Construction Part 3: Sub-Contractors

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Meanwhile, a subcontractor recommended by Monolithic was handling our septic tank needs. The hole (r) was dug into solid limestone with a backhoe. The huge concrete cube on the flatbed truck is the septic tank. Do-it-yourself is great, but some jobs call for a little outside help.

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The central heating/air conditioning system also fell into this category. Here is part of the newly installed air conditioner, visible above the hall bathroom as seen from the second bedroom. The PVC pipe in the left half of the picture is the vent stack for the master bathroom, with a side branch to provide drainage for the air conditioning unit. (Russ made a total of three of those two-inch holes through the shell of the dome to properly vent two bathrooms and the kitchen/laundry room. Another hammer drill job, and a very hard one.) The first month we used the air conditioner was September. Our bill for keeping the inside of the dome at 80 degrees (plus running power tools for construction) was under $50. The bill for trying -- and often failing -- to keep the wooden farmhouse at 80 degrees during the same month was over $250, including about $50 for electrical usage other than the air conditioner.

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We also poured a small concrete back porch, with plans to enclose and extend it later. Note the outside AC unit and power pole. The orange around the back door is polyurethane foam from a can, a temporary seal which was later removed and replaced with caulk. Foam exposed to sunlight weathers very rapidly and should never be considered a permanent sealing material..

Doing as much of the work as we could ourselves was a matter of principle for us (as well as a way to stretch our construction budget) so we had very few dealings with sub-contractors. We had a plumber run the water lines to the house from the site's existing water supply (not shown), an electrician to set up our meter, and the AC and septic installers. Then we took over the job ourselves again until the carpeting stage.

Back to the interior walls.

What happened next?

Back to the main page, thanks.