After being rescheduled twice it was finally time to get our radiant heat installed in the basement. Monday evening (after FHE ended), Rob and I went up to the lot and moved most of the bundles of XPS right next to the foundation so we would be ready to start the next morning. Rob and I picked up Granddad around 8:00 am, borrowed a couple of tools from Laurie and Bryce and were working by 8:30. We couldn't have had more perfect weather. My sister, Karen, showed up about an hour later. That ended up being the perfect crew for our first full day of work.
We started in the northwest corner of Rob's office and dropped full sheets of XPS insulation. By the way - the printing on the foamboard is not permanent and it will stain your fingers, or your clothes, or your hat if it is even the slightest bit wet. We discovered that putting a board on our head and balancing it was the easiest way to move them. They weren't a bit heavy, just a little bulky as they were 4'x8' (by 2")
The first part went down super quickly and according to plan.
Once we had all the full size boards down we went back and filled in the gaps. We wanted to leave as few as possible without excess waste of the boards.
We were glad to have Dad supervising because of his knowledge in this area. If it had been up to me, I would have rearranged the boards so we could cut larger pieces and have fewer smaller pieces to fit in. He convinced us it would be just fine to fit the puzzle pieces together and that it would do as well a job insulating. Doing it his way allowed us to have enough foam board left to insulate our cold storage room. (disclaimer - it still bothered me to see the little bits and pieces fit in here and there, but I tried to remind myself it was good enough and I'd never know the difference once the concrete was poured)
We had to leave the foam board off the monolithic footings and we also had to leave it off the area where the footings still needed to be poured to connect with the foundation. It was odd to step on that area as the gravel base sloped away at that point and the foam board was definitely bouncy. It also made it difficult to staple the tubing down as the board flexed when we pushed the stapler down.
We had all the insulation down around lunch time so we texted Jesse. He wanted to help us lay out the walls. His spray paint is orange. Ours is green. I'd been working on this for so long that I wanted to paint the lines for the walls and doorways. This is important so we know where to run the PEX.
We had the spray paint out and were joking about tagging the walls (kind of like we did the cement) since it was going to be all covered over with insulation and sheetrock anyway. Karen talked me out of doing it, but I was able to convince Grandad to do a little tag. Isn't it cute! Now we'll always have a little bit of Granddad & Grandma's love in our home.
Once we had all the walls and doors marked it was time to lay out the PEX. Maybe someday I'll do another post extolling all the virtues of this tubing but for now I'll just say I'm glad someone invented it because we wouldn't have been able to make this work without it.
We started in the study and then worked our way into the family room before we finished for the day. We were able to get four loops down our first day which left four loops for the second day.
Rob built a nifty little fake manifold to support and organize the tubes as they come into the mechanical room. This was one impressive piece of work!
The insulation works because it was definitely warmer standing on it then it was standing in the backyard area. Rob thought ahead and brought our little 10'x10' shelter which was perfect as it gave us a shady place to take a break every once in awhile and to eat the lunch that Grandma so graciously picked up for us.
At one point, Karen looked up and saw a sundog (a rainbow circling the sun). That was pretty amazing to see, but then we realized that it was a double sundog. Granddad started talking about ice crystals in the sky, but I preferred to consider it a blessing on our day and on our home.