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Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Posted by flgargoyle (My Page) on
Sun, May 8, 11 at 15:01

I got some pictures last night of our property with the recent clearing work done. The big trees still have to come down, but it looks so park-like right now. The barn will go about where the pick-up truck is, and the house will be off to the extreme left down the hill a ways past the tree with the birdhouse. It's exciting to finally be talking those first baby steps forward!

I bought my first building materials yesterday- a deal too good to pass up. About a week ago, I was in the big box store (blue) and spotted a whole pallet of Nichiha fiber cement siding marked down from $6.88 a board to $3.88. I thought about buying it, as that's the cheapest I've ever seen it. Well, I went back yesterday, and it was marked $1.88! I bought the whole lot- 250 boards. It's just about the right amount to side the entire house- for less than $500! Nichiha is a premium product, a little better and more expensive than Hardi. They said they weren't going to stock it anymore, and just wanted to clear it out. This is a good omen for our project!

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay,

Woo hoo! Good for you, progress. That is some beautiful land you have.

Our Certanteed fiber cement siding is holding up well and others here have seemed to like their Nichihia. Is is just primed or already stained/colored?

Jill


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Will it be a small cottage style? or a tiny house? Beautiful setting.


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Great find!! Love a good deal :)


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Jay- It's beautiful! What a wonderful site for your new home. Great deal on the siding, too :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Schoolhouse- The house will be pretty small by today's standards- about 1300 sq ft. I'm going to pay a lot of attention to construction and insulation so it's cheap for us to run and maintain into our golden years. We have 10-15 years to go until retirement, and after that, the bills need to be pretty small! Here's a crude sketch; ignore the colors, I don't know how to work that. The back of the house faces a mountain view, and the ground slopes, so the lower porch will actually be about 10' off of the ground; the upper sun deck about 20' off of the ground.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Great deal! I would have snapped those up too. Very wise of you to think of maintenance issues you will have 20 years from now.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

What a great find! I agree that's a good omen for your project. I love how your land looks with the underbrush cleared. I told DH today that I felt like Brer Rabbit living on our briar patch of a lot.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Great find, Jay. If God had not wanted you to get that siding, he wouldn't have put it on sale like that.

And your "estate" does look parklike. Those are lovely trees. Can you perhaps save one of the boles of the trees and make the mantle from it? Or something that pays homage to the spirit of the land? Maybe something in the barn, which is to me the equivalent of my Teahouse.

You are stepping up the pace now.


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The plan is to mill the trees to make flooring and trim. They're mostly red oak and white oak, plus one stand of poplar. I'm either going to mill it myself (working on a deal to get a sawmill) or have someone come in with a portable mill. I have all of the other equipment to process the raw lumber into flooring, etc. The floors will be 'rustic'- random width, face nailed with forged-head nails, like they did 200 years ago.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Such a pretty spot. Your house design will fit in beautifully. I can see why you want to keep the smaller footprint. It will look darling and your decks will feel like tree houses.

I wish our property had some trees on it when we bought it. I have planted lots. Hope they start to give us some shade soon.


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Welcome ot the neighborhood Jay. Glad to see you finally made it. Being familiar with and not too far away from that area I hope you are leaving a good bit of shade standing. It can get down right hot in August and September. Right now it does look quite park like. Nice piece of land. Felling and milling your own lumber sounds like a lot of fun. Enjoy my friend!

Scott


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Thanks, Scott! We're up past Travelers Rest- almost to NC. It's noticeably cooler than Greenville, even, but I know it can really get up there once in a while. Greenville hit 105 a few summers back.

Sadly, there will be no trees shading the house- too much risk in bad weather and ice storms. Shortly after we bought the property, we found a huge red oak that had blown down. It looked healthy, and it took out a number of trees in its path, as well as a huge chunk of earth around the root system. If that had fallen on a house, it surely would have flattened it. We'll re-plant some smaller stuff around the house and barn, but nothing that will tower over it, or at least not in what remains of our days here. It will be open in between the house and barn, and that's where we'll put our garden, but the rest of the property will remain heavily timbered. I'm going to gradually thin out the small trees, much like the picture above, and use the wood for firewood. This will allow the big trees to spread and reach their full potential, and make it easier to walk through the woods.

Hopefully you'll come up and visit sometime during/after the build. I should be living up there full-time by the end of June.

Jay


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay even though you do have to clear out the tallest trees around your house and barn. The surrounding trees further out will create a feeling of cool. To be able to just look at shade helps.

Our whole place here was full sun but a small row of freaky thorny???? plum trees. We would have cut them down but they do create a little bit of privacy. They do not appear to get tall enough to make trouble for us. But they are a pain and worthless plums. YUCK.

JUNE!!!! WOW I hope you will have internet up there. Selfish I know. I just hope to get to see your progress and cheer you on. there are good days and bad days when building your own house.


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June of this year? Your land is gorgeous. Good idea to get the trees away from the house. Not just falling on the house, but fires too. I bet the ones remaining are tall enough to shade the house in evening though.


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Jay- Another month? You must be so excited! :)

Shades- Are they Italian plums? We have those (they're dark purple and kind of oval shaped) and they make some nice desserts.


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LL I will have to get pictures when they are ripe. As I remember they are more red.


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That's a beautiful spot you have there, how exciting!

When we cleared our property, we left as many trees standing as we could to keep the woodsy feel of the place. We milled the ones we took down and used the wood to build our long cedar fence.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, how long does it take for the milled lumber to season for use as flooring?

I saw a lovely photo of the outer slab of a tree trunk w/o its bark, used as the mantle piece in a house. I know the oak will make great floors and all, but it won't speak "home grown" as much as the mantle which is a part of the heart of the home. Even if it is in the barn.

How will you deal with termite protection on your barn siding? Will it have a cement slab? Just about every addition to a house in Mobile is now required by code to be treated for termites, and I am pleased with that. We also have to worry about the Formosan termites which can come in from the top down, eating the house from the roof, if you will. Requires separate form of protection from subterranean termites.

Will you have a fire break plowed around the perimeter of your property?


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Air drying takes at least a year, but this can shortened to a month or so with a solar kiln. This consists of a greenhouse of sorts made with plastic stapled over a cheap framework, with a fan or two to keep the air moving during daylight hours.

