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lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Working and living in Norway’s capital Oslo for close to 10 years, my husband and I were suddenly inspired to get away from landlords in need of psychiatric treatment. One small problem: The Norwegian urban housing market is insane.

We spent some time debating whether to aim for a 30m2 (322 sqft) apartment in the city or a house way outside the city (about one round of beers).

A few months ago, we were eyeing a house that we couldn’t afford at the list price.
Being the only interested party at the time we purchased the house at very good price indeed on the condition that it wouldn’t be professionally washed and the owner would leave some old furniture behind (YES).



The incline to this 1600m2 property is INSANE. We haven’t done any measurements yet, but getting up the hill to the “garage area” (the garage was never built) absolutely requires a 4WD. Thankfully we are already soberly aware of the winter conditions having moved in during winter.



By “moving in” we of course mean getting the van stuck in ice sideways, and having to unload our life to have any possibility of getting it unstuck. 7 hours of uphill manual winter labour later we officially moved in.



Background done away with, let’s get to some sweet 70’s house action!



Pros: We are completely isolated from neighbours and intruders.

Cons: You better be prepared to park halfway up the hill.

We of course did the only logical thing and swapped cars.

From this:

To this:


(which explains why I’m the one doing the indoors renovations and is documented in a much more sexy thread)

The house was built in 1979, and the decor has barely been touched since then.
The 80's were a good time for yellow.


Further evidenced by the snazzy bathroom. Note the totally not wetroom-appropriate wallpaper border (multicolored fruits in a basket).


So, we feel that some slight changes may be in order. Some of the more ancient details will of course be conserved.


Like this amazing power usage meter (located over the kitchen sink). Red is the average usage and black is the current usage. In the 70's, electricity was rationed (?) and if your household used too much, you had to pay extra!

This thread will document our renovations and upgrades.
There will be dangers.


Thankfully we do of course have a professional assistant .

lizard_phunk fucked around with this message at Jul 11, 2018 around 18:55

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lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


We started with the guest room.



This room was beige, with a hint of yellow. Tones of yellow were now starting to make me slightly unstable.



The original wallpaper reveals itself. It seems the original wallpaper was hard to remove the first time around. Someone compensated by using minimal amounts of glue on the top layer, which made my job easy and necessary.



Eventually I noticed that this room had been used to house a dog (or a monster). Notice the claw marks on the door frame in the photos. Some chunks of drywall were also missing, presumably eaten. I fixed these up and went to work on the walls.



Getting there...



One IKEA "build your own couch" kit and some swearing later (protip: don't assemble the couch the wrong way around in a room too small to flip it)...



We have a cat room.

Meow Meow Meow
Nov 13, 2010


Nice, I love house threads.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Small update. For the last couple of months I've been working on the guestroom (done), my room (ongoing), washing room (ongoing) and the guest bathroom.

I finally finished the guest bathroom. Original state of the bathroom below - I've already mentioned how I feel about yellow.



Removing the wallpaper from this room was pure hell. Apparently the PO's figured out that they had been using too little glue in all the other rooms and used all the glue in this tiny room.
I didn't feel like removing the toilet, so I had to work in a lot of interesting positions.
Majority of the days spent on this was wallpaper removal and the project was at a standstill for a little while.



Here is the final result:



The floor was faded pink carpeting. Carpeted floors are real exotic in Norway these days, but I didn't feel very good about having carpets by the toilet.
So I removed them, and man did it smell. Age old drops (I hope) of urine had accumulated underneath.
There was a vinyl floor underneath, the colour was yellow.

So I lost my mind and painted it black.



(I'm a little fascinated by the electrical sockets directly adjacent to the toilet... notice the cable coming out from it? Some sort of improvisation to power the aircon!)



Meanwhile, some furniture left in the house got a stamp of cat approval.

If any mod is reading this, I would really appreciate a tag (Project?), I was being stupid and forgot to select it.

Mofette
Jan 9, 2004

Hey you! It's the sound, in your head goes round and round




lizard_phunk posted:




(I'm a little fascinated by the electrical sockets directly adjacent to the toilet... notice the cable coming out from it? Some sort of improvisation to power the aircon!)

Use it to install a Japanese-style butt washer toilet!

Great catte btw

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Now for a more advanced topic: drainage.

Our house is pretty strange. It’s a two-story house with a loft, built into a hillside.
The house is built on granite, so it’s pretty solid.
Only part of the house has a “basement” (actually first floor) wall built on a slope.

Now, since this area is sloping, the previous owners decided a nice wooden patio would be a great addition to the house. It’s pretty solid, made of quality materials in 2012, which is nice.


What we also noticed when the snow melted was that the area under the patio seemed really wet. Almost sump-like.
We noticed some salting of the basement shed wall, which seems to have gotten worse after we washed down the patio. Hm. The drainage should be able to handle some water.

