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DayCreek Journal

July 28 , 2000

Go Pound Sand
I can't quite recall who it was that told me to do that, but just for the record, I have done my life's share of it over the last couple of weeks. Four and a half dump truck loads of sand later the trench is compacted and filled.

This was accomplished by Bobcat, wheelbarrow and shovel. Six inches at a time were dumped and compacted into the trench. After the first layer, two out of the four (250') loops of 3/4" tubing were run in a spiral fashion around the trench. I found that working with 3/4" tubing was quite a challenge, but with the assistance of Tom (A noble friend and helper), we were able to hold it down with boulders while we dumped sand on top of the tubing.

If you would like to compare the latest view with what the floor looked like prior to the sand bed, click here to see a previous photograph.

After another layer of sand, the remaining two lengths of tubing were placed into the bed and compacted. Two more layers were added to complete the trench. As each layer was completed, the sand was watered down. How much water to add? That's a good question. I did not want to create quicksand, but adding water to the sand will add some heat capacity. There's much debate as to how effective sand is able to store heat once it is dry, so I figure that adding some water won't hurt as long as it supports the concrete pad.

(Drawing not to scale. Daycreek personnel are not liable for any flaws depicted in the artist's rendering.)

As shown in the photo above and depicted on the right, the final layer of sand is flush with the outer foam boards. These boards will insulate the area external to the trench and allow most of the heat to radiate upwards through the concrete pad. I left the center of the house uninsulated. There is very little tubing located in the center of the house, so I don't expect much heat loss and the center area is utility space and not living space.

Next week, the vapor barrier, reinforcing wire and 1/2" tubing will be laid out in preparation for the floor pour. If all goes well, we might be pouring the floor by week's end.

This week's Beanie photo goes to one of the many toads who have been enjoying the comforts of the sand bed. I usually start my day by rounding them up and finding them a new home. I've already warned the toads that I'll be pouring concrete soon, so they shouldn't make their homes there. And if by chance they do, well, don't blame me I already "toad" them so.