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Old 02-10-2012, 09:43 PM   #91
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Part 16: The Painting


Once the drywall was hung, the contractor got some guys over to finish the paint in a hurry. First, however, we decided to spray some texture on the walls and ceiling to cover up any blemishes.



You can also see here that I added 1/2" ply to the soffits. The gaps over the columns would be fitted with a moulding.

Of course, I complained about them destroying my floors with drywall and screws. So before they started to paint, the guys put down some paper around the walls and plastic sheeting. I did not realize till later but they taped down the paper with masking tape. This would be important later.

So they started priming....


This is the gym. A closet was added for storage. Access to the sump pump would only be through the media room.


shot from the gym to the stairs.


The office. The soffits would be painted like the walls (and the casings on the footings).


The workshop.

The walls would be an eggshell color. We decided to do 2 accent walls- one in the gym (fireworks red) and a darker sky blue in the media room. The bathroom would be a high-gloss light green.


After 2 coats the red accent wall needed about 2 coats more....


This is the finished wall (the window casing yet to be installed) and the finished eggshell neighboring wall.


When everything was done, The guys wanted to get paid. I said they could not leave until the floors were cleaned. I told them they could have prevented the mess by just putting down some tarps before they started. The cleanup of the floors took almost a week.


Here you can see they've started cleaning the media room on the right side...


At this point these guys had been at my house for a month. There was no way I would pay until the finished and I was sure the mess was cleaned up. But what I saw once the floors were cleaned up was not anticipated....... I washed the floors 3 times.... and here is what I saw....





See this, and more shocking pictures on the next episode....

Part 17: a floor too far....

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Old 02-10-2012, 10:09 PM   #92
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***Eeek***

I have a bad, bad feeling about that floor. I can only hope (and wait in anticipation to find out) that it wasn't that bad. But my gut says otherwise...

But looking very good!
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:23 PM   #93
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Yeah the general rule of thumb is, sad to say, do the floor last.

Aside from your experience, it's amazing how much damage just a little bit of construction debris can do to a floor, any floor, when it is ground under some workboots. I've learned that the hard way.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:36 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by What have I done View Post
sO JASIN, I am curious since you have done a lot of tearing out of green board..what do you suggest for bathroom walls---starting with open stud cavities?
There are many, many ways to do this. Here is one option:

Pressure treated studs with high grade stainless steel screws and a very low density closed cell foam sprayed into the cavities and surrounding areas. If the other side of the wall is on the outside then exterior grade sheeting should be used with typar over the top of that on the outside.

For walls. If tiling then use AQUAPANEL Cement Board. Use stainless steel cement board screws to hang it. If painting, then the green board can still be used but you will need apply something like the Schlüter-KERDI product over the top of it. The paint though, should be a alkyd resin or dispersion paint. To attach the green board I would use stainless steel drywall screws.

Last edited by jasin; 02-11-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #95
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Part 17: a floor too far


Gasp. That's what I did when I saw the floor. The contractor wanted to charge me extra for some of the additional framing they had to do, and for the texture on the walls. He told me it would be a couple of thousand dollars. I told him he could have it after he fixed the floors he just destroyed.

All he had to do to prevent the damage was
1. Put down tarps and plastic before starting work, and
2. NOT use masking tape on acid-stained concrete floors!

Apparently, someone with 20+ years of painting experience never saw acid-stained concrete before. His partner sure knew, and appologized, stating they should have known better. If you guys learn ANYTHING from my experience, remember this- DON'T PUT DOWN ANY MASKING TAPE OR OTHER STICKY MATERIAL ON ACID-STAINED FLOORS.

I told him I would pay him the balance on the original contract and not a penny more. He was lucky to get that much out of me- but I knew the "good" workers still hadn't been paid, and wouldn't be if I didn't pay.

After the episode was over, I washed my floors a few more times. Turns out 5 layers of wax was not sufficient to protect these floors. In retrospect, I should have known better....


The cleanup continues...




Upclose view of damage...



There were lots of linear scratches where the workers had scaped drywall screws across the floor, particularly in the media room. Eventually, all the mud did come off. And of course, those linear markings where the tape had been were unacceptable.


Once wet, it didn't quite look so bad...