Well gently caress it. Drainage trumps patio, we needed to get a better look.
Unfortunately we noticed that the PO’s probably never treated the wood or painted the boards – the wood had bloated and getting the screws out took a long time.



It's a perimeter drainage system, hopefully with a drainage pipe at the bottom. The studded plastic sheet (plastic isolation sheet in English?) goes against the foundation, protecting it. More modern systems have an additional solid isolation plate behind the plastic sheet.

Notice anything strange?



Good news:
- There seems to be a drainage system in place.

Bad news:
- Where is the plastic isolation sheet? You only see it along half of the wall.
- No isolation sheet behind the plastic sheet. Not surprising, doing this is quite modern.

Million dollar question: Who builds a patio over the most problematic drainage area?

Billion dollar question: Who leaves it untouched and uninspected for 6 years?

If the PO’s had a look under it once every two years or so they would have noticed that soil is now covering half of the isolation sheet and has most likely fallen down along the foundation.


This is 10 wheelbarrows of soil later.

Oh yeah, and how were the isolation sheets fastened to each other?


I have no words.

This is obviously a quick fix. We have no idea how damaged the drainage system at this wall has become. But regardless, 30-40 years is the lifetime of these drainage systems, and we need to replace it. That is going to cost us, especially since the house is built on a hillside – good luck getting a digger up here!

We really don’t have the money to upgrade the entire drainage system around the house this year, and we only have a couple of months before it gets too cold to do it. We are considering trying to upgrade drainage on this wall only (and somehow connecting it to the remaining drainage system).

I have, however, done some damage control:

I removed a small forest trees and bushes from the adjoining side of the house.
Before

After


I got a dehumidifier and am keeping it running in the affected basement shed. Yesterday it said 76% humidity in the basement shed, this morning is was 72%. It is pulling out some water, but not a lot. Humidity measurements on the basement wall is in general below 10%, but around 20% in the worst areas of salting.

Any advice? Do you guys think waiting until next year is acceptable?


Bonus illegal drainage inspection.

schmug
May 20, 2007



Long story short, no, but that answer isn't always as easy as it should be. It isn't going to get any better over the winter, but it can most definitely get worse. How much worse is probably something that you would have a feel for more than I due to weather and current condition, etc. If you can scrape the money together to do it right, then do it. If you're only going to be able to do a partial fix and then re-address the issue later, then honestly I would just wait until the spring.

Joys of home ownership 101.


By the way, that is an awesome piece of property you have there. Pretty jealous.

schmug fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2018 around 14:01

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


schmug posted:

Long story short, no, but that answer isn't always as easy as it should be. It isn't going to get any better over the winter, but it can most definitely get worse. How much worse is probably something that you would have a feel for more than I due to weather and current condition, etc. If you can scrape the money together to do it right, then do it. If you're only going to be able to do a partial fix and then re-address the issue later, then honestly I would just wait until the spring.

Joys of home ownership 101.


By the way, that is an awesome piece of property you have there. Pretty jealous.

We agree. If we're going to do it, we have to do it ourselves, so we're trying to evaluate it realistically. Moneywise, we can get the money together for materials before it gets too cold. Doing the job by hand is also doable (if not a little ambitious), but getting the materials up here is just going to be a whole lot of manual labor. If we're doing it, we can do this wall this year. But we'll only do it if we can do it right within a reasonably short amount of time. So we will at least get all the materials, and in the worst case we can't get to it before spring. Summers are the worst for humidity here, this year is extremely hot.

There is a huge amount of excess soil around that part of the foundation, most has probably trickled down from the garden over the years (unless the PO's actually put it there...). So we're digging that out and making a good slope around the corner for any excess water. Drainage around the rest of the house is OK - there is a natural steep slope in the terrain.

We have been looking forward to some Homeownership 101 challenges for some time, steep learning curve but we're trying not to be idiots about it...

In regards to the property - it's pretty unique for being in what is basically an industrial area very close to a major city:


Parking spot for cars that are not 4WD.


Walkway through the garden.


Getting up to the house.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Since having a literal forest growing at the foundation is a bad idea I also got around to doing this:

Before:


After:


Roots will be removed once they're nice and dry.

edit: you can actually see that we almost have the same problem with soil taking over the drainage in the middle there. Makes me suspect that things are in the state they are because the PO's just really liked having huge plants absolutely everywhere.

Tomarse
Mar 7, 2001

Grr

Speaking as someone who has recently fixed a leaking flat roof, it only takes a tiny hole in the wrong place for lots of water to makes its way past a barrier like your sheeting...

If you are doing this work yourselves then you definitely seem to be on the right approach of clearing plants and debris out first. Dig it all out as much as you can and work out what you are dealing with before you even consider starting it.