The barn will be pretty rustic, and I may employ several real faux beams (how's that for a contradiction in terms?) in the great room. Real, as in real wood; faux, in that they will just be for decoration. If we have a mantle in the barn, it will be rustic as well. The house will be cottage style, which is plain and simple, but not rustic, in my mind's eye.

The barn will be on a slab. Current code requires any untreated wood be a minimum of 8" above the soil. The slab will thus be at least that high out of the ground, and I may build it up with several courses of block so the termites have to jump higher. Subterranean termites use mud tubes, so a periodic inspection will reveal any invasions. I think that part of SC is too cold for Formosan termites, but you can't rule it out. Having had termites in our house here in FL, I'm hypersensitive to the threat, believe me!

I've never seen anyone maintain an open fire break in SC. As I've said, there won't be any large trees close to the house or barn, just lawn, which will help some. Both buildings will have metal roofs, and the house will have fiber cement siding, so it will take actual flames to start a fire.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, don't know why I think of barns and fire comes to my mind, which is where the fire break statement was headed. But metal roofs are great, as are the cement siding. I am a great believer in durable materials.

Of course, with your holding pond, you could have a nice water pump that could shoot a good bit of water at any brush fires should it get started, or could wet down your property when a drought created a hazardous condition. Well, maybe not spray it down if it did not rain, no water in the pond, duhhhhh, but keeping the leaves away from the place would be another option.

You are a great planner.


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BIG day today- I informed my boss that I was leaving! I still don't have an official last day yet, as I said I'd stay on until everyone was comfortable that my position is being handled. I'm a low-level manager for a manufacturing company. I'm the tooling manager, meaning I'm responsible for the construction, repair, and maintenance of the 300 plus tools in the building, some of which cost $500,000! I have 6 guys under me, and the job is a hub of never-ending activity. It's also very stressful, and I can't wait to leave.

I guess this thread will be my official 'build' thread, so I'll post all pertinent information and pictures here. The Building a Home sub-forum is a little scary to me. LOL! We've made reservations to visit our property and take a little vacation the last week of June. We'll meet with the contractor doing the earth work, and lay out the building locations. Then we break ground!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- Congratulations! This is so exciting :)

I'll be watching for updates and look forward to seeing how things progress. It's going to be a wonderful home! So well planned and every detail carefully considered. I think you'll save yourself a lot of stress over little details, when you do start building.

I know what you mean about the Building forum...they can be a little scary! I think they're more comfortable with big houses and lots of rooms. Best of luck and tell your wife congrats, too! :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay,

Hooray for you!

Jill


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Congratulations Jay. Deep Breath. The first step can be a hard one to make. Soon you will be doing the Happy Dance.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, so glad for you. I bet it is a scary feeling to be this close to putting an end to the working years...for pay, that is...you'll sure be WORKING.

I guess it is like the feeling of accelleration you get when you first put on your brakes and it does not begin to slow down as you expect.

I am very pleased that you are keeping your house "en famille" or "in the family." That way I won't have to go puttering around where I don't belong. Just remember that you are capable of crafting a house equivalent to a Swiss timepiece or a small jewel of a watch, as compared to Big Ben. Both have quality and a purpose for being their respective sizes.

Bravo Jay. You are right on schedule. And the week before July 4 is always a good time to have an anniversary or a birthday. My birthday is really in late June, but I opted to celebrate it July 4 so I could have fireworks, parades, watermelon, potato salad, and hot dogs all-the-way.

Oops, gotta go, we have a storm upon us. Finally, maybe some RAIN......


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We've finally set a date where I work- July 29th. They have cooked up a scheme where two people will be taking my place- a foremen on the floor, and a manager to handle the office stuff. No wonder I'm tired at the end of the day! It's been busier and busier lately- good time to leave.

We're heading up to SC for the last week of June, when we'll lay out the locations of the buildings. Then the contractor can get busy on a slab for the barn and the septic system. Once I leave work, we're going to take a week or so to travel to CT and VT, both to visit friends and family, and to pick up the sawmill I'm going to use on my timber. I should be in SC, swinging a hammer, no later than mid-August. I'll post any developments on this thread. I'm working on a blog as well.

Jay


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Great Jay. Good idea to take a little time to relax before you dive into your build.

Do you have a web address for your blog yet?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, how exciting for you and your wife! I'm sure you're a bit scared along with the excitement....my husband and I were, but we knew when we shucked all the shackles it would be so worth it, and it is. We're just getting tired from the building process, but we're almost there. It's looking like I will be able to host Christmas dinner this year.

One thing that is so wonderful is that when you build your own home a stick at a time you end up completely bonded with it. There are always some tears with the joy. I can't imagine ever leaving our property as we love it. Your property is gorgeous, and peaceful looking, as well.

I'm learning to laugh at some of the things that could cause stress. (Well, at least after I express my "concerns"). For example, we designed a nice recessed 2 ft. display shelf a couple of feet above doorways, along the whole 30 ft. wall from front to back that encompasses the front entry and the "great room". The top part of the back wall behind this shelf will be shaped in the cypress tongue and groove to match the natural ceiling pitch. It will be a beautiful focal point and break up the wall so it isn't overbearing in looks, and I can display some antique biscuit jars my mom gave me. My husband and I planned this and he knew how I wanted it to look.

Guess where he told the air conditioning man he could put the (big) air return yesterday? In the center of the back wall of my plant shelf. Hits you smack dab in the face.

It will be moved to the ceiling on Monday:))

Sandy


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On the middle of your plant shelf? HA! I can see how that would keep you watering plants ALL the time. Plus dust in the filters. Glad you caught it

Jay, DH and I have been up VT 100 to visit the VT Teddy Bear Factory and the Shelburne Museum. Loved that place. However, DH tells me that route 100 had some problems from the Mad River losing its cool and washing out parts of the road. My canoe is a Mad River canoe, and I feel sort of connected to that area. What a great place, rocks and all.
BTW, they are going to miss you when you're gone. But don't feel obligated to stay or accommodate them because your plans come first. Nobody is irreplacable in such matters, which is not meant to put you down, just to keep you on track with YOUR plans.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Shelburne Museum is amazing! I think I could spend a week there. My mother and brother live in Essex Junction, outside Burlington. The lake is very high this year; many people were more or less stranded on the islands to the north, and the ferries can't run because they are too high to load cars. I don't know if it's come back down to normal yet.

