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Zen design meets Rube Goldberg


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I couldn't think of a better place to post this than here.

I was doing an IR scan this morning at an 1858 timber frame building that was very heavily renovated in the 70's, most everything in the house was recycled, repurposed, or locally gathered, and what wasn't looked like it was ripped right from the pages of 'Mother Earth News". Way cool building, almost as quirky as it's owners.

There is a zen bath retreat on the main floor that I took some pictures for my FB page. Check them out here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... c53cbe8415

For a taste of what's there:

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tn_2011323153218_102_1613.jpg

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Surprisingly no. Somehow the 70's reno managed to avoid any thermal bridging between the new 'interior' stud walls and the exterior double planking over the timber frame. The new walls were insulated and someone dumped cells in the cavity between new and old. I'm sure some of the FG is foil faced and that is skewing my results.

I found two roof leaks that the owner already knew about and some air movement at receptacles. There were two crawls on the house, one was completely inaccessible and the other had so many holes in the flagstone foundation that it was only a few degrees warmer than outside.

The biggest thermal hole in the place was the brand new Andersen patio door. It was poorly installed and there was more air leaking around this door than through any of the old windows, some of which were home made.

It was a BPI auditor that asked me to do the scan. I wish I could have stuck around for his blower door test, I hear the air flow was off the charts. 14k cfm @ 14 pascals or there abouts.

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If 14 pascals is all he could get, that's a tragically bad test. You're only supposed to bring the commercial 3-fan setup for testing large commercial buildings, but maybe he needed it to do that house. I did a new house recently where I could only get about 25 pascals.

Your pics of the piping under that tub are fabulous. The imagination and enthusiasm... a plumber on a combination of speed and acid?

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A hippie-artist-farmer with more energy and imagination than money (and given the age of the reno probably some good drugs too); he runs a B&B, horse farm, and custom wood working biz, so he is running out of all three. He's looking to max the funding available, but there is so much wrong no one knows where to start.

He spent $8000 on fuel oil for heat last year, and that doesn't count the small contribution from the wood boiler (he chose not to use it much) or the propane for DHW and cooking. That's just the 4000 SF house, the shop and barn have separate utilities.

He was joking (pretty sure he was) that all they needed to fix it as a book of matches.

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In my next life, I'm going to be a remodeler of 100+ year old homes. I'll gut them, replace all electric, HVAC and plumbing, seal and insulate them and pretty much prepare them for the next century of use. No dang historic registries, just a highly performing house that will serve you well throughout your lifetime and give your kids a valuable inheritance.

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that people will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, 'See! This our parents did for us.'

John Ruskin
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Marc

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In my next life, I'm going to be a remodeler of 100+ year old homes. I'll gut them, replace all electric, HVAC and plumbing, seal and insulate them and pretty much prepare them for the next century of use. No dang historic registries, just a highly performing house that will serve you well throughout your lifetime and give your kids a valuable inheritance.

Marc

Just what we need - another ignorant remodeling contractor destroying the chararacter of more historic buildings. I get a few expert witness gigs each year testifying against such "remuddlers". I'm hoping Marc's "next life" involves reincarnation as some small harmless creature.
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