AWarmBody
Jul 26, 2014

Better than a cold one.

What a gorgeous home! OP I can't wait to see the end result

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008





I love this thread and I love that house, holy hell. I'm green with envy.

Hvordan i helsikke fant du et sånt hus noensteder nær Oslo uten å måtte ut med urealistiske beløp?

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Things are moving slowly here in the groove.



We did a reasonable amount of digging – down to how he old style drainage should look (no soil over the isolation plastic.



Here you see how far up the plastic should go (and also the fact that the house is built on pure granite!).
I suspect the PO installed a huge flower bed smack on top of the foundation, we have been pulling out a lot of rotten ancient roots. Bad news is that the plastic is completely torn in one place.
But we dug out a good slope for any rain water and are currently awaiting our next payday.

Tomarse posted:

Speaking as someone who has recently fixed a leaking flat roof, it only takes a tiny hole in the wrong place for lots of water to makes its way past a barrier like your sheeting...
If you are doing this work yourselves then you definitely seem to be on the right approach of clearing plants and debris out first. Dig it all out as much as you can and work out what you are dealing with before you even consider starting it.

Appreciate the advice. We’re trying to be reasonable about this, and we’ve read up on code and modern recommendations. We eventually realized that no sane workman or digger would do this job for us (also ), so we are now collecting materials to replace the drainage on that particular wall before winter – and we will continue with the others over the next couple of summers.
Aspiring not to be complete morons, we will not start the project before we have all the materials on hand. At the moment the only problem with the house is the drainage on this part of the foundation – but we have a dehumidifier running in the basement shed. At the worst, we had 77% humidity down there, now we are at a stable 68%, which is acceptable (above 75% is considered ominous, 85% and above is a clear warning that the drainage is failing).

Also, we’re throwing in some sweet actual isolation for the foundation.

One thing we’re learning is to basically trust no one (especially know-it-alls at the hardware store) and read up on this stuff.

AWarmBody posted:

What a gorgeous home! OP I can't wait to see the end result

Thanks. It will never end!

Nice piece of fish posted:

I love this thread and I love that house, holy hell. I'm green with envy.
Hvordan i helsikke fant du et sånt hus noensteder nær Oslo uten å måtte ut med urealistiske beløp?

The majority of our city dwelling eternally renting friends have a hard time wrapping their heads around why we did this.
So here’s the thing – if you can scrape together the enough cash to get a mortage that would cover a 20-30m2 Oslo apartment, you have a lot of opportunities. We decided that spending one hour to get to work was acceptable (used to spent about 45 minutes from the suburbs around Oslo), and we defined which areas we could agree on. Oh yeah, and the most important thing was to stop talking to banks in the Oslo area. The only loan offer we got was from a bank in Tromsø (!).

For the Americans: Yes, housing is extremely expensive here . But by buying the house we cut our actual living costs in half (compared to renting).

“Nothing has happened” is not entirely true – I decided to give the balcony some emergency medical attention.

Before:







After:






(edit: the yellow (!) spattering is just pollen)

Since this post is kinda boring, I want to throw in our 1st floor/basement hallway.



I’m expecting a dwarf dancing backwards every day and the tit lamp is staying!

lizard_phunk fucked around with this message at Aug 1, 2018 around 18:59

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Thread is not abandoned, but work is moving slowly. The semester has started back up, and I’m in the final year of my PhD (widely known as the most logical time to buy a house).

Frida is helping out with the research.



Indoors, we are trying to liberate the walls from almost 40 years of yellow cloth wallpaper. Lots of dust and smell conserved in this material (40 years of German Shepherds). When it’s wet we actually smell the wet dog!





We also tore out the huge built-in closet in my bedroom, which was basically bolted down to the concrete floor. Couldn’t help but be fascinated by the lack of wallpaper behind this closet – I guess the closet was made to last forever. The rationale is that we have an entire room we plan to use as a walk-in closet/hobby room...










“Temporary” office gaming station complete!

lizard_phunk fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2018 around 10:19

Sarah Bellum
Oct 21, 2008


That's a charming and also weird house. Please explain cloth wallpaper to me.

schmug
May 20, 2007



Sarah Bellum posted:

That's a charming and also weird house. Please explain cloth wallpaper to me.

It's made of cloth.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Sarah Bellum posted:

That's a charming and also weird house. Please explain cloth wallpaper to me.

The correct term is probably "textile wallpaper". Not very popular these days, for obvious reasons (nice magnet for dust, allergens and probably flammable as hell).

After work on Friday, we noted the delivery of 3 cubic meters of filling for our drainage ditch.



We spent the evening perfecting our hillside transport system.





Now everything is at the top of the hill in perfect bite size bags...



