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OT- Building a residential walk in refrigerator and meat processing room - OT

Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,266
Yep, we are building a walk in fridge under the house. 
Why?  Well, that is a long story that I will (try) to make short. 

Some of you may be aware that I know a guy who has been raising some pigs in true free range fashion over the last couple of years. They have free range over a few acres to eat what they want and we supplement the rest, being careful what we feed them.  At first I would stop by and help here and there. Then he would slaughter a pig and we would butcher it together. We would save the prime cuts, grind other cuts for ground pork, and make sausage from some of the rest. We would use as much of the animal as we could. For those of you that have done this, you know it is a lot of work; however, we both love it.  The quality of pork has been fantastic, and last year we raised sheep for the first time that was purely sublime.

Over many conversations, drinks and meals, we have realized that we that we had/have a very strong mutual interest to take the time, effort and energy to grow our meat as it was done throughout history before large scale commercial farming was a thing.

Over the last two or so years, we have found good sources to procure different types and breeds of animals: cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and of course some poultry. We have tried several breeds and have come up with our short and medium term “herd plan”.

What we quickly realized was our biggest constraint, was access to a large enough clean working space and cold storage when it was time to process an animal. Up to this point, we have been making it work with folding tables, temporary setups, and needed cold weather to create a makeshift butcher shop to process an animal or two. Things had to come together perfectly for it all to work. If not, and it was time for an animal to be slaughtered, we had to take it somewhere to have it done for us.

Instead of reacting so often, we decided to take things into our own hands to have as much control as possible. Having the animals, we needed to step up our processing game big-time and quickly.

Here is the story of the build....

This is the earliest picture we have of this space. Floor dug down to grade, and stone bed rough graded.  4” foam board and drain in the back right ready to go.


Below is immediately after the rear part of the concrete slab was poured.  We insulated the floor with the 4” foam board, then poured a 4” pad. The pipe on the back right wall is going from the drain with a macerating pump in it, which will be able to pump out any liquids and small solids when we clean the room without fear of clogging. The room slopes back toward the drain. 


Since you never know what you are going to need, or when, we also proactively ran tubing for radiant floor heating. We do not have a picture of the tubing in place, but here it is coming into the room and down to slab level. The foam board and temporary bracing was used to hold additional concrete behind it to fill in some voids. This is the part of the room which will have the least amount of insulation. 


Once the concrete cured enough, the second part of the slab was poured. This part is not going to be climate controlled, so we put foam board as a separation between the slabs. In the picture below, because the door will be to the left with the hinge on the left wall opening out, that portion had to be level. Then we added a few inches “just to be sure”. That brings us to where the 2x4 is. The section between the brick and the 2x4 has a 2” drop going away from the brick.  


Once all that was in place, we started on the walls. We used allthread so we could try to make this, the toughest wall, vertical and flat.




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Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
....just look for the smoke!
Large and MiniMax
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Comments

  • CTMikeCTMike Posts: 2,053
    Very cool start, looking forward to more pics. I put a 6x6’ walk-in in my garage, but nowhere near the room you will have. 
    MMBGE / Large BGE / XL BGE (Craigslist Find) / SF30x80 cabinet trailer - "Ol' Mortimer" / Outdoor kitchen in progress.  

    Southeastern CT. 
  • Oh Hell Yes. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • mahenryakmahenryak Posts: 1,180
    Wow.  This looks like quite the project.  Very impressive.  So, the general concept here, is that the room will be cool enough on its own, like a cold cellar, and you will be able to hang the meat and give it a good cure before cutting it up--all in this space?  Sorry, if this is painfully obvious but you also mentioned that a portion of the space would not be climate controlled so that seems to imply that part of it will be?  
    LG BGE, KJ Jr, Smokin Bros. Premier 36 



  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262

    @Sea2Ski ;  Already my favorite thread of the year.  Looking forward to following the progress, and best of luck with it.


    Phoenix 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 30,610
    Sitting back enjoying the buildout.  For some reason this also reminds me of an episode of Dexter.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • EoinEoin Posts: 2,430
    I hadn't realised from the previous pictures quite how big a project this is. Amazing job so far.
  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 17,442
    I like it!
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Die Hard HUSKER & BRONCO FAN
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,266
    mahenryak said:
    Wow.  This looks like quite the project.  Very impressive.  So, the general concept here, is that the room will be cool enough on its own, like a cold cellar, and you will be able to hang the meat and give it a good cure before cutting it up--all in this space?  Sorry, if this is painfully obvious but you also mentioned that a portion of the space would not be climate controlled so that seems to imply that part of it will be?  
    The room will not be cold enough on its own to keep and age meat, so there will be a cooling system as well. When not hanging and aging meat, we will be able to adjust the temperature as we wish for whatever we want it to be down to about 32F