But once it dried it looked terrible. I didn't know quite what to do. Those marks did not come off, no matter how much scrubbing I did. I used degreaser/sealer remover to no effect. Upon closer inspection, it looked like little bits of the floor had come up were the tape was. I contacted the manufacturer and sent them pictures, asking for suggestions. They actually got back to me, telling me that it looked like the sealer was marred but the concrete looked OK. They said to carefully apply acetone to the marked areas, and then re-stain. I did what they suggested, first in the office. I then re-stained the entire floor, and sealed, and waxed. After a week of additional work in that one room, the lines looked just as bad as before. Damn.

I went to the worst spot-in front of the french doors in the gym (the picture from the end of part 17), and tried something else. I hoped I could sand down the damaged areas- maybe the damaged sealer had penetrated down and I could remove it- and then restain. I only ended up making the problem worse- re-staining simply didn't work. Unfortuantely, I re-stained the entire gym and media room and office before I figured that out. I at least hoped that the scratches would re-stain and not be so obvious. No dice. These appproaches got me no where.

Then I gave up, in a way. I realized there was no way I could actually "fix" the floor. What's the best thing to do if you can't fix something?

I realized (and you can see why above) that if the floor was wet, it was harder to see the scratches and the marks. I decided to cover up the marks the best way I knew how- I bought different colored markers meant to fix wood scratches and crayons. I would then blend the colors in as best as possible, and cover the floor with 2-3 coats of high-gloss polyurathane. I thought about using poly before i added the wax in the first place. I don't know why I didn't.

After washing the floors, and BEFORE poly...

You can see my main ingredient- a marker. There are 3 marks here. I will apply the marker to each....



Where did that mark go? You could still see it when it dried, but the point was that you wouldn't see it unless you were looking for it.




The final step was to add another thick layer of poly, since the floor was marred here and you couldn't see the light reflection the same over the marks. I also used the marker on the worst scratches to cover them up as well.

Final product in that area (after poly)...


Not too shabby, right??? Like I said, you could still see some of the marks, but you had to look for them. The sheen of the high-gloss poly really obscured most of the scratches.

Well, that's it for now. We are near the end. Next time I will show you a pressing need as winter began-

Part 18: completing the radiant heat system

Last edited by gbwillner; 02-13-2012 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #96
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Wow that's sounds like a lot of work to try to fix the floors. I would have totally given up with my lack of patience and just put down carpet over the floor.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:08 PM   #97
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I'm glad you found an eventual solution, but man oh man I would've gone completely bananas. It came out looking good though. Creative thinking gives way to creative solutions! Can't wait to read about finishing the radiant.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #98
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Wow, quite the ordeal! I would have used tape too. I'll have to remember that tip.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbwillner View Post
Part 17: a floor too far


Gasp. That's what I did when I saw the floor. The contractor wanted to charge me extra for some of the additional framing they had to do, and for the texture on the walls. He told me it would be a couple of thousand dollars. I told him he could have it after he fixed the floors he just destroyed.

All he had to do to prevent the damage was
1. Put down tarps and plastic before starting work, and
2. NOT use masking tape on acid-stained concrete floors!

Apparently, someone with 20+ years of painting experience never saw acid-stained concrete before. His partner sure knew, and appologized, stating they should have known better. If you guys learn ANYTHING from my experience, remember this- DON'T PUT DOWN ANY MASKING TAPE OR OTHER STICKY MATERIAL ON ACID-STAINED FLOORS.

I told him I would pay him the balance on the original contract and not a penny more. He was lucky to get that much out of me- but I knew the "good" workers still hadn't been paid, and wouldn't be if I didn't pay.

After the episode was over, I washed my floors a few more times. Turns out 5 layers of wax was not sufficient to protect these floors. In retrospect, I should have known better....


The cleanup continues...




Upclose view of damage...



There were lots of linear scratches where the workers had scaped drywall screws across the floor, particularly in the media room. Eventually, all the mud did come off. And of course, those linear markings where the tape had been were unacceptable.


Once wet, it didn't quite look so bad...




