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New Build! Excited!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by fowlerrudi, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    865
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada
    FWIW.... the average R value of softwoods is 1.41/inch. Hardwoods average 0.71/inch.

    To do an accurate heatloss calc for your home, you should measure the exterior walls at the average thinnest point of the logs, judging from your pics I would guess that to be about 6". So for the sake of some easy math lets say your walls have an R value of 8.5 on average.

    If you are investing in good windows they will be near that R value as well. That's OK as it will make your heatloss calc easier to do.

    All of the info from your heatloss calc will feed back into the selection of tubing size/tubing spacing as well as circ sizing, the latter being the most important to you due to energy (electrical) constraints.

    Not trying to discourage you, just want to make sure you size your system & all the zones in it in a way that will give comfort, as you said this will be your last house.

    Normally I would say that if you are in doubt you should oversize/oversupply the system & zones as you can always throttle back if you are too warm (hard to run a system past flat out if you are too cold).

    However in your case you will need to be accurate with your heatloss calc so you can design your system/zones to provide comfort while consuming as little power as possible.

    Your boiler supplier should be able to assist in this or at least refer you to someone who can assist.

    Hope this helps.

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  2. Hunderliggur

    Hunderliggur Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Lothian, MD
    You could always use REScheck from the US Dept of Energy to do the heat loss calc for a log home, stick home,what ever. I used this to verify compliance for my 6" cypress log home with the local (Maryland/National) residential energy code. I passed better than the stick house WITHOUT taking in to account my passive solar orientation. To each his own I say. Your log house looks GREAT! If sojmeone does not like log homes, fine, get what you want. It is a free country (for now). Don't know about Canada, eh? BTW - I am part Canadian Cree Indian.
  3. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Yeah eh!? Thanks for the comments. Up here in Canada we have our own software
    http://canmetenergy-canmetenergie.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/eng/software_tools.html

    I've used it a few times.

    I'm thinking the only thing a heat loss calc is going to do for me is tell me how to size my storage and boiler. I will be having warmboard in every room in the house as well as my wood stove. I can't change the amount of loops or the warmboard since its all build for 1/2" pex and I have it everywhere. Can't change the pex size either. I've ordered the largest Froling model out there and it can run at its rated efficiency at a lower BTU as well. Maybe I am just being ignorant but I don't understand what a heat loss calc would do for me. I would get a number, but what could I do about it?

    We started putting down the second story floor on, still waiting for the mortgage to come through before I can afford the roof.... Having a guy come out for a quote on spray foam for the roof and floors....investigating building a sealed roof (non-vented)....
  4. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
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    2,390
    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    Go to New Brunswick often. Actually I was in Nackawic and Plaster Rock today.

    Impressive project, especially at 24yrs old.

    Since you're off grid, are you using a generator? The boiler will use a fair amount of juice to run. My Tarm Innova boiler will take about 4 to 5 hours to heat my storage up. Just curious.
  5. Hunderliggur

    Hunderliggur Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    602
    Loc:
    Lothian, MD
    "I’m thinking the only thing a heat loss calc is going to do for me is tell me how to size my storage and boiler. " Exactly. Most gassifiers like to be run full out for the most efficient burn. Putting the heat into storage will be useful. If you know your typical and peak heat loads you can have some idea of hw often you will need to fire the boiler and a guess at how much wood you will need to have on hand. I don't know if propane is an option, but you may want to have a propane backup just in case - in case you are away, in case you are ill, in case you are at the hospital for the next baby....
  6. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
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    Loc:
    Southwestern VA
    A room by room heat loss calculation is a must IMO. This tells you how many btus you need vs how many square feet of surface you have to deliver those btus. You might have some rooms that need supplemental heat when its colder (panel radiators sized for lower temps would be a good choice) . You just wont know this without a room by room heat loss calc. It could be a lot easier to run tubing now than after you've finished the house and I'd be pretty bummed if had Warmboard and a Froling and a couple of rooms I couldn't keep at the temperature a wanted.

    Noah
  7. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    May 23, 2010
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    607
    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    I have yet to see anything man (or woman) has built that is as beautiful as a full scribe log home (to live/work in anyways). It looks outstanding to me! Keep up the great work! Did you ever attend any log building schools? I spent a week with Pat Wolfe outside Ottawa...most certainly full scribe takes experience...and a crew and crane would also be extremely helpful! Incredible experience working with a bunch of folks from all walks of life, but all drawn to building with big logs.

    I agree with you completely that the heat loss will help you size the boiler/storage/temperatures, as you say, the warm board is what it is. But you can do this in just a couple of hours, if even just within 25%, with some quick estimates (as indicated above) of R-values and wall/ceiling square footages. In the few fullscribes I have had the privelidge to visit, they have been quite tight. One had to succumb to chinking after 6 years I think, and it was a major disappointment to see (to me anyways, others love it). But if done by a good builder who knows what they are doing, you should be fine.