    Sorry if it was not clear about which part is which.  I will get a better picture later, but let’s use this one:


    What you you can not see at the bottom of the picture is the beginning of “the space” this is where you will walk in from the driveway. From what you can see until the joist that has the light clipped to it will not be climate controlled. Using that joist, we will be using it as a header for the “front wall” which is not framed out yet. On that wall, on the left side the insulated door will be installed. Behind that door all the way to the back wall is what will be climate controlled.  
    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • ElijahElijah Posts: 345
    Why heated floors? Do you have a budget? I would love to do this one day. 
  • bangor307bangor307 Posts: 92
    Very cool! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the progress pics.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 4,774
    I like it!
    No doubt ! Clean work
    Visalia, Ca
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 19,272
    Great back story followed by insight and creativity to bring it together.  Will be following this one.  Impressive at a minimum. 
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 12,748
    Mark has lost his mind....or found mine. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 14,882
    Mark has lost his mind....or found mine. 
    Go big or go home. 
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 12,748
    Mark has lost his mind....or found mine. 
    Go big or go home. 
    Hope you feel better brother. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • mahenryakmahenryak Posts: 1,180


    What you you can not see at the bottom of the picture is the beginning of “the space” this is where you will walk in from the driveway. From what you can see until the joist that has the light clipped to it will not be climate controlled. Using that joist, we will be using it as a header for the “front wall” which is not framed out yet. On that wall, on the left side the insulated door will be installed. Behind that door all the way to the back wall is what will be climate controlled.  
    Got it.  Thank you for clarifying.  This looks like a great solution.
    LG BGE, KJ Jr, Smokin Bros. Premier 36 



  • JohnnyTarheelJohnnyTarheel Posts: 5,765
    Awesome!!  Will be watching. Thanks for sharing!!
    Charlotte, NC - Large BGE 2014, Maverick ET 733, Thermopen, Nest, Platesetter, Woo2 and Extender w/Grid, Kick Ash Basket, Pizza Stone, SS Smokeware Cap, Blackstone 36"
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,266
    Elijah said:
    Why heated floors? Do you have a budget? I would love to do this one day. 
    The heated floors gives us the option to do other things if we wish. Example: if we wat to grow sprouts or hang charcuterie to dry, we can adjust the temperature accordingly. Since every part of the build is being done by us, and for us, we stop at each part and say “is there anything else we want to add or be able to do.” and go from there.
    First it was a fridge. Then I said we should have a meat hanging rack. So we added that. Then we said we will need some tunes in there, so we just decided yesterday we are going to have speakers....  When the labor is “free” (because we like what we are doing), the materials cost is not bad.  
    So far.... it is still a bit early in the build.  

    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 6,818
    Incredible! 

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 12,748
    Sea2Ski said:
    Elijah said:
    Why heated floors? Do you have a budget? I would love to do this one day. 
    The heated floors gives us the option to do other things if we wish. Example: if we wat to grow sprouts or hang charcuterie to dry, we can adjust the temperature accordingly. Since every part of the build is being done by us, and for us, we stop at each part and say “is there anything else we want to add or be able to do.” and go from there.
    First it was a fridge. Then I said we should have a meat hanging rack. So we added that. Then we said we will need some tunes in there, so we just decided yesterday we are going to have speakers....  When the labor is “free” (because we like what we are doing), the materials cost is not bad.  
    So far.... it is still a bit early in the build.  

    So no building permit?  =)
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,104
    Sea2Ski said:
    Elijah said:
    Why heated floors? Do you have a budget? I would love to do this one day. 
    The heated floors gives us the option to do other things if we wish. Example: if we wat to grow sprouts or hang charcuterie to dry, we can adjust the temperature accordingly. Since every part of the build is being done by us, and for us, we stop at each part and say “is there anything else we want to add or be able to do.” and go from there.
    First it was a fridge. Then I said we should have a meat hanging rack. So we added that. Then we said we will need some tunes in there, so we just decided yesterday we are going to have speakers....  When the labor is “free” (because we like what we are doing), the materials cost is not bad.  
    So far.... it is still a bit early in the build.  

    So no building permit?  =)
    Crickets...
    Seriously love this effort Mark.  
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • Sea2SkiSea2Ski Posts: 3,266
    edited March 10
    northGAcock said:
    So no building permit?  =)
    Shhhhh....
    All the electrical and building codes shall be followed.