We are currently digging - I would say excavating - the ditch. So far, we have found that the current ditch is mostly soil, slightly built up of 40 year old plastic waste, huge randomly placed rocks, wood chippings and broken roof tiles, and very little actual "drainage system". We are hoping there's an actual plastic tube down there. A report will follow when we actually get to the bottom (digging under a ditch under a patio is harder than you'd think).



But if not, our tubes have arrived!

tangy yet delightful
Sep 13, 2005


I have never seen gravel delivered in bags like that before, very interesting (here it's just loose and delivered via dump truck). I mean sure you can buy bagged gravel at somewhere like home depot but it's only 10-20 pound bags.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Is it gravel? It seems awfully light not to be tearing those garbage bags.

Also ton bags are the economical halfway point between dump truck and 25kg bag, I've had all my landscaping materials that way.

Gophermaster
Mar 5, 2005

Bring the Ruckas


I like the style of your house, and am eagerly waiting to hear about the drainage tubes.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


tangy yet delightful posted:

I have never seen gravel delivered in bags like that before, very interesting (here it's just loose and delivered via dump truck). I mean sure you can buy bagged gravel at somewhere like home depot but it's only 10-20 pound bags.

We have discovered that getting anything delivered is not so easy in the civilized part of Norway.
Most people hire a company to do any work on their properties, really. Having drainage replacement done on a house will easily cost you $10-20 000. People don't like getting their hands dirty and people seem kind of shocked when I mention what we're working on. I only mention it because I'm kind of surprised myself - sure, it's an endeavor, but in principle getting it right is not that complicated.
We actually wanted the stuff delivered by dump truck, but we couldn't find anyone willing to do it (!).
Finally, we found a vendor in western Norway (we are on the east coast) who was kindly willing to drop off a few bags en route...

cakesmith handyman posted:

Is it gravel? It seems awfully light not to be tearing those garbage bags.

Also ton bags are the economical halfway point between dump truck and 25kg bag, I've had all my landscaping materials that way.

Nice catch! It is indeed not gravel. It is glasopor, a material my husband is particularly fond of (?) due to having been involved with the company producing it.
From what I understand, it is a type of foam glass. It's getting some traction in Norway due to it's properties (real light, real stable).
Having personally handled a few hundred kilos of the stuff last weekend I have to say I understand the allure - it's very easily stackable, especially compared to gravel.

(I'm happy to let the SO splurge on it especially since it means I didn't have to pack gravel into garbage bags all weekend)

Charmingly, the name is a pun on "isopor" (Norwegian for styrofoam).

Unfortunately we had no way to transport the bags up the hill to the house.
We didn't understand the implications of the hill until we moved in, but at this point you may consider the house to be something in between a forest cabin and a hillside castle.

Gophermaster posted:

I like the style of your house, and am eagerly waiting to hear about the drainage tubes.

Breaking news, we unearthed the drainage tube!

Kept digging today and further discovered:

1) it is completely clogged
2) it is no longer connected to anything


Unfortunately no photos today, have been digging all afternoon.

We're going to spend a few more evenings digging and a real update will follow soon!

Sarah Bellum
Oct 21, 2008


lizard_phunk posted:

The correct term is probably "textile wallpaper". Not very popular these days, for obvious reasons (nice magnet for dust, allergens and probably flammable as hell).

Is it attached with normal wallpaper paste? Is it difficult to remove? It seems to be hanging in relatively neat strips. I've never seen anything like it.

Pursesnatcher
Oct 23, 2016



lizard_phunk posted:

Nice catch! It is indeed not gravel. It is glasopor, a material my husband is particularly fond of (?) due to having been involved with the company producing it.
From what I understand, it is a type of foam glass. It's getting some traction in Norway due to it's properties (real light, real stable).
Having personally handled a few hundred kilos of the stuff last weekend I have to say I understand the allure - it's very easily stackable, especially compared to gravel.

(I'm happy to let the SO splurge on it especially since it means I didn't have to pack gravel into garbage bags all weekend)

Charmingly, the name is a pun on "isopor" (Norwegian for styrofoam).

Unfortunately we had no way to transport the bags up the hill to the house.
We didn't understand the implications of the hill until we moved in, but at this point you may consider the house to be something in between a forest cabin and a hillside castle.

Ah yes, Glasopor! It is truly a magical material. Ton bags they are, but tons they do not weigh. A full cubic meter of this stuff only weighs 180 kg, which comes down to roughly 11 lbs per cubic foot. Gravel is roughly ten times heavier by volume.

It is a kind of foam glass, composed of roughly eight parts air, two parts recycled glass, and a tiny dash of secret sauce. It's made by powdering glass, then baking it at extreme temperatures for a little while, and finally letting the internal stress of the fully baked glass pizza rip itself apart. The composition and manufacturing process come together to yield some interesting properties.

