Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bathroom and hot water system

SANY6706 Since getting back from holiday, our focus has been prepping for winter. First we gathered and cut firewood and did a few other basic bits and pieces, and now we are attacking the bathroom and hot water system. Our goal is to get it finished by around the first of November.

Because it is an integrated system, there is a lot involved.

I've been doing the concrete work – stuccoing the walls and underside of the bathroom ceiling. For those of you who have never done overhead stucco, it is a bitch, leaving you with aching neck and shoulders. However, Abe had saved some acrylic sludge that was in a used barrel we bought and cleaned out, and I added it to my concrete. It made the hardest part of overhead stucco a million times easier. I have another two days to finish the interior of the bathroom and I will then start stuccoing the tank and other bits and pieces outside. SANY6715

Abe meanwhile has been doing everything else. He's laid the grey, hot, cold and floor heating lines within the house. So far all these lines (except the grey) end just outside the kitchen's east window, which is where the tank will go. This is our 300 gallon heat storage tank. We will have panels on the roof that will heat water and circulate it into the tank. We have not yet set up the tank or the controls – that will be next week's project.

Abe has also been working on the brackets that will hold the panels onto the roof, welding and bolting them together. Next week should also see the panels mounted.

The grey water lines will empty out into the flower beds that are inside the house, in the dining and living rooms. We will be using a wicking bed system for them, whereby the water sits in gravel and rocks, and is then wicked up by the soil to the plants. We'll be adding the soil next week or the week after – that will be almost the last thing we do.

SANY6710 All in all, we had a very productive few days. We're both pretty tired, as it's been a while since we worked like this. But hopefully just another week or two at this pace and we can slow down for the winter months.

On a side note, I have found the cure for morning sickness: since starting working with concrete (which I did all the way through the first two trimesters of Leo) my nausea has disappeared!

For more photos, click here.

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