Work continues at the garage.We continue to meet/hire contractors and make difficult decisions. The largest of which so far have been surrounding the floor. As you know, garages typically have concrete floors. They tend to be cold and damp- not exactly the living surface we picture in our future warm and inviting tiny home. Our floor also has a fairly noticeable slope to help make sure water runs out rather than in. In our original conversations about the ADU we planned on installing radiant heat floors. A luxury feature we’ve always dreamt of and one that makes sure two people who are almost always barefoot can do so comfortably in their own home.
We investigated everything from DIY electrical mat systems to hydronic systems made of a network of water pipes beneath the floor, but the price tag finally made us give up our luxury item. The electrical systems are cheap to install but apparently really expensive (and less than environmentally friendly) to run. The water systems are really expensive but cheaper long term...assuming you have a well insulated home. We do not.
The concrete pad was laid well before it was good practice to insulate the earth beneath them and the idea of us heating our entire lot and the sidewalk around us didn’t sit well. Eventually, the budget decided for us...we will not be having radiant heat.
We decided instead to install a slightly raised wooden floor on a system of 2x4 sleepers that allow us to insulate at the same time. We had a truckload of wood delivered but as we got to work i just couldn’t get my father’s voice out of my head telling me “if you’re going to do a job, do it right”. Spending the time, energy and money to lay a floor that would still slope to one side didn’t seem right.
After much debate and money crunching, we deiced to do the full job of leveling the floors as well. Much the same process, but this meant each wooden sleeper had to be cut to the exact angle of the concrete to raise everything to the appropriate level. We called in a bit of help with this one trying to stay ahead of schedule for our electrician and plumber’s arrival right after thanksgiving. I fought hard on this because my mind keeps telling me that its cheaper to do the work ourselves. It’s hard for me to watch others getting paid to do work i can do myself, but at some point the time and stress involved tips the scales. The ability to walk away and work on other items while our floor got leveled and insulated certainly proved to be worth money.
While they were working we finally decided on which doors to order (probably the largest decision and single expense of the project), ordered some of our appliances, and got the gas line installed. So much is happening so fast...if only we can keep the place tidy enough that our neighbors dont hate us...
We now have a dry and level floor as the foundation of things to come. Next up is to get the bathroom wall framed before our plumber and electrician come early next week, but first we’ll take a break for thanksgiving. We did come back here to be around family after all.