For one, which is highly relevant when you're sticking it in a drainage ditch, it's an excellent thermal insulator. Whereas gravel will just sit there, doing nothing, the myriads of air pockets in the foam glass works to keep the heat of your basement in. This also means it protects the ground below from freezing, preventing frost heave regardless of whether it's in a layer underneath your driveway or in a ditch up against your wall.

Second, the pebbles have surprisingly high surface friction. If you start stacking this stuff, it stays stacked. Friction will keep it stable even when the sides of a heap slope at a 45 degree angle, to the point where you can run a large digger along the edge, no problem. Its resistance to crushing is also respectable, and it can take a static load of give or take one hundred thousand Newtons per square meter. All in all, if you fill a ditch with this stuff, most of the surroundings are going to yield before the foam glass goes anywhere.

Finally, the rough, granular surface means it drains liquids like there's no tomorrow. Instead of clinging to each little pebble, water just runs freely around it.

Glasopor is mainly used for large infrastructure projects, like filling for tunnel walls and ceilings, or foundations for large buildings or highways – especially in areas with challenging, soft terrain. However, it's also available for private individuals, and is perfectly suited for filling in drainage ditches, behind retaining walls, underneath patios, walkways and driveways, and pretty much anywhere else.

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008





...

I need to get me some Glasopor.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


OP here posting from that obligatory Scandinavian autumn flu it turns out you can enhance by spending you weekend in a muddy ditch.

So what have we been doing? DIGGING.


OP feeling slightly overwhelmed.




We finally started taking down the old isolation sheet (black ribbed plastic). Back in the day, people didn't actually seal the tops in any way, which in this case resulted in soil completely clogging up an ever expanding space between the sheet and the foundation.


We found some fun drainage materials down there - mostly thrash: plastic bags, pieces of our 40 year old vinyl flooring (which apparently turns pink after decades underground), a whole lot of broken roof tiles, broken pieces of porcelain (?) and a couple of ancient lightbuts.


Yes, why not use vinyl flooring as filling?


Then we found the drainage pipe... Not looking so good old chap.


Broken rooftiles as a cheap way to protect the drainage pipe.

Then came the heavy rain ...

Here we have removed all the plastic and cut off the clogged part of the drainage pipe. It was surprisingly wide (good), but halfway clogged with mud.



Voila - after weeks of digging being our only hobby - our ditch is emptied!
This part of the pipe is actually NOT clogged and to our great joy the heavy rainfall quickly drained away.

However ... while the pipe is attached to something, it is slightly eerie that it seems to snake ominously under our house.


Digging mud, drilling holes for the isolation plates and drilling away some bedrock the POs forgot to blow up when building the house.


Our indoors pensioner Frida was not amused about the extension cord going through an open window.

- - -

Now for a short reflection:
When we started considering this project and dicussed it with both compentent and incompetent friends, we were informed that the digging would be impossible to do by hand.
Our question was "how impossible". We were also warned about divorce.
However, after a number of very annoying (and fun) weeks, we have actually removed all the soil from the ditch under a patio using two plastic buckets.

If anyone wants some dating tips, I would recommend to look for a guy who happily drills away at bedrock for hours to ensure the correct flow of liquid.

No gloating intended, but this is how it feels to be alive!

- - -
Back to business:
With the ditch emptied, the agenda is as follows:
1. Put up isolation plates
2. Put up the fiber cloth
3. Attach the new tube
4. Add on new isolation plastic for extra bang (yes, we have discussed this with professionals, who stated it might be slightly paranoid and definitely overkill - but not a problem. And we really don't want to dig again in the near future).
5. Fill with glasopor
6. Win.

1. Putting up isolation plates

My husband (being a connoisseur of fine materials and code recommendations for eternity) did his research. Since we had problems with salting and slightly high humidity levels in the basement, the isolation should both conserve heat and allow water to pass through. Styrofoam does not allow for the latter, so we went with Isodren (tm) plates.

We quickly realized that these isolation plates are quite possibly the most annoying material in the entire world. Personally, I suspect that Satan himself created this material.


One of the packs after a slight breeze...


After a whole lot of cursing and slight marital anguish regarding the proper way to handle a material that crumbles at the slightest touch...



Plates are put up!

And actually we have come a lot further - the rest of this project is a piece of cake compared to the digging.

Bonus news: We suspect a mouse in the living room wall. Or a monster. Updates may or may not follow depending.

karms
Jan 22, 2006

ooOooOoOooooOOo


Yam Slacker

lizard_phunk posted:

Bonus news: We suspect a mouse in the living room wall. Or a monster. Updates may or may not follow depending.

Aww, you gave the cat a project too!

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008





lizard_phunk posted:

If anyone wants some dating tips, I would recommend to look for a guy who happily drills away at bedrock for hours to ensure the correct flow of liquid.

No gloating intended, but this is how it feels to be alive!