As far as them missing me- There's an old saying about sticking your finger in the ocean, and when you pull it out, see how big a hole you leave. I'll probably be missed more for my cooking, my jokes, and hopefully my generosity. The company does NOTHING for Christmas, so I get each of my guys a $50 gift certificate out of my own pocket. It just really bugs me that the company does nothing at all.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- That's so nice! I know your guys are going to miss you now :)

Congrats on having a date and hope you have a great time on your trip. Please let us know more about your blog and don't forget to post updates!

My dad is moving back to South Carolina from Florida, too...this next week. He's going to be a bit east of Greenville, I think. Maybe it's a trend? LOL


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Big day- We got our permit for the barn! Tomorrow we meet with the contractor and a landscape architect (a friend of mine) to lay out where the buildings will go. In another month, I'll be here full-time, finally building something!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yippieeeee Congratulations!!!! Great Big Smiles!!!! Thanks for letting us know. Been thinking about you two and your adventure.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

How exciting Jay! Do you have short-timers disease yet?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

It's going to be physically painful to go back to my job next week!

We met with the contractor and a landscape architect today. It was very productive- and eye-opening. We changed a few things around, and will be preserving a lot more mature trees than we had planned. The contractor has a really good eye for keeping things 'natural', and understands how to keep from damaging trees by working too close to them. He will be starting on the barn foundation in a week, so it should be ready for me to get started in early August.


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That's great. I'm glad you found a contractor who wants to save trees too.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

That sounds so very exciting. Did the contractor and the landscape architect agree on your pond location? To me, that will be one of the first things to plot out. Besides the house and barn, of course. And will the driveway and power supply lines work out the way you thought? So many decisions.

And yes, going back once you've mentally separated yourself from your job, quite a gut wrenching thing to have to do.
I bet you'll be smiling every minute of the day this next and final week. Hooray for stepping into the future!!!


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PS...don't tell my DH

Hmmm, I did not realize that I was up so late Thursday night or shall we say, Friday MORNING?

I told DH that I went to bed EARLY, and I guess I did. ....
sort of early the next morning?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

As we move forward, my vision is changing a little. The decision to save most of the trees was a major shift, but a shift for the better. After more study, we realized that there would not be enough big trees harvested to justify sawing my own flooring. With my big van and the trailer, just driving to New England to get the sawmill would use about $1200 in gas! I can buy rough-sawn oak for less than that, and it will still be local. The trip would have used up a week, and sawing the timbers at least another week, plus the costs involved.

Believe it or not, I'm still not decided on a house plan yet. I have 3 different layouts, each with it's own pluses and minuses. Most likely, I'll go with a basic one story rectangle, but go full-on Craftsman with the details to make it look like more than a boring ranch. At this point, time and money are the factors that are shaping my focus. I'll post some sketches if anyone is interested.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

"I'll post some sketches if anyone is interested."

ARE YOU KIDDING??? When would we not be interested? Would love to see your sketches.

Sounds like positive thinking to buy the wood local verses cutting it yourself. that is a large savings on fuel and time AND your energy to put towards other things.

Very excited for you two.


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Yes, we want to see sketches. Sounds like a good idea on your timber too. I bet you can work a trade with your felled trees somewhere too.


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What a fantastic piece of property and a wonderful deal on those boards. It's things like that that really make you feel great! Your house looks like it is going to be a very nice place to live and enjoy the country life.

FlowerLady


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- If anyone understands having more than one floor plan (LOL) I say post them all and let us see what you've come up with! I'm sure whatever you decide to do, it will be beautiful and fit in nicely, with your property.

Almost anyone can design a home, but it's more difficult to design a home that looks like it belongs on that particular piece of land. You and your wife are going to end up with a lovely home (and barn) that look like they belong, in that space :)


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Okay- Don't say you weren't warned.....

Here's a floor plan for a basic rectangle. It's just a little over 1200 sq ft, and has a Master suite and a den that could double as a guest room. The Master suite has it's own hallway, with the laundry, closet, and bathroom all along the hallway, minimizing the disturbance to a person still in bed after their spouse is up and about.

The second sketch is to show what could be done to make a Craftsman out of an otherwise uninteresting basic ranch. Pay no attention to the colors; I'm still struggling to get SketchUp to understand me LOL! There would be lattice under the front porch, but I only drew one section, as it's just too tedious. This sketch doesn't show the back porch, which would be on the left, or the garage, which would be on the right. I know this design is a little less exciting than some of my others, but I'm getting a little panicky about keeping within budget.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I like it! It has a lot of potential and looks much easier (and cheaper) to build :)

Just to double check...is the TV going in the den, so you don't need a media wall in the living room? Are you putting a dining area in between the kitchen and living room, or maybe a peninsula with a few stools? Maybe a dining area on the porch? That would be very nice!

I think you've done a wonderful job, with the bedroom, den, bathrooms and washer/dryer. Everything has a great flow and makes good use of the space. Do the stairs access the basement from the laundry side, with a closet closer to the front door?

The craftsman details will make a big difference and give this home a lot of character. Maybe add a few details to the inside too? Possibly a window seat with shelves on both sides (bedroom or living area) or a built in hutch or media center?


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Very nice, Jay! I am glad you get to keep more trees and I have always loved the Craftsman style, so I like your elevation drawing. We have some towns around here where the Craftsman style is prevalent. I love a living room with a fireplace with bookshelves about 4 ft high with glass doors on either side, and a bump-out buffet in the dining area. The landing going upstairs will often have some stained glass in its window.

I also love your lay-out for its simplicity and practicality. Is there a walk-out basement planned?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yes, the TV would be in the den. I still have work to do on the living/dining/kitchen areas. We HAVE to have a fireplace! We have a small dining table that can open up with a number of leaves, so the day-to-day dining area can be very small, as it is in our current home.

You're correct on the stairs; access to the basement in the back hallway, coat closet in the front. It is a walk-out basement.

