Dollar Stretcher "Silly Questions" thread - Page 4
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  1. #46
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    WOOHOO!!!! The heat tubes passed the inspection. Relief for real. The concrete is booked tomorrow morning at 8:30am, OR Friday noonish (if it is too rainy thursday). Lots of people say they want to come watch concrete pour and it will be cool, but there is no safe parking and if the concrete truck rolls, we need the driveway completely clear. Can't put people up hill above the pour either as one option for getting the truck up the hill if it gets too wet/slick, is multiple other trucks and things pulling it up.This is why I TOLD the builder that June and July are really my construction seaon, but he's not a super good listener. I spent a day tightening up the tubes and let the builder OK the final location for the manifold (which sits down in the concrete) before I hooked the tubes up. Cut a tube and there is really no going back. I hooked them up myself (it was crazy easy especially because I rehearsed many times and built a sample to go from...I am very very tired and could screw up the 4 simple steps)

    That said, I am really liking the work. One of his employees today said he'd never seen so much rebar in a project. They also hadn't seen the heat tubes (it's just "pex" but I like "heat tubes" better) go in so precisely (I am anal about that sort of thing). I really like the heat tube manifold I got from "radiantec". All in one unit with the pressure gauge integral to the systm. Otherwise you have shenanigans trying to get air in the system and damonstrate the pressure.

    When the county inspector came to check the rebar, he said that I Had to air pressure test the heat tubes...which were not hooked up yet. There was a bit of rebar to finish. He agreed to let me send him a picture showing the pressure over time. Start at 100lbs. I didn't ask how long the test was but late this afternoon he told
    e to quit sending him pictures. it was FINE. I can be exhausting if I need to be. I admit it...it went down to 92lbs overnight (COLD weather and the tubes relaxed in position) so I pumped it back up to 100 for the last photo. It was holding steady at 92. The website said it would lose about 10% overnight but that is NOT a leak. A leak is major pressure loss.

    So, Cool.

    On another job the builder had the same plumbing inspector fail an owner installed system! That owner is a plumber and did a perfect job but the inspector asked for a change anyway. The builder thinks that plumbing inspector has it in for the owner-permit on plumbing. He wants plumbers hired. I literally have 4 drains (toilet, shower, bath sink, and kitchen sink) within a 2' by 6' area. Even with the wasted materials from his fail and the redo, I'm only out about 600$ (that includes feeding my help a few times at their fave restaurant). I can't believe I would have gotten a plumber 25 miles out of town for that amount and gotten the job done.

    The heating system cost me about 700$ and I am trading or selling the extra pex tubing we didn't use. I offered it to a friend at 1/2 of my cost per foot for the roll ends (about 250') but, I think I'd rather just trade for help or her teaching me to run a mini-excavator.

    And now, I'm tired and overstimulated but at work checking email and what not.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow (Thursday) getting the concrete in!

    And when I go return the unsued plumbing fittings and have to see my ex again. Cripes.

  2. #47
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    No concrete today. The builder NOW believes that my hill gets slick when it rains. I mentioned this 1 million times. I managed not to stab him in the neck so that's a positive.
    We are booked for tomorrow noonish....

    I have people who want to come watch, which is fine except there is no where to park and I don't want them driving up the hill. 3 concrete trucks up and down that mudhole will be enough of a challenge for my nerves. I just sent an email with a map showing where they can park out of the way of a possibly sliding or rolling concrete truck. THe parking area requires a walk up the hill and one guy I know does NOT want to do that....I'd love to have him there if he'll walk up the hill. We'll see.

  3. #48
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    No concrete today. The builder NOW believes that my hill gets slick when it rains. I mentioned this 1 million times. I managed not to stab him in the neck so that's a positive.
    We are booked for tomorrow noonish....

