Monday, October 26, 2009

Global warming or indian summer?

I'm not sure what to call or even think about the weather we have been having this fall. On Saturday it was almost 50 degrees here. Saturday was October the 24th, and the grass is still green (except where I dug it up). The weather has certainly been kind to me with all of my projects.

As always I have a ton of things to do before it snows and the ground freezes. My primary goal before winter was to get the roof of the barn insulated and sheeted. My secondary goal was to dig a 350 foot long trench for my power cable from the meter to the barn.

The insulation I was planning on using on the roof of the barn was a polyurethane sprayed between the BCI rafters we installed on top of the tongue and groove. The BCI's aren't structural, they are simply to create a cavity to hold insulation and support the sheathing for the metal roofing to screw to. I was a little stressed at our timeline of getting all the BCI's and soffit material on because the guy that was going to spray my polyurethane insulation needed the roof to be dry and the ambient temperature to be above 45 degrees. Being able to guarantee either of these things much less both of them at the end of September in Alaska is not very good. We had been getting a fair bit of rain that week and the temperature was between 40 and 45 degrees. At kind of the last minute I talked to some guys that did spray in insulation in my friend Brian's house and they could spray in temperatures as low as freezing and the roof could have moisture on it, but not raining. The added benefit was that the foam they use is a soy based product making it "Greener" than standard polyurethane. They also say that compared to polyurethane the soy based foam will not lose R-value as it gets older.

So on the 25th of September two trucks showed up ready to start spraying insulation. The day was marginal as it wasn't sure if it wanted to rain or not and the crew had to sit out two short minor downpours but was patient enough to wait for the rain to stop. They got the whole roof sprayed that day and we covered everything with plastic to keep the water off. Over the next week I had a crew of guys help me get all of the plywood sheeting on. I thought I'd give it a try on my own but after a day and a half and only getting ten sheets on (out of 120) I thought it would be smart to get help. It took six of us two days to get the roof finished up and ready for metal. I was hoping for metal before it snows this year but I am resigned to the fact that it will have to wait until next summer. My other goal was to get the power cable from the meter in before the ground froze. I have a remote ranch panel type meter that I located close to the barn last fall and the power company wanted $6k to hook up power to it. I decided it would be much cheaper to dig the trench and lay the cable myself and locate my meter next to my house meter which the power company only charges $300 to hook up. I got the trench almost complete when a hydraulic hose on the backhoe blew out, putting a stop to my little digging operation.

Luckily as always my dad was home to help me out. He got a replacement hose and finished the trench after I went back to work. I had hoped to have the cable in and trench covered over before I went back to work but that wasn't going to happen even before the hydraulic hose failure. Due to the 350' from the meter to the barn I couldn't use the standard 4/0 size service cable because it would have too much voltage loss, so I had to go one size bigger. Now one might think that wouldn't be too much of an issue, however since it was something I was in a hurry for no one had any in stock. Go figure. I tried every electrical supplier I could find and everyone was out, so I had to special order it. Luckily in the two weeks I was gone the ground didn't freeze and it didn't snow. Now I have my cable in and can spend the winter working on wiring. The only outstanding thing I have left that I wanted to finish before it snows is getting my windows in on the cupola. I ordered them in September and expect them to be done any time but haven't heard anything yet. Once these windows are in I have a couple of gaps to fill around the garage doors and then the barn should hold some heat this winter.

Ready for insulation.

Spraying the north side of the roof.

Hopefully this will be enough to keep the barn warm.

It was definitely a soupy kind of day.

North side of the roof with the sheathing on. I was very happy when the last
sheet of plywood was nailed down...


brad_bb said...

Sweet, you must be stoked at your progress. I'd love to see a pic of the South side - did that get done? I'm interested to see how the monther in law sweet comes out.
Regarding your question, I plan to cut the barn/shop frame first. My biggest hold up is that I haven't found the right property. Honestly I haven't been looking lately. I sort of want my mom to help me as a sounding board to bounce ideas and design off of. Her divorce should be finished in the next month or so, so after Christmas, the looking will get serious, and then hopefully get a design for the shop drawn up by spring. For now, I've got a shed full of my reclaim beech hardwood timbers, and my barn enclosing project will be finished in about a month, thus allowing me to move stuff out of my shop making room for cutting my frame. I'm going to the eastern conference next week too. Regards, Brad

cherishjord said...

I like following your blog, looks like you are making great progress! The winter is coming.... eventually!

Jane said...

Nice work, Tyson. You are amazing. That barn looks great! Love, Jane

Belladonna said...

Intriguing blog. My husband and I are considering moving to Alaska soon (I will be interviewing for a job in Wasilla the end of this month) so I'm trying to learn all I can to determine if we are ready for that big of a change (we currently live in Oregon.) I've enjoyed reading your posts!