    I'm biased of course, but those are the nicest pictures I've seen in a long time!
  8. Hunderliggur

    Hunderliggur Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Lothian, MD
    Floydian has a very good point. In my construction I have the ability to add a line just about anywhere (web floor trusses throughout, utility chase3'x4' in the center of the house) so mods like the ones suggested are easier retrofits. I don't know how many zones you are planning to have but you definitely don't want to find out after the fact that the great room with the prow window and the beautiful view is an icebox. Panel radiators (or their baseboard equivalents) are a good choice for that extra heat.
  9. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I'm never attended an log building schools, but did read several books - and learned enough to know that #1 - I didn't have time to do it and #2 Could never do it to a caliber that the pros do it with all their experience.

    I do live on a generator at the moment but we hope to install a water turbine at the new place. There are 2 sets of waterfalls on the property and the stream drops 26 feet over 500 feet of stream. http://www.microhydropower.com/ This guy lives close to me and I've visited him and seen his turbines - I am excited about this part of the build!

    flyingcow - I'm checking out your website and being educated from it....

    Thanks for the kind words bpirger! So you guys think I should run some empty pex lines to some of the rooms in case I need to run an extra radiator on the wall? I was really thinking warmboard with my woodstove (Pacific Energy Summit) would be overkill - but I guess I wouldn't know that because I haven't done a heat loss calc....
  10. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I find log homes are a love em or hate em kinda thing. Since you love it and have already invested in it, Congrats!!One of these new quality kits is NOTHING like the kits that were out in the early 80's. I remember inspecting a house in the mid 80's and the water was running down the INSIDE of the logs!!
  11. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    2,390
    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    The website at the bottom of my page is the manufacturer of my storage tank. Owners name is on this site "Tom form Maine". He's got decades of experience with solar, etc. Very practical kinda guy. Some might even say quirky, but in a good way.
  12. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    735
    Loc:
    Searsport, Maine
    Some might even say quirky, but in a good way.[/quote]

    I always thought I was a little twitchy.
  13. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Wow, almost a year later......I am setting the record on taking the longest to build a house....Bank is giving me 6 more months to finish up. I guess its time to start hiring and going over budget....

    Some more pics:

    Attached Files:

  14. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

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  15. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
  16. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    looking nice ! Dont feel bad on the time line. I stated building a shop over a year ago and just finished the outside and still have more to do inside. It takes a long time when you do most of it your self inbetween work etc... Better than paying someone in my opinion and you Know it will be quality work.
  17. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
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    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    Started building my place in 2001. Built the garage and addition in 2009. Garn in 2010. Floors still bare, ijoist still exposed, sheetrock still bare, Tyvek siding. My experience is it takes huges amounts of time when doing everything alone, and also NOT a short stack of money. However you can build a whole lot of house that I could never afford if I was trying to write the check. Is it worth it? Depends, do you enjoy it? And what are you giving up? I enjoy it, my wife kinda does, but she doesn't like to spend every weekend on a project. There is perhaps an opportunity cost spent of other things we could do....like dragging in wood. :) But we stop building to do that. Is it good for the kids? I had hoped they'd be more involved and would feel a sense of appreciation and success when something is done. Nope. But it is done right, with the chosen materials, and the way I like it to be, and where I wanted to live (in the middle of 44 acres in the woods with a 1000' driveway). It is worth it to me..... And as I said before, nothing compares to fullscribe....looks beautiful.

    I suspect my place will be truly done just before it is sold (no plans for that ever though) or shortly after I die. :)
  18. Splitz

    Splitz Member

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    Loc:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Nice house. I feel your pain. As I was reading your posts I thought I was reading a story of my life for the last three years. I just moved into the custom log home that I built for my family in August. And when I say built I mean EVERYTHING from cutting the trees to trimming the windows (except for excavating the hole for the ICF foundation...only because I didn't have the $50,000 to buy a shovel) No kit house here, bought a sawmill and squared the logs to 10" timbers and stacked them with all the best caulking and sealing available. Installed good quality windows and insulated the 30 foot cathedral ceiling with R60 fiberglass. We also installed radiant in the slab and heated the house with it during construction to a comfortable 60 degrees with only an electric HWT, sadly I am shackled to the grid and still have horrible flashbacks when I open my monthly Hydro bill. We used a staple up radiant system on the main floor and the second floor with eight inch spacing and aluminum radiant panels. I had a local radiant flooring expert design a system for me but it was too complicated and expensive. While it gave me ultimate control over every little detail it was way more than I needed, so I designed a simple four zone system with circ controls connected to a oil boiler as a back up and a wood boiler in the garage, I mean "wood storage facility" sixty feet from the house. I have no storage yet but am reading lots about it here and it seems to make good sense for radiant heat applications with lower temp requirements.
    The first real test of this system is rapidly approaching with the coming fall so hopefully it works. By the way I did all of the work myself and still went over budget by a long shot, I think it's inevitable, I traded a bunch of grey hairs and long nights for a pile of equity and enormous personal satisfaction. I have been in many brand new "stick" houses that were built with chainsaws and nails guns that I wouldn't give you a dime for. Some people like them...to each his own. I have thousands of pics but most too big to share here.

