Sunday, December 30, 2018

April 2018

Finished excavating the burn pile /dump.  Brought in 22 yards of clean soil to bring it back up to level.

We built a fire ring, and replanted the new earth with grass seed and a few pumpkin starts.

Found another arrowhead chip:

One year later:

Expenses: Another excavator ($300) and dirt dumpster ($300).  16 yards soil ($550). Then 6 more yards of soil ($200). Grass seed, landscape rake and seed spreader ($150).
Running total for renovation: $44,350

Sunday, March 4, 2018

March (week 24)

Week 24:

Ted and friend came back out to finish the demo they started last week ($280 for their labor). They removed the acoustic ceiling + wood slats and 70 years of bird habitat that was sandwiched between the ceiling and the second story subfloor.  

The upper kitchen cupboards and the bulk heads above them were removed:

Temporary supports for the loft were erected and the structural post that sat on the island counter was removed.



Removing the ceiling revealed some questionable structure.  Unsupported joist and a badly notched beam:

Also removed the 70s era turned columns and the loft ladder. 

Also removed the shingles from what once was the garage roof. ($120 for asbestos sampling).

Maxed out the 10 yard dumpster.  We have now had and filled 100 yards worth of dumpsters.  


It was a beautiful weekend.  Randy came out and painted the front porch ($50 for paint). 



Running total for renovation: $43,850

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February (weeks 21, 22, 23)

We are focusing most of our attention on packing and moving out of our old house and into the trailer.  Some work at the house continues:

Week 21:

We buried the last of the exposed copper water line before some snow and very cold weather arrived.

And ran another water line (this time using pex) from the well, through the cement floor, and towards the back of the property to supply the trailer.

Week 22:
We discovered water damage in the trailer.  Wall needs to be repaired. 

Maybe we’ve learned our lesson about buying cheap (houses, trailers, contractors...)

Week 23:  

Hired Ted, my cousin-in law, and his buddy to help with the dirty work of removing sheet rock from the ceiling ($350 for their labor and $300 for the dumpster).  They removed one crumby surface to just find another

Acoustic tiles under the sheet rock:

Fortunately the acoustic tiles tested negative for asbosetos ($150 testing fee) and should be easy to remove next week.

Not done, but things are definitely looking better with the old living room ceilings (and the loft railing) gone:



Running total for renovation: $43,400

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 20: 5th wheel delivered

We picked up a 5th wheel from a used RV lot and had it delivered to the property.  It’s a big one - which is good cause we’ll be living in it with our two kids and two dogs for awhile.  An extended camping trip in our back yard.  Should be great. 

Dumpsters #4 & #5 are gone (additional $800 In overweight charges).  I spent a full day sweeping and powerwashig what was a very dirty driveway:

We also worked on raking smooth the soil in preparation for reseeding the lawn.  In doing so, we have found a few obsidian chips, one of which I’m certain is a piece of arrowhead.  

I’m now on the look out for more arrowheads (the excavator said it’s common to find them in our area). Looking takes time though. The dirt is littered with black objects - lots of charcoal as well as some bits of plastic and roof tiles.  From my vantage point, five feet or so above the ground, all these charcoal bits (which I like to think are the remanants of thousands of years of Indian campfires) appear the same as obsidian.  When the weather turns nice again I’m going to take a day and search the soil in earnest while it is still exposed.  Maybe this will turn into a blog about Indian artifacts.  


The roof conflict was peacefully resolved.  The roofer accepted, albeit reluctantly, that the roof was critically flawed and would need to be redone (and not by his company).  We agreed that nothing would be owed for the roof and that I would pay for the carpentry work and the material cost of the skylights $2350. 

Running total for renovation: $42,600

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Week 19: Excavating

We hired an excavator ($600) for the patio subgrade. He removed 10 yards of soil and added back 8 yards of gravel ($300).  

Unfortunately he didn’t grade a large enough area for the patio, so I hired a worker ($100) to finish by hand.  

Here he is taking a smoke break next to the gas can:

The excavator also worked on taking down the burn pile, but we got our wires crossed and he put the clean dirt from patio dig in the dumpster ($250) and buried the dirty burn debris which was to go in the dumpster.  

Another lesson learned, it’s good to be onsight during excavation work because a lot of wrong work can be done fast with such a machine.

With the burn pile still on our property, we hired a second excavator to remove the the worst parts of the burn debris as well as some other dirt and rubble ($600). Finally most of that nasty pile is gone.

And the running total sprints past the $40k mark.

Running total for renovation: $40,950


Roof update: I’ve been communicating with the owner of the roofing company and our talks are civil.  He admits problems with the roof, but does not agree with the inspectors assessment that it needs to be redone entirely.  We are not close to reaching an agreement on how to remedy this problem. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Week 18:  Patio prep

The excavation and patio framing starts next week, so I had to cramb a lot of needed prep work into one day this week. 

Happy to have Randy and my dad’s help with taking down the patio cover. The metal roof was screwed on and came off without any surprises. 

We started taking the wood structure apart by hand, but the partially supported beams were swinging and dropping unpredictably.

To be safe(r) we pulled the structure down with a tow strap and truck and broke it apart once on the ground



(Tree, cover, deck, and grass- all now gone)

Also, I dug a couple more trenches and Installed rainwater drainpipes to run under the patio ($100). 


Roof update: A roofer from another company and a roof inspectior ($200) separately looked at our new roof. They both concluded that the roof needs to be removed and redone....

Running total for renovation: $39,100

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 17:  Diggin

Spent most the weekend just digging dirt in preparation for a patio pour.

The subterranean electrical work passed inspection ($200 permit fee), so we can finally bury the trench.

Before we did, I ran a pex line and more electrical conduit ($50) out into the yard - provisions for a future outdoor kitchen.

Running total for renovation: $38,800

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 16: Underground wiring and more plumbing 

Only worked one day this week, but it was a good one.  

Layed conduit ( $150) in the trench between the house and the garage and pulled through a 4 cord cluster of 2 gauge wire ($850) to power a 100amp sub panel (which powers the well pump, septic pump, and garage).  Randy was in charge of lubing the wires.

Finished soldering the copper plumbing inside the house and turned back on the water.  The immediate benefit is that the toilet plumbing works again.  No more hauling jugs of water from the neighbors well to fill up our toilet. There is one dripping joint in the pump room that will need to be fixed.  

Running total for renovation: $38,550

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Week 15: Replacing the water main

The trench is dug.  85ft from outside of the house to outside of the garage. 

About 50 feet was done with an excavator, the rest was done by hand.  

The water main exits from below the garage, so we had to do some tunneling:

We ran 100 feet of 1”copper pipe for the new water main ($600 for a roll of k-soft).

On Sunday I removed some of the old steel pipe and redid the connection between the well and the main in cooper ($100 in fittings and hard copper pipe).  I did a poor solderjob on a couple joints. Hopefully it holds. We won’t  know until the plumbing is finished and the water is turned back on. 

And the running total keeps going up. 

Running total for renovation: $37,550