I am building my first home. Lucky me because it is in the woods! It is an adventure I surely will not forget.

Me with Rory

Monday, April 30, 2012

Change of plans

How many times can one change items on house plans?

I approved the plans on Friday knowing they weren't quite the window sizes I wanted, but I was too embarrassed to ask the draftsperson to change them again.

So, I bugged out over it all afternoon and through the weekend, but I was swamped and couldn't focus. This morning I sent him some emoticons and a few apologies and let him know I had been too embarrassed to ask - and then - I asked.

Please take out two particular foundation windows and please change the width from 38 to 34 on the #1, #3, and #4 house windows.


I hope he has a sense of humor. I mean, once I say I approve them the draftsperson starts printing them up to get stamped. He also makes an appointment with the engineer to stamp them. In my case it is a $50 charge to change anything after that. I hope the draftsperson hadn't already printed them, or actually best case scenario is that he was out on Friday.

How many changes would you make?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I am sooooo exhausted. I want to quit this project so many times. It is stressful and it doesn't move along at all and then it moves along so fast I have to hold on to my truck bumper to keep up.

Yesterday, I got a call from the guy who had the 8" culvert who was going to call when he got in extra 12" culvert which was supposed to be the next day. I didn't hear from him, but other things kept me busy. I had just been thinking about looking for his number and calling him to see what happened and then he called me.

Next, I picked up my truck from Toyota dealership, yes, another recall on Tacoma frames can-you-believe-it? Then Harbor Freight for ratchet staps, cable, more padlocks. Next home for quick phone calls, food, water and out the door.

Met guy with 8' tube gate, bought it $35. Drove to property, met sister, met a different concrete guy, unloaded gate at property with sis, went for walk with sis, then went many miles away and got 12" x 20' brand-new plastic culvert $100. from that guy who called me in the morning.

Drove back to property after stopping for directions, off-loaded, chained it up, covered it with brush, back home, tick check, shower, tick check, TV, bed.

I could not sleep. I was so worn out and could not sleep. My brain would not turn off.

In bed, I realized the way I chained the culvert was ridiculous. I wrapped a 4' chain around the middle and just randomly clicked on a padlock. But it wasn't snug or wrapped tight. I left 4' just loose and clicked the ends together.

Duh! I'll be back out there today.

Still tired.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Am I there yet?

The house plans may be finished. I say may be because until that permit is in my hands you never know.

I have proofread them, except the fastener section, that one I skimmed. I don't want to look up all the info on fasteners, so there you go.

I have been working on these plans for far too long. Longer than any home owner should ever work on plans. I have been a student of architecture instead of as an observer.

On the flip side of my obsession, though, is that I have friends who have had their houses under construction and they tell me they don't want this wall or those windows, etc. I am hoping to avoid as many change orders as I can. So, all the time I spent on the plans (years) is paying off because i know most every aspect of the construction by heart. And I know what materials are going where, etc.

Fingers crossed that they will be on there way to the Engineer for a stamp tomorrow or Friday.

Are you tired of working on any particular aspect of your project?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wishing they hadn't

On Saturday I noticed that my wishing well was gone! Someone brazenly walked in my property and stole it.

I am crushed. If only you knew how much it meant to me, how long it took for me to find one I could afford...

I called the town police and they came right out.

The next day, I realized I had taken 'before' pictures of the shed area. I looked in my mess of desktop icons and finally found Friday and Thursday's pictures. Only to discover the wishing well was already gone on Thursday. Last time I can swear I saw it was on Easter.

In a ten day window, someone took it.

I knew I had a picture of it and soon enough I found some really good ones. I have been putting up flyers and have notified the neighboring town cops and the State Police.

If you see it, please let me know ASAP.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Concrete foundation guy

One of the two concrete guys I have been considering came out to the property yesterday. He looked over the house plans and site.
He chatted a bit with the excavator who was there clearing and it looked like they sort of knew each other and got along.
He was supposed to bring foundation window samples, forgot, but had one large one in his car. From him there seem to be two choices. One wooden framed (basically vinyl window with wood frame) and vinyl (which I didn't see) where instead of the wood frame he said it is plastic. The latter being $40.00 more. Huh? I thought they would be less.
The wood frame is cedar and comes in two sizes.
It all went pretty well and then he left.
The downside to him is he sends guys out to site and he actually won't be there. I hate that. He said he won't be there for the footings and I am not sure if he is there for all of the form setting and pouring or part of it. The upside is a ton of people know his name and no one has a bad thing to say about him.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Leach field

Don't forget, all the dump truck videos I just showed you with the sand and the excavator moving sand is all from July 2010.


Keeping up with the trucks. Some hydraulic hoses blew and that slowed things down a bit. It all turned out well as I dug holes for the perc tests, and passed. We will add more sand, etc. after I get the trenches dug and pipes in, etc.

Dumping sand

32 truck loads of septic sand.
So far...
That was July 2010, when I work on it again to add pipes, etc. I will be getting some more.

More and more dump trucks

The underbelly.

Dump trucks

These trucks are from 2010 when I left off on the blog. It was when I had Lyme and then stopped blogging.
I have tons of pictures and video, so I just posted one and there will be more.

Stumping begins

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Caterpillar arrives

Guess what was waiting for me at the Hill today? Yowsa. The new excavator guy, new from last years no-show guy, said he was going to bring over the machine today. He may start stumping tomorrow or Saturday. Let's hope so.
This thing is huge isn't it? He has to dig out some huge stumps and a ton of not so huge ones. He has to move logs and take down some trees.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Excavator returned my latest message (which I left today) and said he is bringing his machine over tomorrow and start digging stumps out Fri/Sat. Yeah! I will have to go out there and get some video of it. I asked him to leave some holes from stumps (I marked) for me to put bushes in. lol Because it is way toooooo hard to dig and plant more than an inch or two with all that shale and barely any topsoil. Excavator guy, said I can leave all the messages I want. lol

And, concrete guy said he is coming out Saturday at noon to look at site, show me window samples, look at new plans, etc. I talked to him at length last year, but we never met and since the plans have been redrawn I have to give him a new set. He wants me to call him in the morning to remind him.

Broken promise

I know I broke my most recently made promise to you all that I would resume my blog. :(
But, I am here! Yahoo.
So much happens so fast.
I have been waiting for an excavator to start stumping.
I called him in February, saw him in March, was supposed to start last Monday, said he couldn't and would call, left him a message...
How many messages do you think is appropriate? Not stalking or insane message leaving?
One a week.