    I have people who want to come watch, which is fine except there is no where to park and I don't want them driving up the hill. 3 concrete trucks up and down that mudhole will be enough of a challenge for my nerves. I just sent an email with a map showing where they can park out of the way of a possibly sliding or rolling concrete truck. THe parking area requires a walk up the hill and one guy I know does NOT want to do that....I'd love to have him there if he'll walk up the hill. We'll see.

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  5. #49
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Hope your concrete gets poured tomorrow, you'll have disappointed spectators if they don't show up!
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  6. #50
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    The concrete was poured friday. And stamped. Cleaned and sealed yesterday (Sunday) right before a light but steady rain...it was dark by then and dark when I left the place this morning so I'm hoping the seal is OK. The builder recommended I put thick visqueen and strawbales on it. So, I will do that for the winter. I am begging him to get going on the roof and have lied about when it MUST be done to keep my water right. They just had water right issues as well so seem to be sympathetic to that.

    From what I can see, I love the stamped brown concrete with the dark and light stain randomly around the top. It didn't look like much until the sealer went on. Then it really did look like rock! I think the uneven surface will be nicer to walk on than just concrete. It isn't super deep stamping, maybe 1/4 maximum depth change from the highest point to the lowest. I can tile or something over it late, but I think I won't. THis looks good and I can scrub the be-jeepers out of it like a driveway. I have tons of thick wool and cotton rugs (braded, woven, etc) that should look quite cool on this.

    I did make one stupid mistake (well, one that I care to mention at the moment). In "testing" the heat tubes...I left the valves OFF...all of them. All I tested was the pressure guage and 8" of copper pipe. OOOPS!!!! The crew put air in the tubes before the pour and a crew member noticed that the valves were off. I am happy to report that they held air throughout the pour. So, that's a relief. The only real failure points are at the places where tubes join the maifold. Had a tube been pinched or punctured during the pour, a blast of concrete would hit the offending crew member. That did not happen.

    THe builder is now off to southern Idaho to move an old barn or something. That's his main deal. Moving buildings and salvaging others.
    Here's hoping he comes back from teh 10 hours on the road with a bid for my roof. I copped to letting him put a road up the hill if he'd work through the winter.

    The crew likes me because I tease them and bring them treats. If they work the winter, I will make them stews on the days I can be home.

  7. #51
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    Well....one shouldn't count one's concrete until daylight. It rained on the wet sealant and there are cloudy crusty blotches all over. I texted a picture of this to the builder's wife with the words "the finish is ruined. what is the solution?" and she IMMEDIATELY called me (never happens) and said they would fix it Yeah. I know they will. Anyway, I'm sure this isn't the first time a finish has been ruined by a builder working in the rainy season (if only SOMEONE had told them that the SUMMER...june, july and august) is the only reliable work time at my place...oh wait.... I did. And they live 25 miles away so they KNOW you shouldn't try to do things like that in September. But, they did so now they spend more time fixing it. Whatever. My builder cousin told me that since I paid for a pristine floor, if the fix doesn't work, I get the alternate floor of my choice. I like that option and will hang on to it. Other than the blotches, I do love the completed work so far.

    I am once again wondering why people are asking me silly questions like "have you thought this through"...uh, no. I'm in my 50s, paying cash as I go and living ina shed to facilitate the job (in the shed for the 5 winter starting now...) but no, I don't plan and think things through. Or when they ask if I know how I'm going to set the kitchen up. These are people who KNOW me! I love to cook and can. I know how I'm setting up BOTH kitchens (the inside one and the summer/canning kitchen ont he west porch). Yes people, in the 20 years I've spent saving and planning...I did indeed think this through.

  8. #52
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    Looks like things are wrapped up until the next phase. The concrete finish is still dodgy, but it seems a powerwash and re-application fixes it. The builderman tested an area that will be under walls and it looks good 18 hours out. I will keep checking it. His worker thinks the rain floated the finish (petroleum based) up in the dents (because the slab is stamped to look like slate there are low bits and higher bits...not totally smooth). The lower bits seem to be without finish so the floating theory would explain that issue. The builder proposed redoing the finish once he has a roof on it.
    I could be fine with that as long as he doesn't want full payment until it is done.
    THe other thing is the rock walls. They are up and look great. He had planned to put small rock among the boulders to hide the erosion fabric between rock and dirt. THat didn't get finished. And there is no spare rock. He said he'll bring another load in the spring.

