Sunday, June 19, 2022

 We are attempting to convert a 80-100 year old concrete stave silo into living quarters that we will rent out - as an airbnb. The concrete staves are 2.5" thick- about 10" wide and 28" tall.    They are held in place with metal bands placed approximately every 14".   The bands hold the silo together when it  was filled with silage or whatever they put in there.  There is a dirt floor, no roof and the inside dimensions are 15' 10" diameter.   There will be 4 floors + a small entry room.   The silo is approximately 43' tall.

The silo conversion project actually began in 2021 when we cut the opening for an entrance into the silo  I was unable to find much guidance on how to approach cutting on opening in the bottom of the concrete stave silo.   I braced the inside and then welded the bands that were fastened to the frame work of the window opening.   We then removed 4 widths of concrete staves - approximately 39.5" by 8 feet tall.   I had a metal frame built - 3 x 4" tubular steel, 5/16" thick.   I inserted that frame, from the inside until the frame touched all of the bands.   I then welded the bands to the frame and then cut the bands - creating an opening  33.5" wide..

The second phase took place during spring break in March of 2022,.  There will be a 10x12' entry room on the front of the silo.   This will have a small kitchen on one side and a refrigerator, washer/dryer and utility room on the other side.    We excavated and poured a concrete footing for this addition.   We also poured a concrete patio area.     A nearly 400' long trench became the resting place for the underground service wire and the water line from the well.   Lots of family help during spring break.  My son, Dustin.  His two kids, Carter and Maura.  My wife Jan and Christian Pedersen.

The main construction was scheduled to begin early June 2022.    Monday-Thursday nights (June and July) were blocked for visitors at Paw Print Cabin, so we  would be able to get some construction done..   Heavy rains in early June delayed the start of the project. The first part was to complete the room addition on the silo.    Shingles are going on early in the third week.

A big concern was sealing the roof against the concrete silo.   We cut the roof sheathing as accurately as possible -   mostly with a 1/4" gap or less.     A few places got a bit wider and we covered those with metal flashing.   I put 3/8" foam backer rod into the space between the sheathing and the silo.   I then caulked the seam with a butyl caulk.   30# felt paper then went down.   I caulked again on top of the felt paper.   Then the shingles - with a bead of caulk under the shingle and then another bead on top.   Hopefully that will keep the water out!   Shingles went on this first day of summer and then planning and layout of the plumbing under the floor.    We also managed - with lots of sweat and effort to excavate under the footing of the silo.   A 4" main drain will go under the footing of the silo to carry wastes to the septic tank.    That hole was about 30" deep and it was 18"-24" horizontally to clear the width of the footing.

Wednesday, June 22 was a wash out.   1.4" of rain.   All excavation in the silo was underwater.    We had water leaks where we sealed the roof of the addition to the silo.   On to plan B!

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