Nothing is being demolished that can stay. 

Nothing is being thrown out that can be re-used, and I seem to be able to always find a use for everything, even a pile of rocks.

Upside = additional sound insulation from thick old plaster ceilings, waterproofing for floor from old asbestos floor tile AND no landfill or fuel spent on trucking.

Downside = Lost 1 1/2 inches of ceiling height and a bit of  time sorting and carting.



Buying made in America.

Buying from in stock items from supply yards within 50 miles (none closer).

Building to last a lifetime.  Solid wood sandwich walls - plywood over 2x4's on edge, plywood laminated ceilings to reinforce and hold in old failing plaster ceiling, concrete bedding under shower and tub, double outside wall to keep shower and tub walls warm, ceramic tile surrounds at shower and tub.

Upside = Supporting US industry, lowering fuel used to transport material, won't need to repair for 20 plus years.

Downside =  Tying future residents into rooms as designed, demolition of the heavily built construction would be very difficult and expensive.



Sandwich walls inspired by:

Similar construction found elsewhere in this organically grown home.  In a section some 90 to 120 years old the walls are solid 1 1/2 inch iron hard old growth planking with plaster on inside and shiplap siding outside - no studs, just corner posts to room. 

Frank Lloyd Wright, who thought sandwich walls would reduce building costs.  I'm unclear if he also thought they'd be vermin free, no free space in them for vermin to live, insect resistant, and fireproof to the extent the inner core will be protected by chared outer facings, but they are all good qualities of the sandwich walls, along with being able to hang a picture anywhere.

2.  Inside Work

Putting on base for finish work.  Plumbing and electrical roughing starts.  Always adapting, re-using more and more of the existing fabric.

(shown on this page)

Scope of Work


1Inside Work:

Most of the inside work is for the new toilets and distribution for the GSHP.

Eco-friendliness is helped alot by being adaptable, flexible, and willing to work "outside the box".   For starters the project has been nearly waste free.  Then the very tight budget has mandated efficent material use and locally sourced (at least from local supply houses) materials and equipment.  Which in some cases has cleared out old stock otherwise destined for the waste dump.


2.  Outside work:

The real work is the GSHP ground loop, which will be a big hole, then not a big hole, no big deal.

However, I'm hoping to get two experimental ground loops in the job too.

The idea is to get some loop installed as part of other work.  Work that is very low level, cheap to hire out, little to no heavy equipment.  Get two for one, open the market for GSHP's.

One is for the pond.  The pond is too small and too shallow, by the rules, but I know some of the rules are a bit extreme, like allowing for 4 to 6 feet of water drop in a drought. The incoming water is never over 50 degrees, and not under a gallon a min.  Will it provide for the whole load, nope, will it help, think so.  I also want to try covering it and insulating it, with a reflecting pool on top.  Easier to clean, less of a drowning hazard, and at 50 degress, no one ever went swimming.

The garden.  I plan to use some foam insulation under pavers I'll line the paths with, to stop all weeds, make a nice level surface for the pavers.  I'm going to raise the beds to 16 inches.  Everything gets dug up and reset, beds, aisles, to suit a new design / spacing.   Between the insulation and higher beds I'm betting if I put some ground loop 18 inches under the paths, it'll do some good.  Only one way to find out.  At the least, I end up with a nice garden.