    I'll finish thinking these things through and then make an offer of 90% payment or something. HOlding the final 10% for the completed job.

    He'd supposed to get me a bit to get to the roof by June 30, 2020. Here's HOPING.

    Overall, I like the work but you'd think the guy was giving birth by the production he makes of things. Oh well. It will be pretty.

  9. #53
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    how is all going maggie?

  10. #54
    Registered User MaggieTru's Avatar
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    Hello! I'm back with a slightly different moniker because I could no longer log in with my old ID. Password reset turned into a strange loop which frequently declared that I had failed the "human" verification. My brother must be right...I am a robot.

    Anyway, the floor finish isn't fixed yet, but I kept a few thousand bucks out of the final 2019 payment with the agreement that I would pay it when the floor finish was good.

    Still no bid to get to the roof...of course. My colleague at work teases me that we're still 3 weeks out, same as for the past 18 months. Always 3 weeks out.
    I got Mrs. Builder on the phone a couple of weeks ago, don't want to try meeting face to face anymore, and finalized some roof options. I have been in transition with trying to work from home and settle into the current normal...which is apparently constant change. So, maybe I will call tomorrow. So far Idaho is allowing construction jobs to continue. The builders agree that my place is an easy area to social distance while building. I'm out of town, good breeze at all times, and if they caravan up rather than share a truck, they can work here pretty comfortably.

    I've saved and saved and saved so hopefully have enough in the bank to get to the roof.

    I'm SUPER glad to have my wee shed and land and well and solar with the current situation. It's all paid off so far. I had to relent from my luddite ways a bit and get wifi at home (which cost less than I thought, 20$ a month for supposedly unlimited internet on a mobile hotspot...though I had to pay nearly 300$ to get the hotspot because EVERYONE needed one to work from home). That and a tv tray with my 10 year old laptop is the new office. I have a work ipad so honestly, I run random youtube videos for some chatter like I would have at the office. While the home office is not super, the home-breakroom (36 acres with a creek and a pond and my bees) is awesome.

    I re-upped my building permit for 6 more months. I'll need to do it a few more times. The county permitting had STILL not let the post office know that I'm legal for a mailbox on the property. I had them write me a letter saying it was ok, but hadn't gotten it to the post office before the covid thing hit. That means my mail is delivered up in the town I usually work in, 25 miles from home. Oh well. I'm there once a week for groceries or something so I can get mail then. NOt being able to get packages here is a bigger deal. But NOTHING compared to the inconveniences many people have at the moment.

    My bees were alive last week!!! 2 hives. One is super weak. It was weak going in to winter but seems to have made it. The other SEEMED to be doing well. We'll see. We've had a cold snap so I haven't opened them lately or bothered them. They were still pushing carcasses out the front doors so someone is alive enough to clear the entrance anyway.

    I invested in ducks that a friend will raise. She will raise and feed them. We investors buy in at 15$ a duck, and help her butcher them. Then she will smoke them and freeze or can them. I don't mind butchering and she got a new electric plucker so that will help. Plucking ducks is a DRAG.

    Let's see...other adventures....skinning and curing rooster hides with the feathers on. That was interesting. If anyone needs the story, let me know.

    I'm still blogging and my mom likes my new series: Will It Wipe...exploring alternatives to TP...remember, you can wipe with many things, just don't flush them. Since I have a composting bucket toilet system anyway, I am freer than most to experiment.

    I look forward to catching up on the various stories here and getting back to learning frugal stuff!

