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, June 25, 2012


It strikes me so funny when I tell someone that I am hiring the contractors, getting the materials, etc. and they are so shocked.

The look that came over two people today was like that of disbelief or shock.

I try to explain what I am doing -something about the process-and it is more like I am speaking another language.

It makes me think that people overseeing the building of their own homes is a dying art.
When I grew up the neighbors all built their own homes, or built them with their families.

Then it sort of shifted to homeowners hiring a local carpenter type to do it.

Nowadays, it seems one hires a general contractor-large building company- to do it all and the landowner just moves in when it is finished in four to five months.

I am proud of myself for doing this even though I have wanted to quit a million times. I also think perhaps I am too romantic for my own good-having the idea that building ones own home was a romantic ideal. lol

Are you too dreamy for your own good?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day off

I realized to day I have a floating holiday to use this week! I will probably take the day off the day they pour the foundation walls.

Last week the excavator fine-tuned the site inside the hole. He spread the stone really neatly properly level inside the footings and sloped outside the footings. He removed every bit if stone on the top of the footings, too.

He called me Wed morning and said he finished up and the site is ready for the foundation walls to be put in. I left the concrete guy a message on his cell and at home.

Concrete guy called yesterday afternoon and said he was dropping the forms off at he site just then. The truck arrived while we spoke so it was a quick call.

He did say, however, that he was hoping to have the walls finished the end of this week.

End of the week? This coming week? He said yes. I don't know why it has moved slowly this week on his end, but it gives me time to do laundry, etc.

What are you doing the end of this coming week?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trench gone

This pic is the corner of the frost wall and footings. I am looking down into the hole. The trench was filled in with shale and then stone next to walls for proper drainage.

Remember how this looked when it was all open? The frost wall is 4' deep under this material. The edge of the hole is at the bottom of the pic and the far right.

New look

The #2 stone is laid in, but not quite finished yet. The excavator said he has some finishing to do. He is a real perfectionist and I am blessed to have him on this project.

It was so strange to pull in to the building site Saturday night and see the hole all one level now. The trenches are closed up with shale and stone. There is drain tile around the footings, now, under the stone.

The longer wall in this pic is the frost wall where the walkout basement (daylight wall) will be.

You can see that the frost wall is all filled in and it looks just like the footings all away around now except the frost wall has 3" of anchor bolts sticking up instead of a foot of rebar like on the sides which are exposed footings.

Blogger help

Does anyone know what I can do to remove the Blogger icon behind my profile name? I have sent Blogger feedback twice, removed my profile, shortened my name, etc. and nothing is working. On other blogs it shows just a b before the name whereas mine shows bbbbbbbb under my name.

It wasn't like that originally and I don't know what made it change a couple of months ago.

Let me know if you have ideas or can help.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The excavator was on site when I showed up today. I was excited about that. I thought I would be checking to see if the frost wall forms had been removed, yet, and then call the excavator to come out with #2 stone.

He has great timing. He said based on my message to him yesterday, he came out with a load of stone which was already on the ground when I arrived.

Frost wall

The frost wall was poured yesterday and the forms were taken off today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Radon mitigation vent

The phone rang

The concrete guy called me after I left him a message this morning. Turns out it wasn't job juggling at all. His brother, who is a partner, was sick with cellulitis.


He said they are pouring the frost wall this afternoon.

Contractor job juggling

The excavator is waiting for the concrete guy to come and pour the frost wall. It was inspected on Thursday and I haven't heard from the concrete guy since.

We are starting to pace the building site.

I left the concrete guy a message this morning asking him to let me know when he is coming back and that the excavator needs his machine on another job next week.

Let's hope concrete guy gets back to me today with good news. I think he took a bigger job.

How do you juggle jobs? Biggest money first? First commitment first?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Too comfy to get up

I had a choice to make, 4" PVC perforated pipe or perforated corrugated pipe. I went with the corrugated.
My friend, Dean, came out and hooked me up! He cut the pipe at each corner and put in an elbow pipe. He also tied it all into a T connector and put a stub pipe of 4" PVC that will go up through the concrete floor.

It all went really well despite my best efforts to stay in bed until the latest possible moment and an unplanned and unnecessary stop at Lowes which made me later than I wanted to be.

Plus my stopping along the road to call my friend Patty, his wife, (left message) to tell her I would be there at 9:30 and then again when I pulled off the road when she called me back.

Might be time to get a hands free device. lol

So, all in all, once at the building site the project went really well. I forgot to bring duck tape and he had some in his truck. We needed a short piece of 4" PVC and the excavator had left a piece on site. We needed a T connector and my friend had one at his garage which I had gotten the day before.

My friend has done a lot of construction and he gave me a ton of tips and good advice.

What good advice have you gotten lately?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend research on Radon

The problem of radon has come up a number of times through my building process. I kept considering it, but not fully acting on it beyond asking for a quote on setting up the vent in the sub-slab. I asked some people about it and some brought it up to me.

On Thursday as the frost wall forms were in place, I asked the building inspector what he thought. He thought I should do it and had said he meant to tell me that the week before.

I spent Saturday fine tuning my letter to the draftsperson that was no good. The letter is asking for him to return my money. I haven't mailed it yet, but probably will do so tomorrow.

Then, I read info on radon. I read some on Friday, too. I looked online and spent time reading the voluntary code. Today, same thing. I was tired of staying in and I wanted to get out, but needed to finish reading about it.

I finally left home and went to my friends garage sale before I was to go to the lumber store to buy the vent pipes. Thank God I saw my friends, because the husband use to do Radon mitigation!
So after he gave me solicited advice on how to do it, he said he would do it!

I offered to hire him and he said he would come tomorrow to set the pipe. I have to run out in the morning to get the materials.

What surprise did you get this weekend?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Basement toilet

After much thought and absolutely no experience, I have decided to do a pump-up all-in-one system.
I have a lot of slope, but not quite enough to get the toilet in the basement without sinking the septic tank up to 8'. It would also need pipes under the concrete floor which means elbows and more time and more money, etc.

The plumber said it would cost more to do all under concrete floor plumbing than to use the pump unit.

The excavator is concerned about the depth for the tank. It would have to have a tower to the grade and he could hit rock in the dig. So, that also could cost more. It is all definitely more labor for all of it.

The pump system is sort of camp/boat-like to me and not a first choice, but considering the entire basement bathroom project it is the simplest, most affordable and seemingly most practical.

What are you doing today with no experience?

Digging shale

Last week's action

Monday, June 4, 2012

Crazy good week

The foundation hole is finished. Neat.

Excavator pushed off the topsoil last Saturday, dug on Sunday until the fuel line broke and came back on Tuesday and finished the hole.

Memorial Day, bro and I cut and cleared a huge maple tree and he cut a couple of pine down.

I found tick bite Mon. night (yes, again) and got Doxy on Wed. for it.

This Sunday, concrete guys placed all footing forms and I met up with a plumber at the site. And...a framer left an estimate.

All is moving forward.


Digging and more digging

Digging foundation hole