I like Craftsman details inside, but they usually come off as rather dark. I'm more a fan of lots of white paint- typical cottage style.


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Jay- A fireplace will be so nice...I don't suppose you're still thinking about putting one on the porch wall, so you can have a fireplace on each side? I remember that from an earlier plan and thought it was a wonderful idea!

I'm with you on the cottage style. Nothing like a can of creamy white paint, to lighten up a craftsman style home :)


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Jay - I really like you land and your house plan. We built our house in the woods & saved most of our trees too. Really helps on the cooling bills in the summer! We also built pretty much a rectangle (with one bump out) downstairs & 2 bedrooms up. Our main floor is around 1300 square feet & feels very roomy - we keep the upstairs closed off now that the kids are gone. Like your plan, there is very little wasted space. We did make it look cottage like with a large porch on the front & large deck on the rear (our lot slopes too but not as much as yours). I think you'll find that you can dress us your home to look either craftsman or cottage & you'll love it. They are much cheaper to build without multiple roof lines too.


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I'm not too familiar with the features of A&C on the exterior, but it seems to me that the heavy wood brackets along the gable over the front porch/stoop is very Craftsman. And the columns are too. The only thing I'd say might lend a little more of the A&C style to the front is if the base of the colums, the brick or block supports, had a little flare to them. But I'm not sure it would make enough difference to justify the expense. I'd turn the garage to the side, not have it open so it competes with the house gable. Making it a little lower looking than the main house, so it has the appearance of a WING to the house, might give it the look of being added on at a later date, and thus make your house look settled into your space. That is one of the "tricks" they suggest to give a new house some instant aging.

One thing to plan is the way the water runs off your entry gable. Did you not say you would be routing some of that water to a pond? I hope you still plan to keep that feature, and can put in your pipes as you build.

And I'm all for a good coat of white paint. There are a LOT of variations on white, you know. It will be the interiors that can take the white, maybe some soft greenish whites outside. Underneath all those great tall trees, it will pick up the broken shade with a green tone anyway.

I applaud your thinking about the sawmill and the local wood. If you have any great trees to come down, I'd like to suggest you create a carved pole or two for your barn. Nothing like a real good TOTEM. Up there, in your neck of the woods, there were a lot of Native Americans even in the early 20th century. It is amazing that even in the late 19th century, there was Indian wars and such going on, after the Civil War too. Those poles could give your homestead some instant history and character.


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I'm not sure what you mean by turning the garage to the side. It has to be where it is, although I'll probably put the overhead door in the back, and a window in the front. The roof line will drop down where the garage is, as will the porch on the other end. I'm working on adding those things to my drawings. I also shifted the stairs/bathrooms to the right a bit to give more room in the kitchen and living room, and making the BR and den a little smaller.

I'd like to do something special with the few big trees that come down. I might try my hand at hewing a couple logs into beams and incorporating them into the great room in the barn. I could make it look as though the barn was timber framed. Many years ago I tried hewing a log with an antique broad axe we have. It went surprisingly fast, but it is very tiring work. I can't imagine the people who used to do that all day, every day!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

You describe what I mean, which is not having the garage door exposed to the same side as the entry. The window on the front will give the impression of more HOUSE.

Absolutely, hewing the big trees that come down, into some beams, or even one that is to short for a beam carve it into something to stand at the doorway or whatever, it would be awesome.

Doing things the "old" way, with antique tools, can give you a lot of respect for what those folks were able to accomplish. Just think about the cathedrals carved by hand tools mostly by poor people too, who poured their devotion into these projects. Done hundreds of years ago, they still stand after two world wars and natural disasters too.

In your case, you won't exactly have a lot of spare time, since you are not retiring right away. But those logs need to season properly before you can do anything with them. Do not worry about doing anything quickly. The trees will wait for you over in the corner of your barn. Just like my stuff is still waiting for me to do pretty work in the Teahouse. When you know that you're doing something forever, won't be doing it ever again, it sort of gives you pause.

And BTW, the folks who did the manual labor all day every day, I think they ate like lumberjacks. Even when my daddy was a young man plowing, they had eggs, bacon, biscuits, steak, and fried potatos for breakfast. I cannot imagine what poor folks with nothing to eat did, except maybe eat porridge or gruel, something to stick to the bones and keep them going until they dropped.


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Actually, the logs are easier to work green. Oak gets HARD when it's dry. Timber framers usually rough everything out green, then if they have the luxury to wait, they do the final fitting after the wood dries out some.


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More updates:

I talked to the builder today, and he is formed up and ready to pour the barn slab! He was just waiting on the plumber to set the pipe stubs in place. At least my slab will be ready when I arrive in August. My city water meter is in, too. The contractor will run the water line up to the barn and house.

Speaking of arriving- I finally convinced them that they didn't need me at work until the end of the month, so Friday will be my last day. That's the LAST time I ever give more than two week's notice!

Last night I bought a little hard-side pop-up camper for living quarters. It should just fill the bill while I build my barn, and it was cheap enough that we'll probably keep it for future camping trips. We love camping, but the idea of sleeping in a tent is getting a little old.


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So good to hear from you Jay. Your progress is getting exciting. We lived in a tiny motor home when we were building. Was a big camper on a truck=motorhome. But camper size.Was great for the three months it took us to get into the house. Having water to your barn will be a big help. WE were able to run a hose to the camper after we got electricity and a pump into our well we had drilled.

So glad you are getting an earlier start. It must be very hard for you to hang out at work while your brain is up on a pretty little hill building a house. :^)))


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yay Jay! I'm glad they are unlocking the shackles early. Sounds like your contractor is on top of things too. That must be a big relief. Will it just be you up there or will your wife go with you to build the barn?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yeahhhhhh for you, Jay. Hanging around is like being a lame duck.
Glad to hear your barn is moving ahead now. I've wondered how a pop up camper would work. What size a trailer hitch does it require? My DH is against us towing anything.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

My camper is unusual in that it is a hard-side pop-up. Instead of canvas, there are plastic panels that fold into place. It's nice and sturdy. Mine uses a 2" hitch, and weighs nearly 2000 lbs., but that is very heavy for a pop-up.