    Here's the "home office:
    Dollar Stretcher "Silly Questions" thread-photo3169-2-.jpg

  11. #55
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Your office has a view! I was really hoping to see a picture of the breakroom.
    For some reason I thought you were in Alaska.
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  12. #56
    Registered User MaggieTru's Avatar
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    Nope. I'm in Idaho. Here's one feature of the "breakroom"...my bee yard! I have one live hive today and it was out and about collecting pollen.Name:  beeyard.jpg
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    I lived in that camper for 2 LONG summers. Actually, with a living room and shower under the branches of the tree, it was pretty nice.
    I also had an outdoor kitchen for doing dishes and food prep work out behind the camper, a cooler under it and I froze bottles of water at work on a rotation to keep things chilled. And there is a creek with a year round spring fed pool that stays full of cold water about 20 yards to one side too. It was actually pretty sweet if you aren't attached to TV or the indoors.
    Now the camper is the bee supply shed for various equipment. I may set up the shower under the tree again when the weather warms up. With the gym closed and social distancing I don't have access to my usual shower spots and a solar shower is super refreshing anyway.

    Today it got in the 60s and was SUNNY! Loved it. Got laundry done, right here on the property in a little "wonder washer" I got at thrift a few years back (12$ but I bought it on half price day, obviously) That, 2 rinse buckets and my metal drying rack and it was maybe 30 minutes of hands on work. Less time than driving to the laundromat (where people are NOT social distancing even though there were only 2 of us in the place last time I was there! Cripes)

    I'm thinking of figuring out how to use the spring fed pool to chill food. I hear that there used to be "spring boxes" people kept partly submerged for their milk and eggs and things.

  13. #57
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    awesome that some of your bees survived! what about the fruit trees and other things you planted? I want to hear the story of the rooster hides. getting in the 60s here and sunny too.
    I have heard that too in the past people keep things cool in the spring but not for long more for sealed stuff like bottles.

  14. #58
    Registered User RABBIT's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing a picture of your "breakroom". It looks to me like the most relaxing breakroom I've ever seen and you get to watch the hives!
    I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.

  15. #59
    Registered User ermadunk's Avatar
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    My sister raised her 2 children carrying water from spring there was a cave i have seen it but don't remember to much about it when i was there i took care of children when she carried water they lived in big house with a systern by back porch she washed in wringer washer with water from systern .I do remember the spring was fixed some way where animals could not get in it and it was down under a steep hill and wasn't close to the house.Heard off good old days i don't think that was.
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  16. #60
    Registered User MaggieTru's Avatar
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    some of the fruit trees struggle on! no fruit yet except for a handful of bertres here and there. i fence most of them and the deer and elk and moose remove those. the few fences that stay...rodents eat the bark under the snow. but, most trees and shrubs keep struggling on. i think the persimmons and all but 1 chest nut are goners. the aronia berries, thorny black berries and thorny raspberries seem to be mostly ok. though stunted by the solid clay that is my soil. i’ve put sheep poo by all of them and have more and more worms each year. i think worms area good sign.

    the briar pears, quince, and siberian pea shrubs are doing pretty well. 2 of 4 cherries seem ok. the plums are looking promising this year for new growth if not fruit. most of the starts were 1 year ild at planting so it may be a few more years to see if they will fruit here.

    in the raised bed garden the lovage is going bonkers. may have enough to dry the leaves for winter greens. lemon thyme is already going. 3 hops vines are doing ok. and ‘good king henry’ (a perrenial leafy green) is looking like it will be harvestable this year. lots if garlic is coming up too. i let the scapes stay on and put out bulblets so most of they garlic planted itself. i did have a head of elephant garlic threatening to go off in december so i stuck the cloves in the strawberry bed. those are up too. i never get strawberries..,the ground squirrels or gophers bite each one the day before i can pick it.

    one willow has really taken off and 2 small arctic willows are not losing ground so hopefully i will so e day have my own garden stakes to cut.

    some cosmos sent to me from new mexico did well last year so i kept some seed. hopefully they also self-seeded. mom sent me random flowerseeds and some dill from her garden so that should go in shortly.

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