Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Bit of Everything Today

Mom and I went out to the acerage this morning with intentions of building on the basement floor some more. But once we were out there, something made me think that I should work on the sewage treatment mound first. It just seemed like something that should get done soon, before a bunch of snow dumps or something. So we flattened out the rest of the expensive sand in to a 400 square foot area. 10 x 40 feet. Then spread a layer of tile rock on top of that. The next step will be to istall two rows of perforated pipe down the length of the mound and connect it all to the pump out hose that can be seen in the picture. Then more gravel over that, some straw, fill, and topsoil. And don't forget the grass seed that gets sprinkled on top of that. I could'nt remember just how much gravel needs to be on the mound, so we were kinda guessing today. It should be close, but I may need to add a little more yet. I feel it was a pretty productive day and I am really glad that I got this portion of the mound done. Now I have room to haul some more gravel in, if the time is right.

We covered the mound with a tarp in case it snows and to keep all the leaves off etc.

Then we proceeded to do some more building on the basement floor. We're still beefing it up a bit. I am in the process of installing blocking between the joists. Before heading home for the day, we decided to winterize the RV. I just know that one of these nights it is going to drop well below freezing. It was dark and lightly snowing when we headed for town.
The month of October is going to be pretty interesting. I'm sure it is going to fly by even quicker than all the rest this summer. I will be moving out of my home in town by the end of October. One month. It is going to be pretty interesting. The place I live in needs a bit of TLC before the renter moves in. Just a few little things, but I need to be packed up and out. All the while trying to get as much done out at the acerage also, so that I can actually survive out there in my 8 x 24 shack on wheels. lol.. I am so mixed up at the moment, I'm not real sure what to do first. lol. I can't really see me moving into the new house by that time, so I guess I should maybe concentrate on getting the shack setup first, then it just dos'nt matter. I kinda wish it was about the 1st of June today. I would also like to have the main floor on and the basement backfilled before alot snow and cold hits. It's going to be interesting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Basement Floor Framing

I'm not real sure where the time went today. I was going like crazy all day and before I knew it, it was getting close to dark. From yesterdays picture to this, it really dos'nt look like much got done. But I feel that quite alot got accomplished today. Mom was out today giving me a hand, it helped out alot. We got it all squared up and into the final position, before nailing every joist to every 2x4 sleeper under the plastic. That kinda joins things to the footings. Even if I find that it is unsquare or something, it is not going to get rectified now. I still need to beef this baby up a bit, as this floor is going to hold the walls from squeezing inward when I back fill the basement. Just an update.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tomatoe Crop and the Floor Construction

Saturday was kind of a write off although I did manage to bring in all my tomatoes for fear of frost, and it did freeze that night(next morning). That is my whole gardening experience for the summer. lol. Next summer I will expand a bit. I did go out to the acerage on Saturday, but the sky was'nt looking all that promising. I did'nt even want to pull the tarps off my project for fear of rain. And it did rain, and blow, and it was colder than heck. I thought this would be a good time to test my new to me bunk house. I wanted to know if I would even try to live in there for awhile this fall/winter. I lit the furnace, grabbed my newspaper and a cold near beer, and relaxed. It took a little while for the furnace to warm the shack up, but once it was warm, she was cozy. I even peeled off my coat had a power snooze on one of the bunks, even though there was'nt even a mattress. The little shack is pretty plain, but I kinda like it. I'm getting to be pretty sure that it is going to become my new home as of November 1, while I build on my cabin. I don't think my house will be quite ready to move into by then, and I think that my house in town is going to be rented out. I don't know for sure, but I think so. I have a funny feeling that I'm going to be a true blue homesteader in no time. I'll have to figure out a way to warm up the seat in the outhouse. lol.

There's all my bigger tomatoes............... Now what?

And all my little cherry tomatoes.

This is what I was doing on Friday, until the rain came and shut me down.

This is what happend today. There are alot of things that need to be done to this floor yet. But at least there is some nailing happening. Thats what I like to see. I have to go into town and get some supplies in the morning. I changed my mind on the floor from 24 inch centers to 16 in centers, so I will need a few more 2x6's and I'll need to get some different insulation to fit between the joists.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cistern and some Building Supplies.

