Sunday, August 20, 2017

And the House Build is Started

Yesterday Hal rented a bobcat with 24" and 18" augers. We have to dig several 36", 30", 24" and 18" wide holes for the concrete footings which will support the frame of the house. As 24" was the biggest auger we could get we have to dig them out wider. The soil is clay and very hard. We hired a neighbor to help yesterday but he wasn't available today so we continued digging the holes wider by ourselves. The holes need to be about 21-24 inches deep though the plans call for 18" deep footers. A little extra concrete in the footings doesn't hurt.

Photos from yesterday.
attaching the 24" auger

Hal getting ready

The first hole
Today Hal and I worked on making them wider and perfecting the ones our friend dug out yesterday.
Hal digging

Lots of holes

removing dirt
If it doesn't rain tomorrow we will need to dig some more.

Tiger Game

Went to the baseball stadium the night of the 9th. The Tigers were playing Pittsburgh. The Tigers haven't been doing well but we were treated to a near no-hitter. Justin Verlander was pitching and the final score was 10 to 0!  Had a blast with Hal's sister, older brother and his wife. Tried out my ZS-50 from our seats in row 13 behind the Pittsburgh dugout.


Hicks hit a standup double and advance to 3rd on an error




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Batter Boards and Post Hole Marking

A couple days ago Hal and I started marking post holes with orange spray paint. We ran out and had to quit till he bought more the other day and finished them up himself. Yes, he's walking around again, the gout that delayed him for 3 weeks has mostly abated, and he's back to work.

The first day we marked the holes we had the pups with us. Even though the weather was so hot it was hard to get them to stay in the shade of the golf cart. I turned the well on and let it run into the ditch for their enjoyment but I had to take them there several times as they wouldn't leave my side. Though I know they liked being with me and not alone at home I left them home yesterday. They will stay home until this hot weather breaks.
Hot Luna and Ziggy
There are a lot of post holes and we will be renting a skid steer with auger to dig the actual holes. Unfortunately 12 of the holes have a 36" diameter and we can only get a 24" auger around here so the sidewalls will have to be widened by hand. He will probably hire the grandson of Mrs J to help with that.
Back wall holes marked
In the meantime we managed to place 3 batter boards. I cut the lumber into 30" and 36" pieces, we both used the manual post hole digger to dig holes to a depth of 18" and, as you can see, screwed the long piece to legs using the shorter pieces and buried them in the holes. Two sets of these must be placed perpendicular to the walls at each corner of the house. We will run strings around them to square up the walls. We need at least 12 of these but it is very hot, humid, and in 4 hours we only got 3 done. There is one in the back of this photo on the left side. The weather isn't any better today but now that we have a system down, maybe we can manage a few more.
batter boards at the northeast corner

Staining Hiatus

I stained one coat on the west side of the house north of the chimney. It needs 2 coats though I think it looks pretty good with one. But I had to stop as it was so hot I was on the verge of passing out on the ladder. So I thought I would wait till it cools off a little which is supposed to happen Wednesday after thunderstorms move through. Highs in the 70s will be much nicer than the high 80s. But now I see there is rain possible every day for a week which will keep the humidity high as well so it might take longer to get it done. However, I can always start cleaning the north wall. It will be shadier, though buggier, and not requiring the tall ladder.

So until then I can help Hal with the barn-home build. And how is that going you might ask? Next post.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Exterior House Staining

It took me 2 days to clean the front side of the house. Lots of standing on ladders, lots of scrubbing, 2 days worth in fact spread over a week because of the constant rain. But it got done, and when it finally dried up enough I taped plastic over all the windows, front door, exterior lights, deck, etc and stained. Two coats were required. I finished about 7:30 that night. Cleaned up the next day. It looks a lot better, it looks waterproof in fact, nice and shiny and sort of plasticky. I swore never again would I stain a wall, screw the other 2, we'll just sell the house "as is".

A few weeks later (delayed due to tendonitis of the knee, aka "runner's knee") I tackled the west side which took a much taller ladder as it's a gable end. That also took 2 days, I have to go back to Alpena and Home Depot to buy more stain before I can actually finish. Not looking forward to getting back up 20 feet in the air to finish that top section, but it has to be done. Then I have to find the energy to tackle the north wall which, though shorter in height, is 48 feet long.

I will be so happy when it's done!