Since this house is on the Mascoma River, and we want to add a garage, a driveway and a solar storage tank (excavation required), we needed a bunch of permits including the NH Shoreland Protection Permit, NH Heritage Bureau report, NH Energy Code, as well as Enfield town building and garage permits. I finally have them all in hand… and with a General Contractor officially starting this week.
In the meantime we have repaired foundation: repointing, filling in the windows, removing old crumbly mortar and adding new. But the majority of the work on the house and the solar heating system has been waiting for the permits.
Some of the next steps include:
* prepping the area for the garage slab
* excavating for the solar storage tank; building the tank on site (maybe as soon as next week!)
* shoring up the basement and first floor
* shoring up other floors and roof
One of the issues we are discussing right now is how to work with and around the water table. Looking at the elevation plans and noticing standing water in the basement floor (dirt floor) from time to time, it is clear that we will have to deal with it both in the basement and in the hole we want for the storage tank — that was planned to go down 10-12′. If there is 5′ of standing water in that hole, we’ll have to think about ways to drain it or work around it.
For the basement… since we are not interested in using it for any living space, we can consider filling it in another 12-18″ with dirt/gravel and then foam it in. The basement will only have access through a hatch in the closet of the first floor. It will house only a few pieces of equipment associated with the solar heating system as we want most of the utility components to be viewable from the first floor retail/showroom.
For the solar storage tank, we have to think of other options since we want to go to about 12′ deep. The vertical depth of the tank is important in stratification of the hot and cold water. What we DON’T want to do is to add any kind of sump pumps. They would probably have to be on 24hours a day, 7 days a week. Not only is that a waste of electricity, but we don’t want to affect the water table either.
The tank is 15′ x 18′ x 8′ height. It needs to be a few feet below the surface, so we probably have to dig to 11-12′. It will have materials in it that are heavier than water (rocks, sand), but it will also have r100 equivalent foam insulation. Thoughts, comments, ideas on how to make this tank system work if the water table is half of this depth are very much welcome!