Friday was my last day at work- it was all kind of surreal. I got $150 in Home Depot gift certificates, lunch, and a cake. I've never gotten anything from any other place I left! Bear in mind- this was all from the employees, not the owner. I'm one of the very few that left that place under my own terms, without a boot on my butt.

We'll head to SC around August 4th. My wife is going to come up for a few days, then fly back to FL. Allegiant has a very cheap flight directly to our closest airport- as cheap as $29! This will be very handy for the next year or so. My wife will keep working, maintaining the income stream and insurance while I build. It will be hard, as she is my best friend in the world, but we're willing to do this to get where we want to be. Once the barn is done and habitable, she will start watching for job openings.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow Jay!

And so it begins, how exciting to be starting on your dream. It will be challenging but from what I've seen, you are up for it. Best wishes to you!

Jill


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, you and your DW are striking out on a new lifetime adventure, and it is so exciting. It sounds like you have a plan, to me a good one.

Blessings to your futures.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- Best of luck to you and your DW on this new adventure! Take lots of pictures, so we can see all the views...and the barn slab :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, my digital camera makes videos too, so when the gloppadagloppada machine was here dumping/pumping the concrete, I was filming that. What a mess to clean up.

I'd suggest putting something in the pictures that you take to give some scale to it. It never looks its real size.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

That's true- I have a friend that sent me pictures of the barn pre-pour, and it doesn't look very big. The machine in the picture is actually quite large, though. On a big piece of property, the buildings don't look like much. The pipes sticking up are for the bathroom. They were supposed to put down a vapor barrier and pour the slab yesterday- haven't heard anything yet.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Slabs never look as big as you think they should. How exciting to see it finally happening.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, that is quite a change already. If you have a way to pinpoint your property on Google Earth, I bet you'd enjoy looking at it for elevation and neighboring properties too. I love to use Google Earth.

What is song which has a line, "We've only just begun....
to live....." ?

Have a great weekend as you metamorph into Farmer Jay with a real BARN.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

We used GE a lot even when we were just looking at properties. Also, Greenville County has a great GIS site, which allows you to identify all the neighboring properties, as well as overlaying topography and a bunch of other stuff- even soil types! When you pull up your property, it is outlined and all of the dimensions are on it.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow, such a site is a treasure.
Our GIS for Mobile County has a great many layers, and I don't think a simple resident can access all of them. But we can see where the flood plain is, and what elevation the land is and how the infrastructure is set up. I've never tried to see the buildings in 3d downtown, but I do get the street view when I want to see where a restaurant is located, or if some old building has been torn down.

When you are wanting to submit a request for zoning variance, it is good to have a built in way to contact all the folks with a right to know of your plans.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Hey all- just checking in! This is apparently The Land That Wi-Fi Forgot, as internet access is nearly impossible. I finally found a lunch place with Wi-Fi.

I've been up here for a week now, trying to get all of the players moving. Electricity will be a couple weeks away at best. I'm still getting prices on lumber, etc. Meanwhile, I've been clearing fence lines, laying out the house location, and building a little storage shed. I'm living out of a little pop-up camper at a near-by park. At least I have electricity and bathroom at the park. Once the power is on at our property, I'll move my camp there, which will be much easier logistically.

I'll report in a week or so when hopefully more is happening.

Jay


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, think about getting a Kindle with 3g which does not need WiFi. You can have internet with it, and you have an email address too. The battery can be charged from a USB hookup to your laptop, or via the 110 power plug at the campground. You can get email replies but only from those addresses you authorize to communicate with your Kindle.

I did not realize that could be so easy, but I read a remark by a parent who gave a 3g Kindle to his 10-11 yr old daughter, and he was complaining because she was emailing everyone and hooking to the internet with it. The younger generation seems to come by this ability natural as breathing, but it takes WORK for me to get the same results!
Nice thing is, no spam and you keep your email addy private on the Whispernet. Fascinating option, isn't it?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay you have no idea how much I envy you right now! I hope you are enjoying the process of building as much as you anticipate the joy of living there.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Hi all- Sorry it's been so long since there's been an update. In some ways, a lot has happened; in others- not so much.

For a variety of reasons, I hired a crew to frame up the barn, and they had most of it done in 3 days! The roof trusses were ordered, but took over 3 weeks to get. Meanwhile, the framing crew has evidently moved on to bigger and better things, so we are at a stand-still. I'd really like to get dried in so I can move into the relative comfort of the barn from my little camper.

As it turned out, hiring the framing crew was a stroke of luck, as I developed 'benign positional vertigo'. Long and short of it is I'm fine except occasional bouts of severe dizziness. It's a good thing I wasn't on the roof the first time it hit! It seems to be tapering off gradually, although I still don't dare go up a ladder.

I have lots of pictures, but haven't figured out how to download them to this computer. I'm SO glad they decided we 'needed' Windows 7; I can view the pictures, but as yet haven't found a way to transfer them from the camera to the computer. When you right-click, there is no 'Save-as' provision like there used to be. I need to find a teenager to straighten me out.....

Still very limited Internet access, so I'm not around much- hope you are all well.

Jay


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Good to hear from you Jay. Sorry about the vertigo.Be careful!!!

I just got windows 7 also.And changed it a tiny bit by changing where windows down loaded my pictures.

I opened C Drive and made a folder out of/away from MY Documents. Named it 2011-Photo

Then directed my picture down loads to go to it. It is a setting you make in your picture down load program. Start All programs click on your camera program and make the change.

Since I could not find the file save as either I just down loaded Irfanview for win 7 a small free down load. Set it to retain aspect ratio so if/when you resize pictures they do not get wonky on you. It is just a little check box on the Resize box under Edit. I also set to save at 72 dpi if I do not plan on printing.

Then you can file save as before. And there is a paint program with it. And a few other options I just love to use. And bottom line so simple.

Typing difficult for me My hands are a mess.Hope this helps.

Chris


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

seems a lot of us are sick or injured...


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay,

I'm a long time lurker who has greatly enjoyed your past posts. I'm glad to read your recent updates - I was just a little worried that you were too busy, or who knows what, to post on your progress.

