worked like a charm and was about 4-1/2 hrs in the making and cutting of somewheres near 44 additional mini-rays. Seen from the ground? Perhaps. Important? Who cares? Perhaps not but *the idea* was crucial to me and to the overall sun’s face. Apply for your feed to see the finished design mounted next month.
The disused ICF panels and other styrofoam packaging materials will eventually head for the attic as fill. The larger ICF panels will go in the waterline trench under the driveway, where the cars drive. This will prevent compaction of the frost layer and the potential for a frozen well waterline.
The offcuts of PT wood will be bundled up for landfill burial. Pressure treated wood should not be burned, as even the new latest and greatest will give off toxic gases. Remember, We All Live Downstream.
I waterproof glued several pieces of frieze board together, carving a ‘cornerstone’ prematurely. It will be placed on the east gable end later this month. The staging will be setup and there’s a perfect spot for it’s lay about.
Stay tuned for final images, perhaps this time next month. No, I don’t have a cell phone. If you don’t hear from me, it means I’ve fallen off the scaffolding and am waiting to be saved. (!?)
I Am John Ötvös, aka jayöh.