We've received gifts-in-kind from Terrell Wong at Stone's Throw, 3C Carpentry (Carlo Terzi), Jimenez Carpentry, and friendly support from neighbours. Of course, Fourth Pig Workers Co-Op have provided excellent carpentry services throughout. We've also had strong support from our metal roofer Heritage Tinsmiths, who waived a significant cancellation fee when we ran into some timing and other issues.
And we've had another volunteer added to our list of observers and helpers.
PV Master and DTE Solar have been excellent as well. - Plugs for you all!
Our solar PV installation is shaping up. One of the issues was the load side electrical service which must be in place first. We really wanted to avoid an ugly overhead service to the building (where birds sit and poop on cars), and the balcony on the south-w corner made it even worse (electrical lines must stay well clear of openable windows and balconies). It also results in these plastic conduits running all over your side facade. We'd been working with Toronto Hydro since quite a long time ago to get an underground service to the building - but costs and timing were major issues. They request $1000 to make a drawing, plus $6000 to $12,000 for the actual work, and 3 months lead time. Like everyone else, we ended up having no time or money for this, so we placed our own hydro pole at the corner of our property and made our own underground service to our own pole. From there it is a short 15' overhead run to the city's pole. One of the design considerations with utility rooms is the following: On a corner house in the city, you often will have additional choice as to which side of the property the service comes from, as in our case. With the new smart meters, the electric company is less concerned with mounting the meters close to the front of the house - although it is still preferred. Mid-span connections are also possible - so there was ample choice for us. I found out it is even possible to have the main service attached to our detached garage - and have the house fed from the garage rather than vice versa. However, getting the service to the electrical panel was tricky because we wanted the electrical/utility room on the north side (back of the house), since it is a room without windows - this location was the furthest from the possible meter locations. During the concrete wall stage, we placed a 2" conduit in the ground around the building from the electrical room to the anticipated meter location - a run of about 50'. Later, we dug up the ends of this conduit and routed it into/onto the building exactly where the meter and panels would be. Connection costs to the city for electricity are minimal (currently the standard price for a permanent connection is $850). We paid $1500 for the pole installed, and another $1300 to run the service to the pole, including trenching, conduit, wire, weatherhead, etc.) While I'm not thrilled to see another pole in the neighbourhood, I do hope that one day, I can work with hydro to extend our underground service right up to their pole and do away with ours.
|Hydro Pole Installation: You need to hire a company with this special truck designed for installing hydro poles. In our case, York Power and Lighting. Note the pole length. This was a standard pole of 30'. We needed only about 17.5' out of the ground, so we chopped off 7.5'. burial depth is 5' for this small pole. 4' is ok as well, but I elected for 5'. This was a good thing because the trench up to it stayed open overnight in quite windy weather - I was glad the pole didn't fall down. Minimum height is 16', per Toronto Hydro specs.|
|Lifting up the tall exterior frames. This is 2x8, 16" OC with two rows of blocking and diagonal strapping on the backside. Not quite meeting the tall wall specs in the code, but OK, since it will be thoroughly braced to the 2nd floor assembly when we get the scaffolding up. Lifting it was a piece of cake with a chain fall/lever hoist anchored to a large beam in the cathedral ceiling assy. With the other walls, there was a lack of large beams to anchor to, so we connected to the 1/2" anchor bolts in the concrete wall on the far side of the building.|
|Tall walls and rafter beams in place.|