Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Check it out folks!!!

We still have a little work to do today and we'll be seeding it tonight...hopefully.


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 basement...so 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!!!!!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Enclosed the basement

This is the main level of the house, not the basement. But, by putting up the o.s.b. here, on the main level, we have enclosed the basement. It was too damp down there. And that is a temporary door btw. One we had sitting around for some reason. Who knows why. I certainly don't.

So now our basement is enclosed and there are two dehumidifiers running in it.

And that's the way it's been since July 2, when we started working on the yard. "What do you mean", you ask? Well, we have not worked IN the basement living area... much. A little, but not a lot, which is frustrating. We have worked on things or issues concerning the basement and the living area. Like the yard issue. They left the area of yard around the basement too high, so we have worked in the yard trying to get it leveled out so water would not keep pooling against the house. And yes our neighbor is doing the backhoe work, but he needs help doing certain things. Which takes Dave out of the basement.

And we are working on the mud issue so we don't lose our entire yard in the driveway.
And the dampness issue, which I just discussed.
And the lighting issue. Dave wired the entire basement because there were certain rooms that didn't have power yet, therefore, no lights, and it was frustrating (have I used that word twice in this post?) not being able to see.

We did insulate the pantry, insulate the water pipes, plug a hole in the wall in the basement (don't even ask) and move a doorway that goes into the bathroom, and put up some lighting in the basement, but none of that was done in the living area of the basement. But all of this takes time...lots of time.

And then there's the color issue. blues...greens...I'm tired of green. I have green in the house I live in now. I'm into blues....but not these blues...so I'll keep trying.

In the meantime, the house progress is moving forward...

very s l o w l y.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lake house?

We bought this for the basement kitchen area a couple of months ago.

BUT....one day a couple of weeks ago my friend and I were going to an estate sale, and I noticed this by the curb in a front yard! WHAT? Is it trash? "TURNAROUND!" I shout out!

so she did.

Because that sink was on top of this.....

Which was on top of this!!!

You HAVE to read THIS POST. You just have to. Not even all of it...just the part about the laminate top and how I want this area to look like a lake house.

Could this be something someone doesn't want anymore? Something to furnish a 'lake house' perhaps? Naah, there was a sign on it. $75.00

But, a couple of days later I finally get Dave to stop and look at it. Because $75.00 is still a good deal. When he stopped the owner was mowing and said, "I'm sure tired of mowing around this thing." Dave said, "help me load it in my truck and you won't have to!" He gave it to us!!!!

The laminate top is a blue-green color! Seriously folks...you gotta go back and click on this post.

Take a look inside....I just need to wash it down a bit....

and paint it....or leave it as is now....or paint it.....or leave it.....either way....I'm gettin' a lake house, sort of, by a pond, so is it a pond house????

And the white one has been returned!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Two Men, Some Beer, and a Backhoe...

As you can see, Backhoe man was right, but I will never tell him that! He has the hillside smoothed out pretty nice. We'll be planting some grass seed someday soon and some trees/bushes in the fall.

This is one of the trees we took out. The biggest one.

That tree was gonna come down sooner or later, with or without our help.

The 'road' leading from the back of the driveway to the walkout basement. It'll get covered in gravel someday soon.

You can drive up to the walk-out now, which I have to admit is very nice. You can see in this picture, in the upper left corner how long our actual driveway is. This driveway was already here when we bought the land, but it was covered in weeds. We cleared it and had gravel hauled in. Then they tore up the yard when building the house, installing the septic, well, gas line, electric, etc. The grass that was there (that we also cleared and planted when we bought the land) ended up buried under the piles of mud. And when it kept raining and raining, the mud started going into the driveway. then weeds started growing in it, and you couldn't plant grass seed again because it needed smoothed out. It's looking good now.

This is the walkout area. We are going to landscape it eventually. We still need to have that brick moving party in order to landscape this area. My cousin Troy will be home soon, I think we'll have the 'party' then! Anyway, we are going to put old brick down for the patio area which is up by the door, then plant some sort of bushes for a divider line and privacy. See where the 2x6's run parallel to the house. That's where the bushes will go. We'll have other plans in the other raised beds. Herbs, roses, red honeysuckle.....We'll put gravel in for the parking area. The frames that Dave built are to keep the gravel out of the plant area, since we won't be planting anything or building the patio until after we are moved in. We will, however, need the gravel put in before it starts raining again.

It seems everything has to be done NOW, and before this and before that, and it feels we are never going to get moved into that basement. I'm getting discouraged. I do keep reminding myself that we are moving forward.