Friday, August 19, 2011

Two men and a lot of work!

Dave and I thought we'd be moved in by now, and we'd have time to get this work done while living in the house. In theory, finishing one end of the basement sounded much easier and quicker than finishing the whole house. And I'm sure it will be, however, it is still taking longer than we thought it would. We decided we'd better get some of this outside work done now, before the snow starts coming down again.

We've never built a house before, so we are learning a lot. And when I say built a house, I mean we are building it not having it built. Funny thing I met some people last summer who said they "built their own house too". When I started asking them questions about heating, duct work, carpentry...well they had to have this done and that done and they were under time deadlines etc. They did not build their own house.

However, if you have been watching this blog from the beginning, you know that we did have the basement poured, the walls framed, the siding and roof put on by others. And let me say just about everything done by others have had a problem somewhere along the line. So far, and thankfully, nothing huge wrong, but still, things needed to be changed or repaired.

So, let's get on with it.

This is the walk-out basement area..the area we plan on living in while finishing the house.

See in the above photo how high the dirt is against the bottom of the house? Too high. And that's how it was left after they finished the basement.

And this is what happens in the walk-out area every time it rains. At times, when it was raining last spring, we were afraid the basement was going to flood.

A neighbor of ours has a backhoe," backhoe man", and offered to lower the dirt level, grade it, and make a drive to the walk-out. No more sliding down the hillside trying to unload the car!

Now you see where the dirt is against the house. Much lower. We plan on putting some little gravel there, then put old bricks on over the gravel. (remember, I'm having a brick-moving party) That will raise the level a bit, but it shouldn't flood.

This is another load of gravel. Gravel costs about $300 a truckload.

Now...see this hillside. This has been a huge concern to us for the last several months. We decided to get it taken care, while backhoe man is in the mood to do it, and then maybe we'll stop waking up at 3:00 a.m. every time it rains, wondering if the hill was in the driveway.

The first problem...see the drainage tile coming out of the hillside? I didn't think so.

See it now? Yup..buried in the mud. The job for this tile is to drain water away from the house. But every time it rains, the tile gets filled with mud. Do you know how many times Dave has dug this thing out?

We have one on both sides, behind both retaining walls.

So, backhoe man pulled the dirt away from the retaining wall, and we filled it with gravel.

Dave cleaned out the old drainage tile, which was full of mud, and also put in another tile. The new drainage tile drains down the hillside, not in the walkout area.

Fixing the drainage problem helped with the water, but also by putting gravel behind the wall, this winter when the soil freezes and thaws, hopefully the wall won't fall in. Because see here, it has a big crack in it. This was done when the electrical was put in, but we didn't notice it right away. It's noticeable now, after last winter with the freezing and thawing.

Here's the other problem with this hillside....

The gravel driveway... at around $300 a truckload, I think we needed about ten for the driveway. When you gravel a driveway you don't just put down this smaller gravel to begin with. You put down the bigger rocks...Then after they get packed in, you put down gravel. (If you don't believe me, walk in our neighbors driveway after a rain. You will sink!)

And because of the hill right above our driveway, what once looked like this,

now looks like this :-(

and this...

And every time it rains, and you drive on it, mud gets all over your car. It's a mess as you can tell. But until we fix and seed this hillside, there is no need to put gravel back in the driveway.

And that folks is why we decided to get this project done. Well....and Mr. Backhoe man has been very generous donating his time. He's the same guy that yanked the trees in the last post. We found out that the ONE tree would have cost us around $1500.00.

Only thing is, backhoe man has a tendency to dig up power lines....

Yup...that'd be two men, beer, a backhoe, and Duke energy!

They got it fixed within two hours...Dave helped.

So did backhoe man.

Here's how it's looking so far. Not bad eh?

In the meantime, Dave has wired the entire now we can turn on lights in every room downstairs!

He also put lots of wires in the ceiling.

and duct work preparation...

and water line...

and viola'!!! A ceiling!!!!!



  1. On the bright side...I see progress and progress is good!!

  2. WOW lots of work has been done and you are seeing work done!
    Chin up:::as they keep telling me;::the job will get done :( just not fast enough
    Looking good!
    the cuzin