I hope the vertigo passes completely. In the meantime please be very careful.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- So good to hear from you! I hope you can post pictures, soon. So excited for you and your wife. Hope the vertigo goes away and you get home for the holidays. Next year, holidays in the new home! :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Of course, I don't have Windows 7.
But I do not use any camera software when I download my photos.

When I plug in the camera to my USB port, it shows up as another DRIVE. I click on that drive, and it shows me the folder until I get to the one named DCIM....and then I SELECT ALL fromt he window's menu, and then I just tell it to MOVE the files. It asks WHERE. And I point to the spot, and click MOVE, and it starts MOVING.

If you wanted to leave your pics ON THE CAMERA for connecting to your TV or something (some cameras can do that), you can tell it to COPY and then PASTE to the folder where you like.

I got fed up with extra software which I felt gave me too many compatibility problems. So I just did not install it.

I used to have IRFANVIEW and am glad to know it is still around, because it is about bug free. I still use Windows XP and DH uses Vista, and now I've decided to wait about getting another computer. Mine is 5 years old but was hot and fast when I got it. Now, I have a hot fast PHONE, and it makes it so easy to upload photos to Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, with just one click, and the camera is either 5mp or 8mp, so that is good enough for me.
Note: I've turned OFF the geolocation feature which is a good idea if you have privacy concerns. They know too much about us as it is.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Well- back to 'civilization' for a week. I hated to leave the woods for all the noise, traffic, and crowds of FL. Living alone in the woods for 3 months has really changed my perception of many things. I'll certainly be a changed man after all of this.

Here's a picture of the barn. It still needs paint and trim, but is weather-tight. For some reason, it doesn't look big in the pics, but those sliding doors are 6' X 12' EACH. The roof is 27' at the peak.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- Congrats! It looks great...how wonderful to have it almost done. You know, it doesn't look that big...until you see the 'little' side door :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Sorry you had to return to civilization, Jay ;-)

Your barn looks beautiful and very traditionally barn-like. Will you be painting it red,or leaving the wood natural?

Be sure and check out the conversations in all the threads you can, we miss your input. You've gotta see MamaGoose's kitchen progress. Check out what she has been doing with her new power tools!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

It looks great Jay. Glad you stopped by here with just a week in civilization. You probably have a million things to do.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Thanks! The barn will be a traditional barn red, like the doors, with white trim. There will be a loft door above the sliding doors, and I'm going to find a rusty old pulley and some old rope to hang from the peak for 'decorative' purposes.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

OH Jay your barn is wonderful!!! Looks BIG to me.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

You're going to be as snug as a bug in a rug. Are you going to live in the barn until the house is complete? If so, how will you heat it.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

aHHHH, that is a lovely building!!!
And thanks so much for sharing this latest step to reaching your goals.

You know, it makes me realize that the old fashioned barns were really a huge undertaking, because while your barn is of a good size, my grandpa's barn was even larger. A center open for each end that could drive a wagon into loaded with his cotton, and the mules all under the roof too. I'd never thought about it before. You come to appreciate things.

Yeah, like Loretta asks, are you staying inside the barn for the winter? How are you heating things? A wood stove?
Fireplace? Is there a tack room you are staying in for now instead of in the big open barn?

Lovely just like it is, but has to be gorgeous when the paint goes on. Congratulations on your progress.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

When I saw how the roof peak has that traditional protrusion, I wondered if a hayloft and pulley were in the plan! I am glad you are going to do it, even if you only have the pulley as a decorative item.

The pulley reminds me of our rope and pulley in our loft growing up. The loft had remnants of somebody's hay or straw along the edges. We did not have the second-floor sliding doors, though. Dad had the pulley rope tied off, and there were two ropes hanging down from the pulley, itself. There were knots in the loose rope, so we could stand on it and swing. Then the second sibling would hold the other rope, and as the swinging one reached the apex of the swing, the sibling holding the rope would give it a strong pull. This way, you could get the sibling on the rope swinging in a huge arc. An arc big enough to slam him against the roof of the barn, too! Since the roofing nails protruded through the roof, it could get dangerous up there. Unwelcome visiting children who looked down upon us for being country hicks would get that treatment!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

looks like a beautiful area. LOVE the barn


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I'm back in FL- for the winter. After much thought, I found work with my old employer for a few months until the cold weather breaks in SC. I now realize that it is impractical to try to live and work in sub-freezing weather. I popped in at my old job, and they were all for me coming back to work for a while! The extra money will come in handy.

I realized that I never posted a picture of the little shed I built. It was so quick 'n dirty that I wasn't that excited about it, although it did come out kinda cute. It's 8' X 12', and there's a tiny loft for storing long objects like pipe or wood. Eventually it will get painted, and moved to a better location. It was so difficult working out of my van that I slapped the shed together for a better base of operations.

I'm also including a picture of the barn with an early Christmas decoration on it. Normally, I don't even think 'Christmas' until after Thanksgiving, but I wanted a picture for a Christmas card. That wreath is 'only' 6 feet in diameter.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I like your shed. It doesn't look slapped together at all.

Good news on going back to your old job for a few months. Sounds like you'll have the winter to make all the final plans for building too.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!
ONLY six feet diameter, well, that gives me an idea of the size of your barn. Without that wreath, it could be a small structure.

If you see some of those metal silhouettes, of a man in a cowboy hat leaning against something rolling a cigarette (or so it looks to me), and a black lab dog, I think you could add one of those metal figures to the side of the barn, and it would immediately give SCALE to it. Once the house is there too, that should help with perspective.

Of course your old employer is happy to see you. I bet they hugged you plenty when you showed up!!!! After staying up here in MA last year into December, I KNEW that I wasn't going to do that again this year!!! So I told DH that I was leaving in time to be home before Thanksgiving, if he wanted to go then fine, otherwise he could fly home later. Well, he is on board for our early morning blast off come the wee hours this Tuesday.

Heading south for the winter sounds like a reasonable plan to me. Why suffer!! When you have a nice warm house to sit before the fire in, and listen to the winter winds howl outside, that will be time enough to endure winter in a colder clime. Enjoy Florida this winter.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

It's funny- in person, you have no problem seeing the scale of the barn. It's only in pictures that it looks small. The house will be so far from the barn that it won't help the image.