Wednesday was going to be a productive day in the building departement. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. I went and picked up my culvert for water storage, then I went over to the lumber yard and bought my lumber. Then as I was waiting for my load, the phone rang, and I just knew that I should have dropped it on the ground and stomped on it, but instead, like a moron, I answered it. There went my day of building as I had to go to work, and there is no way that they could have possibly lived without me. lol.
I was able to get an earlier start this morning, but I did have to go and put a deposit on my trusses that I ordered. The day was windy. I had 5 packs of insulation all bundled into one and was laying loose inside the culvert. When I started down the hiway, I seen the wind pick up the bundle and haul it away. It hit the hiway and did a few bounces and rolls, and to my amazement, it all hung together in the bundle. I had visions of yellow insulation blowing all over a farmers field and the hiway, but I got lucky I guess. I can't even believe the wind picked that up. It is insulation, but it is pretty heavy the way it packed tightly like that. I had to go and get it out of the ditch, and it was hard work getting it back on. This time I tied it all down.

I did'nt get around to working with the wood at all. It was pretty windy and I just felt more like getting that cistern out of the way today. I had to finish digging the hole and drop it in there. That took the rest of the day.
I am hearing some nasty rumors about some snow supposed to be coming on about Tuesday. Not really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Almost Ready for Wood

This is where I am at with my project. I hav'nt done much since this, because of just a touch of bad weather(not major bad), an auction sale set me back about a day, and my pay job also set me back a bit. Today I was getting a bunch of quotes on lumber and other goodies, then I picked up my new shack and hauled it out there. I did a bit of digging for my water storage, but did'nt quite get it done when darkness came. In the morning I should be picking up a culvert cistern and some lumber and hopefully getting a good start on the basement.
This is how all the piping is connected to the sump. If ever you are building your own home, this is NOT a real common way of doing things.

Some of my green tomatoes at home in town. I am trying to leave them on the plants as long as possible, but I also am prepared to bring them in soon as old jack frost should be sneakin around the corner sometime soon. This is my first time growing tomatoes and there are some pretty good sized ones hiding in there somewhere.

I went auction saleing, and look what I found. It is quite possible that I will be giving my town home up to a renter on Nov 1. It's not written in stone, but if it does happen, I am now prepared. It is not even close to being fully loaded, but it does have a propane heater and stove, along with some other goodies. My RV is not really designed for the winter conditions, but this thing will get me by for awhile. I will be roughin it though. It does have a kitchen sink, but no running water. Even if I don't rent my place out in town until the spring, this will be handy to have as a place to relax and warm up etc. while building.
The last few days I hav'nt been around very much. I stayed out at the acerage for a couple nights, then I went to the auction sale, then to work on my pay job. Tonight, I am going to sleep in my own bed for a change. I did have a glance at a few blogs, but I did'nt seem to have much time for commenting to many.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Larger Sump required.

I kinda thougt that digging my sump earlier was easier than it should have been. I did a little research this morning, and I found that maybe the sump liner I was going to put in my sump, was not quite big enough. There is the old one and the new one I bought just today sitting side by side. My digging was far from over.
I did finally get it dug in there. I sure have been getting alot of exercise lately. I guess it is probably good for me that way.

Outside of the footings before the grout. This is'nt the worst of it, but it gives a bit of an idea.

This is some of the new cement grout I put in along the outside of the footings in an attempt to keep water from sitting right next to the footings. I have just a little more to do right in the very front. I honestly think that this was well worth the time.
And in other news, today I thought I had lost a friend for ever. Traction went missing in action. Traction, my dog, is almost 9 years old. She has started acting kinda weird awhile back when ever she hears gun fire, or at least I have noticed recently. Even when it is along ways away. It is almost as if she had been shot at before. Anyway, today the neighbor across the creek started doing some major target blasting. I can remember looking at traction, a quick glance when it first started and I reasured her that it is alright. But I was deeply involved with my cementing and went on with the task at hand. A while later I noticed Traction was no where to found. That is really odd of her not to come when I whistle. After a couple hours passed, I really started to think I was never going to see her again. Well I decided I was going to sleep there for the night, incase she did show up. I was sitting there, kinda accepting the fact that she is gone for ever. I decided to step outside my trailer with a flashlight, I did'nt whistle or call or anything, I was just standing there in the dark, and in the distance I heard the jingle of all her tags on the collar. Thought I was hearing things for bit, but then I heard it again, and it was getting closer and closer, I just knew it was her. I never really realized how much I could miss a stupid dog. I was kinda preparing myself for a few days of major sadness. She was missing for 4 hours or more all together. I wonder if there is a way of getting a dog to accept gun fire. I guess I learned to pay a little more attention to her next time this goes on. I sure do hope she gets used to it eventually.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Foundation Pipes

