Photograph by Blane Perun

Coral Farm Foundation

On the bottom left photo you can see at first the addition fell short of the end of the house. I changed the design on the fly and tapered the end to stay in accordance with the variance in the backyard. The minor change gave me an extra 30 square feet. After the footer and the four courses of block cured in a few days we had some bad rain and the pad was not poured for weeks. In fact you can see the in-ground pool is already installed about mid right in the photo.

I had an extra 6 inches of gravel laid and additional reinforcement in the concrete just to be safe. One big set back was I had no drain in the middle of the room. That would have taken me another permit and after the past years experience I

did not want to go back. I had the pad laid even and matched the level of my home so I could cut through the wall in the basement and have access to the farm. After the block was up, pouring the pad was very labor intensive with the men having to wheel over that board several block high. Three men were on the crew for the footer and pad. I used another group for the construction of the building and the roof. Regrettably, I do not have many photos of that process.

Below you can see the complete internal skeleton. The roofing used was oversized wood to prevent the roofing nails from coming through. Standard shingles were used to match the home, and three skylights were put in with plain glass. The photo to the right below shows the interior of my home looking into the farm. There was a window that was cut down to the floor for the insertion of the doorway. Standard 2×4’s were used for the structure and Wolmanized wood for all the portions of the internal wall touching the concrete. The next step was insulation.

Being this was an extension of my home, I wanted to have it well insulated to make it easier to control cost of heating and cooling. I used R13 for the walls and R19 for the ceiling. Prior to the insulation going in, the ceiling baffles were installed. Insulating the ceiling without baffles in a vaulted roof will lead to dry rotting of the shingles in about 5 years time. The photo below shows the completed exterior of the farm. During the course of finishing the outside I had the entire back portion of my house done as well. I used a taupe-colored vinyl siding which matches the painted brick.

I only used three skylights as opposed to four which would fit but I will be adding light tubes to select tanks in-between the skylights. Besides this fact, anything more would have weakened the roof. Fast-forward a year later and in one summer, I managed to have the structure finished, and the back addition and the farm sided, and in-ground pool put in and a fence installed around the pool, which I thought may have taken too long, but we came out even. After the summer, I took a bit of a break to plan the inside of the farm and find a new contractor that specializes in interior construction. I was pleased with all of the results of the project but a bit saddened I had to give up approximately a 2 foot by 24 foot strip to make way for the variance around the sewage line. I suppose on the bright side, if I had the line run through my property, I would have neither a new space for the coral farm or a pool.

Blane Perun

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Whale in Ocean