At first, going back to FL and working for the winter seemed like 'giving up'. I had this notion of taking one year and working every day until the house was done. It finally penetrated my dense skull that there really is no set timetable, especially if I can go back to making an income during the idle periods. According to the locals in SC, I'd be lucky if I could work on the house half the days during the winter, between cold and rain.

I guess I have a somewhat final design for a house. I'm getting tired of drawing and re-drawing, with new compromises popping up in every iteration. I got quotes from the contractor for the basement, and I think we're going ICF, since it isn't that much more money, and it will be vastly superior for energy efficiency. We're still thinking about the construction for the main floor. ICF is a LOT more expensive than conventional framing. The difference would be about 15% of the total cost of the house, and the energy savings in such a mild climate wouldn't likely pay off in our lifetime. Decisions, decisions.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Sounds like it is all good Jay. Love your little shed. Looks great. Your barn is Really lovely with wreath. Working in the cold just sounds like torture to me. And I am a cold loving person. Hopefully you can get an early start in the spring. You have accomplished so much already. Rest a little work a little and enjoy life.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Hey Jay, let me know when you put up your mailbox. I'd love to send you a housewarming or barn raising gift. You have my email on my member page.

With all your lovely trees and nice shade, I can see you plopping some great HOSTA in the ground. And I guess you will have to add a calf or two to raise, or a miniature HORSE, all that dung will be as valuable as the animal is pretty. If you have a barn, you have to have livestock.

And put a couple of flower boxes on one of your sheds. I know you are planning several sheds of different styles, so make one of them a cape or a creole cottage style, and it will be like the old roadside motels with separate guest cottages. What an exciting option that is. Underground wiring of course, and maybe a composting toilet, and a big tank painted black on the roof for hot water, and a mirrored finish for the cold water. Will you be having a srainwater collection tank (what IS that word).....by the barn and by the house? Maybe a couple of solar panels on the barn? For yard lights?

Of course, we can think up lots of extra projects for you to do, and you will be 10 years in the doing of it all. What I am reminded of is the old joke I heard in south Louisiana......You forget your purpose was to drain the swamp when you are knee deep in alligators. :)
As a Gator fan, I'm sure you know about dem gators.

SISTERN.....that's the word I wanted.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Funny- I always thought that sistern was the female form of brethren..... the word is 'cistern'. Hosta will grow there (I LOVE hosta!) but it's a little sketchy with the heat. They grow beautiful rhododendron and azaleas, though. I found a huge nursery nearby with thousands of rhodies. I like to plant them throughout the woods, since they are native there. My plan is to mostly grow natives, or hybrids thereof. Dogwood, redbud, serviceberry, etc. in amongst my big oaks.

I already have a mailbox, and have actually gotten a little mail. Right now, the mail will be forwarded to FL for the winter.

As for critters- I'm going to start with a batch of meat chickens. I honestly don't know if I can kill a chicken for food, but I'm going to try, knowing that at least it had a better existence than at a chicken farm. After the first batch, I'll know whether I have the stomach to ever do it again. The thing about meat chickens is that they don't live very long even if you don't butcher them, so you're actually doing them a kindness (Can you tell I'm trying to psych myself up?) Future plans might include a couple goats.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I LOVE the barn(red too just like in the North East), good luck with your plans.
As for butchering chickens check out Joel Salatin's Pollyface farm, mentioned in the Omnivore's dilemma by Michael Pollan. He has a open butchering area. It keeps everything clean since it's open air structure.
I told my husband I want to raise chickens for meat & eggs, but since he had to help slaughter them as a child, he's not sure if he can do it. We'll see...
We only buy Bell & Evans or chicken from the farmer's mkt. @4.75/lb so we have cut down a lot on our chicken consumption. It's treated like a porterhouse steak now...except my cat eats Bell & Evans or Bo Bo chicken everyday. :)and clams, wild salmon..got to keep her healthy by feeding her right. She eats better than my friends who can't cook.
all the best.

Here is a link that might be useful: polyface farm link


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

You may love hosta, but if you have deer in those woods, you won't be enjoying your hosta for long. Deer also love hosta, but they don't just look at them. Azaleas can prove difficult to grow without having the deer munch on them too. You might find some rhododendrons that will be okay. It's a good thing you have a specialty nursery as they should be able to guide you with your selection of plants that the deer won't eat.

We moved to NC and are having to figure out this whole "deer resistant" gardening thing. I enjoy seeing the deer, but I am not really interested in supplying them with plants to eat. I also have a crazy squirrel that developed a taste for my black-eyed susans.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

From what I've been told, deer aren't a problem in the area. I think there's sufficient natural browse. After living on-site for 4 months, I've never seen a deer or any sign of them. Could be the 4 big, noisy pit bulls next door.....

The neighbors have a variety of deer candy on their unfenced 13 acres, and they don't have any problems.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay, what in the world is "deer candy?"

And one thing about deer, they have regional tastes apparently. Up in MA, they loved our phlox. And the echinacea. All the tops of those were grazed off at one point, but then they stopped. We of course have two small dogs, the dachshund being the closest to a hunting dog, so I don't think the dogs arriving stopped the grazing--inside dogs. But one type of plant not grazed ever was the lily of the valley. A good woodland shade plant, and it spreads very aggressively too.

Have you thought about the huckleberry bushes? Are they native there? How about a wild blueberry? The wild turkeys come to eat the blueberries. And oh my are those lovely big birds which I love to see in the garden.

I had some black star chickens, poulets only (a sex linked characteristic is all the MALES have the white star on top of the head at birth, all the females have NO star). Those are the egg-layingest chickens I ever saw, over 250 per hen per year. I ordered mine from Murray McMurray Hatcheries when they were one day old, and oh boy it was a great experience.