September 16

With a wood basement, the permit people clearly state "no weeping tile". So instead, I am going with this system. I did'nt need the pipes connected on the inside. I could have just left them to drain on the ground inside the footings in a bed of clean gravel, under the floor. I don't want any moisture under there if I can help it though. If I could have gone with normal weeping tile, the whole job would have been alot quicker. There would have been no cutting 2 inch pipe, no drilling 2 1/2 inch holes in the footing forms, no connecting all these pipes together. This does take alot more time, but that is the price to pay when one is frugal. (All this pipe was'nt exactly cheap either). lol. I'm estimating about $250 CAD for all the pipe and fittings for the foundation drainage. But once it is done, it is done. I am hoping that this whole system is just a backup and will never actually see water.

September 17

I got all the pipes around the inside perimeter attached. I just need to attach the four sides to the sump pit. Today was'nt real productive, not in the building department anyway. I had a bunch of other things that needed done first. My eye glasses needed repair, my washing machine blew up on me. (I had to replace a couple of belts, nothing too serious). A bunch more running around town for supplies and idea's.

I am getting pretty close to deciding on the water storage device that I will go with. I'm pretty sure it will be an 8 foot diameter corragated culvert type cistern. It will be a little more work to install, but it is less money for more gallons. I can also haul and handle it myself. I'm pretty sure my 410 backhoe would have a little trouble throwing a 1500 gallon concrete cistern into the ground. But this baby I think I can move somehow. They tell me that 1 meter of this pipe will hold about 1000 gallons of water. It costs about $475/meter. I'm thinking about getting 3 or 3.5 meters(about 11.5 feet) which would be roughly $1662.00. But I will have to spend a little more on some concrete for the botton of the cistern also. A 1500 gallon concrete cistern would be about $3600.00. Plus I would need the manhole extensions for extra money, and they would have to deliver and put it in the ground for me for even more extra money. I also looked into fiberglass and plastic ones. They are pricey also and kinda touchy installing it sounds like.
My sewage septic tank is probably going to be a concrete 750 gallon unit. About $1750.00 plus manhole extensions, pump, delivery and whatever else.

Anyway, for now, I am still working on my sump pit. I would like to get my cistern in soon, so that I can backfill the trench and get on with other things. I don't want to sound real picky here, but I am planning on doing a little bit of cementing along the outside of my footings, to get a bit of a slope away from the footings and also to fill in the low spots right along the footings, where water would love to accumulate. I honestly don't think many other builders would worry about something like this, maybe they would, I don't know, but I am going to experiment with it. It really should'nt take too much time (lol), but it will make me feel alot better about the whole foundation situation. Then it should be onto some wood going down.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Battle with a rock.

It dos'nt really look like alot got accomplished today, but I was pretty busy doing alot of the little things in the basement that need done before a floor can go down. Landscaping the inside of the footing to make way for the drainage pipes. And just cleaning up the ends of some of the pipes going through the footings, and bunch of other micellaneous things. Then I started to dig my sump and found a rock. It seemed to just keep getting bigger and bigger the more I dug. Finally, I had enough and thought that I should try to out smart the rock.

I snuck up on it, and when it was'nt looking, I made my grab. I always knew I was going to win this battle.

There's my sump. I'm not exactly sure how it is all going to go together yet. lol. I do know, that I am going to connect pipe to all the pipes coming through the footing. One pipe will come from each side and drain into the sump, if need be. I am really hoping that water won't even get that far though.
I have heard people say alot about wood basements, and basements in general. They leak, they smell musty, they heave and crack. I'm going to prove them all wrong. SOME basements leak and smell musty and heave, NOT ALL. Hopefully mine is an exception to the rule. I am going to do what I can to keep it dry.
Tomorrow I gotta get a bunch of plastic pipe to finish up with the drainage system inside the footings. Then it will be onto building the floor soon. I am still thinking about what kind of cistern to get. Just going to let it brew for awhile. I phoned around a bit this morning to find out prices and stuff.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Water Line Trench and Misc.