    Attached Files:

  19. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
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    273
    Loc:
    Bonaventure, Quebec
    I started building in 2009 and the budget hit the roof in a hearthbeat. I didn't put a lot of nail myself on the house,I was (Still ) working on the road, away from home, an a lot of thing were getting done in a way i didn't like, and more costly than plan. So I stopped everything, and decide that it will take a long as it needed. Oh yah, the bak blu a fuse on me, but you know, when you owe 10k$to the bank, you are stuck with them, but when you owe 200k$ on a non-finish house, well, guess what, the bank is stuck with you. So, well, I guess my bank is stuck with me....... And what ever they say, there is no way a bank will take your home when you're doing all of your paiment in time, have a good credit score and good job, just because it is not done yet. They haven'ttook mine anyway, and after a while, they stopped calling and harassing me on finishing the house.

    I would say that 90% of the exterior is completed and inside, nothing is done main & second floor, insulaion , basic electricity & plumbing, that's it, no division on main, no sheet rock..... But I finished a basic 2 bedroom apartement in the basement, so when we're home, we have our place, and from time to time, naisl by nail 100$ at the time, eventually, it ill be finished. Just got the major part of the landscaping done last month......

    And if things are done wrong, well, there will only be me to blame.

    But you're gong to have a heck of a nice home. I wanted to go log, but I chocked.... I guess my eventually cabin will be log. Good luck. Where area of NB are you in ?
  20. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Ithaca NY Area
    When I started, every bank I talked to laughed about giving an owner/builder the loan. So I built my shell on credit cards in 8 months, which I was told I could get a mortgage on....a closed in shell. Paid off all the cards, not a dime of interest, and had a year to "finish". They came out a couple of times and gave me the next chunk. With the second to last visit, they said "ah, you are almost done". That was 2002. So I never got my last chunk, but they never ask, and I keep paying down the mortgage, so it has been working fine so far. SHould they ever come out and visit, it might be interesting. But exactly as Fi-Q says, they are stuck with me. I will say though, I'd love to refinance, but I haven't even tried....That's a bit of a killer, given the 4.2% one could get today. Though a stupid part of me also likes to work with the local small bank that lent the owner/builder the money.

    And yeah, if I ever get to build again, 24" minimum diameter white pine full scribe is my plan. Well, maybe 18". :)

    Beautiful homes fellas....there's nothing like the satisifaction of doing it yourself.
  21. catnfool

    catnfool New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
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    14
    Loc:
    NW Montana
    You guys are in my time zone- I took 5.5 years building my square log/dovetailed corner kit I bought from the Amish here in Montana! To the original poster, NICE HOUSE!! I see you used the warmboard; I couldn't afford that when I built mine- I had to budget even for the Pex!!! I bought the shell for $16,500 at the auction, and built as I could afford it. Right now, I am sitting in front of the fire with everything except the loft bathroom and carpet, and the deck, and the siding on the Logix blocks; oh heck, I guess I'm not TOTALLY done yet:) I owe $24k on EVERTHING and have a smile!

    So if your family can tough it out, you won't regret not getting the "big loan" if you are able to. My wife just about shot me in our building process, so you might run from my advice!! bruce
  22. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
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    610
    Loc:
    NB Canada
    I, too, am in New Brunswick, and I have a log home kit from Riverbend. Not anywhere near as bold as your home, as my logs are D shaped manufactured ones from 6x6 cedar. The thickest part of my D logs are 5.5". And my home is very comfortably warm all winter long.
    My heat loss calculations were based on an R17 wall. Yours are a lot thicker. I'd recommend you not go with the R1/inch that local heat loss experts will try to advise you to use. You are on the right track to consider the thermal mass, or thermal bridging, of the logs.
    I also have in-floor heating in my basement, and in my two wooden floors too. I make two different water supply temperatures for these two different floor types, and have happy kids running around barefoot inside the house when it is the coldest winter night.
    Quite an amazing project you are taking on.
    All the best to you.
  23. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Wow you guys, you have seen it all! I am inspired by your work and ambition. Sorry for the late reply. Was on a moose hunt here in NB. Splitz - awesome looking place! You have a crazy amount of work into that, sawed your own logs and everything. I wish I could do it without borrowing money, but that is not happening... I can't wait to move in. I am in a place called Tracy, New Brunswick. I'll post some more pics as progress goes along, if it interests you. It helps me that's for sure!
  24. fowlerrudi

    fowlerrudi Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    maplewood - where are you from in NB?

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