    --------------------------------------------------
    Burning lump in Downingtown, PA or diesel in Cape May, NJ.
    ....just look for the smoke!
    Large and MiniMax
    --------------------------------------------------
  • 1911Man1911Man Posts: 154
    IMO/IME, permits should only apply when you're hiring out the work to a specialist/contractor. Even then, there's plenty of times where they're not needed. Of course, there are SOME states where they want you to pull a permit to clear your toilet (with a plunger).
    Egg #1: Medium BGE with CGS Woo Ring, stone with stainless pan and Smokeware chimney cap.
    Living free in the 603 (Pelham).
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 30,610
    1911Man said:
    IMO/IME, permits should only apply when you're hiring out the work to a specialist/contractor. Even then, there's plenty of times where they're not needed. Of course, there are SOME states where they want you to pull a permit to clear your toilet (with a plunger).
    First of all, IMO bringing up permits is a total buzz-kill (not that you were the first).  Second, the reality of permits just about everywhere is that they are needed depending on the work that is done, *NOT* who does it.  Although some parts of a job must be done by licensed hvac/electrical, etc contractors.  Just about any permitted job is inspected, or is supposed to be. 

    That said, pulling permits, especially for interior modifications, needs to be weighed against the likelihood of getting caught if you didn't, and the punitive damages against homeowner.  If you know what you're doing, I'm all for sneaking work outside of a permit.

    Insofar as pulling a permit to clear a toilet, I would like to see *any* evidence of this being codified, as if that were the case, the community would literally be swimmingINshit.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • 1911Man1911Man Posts: 154
    1911Man said:
    IMO/IME, permits should only apply when you're hiring out the work to a specialist/contractor. Even then, there's plenty of times where they're not needed. Of course, there are SOME states where they want you to pull a permit to clear your toilet (with a plunger).
    First of all, IMO bringing up permits is a total buzz-kill (not that you were the first).  Second, the reality of permits just about everywhere is that they are needed depending on the work that is done, *NOT* who does it.  Although some parts of a job must be done by licensed hvac/electrical, etc contractors.  Just about any permitted job is inspected, or is supposed to be. 

    That said, pulling permits, especially for interior modifications, needs to be weighed against the likelihood of getting caught if you didn't, and the punitive damages against homeowner.  If you know what you're doing, I'm all for sneaking work outside of a permit.

    Insofar as pulling a permit to clear a toilet, I would like to see *any* evidence of this being codified, as if that were the case, the community would literally be swimmingINshit.
    Growing up my father (and us by extension since we were the labor) did a lot of alterations to our house. I only think there was one permit pulled for stuff WE did. My father did know the town inspector that would do those. I know he asked him one time if a bay window was new (in the front of the house)... Yup. Did you pull a permit. Nope. Ok, carry on. Of course, that was back in the late 70's and early 80's where things were far different than today.
    In MA, you need to pull permits for a LOT of things that you really shouldn't need to. Luckily, I no longer live there. I believe the work I had done when I move into the place I am now (I'm renting) would have required a permit in MA. Not in NH. This was a simple job of adding a pair of 240v and a pair of 120v outlets in the garage/basement. I had an actual electrician do it (that's licensed/bonded in NH). Since I'm crazy, NOT stupid and knew that I didn't want to do this myself.
    For renovations and such, in MA, you pretty much need to pull permits for EVERYTHING (dictated at state level). From what I've heard about in NH, it's more up to the town if they want you to.
    If you know what you're doing, or have a friend/relative that knows what they're doing (either by education or brain power) then I don't see the point in a lot of the permits MA wants you to pull. I can understand when it comes to major structure changes/repairs/building but not when you're not doing any changes to those. Converting part of an existing structure to a walk in cooler (and such) shouldn't require a permit. At least in a free (or non-nanny) state.
    Egg #1: Medium BGE with CGS Woo Ring, stone with stainless pan and Smokeware chimney cap.
    Living free in the 603 (Pelham).
  • I like it when I see stuff like this. You make me feel normal. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,104
    I like it when I see stuff like this. You make me feel normal. 
    But you are not either  ;)
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • bgebrent said:
    I like it when I see stuff like this. You make me feel normal. 
    But you are not either  ;)
    Not even close but I love to be able to point at others and say “see, I’m not THAT bad”. When honestly this just moves the goalpost further down the rabbit hole. It’s all
    part of the game, Brent!
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,104
    bgebrent said:
    I like it when I see stuff like this. You make me feel normal. 
    But you are not either  ;)
    Not even close but I love to be able to point at others and say “see, I’m not THAT bad”. When honestly this just moves the goalpost further down the rabbit hole. It’s all
    part of the game, Brent!
    Indeed my friend!  Let’s keep moving it.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
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