The first thing this morning was alot of running around town for some supplies and checking out a cistern to get an idea about digging and price. Ouch. I will find a good deal somewhere, sometime. I still don't know if I will go with concrete, plastic, fiberglass, or galvanized culvert type. They all have there pros and cons.
Once I got out to the shack site, I cleaned and sloped the outside perimeter of my footings. I went all around the footings. Two wheel barrows of dirt fill the hoe bucket. I dumped about 3 buckets. I want to get the water to stay away from my footings and drain to daylight, via a trench I am going to dig soon. I hauled two wheel barrows of concrete spillage down to the creek. I have a bad spot down there that likes to wash away.
I then pushed a steel pipe on an angle from inside the footing to the outside. This is how I made the hole to install my waterline conduit. I was'nt real sure how it was going to work out, but it all worked excellent, just like it was meant to be. It was a good push, and then it was a really hard pull trying to get it back out, but it did finally come out. After doing that a couple times my 1 1/2 inch conduit slid right in. I'm not sure, but I don't think this is how it is normally done.

Trenching the water line to the cistern location. There's the plastic conduit, the 1 inch water line will slide through that. It was starting to get dark by the time I shut it down. Did'nt get home till about 10. I worked up a pretty good sweat the first part of the day, then I needed a break by jumping on the hoe and doing some digging. Seems like a good way to split up the day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Footings Fit for a Dog

Well, they hold the dog up, so they should hold a house I guess.
A bit of spillage that I wheeled out of there.

Just another basement picture. The forms are all gone. Seems like a waste, buying and installing all that 2x10 lumber just to rip it all off again. But I guess that is just a part of the battle.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Poured Footings

Just a bit of a start on the mound to see how it is going to work out.
I guess we'll put the propane tank on here.

The freshly poured footings.

Yesterday was a real big day for me, just to get everything ready for todays concrete pour. Actually, I have been working on these footing forms for quite some time. All that work, and for about a half an hour pour, if that. It all took a bit longer than that though, as I did have some extra concrete and we had to figure out some way to put it to good use. I know I should have been a little more prepared for this, but I simply ran out of daylight last night. I was even going pretty good this morning before the concrete man showed up, just doing some finishing touches. One thing I am positively NOT very good at, is estimating how long certain jobs will take to complete.

I was planning on getting some pictures of the pouring process, but once we got going, I simply did'nt have time to even think about things like that. I had a hard time keeping up sometimes. The pour went way better than expected, I had visions of a wheel barrow going back and forth quite a few times, but as it turned out, I did'nt even have to use it. Even the center telepost footings were reached by the cement truck, just barely. Another benefit of building a tiny mansion.

After the cement man and myself finished pouring the footings, my help arrived. lol. He did get there in time to help with the propane tank base that we poured with some left over product.

Not very much got accomplished after the cement truck left. We did a little measuring and inspecting. I had a bit of a headache, and it was a nice day to relax for bit. After my help left, I had a bit of a snooze, and then did a little landscaping at the sewage mound, for a change. It was nice to get out of the basement for a while. There are some more things I need to do in the basement before the wood starts to fly.
There are actually alot of different things that could happen before the wood flies. Septic tank, cistern, trenching etc. It almost looks like I could use 2 or 3 of me. But really, time dos'nt matter to me on this project anymore. I am enjoying it as I go along. The footings are poured and it is time for a new phase of the project, I am kinda excited. lol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pouring Concrete on Saturday Hopefully.

Getting the pipes all together.
It's a dirty job, but someones got to do it.

The Peterbilt looks pretty small from up here.

