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Underlayment

April 24, 2013 |

Missed a Momplex Post?

We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

It seems like forever since I've written about the Momplex. For those of you new here, we've been DIYing a duplex for our Mother's to live in up here in Alaska. On Mother's Day this year, we'll be at it two whole years.

Things take time when you do every single thing yourself. But they also cost less, and you know things are done right.

That Mother's Day goal .... it's looking pretty intimidating right now. Especially since we will be DIYing every single kitchen cabinet, closet organizer and piece of furniture inside.

We've been traveling for the last few weeks it seems - you all understand that work comes first unfortunately :( - so progress has slowed way down up at the Momplex. But there's been one other thing slowing everything down.

Will spring every get here?

You see, we've been heating the Momplex with a makeshift woodstove, while we install the in floor heat upstairs. Then our plan was to wait for a warm sunny couple of days and pull the wood stove out and replace it with a boiler. It's important to have the boiler in to move on to finish work for two big reasons: We can't finish drywalling the garage until all the pipes are run and the boiler is in the utility room, and we can't mud and tape without a constant even heat to aid the mud in drying.

And we can't pull the wood stove and replace with the boiler until spring gives us a few warm days in a row to install the new boiler.

Bear with us - I know more than anything how this mechanical stage has dragged on and on and on. It's especially frustrating to us. And there are definitely days I'd like to skip over blogging steps - but then I worry that someone could possibly have used the information. So please, hang in there, we are so close to picking out flooring and painting walls!!!

It's going to happen!

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And the good news is today we are finally done with the upstairs in floor heat system. Finally done. And that means we get to say goodbye today to the floor that you can't walk on!

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The Ram sprays down the manifolds one last time with soapy water. We've got air in the system at pressure, so if there's a leak, the pressure gauge will start dropping and bubbles will appear at air leaks.

Nothing.

Shall we then?

Underlayment

Part of the intimidation is knowing we are gluing down the underlayment. If for some crazy reason we get a leak in the floor, it's no two second job to fix it.

We'll be remodeling and putting new floors in.

But we have to glue down because we don't want a floor that creaks when you walk on it. And by gluing, we can also use nails!

Underlayment

You all already know the nail gun is much faster than screwing. We actually purchased a pneumatic stapler for the task.

We are using 1/8" lauan plywood for the underlayment. It's resistant to water damage, very very smooth on top, reasonable priced, and thin. Thin is good - this above floor heat system was an after thought, so we are very tight on room below the deck door threshold.

Underlayment

One thing about this above the floor installation is it significantly easier to work on a floor, as opposed to above your head. The lauan underlayment plywood is placed on the floor, we start with a full sheet, and then just go from there, measuring and cutting and laying the plywood down.

Next sheet, please?

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This actually went really fast.

The only thing slowing us down in the Ram insisted that we trace out the heat pipes on top of the plywood so we can avoid nailing into a pipe.

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So yes, every loop, every turn, all 2400 feet of pipe is drawn out on the floors.

Underlayment

That took more time than putting the underlayment down!

But once the underlayment was down, I felt newly encouraged. The heat system is now hidden forever. Mom will never even know it's there ... until she walks on a cold floor with bare feet and thinks, "hmmm ... I wonder why my floors are always so warm?"

Underlayment

And now the Momplex has stopped looking like a construction zone, and started looking again like a room that just needs paint, flooring and furniture!

And little granddaughters running from room to room.

Underlayment

Now if only those heat pipes were supplying hot water to keep the upstairs warm enough to mud and tape those walls.

Underlayment

Guess it all boils down to getting a boiler hooked up, doesn't it?

Thanks guys for bearing with us and your continued support and encouragement. We are so close!

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mom of 4's picture

Fantastic progress! Taking

Fantastic progress! Taking time to do things right is always worth it in the end. Although I don't ever plan to build my own home, I have found the entire process fascinating and educational. Thanks for taking the time to walk us through all the steps, just like you do for your wonderful furniture plans.

posted by mom of 4 | on Wed, 2013-04-24 19:59
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Ana White's picture

Thank you!! We've been

Thank you!! We've been pretty burned out with this mechanical stage, but all the positive likes and comments have really lifted our spirits! I just can't wait to get to the point of finish work - it's so close! Thanks for being there through it all!

posted by Ana White | on Wed, 2013-04-24 22:37
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Pam the Goatherd's picture

My husband would do the same

My husband would do the same thing - trace out where all the pipes are on the floor - because it would be soooooo horrible to have done all that work and then have a hole from a nail ruin it all! You all are doing great! I know it's frustratingly slow, but good things take time. You will be so much happier in the end, knowing that everything is done right. Hang in there. The fun stuff is coming soon!

posted by Pam the Goatherd | on Thu, 2013-04-25 12:07
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UlrikeDG's picture

Can't wait for the boiler!

Can't wait for the boiler! Then you get to go back to the fun stuff. :-D

posted by UlrikeDG | on Fri, 2013-04-26 15:15
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romanweel's picture

Thank you, Thank you!

...for blogging through all the tedium. It sounds so frustrating having it drag on and on, and I totally feel you on the boredom with blogging through it all, but it is SO cool to read about this process! And hopefully I'll find it perfectly priceless on that day when we finally get moving on building our very own super-insulated house with toasty floors :)

posted by romanweel | on Thu, 2013-05-02 10:31

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