But once it dried it looked terrible. I didn't know quite what to do. Those marks did not come off, no matter how much scrubbing I did. I used degreaser/sealer remover to no effect. Upon closer inspection, it looked like little bits of the floor had come up were the tape was. I contacted the manufacturer and sent them pictures, asking for suggestions. They actually got back to me, telling me that it looked like the sealer was marred but the concrete looked OK. They said to carefully apply acetone to the marked areas, and then re-stain. I did what they suggested, first in the office. I then re-stained the entire floor, and sealed, and waxed. After a week of additional work in that one room, the lines looked just as bad as before. Damn.

I went to the worst spot-in front of the french doors in the gym (the picture from the end of part 17), and tried something else. I hoped I could sand down the damaged areas- maybe the damaged sealer had penetrated down and I could remove it- and then restain. I only ended up making the problem worse- re-staining simply didn't work. Unfortuantely, I re-stained the entire gym and media room and office before I figured that out. I at least hoped that the scratches would re-stain and not be so obvious. No dice. These appproaches got me no where.

Then I gave up, in a way. I realized there was no way I could actually "fix" the floor. What's the best thing to do if you can't fix something?

I realized (and you can see why above) that if the floor was wet, it was harder to see the scratches and the marks. I decided to cover up the marks the best way I knew how- I bought different colored markers meant to fix wood scratches and crayons. I would then blend the colors in as best as possible, and cover the floor with 2-3 coats of high-gloss polyurathane. I thought about using poly before i added the wax in the first place. I don't know why I didn't.

After washing the floors, and BEFORE poly...

You can see my main ingredient- a marker. There are 3 marks here. I will apply the marker to each....



Where did that mark go? You could still see it when it dried, but the point was that you wouldn't see it unless you were looking for it.




The final step was to add another thick layer of poly, since the floor was marred here and you couldn't see the light reflection the same over the marks. I also used the marker on the worst scratches to cover them up as well.

Final product in that area (after poly)...


Not too shabby, right??? Like I said, you could still see some of the marks, but you had to look for them. The sheen of the high-gloss poly really obscured most of the scratches.

Well, that's it for now. We are near the end. Next time I will show you a pressing need as winter began-

Part 18: completing the radiant heat system
No way in hell you should have to pay for any damage he did!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Ironlight View Post
Yeah the general rule of thumb is, sad to say, do the floor last.

Aside from your experience, it's amazing how much damage just a little bit of construction debris can do to a floor, any floor, when it is ground under some workboots. I've learned that the hard way.
That does not matter if you protect the work. The contractor though, obviously did not; he clearly does not think.

Last edited by jasin; 02-13-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by jasin View Post
No way in hell you should have to pay for any damage he did!!

I know. But I just wanted these guys out of my hair. I knew they could be a problem. I was OK paying the balance originally owed. I also knew they would NOT be able to fix the floors (they had no idea what to do).
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:12 PM   #102
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The radiant heat system was in constant production as the basement was being finished. I am going to try to put it all together here, since most of the final work was done after the painting was complete.

Part 19: The Radiant system

I will stress again the importance of knowing what the heck you are doing before starting on this road. I read Siegenthaler cover-to-cover, and I knew all the circulators and components I would need in advace. I did ALL the necessary calculations (there is a LOT of math). I knew exactly how hot I would need to run the water on each floor.

the setup was a "homerun" system that comprised of one primary and 3 secondary circuits. Each circuit was controlled by its own thermostat/circulator. The boiler I got was the Weil-McLain Ultra 80. I estimated I would use 45 BTUs/hr for the whole house- this boiler is "smart" and could modulate the necessary heat output. The control of each circulater was done with a Taco SR503 switching relay. If I only had 2 secondary circuits I would not have needed the switching relay because the U-80 boiler can control up to 3 pumps. Unfortunately I needed 4 pumps, so this was a necessity. The only part I was able to salvage from the old gravity-fed set-up was the pump- a Taco 7 series without and IFC. Everything else would be new.

For the first-floor heat, I thought I would make a manifold out of copper without the need of valves since all the lines were the same length. For the basement and 2nd floors I purchased brass manifolds. I thought they would make life easier- turned out to be a bit more complicated than that. For the basement, I would need to run the water at a lower temperature since concrete is a good heat sink and has a low R value (unlike oak). So I would need to find a way to lower the temperature for this circuit. The answer was a motorized 4-way mixing valve. This would allow only enough hot water from the boiler to enter the system to acheive the desired temperature (90-100 degrees) and then close the valve, recirculating the water inside this circuit and allowing the remaining hot water to return to the boiler. Genius.

