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Only days now… October 17, 2006

Posted by jeff in house.
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  Well TestYou can live weeks without food, but only days without water. Having never been on a hunger strike or a long hike in the desert, I never thought about that too much. But we’ve now been four (4!) weeks from when the last excavation was complete and when we’re ready to start again! Four weeks! Heck, you could die of hunger in that time, let alone thirst!

Now, before you take any of this blog to be too much of a rant against our builder or the house building process, you need to realize something. Our builder knows of this blog. And we like our builder. (does that earn us any brownie points Ralph?) So please don’t think this is a rant against Ralph. It’s simply an insider’s view of the process. And the process does indeed take a darn long time!

Speaking of a long time, I moved some rocks today. A couple dozen of them. I was waiting for Andy, our driller, to return so that I could give him some money. And since he wasn’t there and I was, I decided to get a little exercise for a change. So I moved some of the weathered rocks that make up the rock wall where the house will be built to the wall on the street side of the house. And in the process, I discovered why people invented machines. Rocks are heavy. Kinda helps put this thing into perspective a bit, stumbling and heaving two dozen rocks around over 15 minutes. I looked back when I was done and couldn’t even see where the rocks were amongst the leaf litter. Nor could I see any improvement in the wall. But I know I did something. And now you do too!

So where are we?

  • Water quantity and quality tests are complete.
  • Ralph’s submitted for the building permit (we had to wait for the well on this one)
  • Dave Richard’s moving his equipment back in tomorrow and hopefully improving the driveway, stumping the building site and starting to dig the hole over the next few days.

So give us a couple days and we’ll hopefully have a few more interesting photos for you. And a hole!

The Ents are getting a bit annoyed with us… September 19, 2006

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Skidder & Chipper/Trailer in useQuick update. Mitch’s timber clearing crew was at work this morning and should be done by tomorrow. The skidder is dragging the trees from their resting spots on the driveway up to the entrance clearing. The clipper operator picks the trees up and positions them so that the millable logs can be cut off by chainsaw. He then stacks the logs and grabs the remaining portions of the tree and feeds them into the chipper. I watched the chipper handle chunks up to 18 inches wide and don’t know what the max capacity is – but I was staying WAY away from it! The chips are blown into a full size tractor trailer that’s parked in the driveway entrance.

Once they get the driveway cleared, Mitch will take down the remaining valuable lumber within the house site by hand. They’ll drag it up, process it the same way, and get the timber equipment off site. Then Dave Richard goes to work again, doing the curb cut and forming the rough driveway perhaps Wed. afternoon or Thursday.

This week. It will be this week. August 19, 2006

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Okay, you heard it here folks. This is the week.

You may be asking “After having been wrong the last 7 weeks, what makes you think you stand a gnat’s chance in a hailstorm of being right?” If so, I can’t say I really blame you. Heck, I think I’m crazy too!

But I’m going to be right.

You see, this is the week Heather and my lives get a bit crazier. We start our fall sports seasons with tryouts on Thursday. I have a double session of volleyball and she’s got the first day of field hockey. You know that Murphy guy? No, he’s not trying out – he’s way too old. But he’s the one who’s going to make it happen. We all know that both the house and the season are going to kick into gear at the same time. That’s life.

“Life? Don’t talk to me about life.” – Douglas Adams, (Marvin the Paranoid Android)

Tripod rod #2So Heather and I got ready today. We sunk a couple of threaded rods into trees on property that are both:

  • Remaining standing when the rest the house site is cleared
  • Have a nice view of where that house thingy is going to eventually be

Put house hereFunny enough, these threaded rods are the same type as you’d find on a camera tripod, so now our camera screws into the trees. Solid enough for ya? The goal is to be able to take the same photo day after day and create some time-lapse movies of the build. The really cool thing, of course, will be to play it backward!

So, we talked to our builder and mortgage company yesterday and are ready to roll on Monday. Next week. You heard it here first (7 weeks ago).

What’s it look like now? Just like this. Without the house, of course. But soon. Very, very, very soon…

We have to pick a porch *ceiling* color? August 15, 2006

Posted by Heather in house, paint & color, Uncategorized.
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calhoun200x260.jpgCaught this on NPR about painting porch ceilings blue:

Some reasons

  1. looks like sky
  2. reflects light
  3. keeps bugs away
  4. keeps evil spirits away

Don’t think a blue ceiling is in our porches future…but we’re breaking ground tomorrow *wink, wink*

We’ll be breaking ground next week! Again. August 12, 2006

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Getting all your ducks in a row always takes longer than you hope. It’s the rule. And there really are no exceptions. You’d think it’d be the last little squidgy duckling or two that would be the trouble, but sometimes it’s the ones up front who are waddling crookedly.

So it’s next week. Again.

The thing you have to realize it that this is a good thing. If we were up and running, having broken ground and starting knocking over trees, rolling rocks, etc., things would be far worse. We’d still have delays. Delays happen. Just like sh*t. But then we’d be paying interest on the delays. And saying sh*t! instead.

So the obvious moral of the story is to tape your ducks to a straightedge, cause squidginess costs money. The secondary moral is that using words correctly just isn’t enough fun. Squidgy actually means ‘soft, pliant, and sometimes soggy’. I like my usage better, whatever it was. That’s not really a second moral, but it fits in well.

South elevation rough blueprintBack to the house. We ran numbers again with Ralph on Friday and are within about $15K of our goal. Since that includes all the details down to the paint and trim, we’re quite psyched! The plan is now to finally line up the site work contractor and get the curb cut done on Wednesday (that’s taking a bunch of land near the street and pushing it down the hill a bit so that the drilling truck can get access.) Curb cut, drilling, then building permit and kick it into high gear.

We know it’s the sixth week we’ve been saying it’s next week. And we’re okay with that. Are you?

Surely you can see the progress we’ve made? August 2, 2006

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Well, it’s the 5th week in a row that I’ve answered “We’re breaking ground this week,” when asked how the house is coming! While there’s certainly been progress, it’s not quite the literally earthmoving type of progress we’d been hoping for.

Get'cher house heah!The good news is that things are still moving forward. Financing is moving forward and our builder has gotten his 4th site work quote. 4 quotes? Sure – the first 3 would have blown our budget a bit out of whack, so hopefully this 4th one will be the one we need to get things rolling. Ralph’s been doing all the logistics, lining up the subs, talking with the town, planning his own schedule. Now it’s time to get things rolling.

‘Cause we’re breaking ground. This week.

all systems… June 30, 2006

Posted by Heather in house, Uncategorized.
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go?

 We talked with our builder last night, and things could start moving soon! Instead of words like…sometime soon, or next month, Ralph was talking next week! This is good.

We move this weekend to a new abode, to make it easier for J to work and to keep this place clean! It will be odd to be living in an apartment again…been a LONG time since either of us have done that! But, it is for the best.

Stuff we need to figure out (in no particular order)

The game is afoot! June 29, 2006

Posted by Heather in house, Uncategorized.
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A few years ago we started talking about building our own home. While Jeff was hiking the Appalachian Trail, I came across this book The Not So Big House, and fell in love with one of the houses, The Maple Forest Cottage. While off the shelf, it was not what we needed (too big) many of the ideas and aesthetics were exactly what we wanted.

So, we’ve found some land, found a builder and have put our place on the market. We hope to break ground this summer. This is where we hope to chronicle this adventure, for better or worse!