Fred Walter

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since May 31, 2011
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Near Beaver Valley, Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Fred Walter

Zach Hartwell wrote:Is there anyone from Bruce County?

I'm in Grey County.
9 years ago
I have a 5.5 yo son and a 4 yo son.

Even with supervision, BOOM, stuff happens. You turn your back for one second, and if the the older one isn't doing something, its the younger one. Sometimes they are being difficult on purpose I think, but most of the time they are just curious and either exploring their environment or testing their environment (and our patience). For example, I'm using part of my barn as a wood-working workshop. Yesterday, my younger son took a bunch of nice pine boards (that were going to be used to make something), and as part of 'tidying up', threw them into the bottom of the barn. All that lumber needs to come back up, etc.

We have a fenced in area 'play' area in front of the house, the idea being that they would have a safe play area in which to contain them while we got work done. That lasted until the older son figured out how to open the gates.
10 years ago

David Graber wrote:The hot water from my RMH firebox loop, and the water from my solar collector loop

Do you have photos of your setup? Where did you put the RMH firebox loop, to pull the most heat from it, without affecting the RMH's operation (and risking a steam rupture)? I understand that the loops are open to the air in the tanks, so I gather that if the water is kept circulating, you don't have to worry about steam forming in the piping in the actual RMH?

10 years ago
I'd like to see an answer to this question as well.

I know with a normal electric hot water heater, you're not supposed to turn it down below a certain temperature because of the risk of legionella. (I have mine turned down as much as is safe, to make sure that my kids (~3.5yo and ~5yo) don't accidently scald themselves, not because I'm trying to save money.)
10 years ago

Dk Carver wrote:We've decided to lay it all on the table, tell a bit about ourselves and what we're looking for...

It would be helpful if you mentioned your current country/state/province.
Do you have family members or a circle of friends which you want to continue seeing?
In other words, how far from your current location are you willing to relocate?
10 years ago

Krista Millerit's a huge liability, and there is caution in making a video for wide distribution, without any pre-qualifications, that show a "how to do hot water"[/quote wrote:

When you say "hot water", do you mean, for domestic hot water (eg. showers, dishwashing, etc), or sufficient volume for an in-floor hydronic heating system?

11 years ago
Something to consider, is the embodied energy versus lifespan of the building materials that you are going to use.

Also, if you are in a hurry to get a built structure then you need to think about the higher labour costs of 'natural' building methods versus lower labour costs (but higher material costs) of less 'natural' building methods.

I built my pump house using metal SIPs (walls and roof, rated R24), on a reinforced concrete slab on grade. It should last many hundreds of years with little to no maintenance, and it went up fast, and I put it up by myself. (Aside from 15 minutes of a neighbours time to get the first corner up.) Mind you, metal SIPs are not cheap, but when you take into account labour costs... they cost less the labour costs of putting metal siding on a similarily sized building. (I know this because I had a similarily sized garden shed built for my wife, using normal ballon stick frame construction, and that building ended up costing me almost 3 times as much as my pump house, with 2/3rds of the cost being labour.)

My preference is metal SIPs versus wood because (if they are like the SIPs that I used) then you can immediately start using the building, and finish it off later (drywall/etc) at your convenience. Wood SIPs need to be protected (siding/roofing) right away.
11 years ago

Nathan Wrzesinski wrote:If you can get a shipping container out to your land you could set it down and bury it with earth.

Do a yahoo web search on "buried shipping container collapse" to get a detailed explanation as to why burying a shipping container (without proper bracing) is a bad idea.
11 years ago

Gary Stuart wrote:If the land deal we're pursuing doesn't go through, our next option is to look for someone who owns land, shares our vision, and would appreciate having us around, exchanging work for rent, etc. Easier said than found up here in the Great White North, however.

Have you looked at ?

I'm advertising my farm on that website ( but we aren't a good fit for most people because of the housing issue (my wife and I, and our 2 young sons live in the house, and anyone coming on to the property would have to either live in the equivalent of a camper trailer or a (very) tiny house, because of building code restrictions).

My preference is market gardeners, but my wife would be happy with someone that would help move some of our gardening/permaculture projects forward in exchange for living on the property. However I'm not sure how to work something like that in a way that would be fair to everyone involved.
11 years ago

Jon Piper wrote:I'm counting on the dry earth to give "annualized thermal inertia" as paul calls it in his wofati article, or "passive annual heat storage" as john hait calls it.

That only works if you have no water getting any where near your structure. Where is your water table? What will you be doing for drainage around your building?
11 years ago