Good work all around, that looks like a hell of a job. And thanks for the recommendation, I will try to date your guy because I have a ton of work for him. How familiar is he with sod roofs?

I'm glad you're living the house dream, it's a lot of work but what you're doing right now is how you make it all yours. That and the mortgage.

It looks like the underside of your porch is in really good condition, and once you sort out your drainage situation I think you might be golden for a good while. I'm probably telling you things you are well aware of but this is a really good primer on drainage that my uncle (an actual builder) showed me for a project of mine.

https://isodren.no/aktuelt/slik-leg...neste-arhundre/

I'm assuming you're well aware because from the looks of things you're already following this process and depending on water pressure the exact process described might be overkill in your case anyway.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


karms posted:

Aww, you gave the cat a project too!

She loves the scritching in the walls of course.

We first heard it a rainy night a few days ago.
Which is kind of weird - because the only thing the PO seemed to want to tell us about was that some time before selling, she had seen mouse droppings in the basement.
She had immediately contacted a pest removal company, and these guys sealed all potential mouse access points with some sort of rodent barrier protocol. They also placed traps (the big metallic boxes with poison and room for a rat or two) absolutely everywhere outside the house. I think we have found 6 of these traps. They were supposed to collect the traps in May (never heard from them) but they seem empty.

We did ask the PO if she had even seen or heard a mouse, and she said no. I would be surprised if she was lying, she was honest about a whole lot of other things.

The sounds have stopped now. Maybe it got stuck somewhere and died?

Nice piece of fish posted:

Good work all around, that looks like a hell of a job. And thanks for the recommendation, I will try to date your guy because I have a ton of work for him. How familiar is he with sod roofs?

I'm glad you're living the house dream, it's a lot of work but what you're doing right now is how you make it all yours. That and the mortgage.

It looks like the underside of your porch is in really good condition, and once you sort out your drainage situation I think you might be golden for a good while. I'm probably telling you things you are well aware of but this is a really good primer on drainage that my uncle (an actual builder) showed me for a project of mine.

https://isodren.no/aktuelt/slik-leg...neste-arhundre/

I'm assuming you're well aware because from the looks of things you're already following this process and depending on water pressure the exact process described might be overkill in your case anyway.

Sod roofs seem fun! Nothing can go wrong with those, I'm sure? But if you can get a goat up there I'm sure it's worth it!

The porch/patio is relatively new (2012) and seems to be a proper piece of construction. But the POs never treated the wood with anything, so it's kinda bloated. In our grand house plans, it's going to be removed in a year or two, and we will replace it with something which gives better access to the foundation and supports the patch of garden (which is slowly moving under the patio due to gravity).
The foundation itself seemed OK. We saw evidence of salting in the areas where we found salting on the other side. But structurally it seemed straight, solid and without any cracks or apparent damage.

Thank you for the link, we have based the project on exactly that plus SINTEF recommendations. You really need nerves of steel to work with the Isodren isolation plates though (ref. above comments on Satan etc.).

Pursesnatcher
Oct 23, 2016



Nice piece of fish posted:

I'm assuming you're well aware because from the looks of things you're already following this process and depending on water pressure the exact process described might be overkill in your case anyway.

Overkill, the best kind of kill!

So what you do is, after gently remo smashing! your way through some weak, inferior! granite bedrock, you bandage up your strangely damaged hands, and put a very thin layer of glasopor along the bottom – just enough that jagged edges won't tear your fiber cloth. Then, carefully put up said fiber cloth. Each sheet has to be long enough to cover both the height of your isolation plates, the full width of your ditch, the wall of the actual ditch, and then still have enough left over to fold across the completed drainage filling. Ensure adjacent sheets have ample overlap. Then, because no kill like overkill, you put a secondary sheet of cloth running longitudinally along the bottom.



Next, you snuggle your stiff, oversized, double-walled and extra sturdy plumbing into the ditch, making sure it's centered in the secondary sheet. Securely fasten the new tube to the old one.



With a new drainage piping now in place, you'll want to apply a bit of of glasopor underneath it, still inside the secondary sheet. This is to make sure the tube is supported on a slight incline, and then start surrounding it with more glasopor – but not so much that your secondary sheet actually touches the walls on either side. To make this work, you'll want to use some glasopor outside the secondary sheet as well, so as to build up a "wall" around it, while you work towards the final goal of a nice, cylindrical glasopor-and-pipe sausage.



When the sausage is complete, you fold the secondary fiber cloth sheet around itself, sealing it up and protecting it from the dirt of future generations. You may then begin the process of covering everything up with even more glasopor. I realize I forgot to mention earlier, but glasopor also disrupts capillary action. It is awesome.