Rain, rain, rain. But today was nice and the near future kinda looks good, I hope. September is zipping right along. I can remember the 1st and the 2nd, but what happened to the 3rd-8th. Yesterday I hauled 4 loads of topsoil from the new future Ritchie Bros Auctions site just East of Grande Prairie. I should have enough topsoil for my mound, landscaping, and maybe a little left over just for planting trees and a garden sometime. I am still going to have to haul another load of tile rock, and mabye some gravel soon. All this hauling would normally be pretty costly, but I am hoping to get a good deal. lol. I do expect to pay for my fuel and maybe a little for rent. I'm not real sure what the boss has up his sleave. I used his truck for hauling the topsoil, sand, gravel and tile rock, and his hoe for loading the topsoil. I don't know why, but I threw in a video of me loading some topsoil. I held the camera between my knees. Just thought it would be interesting to see a hoe in action from the seat. lol. From all the dust flying around, one would think that things were pretty dry here, but that is definately not the case.

I was wanting to line up a cement truck for Friday, but could'nt get one until Saturday, which is good, because , as it turned out, I am not ready yet. When I look at what needs to be done, I think it should take a couple hours, but then it usually ends up taking the whole day and then some. Today my plan was to have my plumbing in the ground and under the footing. That plan backfired when I accidentally glued a chunk of 4" a little off kilter. I knew how I wanted it, but it just did'nt end up there, and I tried to change it real quickly, but it was too late. That 4" pipe is a little akward to work with. Anyway, I need to pick up some new fittings and redo some of it. So the pipefitting came to an end for today. I started to clean out my forms. The off and on rain I had lately kinda softend up the ground that my little house will sit. I thought I should scrape the top layer of dirt off, so that the ground could still be called undisturbed soil. Maybe I am being too picky? I don't think so. I know alot of people whos house shifts alot. Walls cracking, sewer pipes underneath getting damaged and causing all kinds of problems and basement floor heaving, etc. I just want to do what I can to try and avoid all this. If I can start with a good dry and solid foundation and try to keep it that way, I just may have one of the most well built houses(shack) in Canada. lol.

Hopefully the weather works with me for a while. I'm getting tired of looking at that empty hole in the ground. I really need to start working on a different phase. Maybe I can spend a couple months building the basement floor. lol.

The video seems to be taking a million years to upload, I don't know whats going on. Maybe I will try again tomorrow or something. For now, I'll throw in some pictures.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Footing Forms

I finally got done hauling the last load of bales (for now) on Thursday. I hauled well over 800 hunderd bales lately, from various different places, and a bunch of heavy equipment in between, and just as I expected, the weather turned kinda ugly ever since. I sorta knew that might happen. lol. It has been real cloudy and alot of rain off and on lately. I have been doing what I can in between rain storms. Sunday it rained practically all day off and on, it was going to be a day of hauling some topsoil, but I ended up relaxing and going to some friends for dinner instead. A rest was well needed and deserved. I notice tonight it is pretty windy and alot of leaves are starting to fall off the trees. My plan is to have a cement truck come out sometime this week and pour my footings, providing the weather cooperates. I am kinda spooked to even get them lined up to come out with this unpredictable weather. I do have just a little bit more prep work to do before I am ready. The forms are built and leveled. I have my drainage pipes running through the footings, and most my rebar is in. I just have to glue and install my under floor plumbing, and finish the rebar, and a few little touch ups here and there, then I am ready. Seems like I have been working on these footings for ever. Those drain pipes that are running through the footings are not a real common method of foundation drainage, but it is a way of the wood basement. I can leave them as they are, to drain under the floor to the sump with a granular drainage layer of tile rock. Or I can connect the pipes to the sump with more pipe inside the footings, which I am planning on doing. In a normal basement, one would have weeping tile (perforated pipe) running around the outside perimeter of the basement footings, and then piped to a sump in the basement floor. There are other methods, but this is the way I chose to do it.
I sure do hope that the snow holds off for awhile. I am quite sure that I will be doing some of this in the snow eventually, but the longer it waits the better. Tonight feels like anything could blow in. For now the plan is to be out of my house in town for November 1. That is when my potential renter could take possesion. But, she does tell me that it is flexible, depending whether or not I am ready. Im ready. lol. I'm sure that once the footings are poured, things will start to happen. I just want my basement to be done and backfilled sometime soon, then I really don't care about the rest. My mother has been out there giving me a bit of a hand at times lately. She's a good hand, and most of time she brings out some pretty good lunches.
Alot of people still think I am nuts, and are suggesting that I should build a bigger house. LOL. I'm thinking maybe smaller if anything.