I first hooked up the boiler and lines BEFORE the drywall. this was IMPORTANT- I needed to make sure none of the tubing in the ceiling leaked. What a disaster it would have been if there was a leak and i did not know it until after the drywall was up. Glad I did it too- I head leaks at every PEX-AL-PEX coupling connection in the ceiling. Luckily, there were only 3 of these- one where I kinked the tubing and had to replace it- and one where I had to splice some left-over tubing for one line. I didn't realize you needed to ream and trim the ends of the tubing before adding the compression couplings. If you don't do that, the tubing will pinch the rubber O-rings and it WILL leak. Anyway, I had to replace a lot of o-rings after the initial test. Then, I dissasembled everyting and got ready for the drywall.


First I hooked up the gas line. Then I only added enough pipe to test these lines.


This picture was taken after the drywall was hung, but you can see I just disconnected the boiler for this so they could get behind it. Just enough pipe was added to test the lines in the walls and ceiling. I chose to use galvanized steel for the primary circuit because:

A: copper is expensive, especially at 1"
B: if I screwed up I could just take it apart
C: for some strange reason, threaded circulators are cheaper than ones with a soldered connection. Maybe it's because of liability. If you mess up soldering on your circulator/manifold, and need to do it again, you may have permanently damaged that connection and may want to "return" it. It's a guess.
D: if in the future I want to add an indirect hot water heater to this system, it would be easy.

Because I would have copper, galvanized steel, PEX, and brass in this set-up, I would need to make sure to use dielectric unions to prevent catastrophic oxidation of the galvanized steel lines. I only used this between copper and steel, not between steel and brass, after consulting many chatrooms. It would have simply been impractical to do it any other way. The only copper ended up being between the 1st floor secondary circuit and the primary, although I initially planned on making all the secondary circuits copper downstream of the circulator. If I had to do it again, I would have made them all PEX. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find 1" PEX with an O2 barrier (although I did make my own- see below).

After the drywall and paint was done, I put together the system. And not a moment to soon either- it was starting to get cold and the heat pump was about to become useless.

Here is what the complete set-up looked like....



And then I filled the system and turned it on.... and I had leaks everywhere. Not at any galvanized steel connections, but at all the brass connections in the manifolds. It was more than just a slow leak, too. Unfortunately, it was COLD, so I let it run this way for a few weeks until it got warm enough that I could drain the system. In the meantime, I looked for all sorts of ways to "plug" the leaks- putty, plumbers tape... nothing worked. At least the heat was nice.

The problem was that, although I used plumber's tape and a 20" plumber's wrench for all the connections, the brass fittings really needed pipe dope. So I took all the leaky joints apart (this was A LOT of work) and re-did all the connections with pipe dope. After a few trials (and cleaning up my putty mess), I had the system leak proof.

So, finally everything was working. Just in time. Here is the final product- with some insulation over the pipes (the workshop got pretty hot without it)....

It's hard to make out all the independent 2ndary circuits here, you'll just have to trust me (the 2nd one comes towards you a bit and obscures the return of the 1st 2ndary). One problem I had was venting. I only had 1 vent, and this boiler needed air from the outside to be brought in. For this purpose, I used the only window I didn't replace in the whole basement. I made a contraption out of air vent parts to bring outside air to the boiler.

It's not pretty, but its in the workshop, so I can live with it....


Somehow, a lot og light still comes through that window.

OK, that's it for today. This project is really winding down.

All that was left was to do minor touch-ups, add the doors and trim, and finish the bathroom. The wife wanted tile floors there. Let's call that Step 19. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of most of that stuff, so let's skip right to

STEP 20: The Voyage Home, er... the MAN CAVE COMPLETE
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:31 AM   #103
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What a great project...now I just feel lazy. It's great when you get near the end of a long project...but boy does the wife grow impatient!
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #104
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As always Nice Post! Little more info?? WHat did you use for the boiler? Who did you use to source the materials? Thanks again
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #105
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As always Nice Post! Little more info?? WHat did you use for the boiler? Who did you use to source the materials? Thanks again
Thanks.

Not sure I understand the questions.... The boiler's maker and model was in the post (Weil-McClain U-80). Who did I use? Mr. Lowe's and Mr. Internets.

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