However! If you're working on the highest point in your drainage system (or, in this case, the highest point in this particular semi-closed portion of it), you'll want to hang back a little before closing the sausage. You'll want to make sure you have access to stick a pair of Y-shaped connectors facing in opposite directions (or, in this case, a double 45-degree bend making a nice 90-degree angle) onto the most elevated point of your pipe. This will allow you to install an above-ground access point for inspection and flushing.



Finally, you start covering everything up with yet more glasopor, until you can't see the sausage. At this point, you should be ready to install isolation plastic, seal off anything and everything that needs sealing with silicon, and fill the ditch with still more glasopor, compressing the masses for every 50 cm or so.

The answer is always "more glasopor"

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge




Aren't you supposed to be green? Fall is here and our garden is now yellow, red and purple.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Here I post;
I can do no other.


If it isn't too hard, could you draw a diagram of the whole trench and the "sausage"? I helped a family member of mine prep their basement for a drainage system that is mostly inside of the basement, and yours looks like kind of an outdoor version of the same thing.

lizard_phunk
Oct 23, 2003

Alt Girl For Norge


Lutha Mahtin posted:

If it isn't too hard, could you draw a diagram of the whole trench and the "sausage"? I helped a family member of mine prep their basement for a drainage system that is mostly inside of the basement, and yours looks like kind of an outdoor version of the same thing.

Sure! I'm calling on Veskenapper here as I'm convinced he has some very specific drawings.

Would be interested to hear about the system you were prepping for. Are you in the US?
From reading some house threads here, I was surprised to learn about sump pumps and systems like that.

I think "indoors" drainage is almost completely unheard of in Norway. I really don't know the reason - except huge differences in weather, I guess? The closest I've heard of is people who discover grates to drainage systems in their basements (usually because someone put flooring over it to make some nice new rooms in an old house before selling, and the new owners inevitably end up with moldy basement smelling like sewage).

Queen Victorian
Feb 21, 2018



lizard_phunk posted:

I think "indoors" drainage is almost completely unheard of in Norway. I really don't know the reason - except huge differences in weather, I guess? The closest I've heard of is people who discover grates to drainage systems in their basements (usually because someone put flooring over it to make some nice new rooms in an old house before selling, and the new owners inevitably end up with moldy basement smelling like sewage).

We bought an old 1910 house with the sandstone basement in its original unfinished and very damp state (though it was dry in the winter when we toured it because the furnace was on).

We got a consultation with a basement waterproofing company, and their recommendation for us was the interior perimeter perforated drain pipe solution with the sump pumps. They said the best option is installing the exterior perimeter drain pipes and then lining/waterproofing the exterior of the foundation wall, but not in our case because we're in a city neighborhood where the houses are very close together, so exterior excavation like you're doing would be impossible for our house (too costly and especially, too risky to neighboring houses - neither us or the waterproofing company want to deal with that much liability). Also, no interior foundation wall lining/sealing for us because without being able to seal from the outside, water seeps into the stones and then can't get out due to interior lining, trapping water in the stones and mortar and degrading them over time, so best to let the walls "breathe" and then draw away the moisture that does deep through via the interior drainage system. And also just not have a finished basement ever.

PS: Been lurking this thread since the beginning and it's most enjoyable.

Pursesnatcher
Oct 23, 2016



I have been called forth from the ditchiest ditches, and lo! a ditch was dug (and promptly filled)! Diagram follows, but first, a brief update:



So this is after where we left off. Glasopor is supposed to be compressed for every 2 feet of depth, but since getting a vibrating plate down into this ditch would have been near impossible, we just did it this way. Pouring a thin layer, then stomping on it, walking back and forth, rinse and repeat.



Next up, we put more insulation plates onto the far wall in the ditch. It's strictly not necessary, as there's nothing behind that wall – it just sits there, propping up a... sort of extension to the house, I guess. Still, I'm all for doing it right or not at all, so there. We also covered it up in fiber cloth, as per specifications, and finished putting up the yellow top sill. The white stuff along the top of the sill and around the rivets is a polymer-based, waterproof joint sealant. The general idea is to make sure any water coming down along the wall does not penetrate behind the top sill, but rather goes into the drainage. Now, can you spot the Glaring Fault?



That's right, there wasn't enough sill for the inner corner. That is to say, the people who designed these sills never anticipated inner corners happening, so proper overlap was pretty much not going to happen. Solution? Cut three sheets of heavy duty isolating plastic into L-shaped wedges, sort of, and stick them on top of one another. Two vertically oriented, and then the third horizontally on top of them. That way, any water coming down either of the yellow sills will be instantly redirected downwards. The only weak point is a pinhole opening in the innermost corner, but a good blotch of sealant will fix that right up.



And there you go. Tons of sealant, sealant everywhere, and always more glasopor added to the bottom of the ditch. Of course, both top sills, sealant overload and corner contraption are totally overkill, since:



...we added a big-old sheet of isolation plastic covering up everything. All that remains is cutting away some of the top of this huge, single piece plastic sheet, and affixing a waterproof top sill to that one as well. Then, adding more glasopor, folding the fiber cloth over the filling, and finishing it all up with some, I don't know, roof tiles or linoleum or whatever.

Long story short, you can never have enough redundancy. Nor can you have enough glasopor. This picture, incidentally, was taken right about when we ran out of glasopor. Damnit.

As for diagrams, this was the best I could whip up in a jiffy, using festive colors for clarity:



So this is roughly where we were, and where we're going. Right now, we're pretty much 90% on the way to "after". Using two plastic buckets and some garden shovels, we've removed the roughly five metric tons (!) of mud, tiles, gravel, dirt, linoleum, plastic bags, clothespins and rotten firewood pressing against the wall from the ditch. We've also, in order:
  • Smashed apart some troublesome bedrock
  • Added a concrete slope to the bottom of the wall (hot pink)
  • Heaped a thin layer of glasopor (baby blue)
  • Put down an outer shell of fiber cloth (dotted blue line)
  • Put up insulating, draining plates (neon green)
  • Affixed a top sill on top of said plates (hot pink line)
  • Put down an inner sausage of fiber cloth atop some glasopor
  • Replaced the broken, pathetic shell of a drain pipe with a new one
  • Stuck loads of glasopor down in that breach
  • Sealed up the sausage
  • Added a plastic isolation sheet (dotted red line)

E: You might notice the new pipe is a hair higher up than the old one. This is indeed unfortunate. However, due to the granite bedrock being granite, there's little we can do about it.

In a perfect world, a drain pipe should never be higher in the terrain than the bottom of the wall it's protecting. The PO's used a wiggly, soft drain pipe, which meant they were able to stick parts of it a bit lower in the ground. This was a terrible mistake. While I'm sure it gave them some peace of mind, this solution also ensured that the "outer" half of the pipe clogged up pretty much instantly – since it was sloped away from the actual point of drainage – and thus never drained anything at all. That same half, in our new and improved system, is "too high" in the terrain, but at least it'll never clog. It is sloped severely down towards the point of drainage, and due to the granite removal operation we pulled off, is in fact a bit lower than the PO's might have gotten theirs. The other half, meanwhile, is just as low as the old pipe ever was, but with the added benefit of being strong, rigid, unyielding, and double-walled. It is a good pipe. It will drain impressively, I'm certain.

Pursesnatcher fucked around with this message at Sep 17, 2018 around 23:16

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Pursesnatcher
Oct 23, 2016



Queen Victorian posted:

We bought an old 1910 house with the sandstone basement in its original unfinished and very damp state (though it was dry in the winter when we toured it because the furnace was on).

We got a consultation with a basement waterproofing company, and their recommendation for us was the interior perimeter perforated drain pipe solution with the sump pumps. They said the best option is installing the exterior perimeter drain pipes and then lining/waterproofing the exterior of the foundation wall, but not in our case because we're in a city neighborhood where the houses are very close together, so exterior excavation like you're doing would be impossible for our house (too costly and especially, too risky to neighboring houses - neither us or the waterproofing company want to deal with that much liability). Also, no interior foundation wall lining/sealing for us because without being able to seal from the outside, water seeps into the stones and then can't get out due to interior lining, trapping water in the stones and mortar and degrading them over time, so best to let the walls "breathe" and then draw away the moisture that does deep through via the interior drainage system. And also just not have a finished basement ever.

PS: Been lurking this thread since the beginning and it's most enjoyable.

Huuh. That's a very interesting way of doing it. Note, we've also been advised in the strongest possible terms against putting up any kind of interior sealing, because the exact problem you're describing will always occur, no matter how impressive your exterior drainage (although with good exterior insulation, the time scale on which problems occur increases from years to decades). Some moisture will always get in, if not from the sides, then from beneath, or even above. This is the reason we put up these ridiculously porous insulation plates.

The "traditional" solution around here (since around 1990) has been using extruded polystyrene or similar on the outside. Problem with XPS is that it's watertight. That means that the inevitable moisture inside the wall has nowhere to go, except inwards, causing higher air and material moisture, better growing conditions for fungus and such nastiness, weakened structural integrity, and so on. XPS is still better than no insulation, but not optimal. Thus, the new recommendation is putting up "breathable" insulation on the outside, allowing moisture to escape that way instead. We then, uh, went a bit over board.

Have you looked into electro-osmosis, by the way? It's supposedly a decent enough means of making sure moisture is pushed outwards, although I suppose you'd need a good exterior drainage solution for optimal effect. I looked into it briefly, and really only wrote it off because it's an active solution (like sump pumps) rather than passive, because need more redundancy, and because we had the option of digging everything up and going nuts with multiple layers of everything.

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