With something you plan to eat, just be sure you never name it. That will make it impossible to kill. Never kill anything that you name. If you have time this winter, take a look at the McMurray website and explore the breeds of chicks available. Almost as good as a garden catalog.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Winter's over! I left my job (again) Friday, and am getting ready to head back up to SC. I'll leave right after Easter. That's the first time I ever gave notice at a job before I even started. I told them March 30, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The contractor finally took an interest again, and cleared the trees and dug the hole for the foundation. Not much to look at; a hole in the ground, but it's exciting to me! After a winter of pushing and pulling, the final floor plan is pretty much set, although I'm still waffling on final dimensions. We decided to go ICF all the way up for it's safety, energy efficiency, and durability. The ICF units, which look like giant Legos, only weigh 7 lbs. each, so I feel it will be much easier on this old man than trying to frame walls alone. A friend pointed out that if I found the framing to be too much work, which is what happened on the barn, the cost of hiring framers wipes out any cost savings anyhow. I'll take lots of pictures, since ICF still isn't that common, and it's an interesting way to build a house. The contractor, who specializes in ICF, will coach me as I stack my own block, then I will pay his skilled crew to fill the forms with concrete, which is the tricky part.

Here's a hole in the ground in South Carolina:

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Oh my lord, living the country life very soon!!!
Good show, Jay!! Is that the color of your soil, or was it hauled in? Is it really red clay?

What is ICF? I think I might have seen Sarah Richardson building her farm house addition using something like flat panels and pouring concrete slurry into the middle. Seeing what you do will be a learning experience for a lot of us.

Thanks for hanging with us, don't want to lose touch after this long a time.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yes, that is the native soil. Actually, it's a little washed out from rain- it's usually even redder! I joke that I'm going to take a handful down to the animal shelter so I can color-match our next dog LOL!

ICF, or Insulated Concrete Forms look like giant Lego blocks, and fit together much the same way. Basically, there is a layer of foam outside, an 8" void in the middle, and a layer of foam inside. There is a webbing that holds it together, and provides a place to lay re-bar for reinforcement. Openings are cut and braced for windows and doors. Once the whole thing is stacked, it is pumped full of concrete, resulting in 8" of steel-reinforced concrete and R-25 insulation. I attached a photo of one of the blocks, which are 16" high and 48" long. You can see black plastic strips on the outside of the foam; these are to attach siding on the outside, and drywall inside. They're strong enough to hang kitchen cabinets on, as well.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

YES Jay a hole in the ground is VERY exciting.

And there you go back to playing with blocks. Sheese.

Joking of course. There are a couple of houses here built that way.

It is not matching the dog so much to the soil color but matching him to the carpet color. I do hope your wife likes rust.

This is so exciting.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Time for another update- we're finally going upward! The pictures will be limited for a while, since I'm on an air card, so I have to watch my usage. After a number of rains, we finally got the footings in place, inspected, and poured. The forms for the footings also create a perimeter drain system to keep water out of the basement. The same forms face inward, and provide ventilation for radon mitigation, a code requirement here.

The pictures are pretty self-explanatory; the first on is the very first concrete hitting the ground, the second is a shot of the footing, showing the rebar sticking up which 'keys' the walls to the slab, and the final shot shows all of the ICF blocks down in the hole, ready to start stacking.

I made a camera mount of sorts on one of the trees, so I can document the entire build from the same spot. The last picture is from that spot; the barn is just right of the far right of the picture.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

WOW Looking great. There is a house close to us that is built with the ICF Blocks. Pretty neat way to go. So glad you can keep us updated even ,if briefly, on your build. Such a pretty setting.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I heard the ICF blocks go up really fast too. That would be nice for some instant gratification. Ana White is building a duplex with those blocks.

Great idea about the camera location Jay. It's nice to see things from the same location. Too bad you don't have a game cam there so you don't even have to hit the shutter button.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Time for another update! The basement walls are up and poured with concrete. They have to cure for a few days, so I am in FL for some R&R, and to bring more stuff to SC.

First- The slab is poured. Due to all of the rain, we decided to pour the slab to stabilize things, and keep me out of the mud.

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You can see that a couple of courses of ICF are already in place. Next is a shot with the partially completed walls, to which the bracing has been added. The bracing keeps everything in place when tons of concrete are added.

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Re-bar is placed every 16" to reinforce the concrete. Here is a window opening, showing the bracing required to keep things in shape under the weight of the concrete'

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Just before pouring-

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The concrete is pumped in. The blue masking tape is to keep the top of the blocks clean for the next course. I have to build the floor deck now, and then stack up the main floor. We should pour that in about 3-4 weeks.

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bravo! bravo! way to go! so good to see it becoming REAL.


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WOW Really enjoying the process and updates. So gad it is going along well for you.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Time for an update! I finished the main floor today. This means the contractor can back-fill, and I can start stacking the main floor walls. I've had a lot of weather delays, what with triple digit temperatures followed by a solid week of rain. We hit a new all-time record high of 107 degrees! The first picture is the foundation with all of the bracing removed.

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How hot was it??

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Half the deck covered:

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The basement stairs- lots of calculating in a staircase!

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The basement. Kinda wet as it has rained nearly every afternoon. At least with a walk-out, the water can run out the back door!

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The main floor is finished!

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Jay always glad to see your up dates. I am so impressed with how much you have accomplished. Looking great.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Awesome! ya-hoo! looking great!

why ya just standing there? keep pounding those nails - lol!

I know a lot about 107 heat. not as humid as it was where you are tho.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

That slab looks so smooth. Until it got muddy. Good job on getting the first level done. Is that the basement?

And you're still smiling. You're getting there! Do you have any help?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Jay- Congratulations! Nice stairs...and those can be tricky. So neat to watch your new house become a reality :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wonderful!! You've gotten so much accomplished. It's looking great.

Those triple digit high humidity temps are a nightmare. Be careful & don't overheat.

Look forward to more pics. You might just convince me to think about building my retirement home!!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Hey- Remember me? Building a house single-handed is certainly a slow process! Time for another update. The big news is that I am finally done with my contractor. Although he has been great, my job is very small, and so I wind up doing a lot of waiting for him to squeeze me in. Once the house is done, I'll bring him in for final grading, but that's a long ways off.

The pictures are self-explanatory, I think. The main floor walls are up and poured. The garage and porch slabs are poured. I built the small garage with conventionally framed walls. This last Thursday, we got the roof trusses placed, which was a major job. I had two friends from church help me, along with a big crane and operator.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow! It's really starting to come together. I'm just catching up on your project and I just have to say that I your barn is so charming. I love it.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Is that "you" at the top of the truss? A contradiction to the little green wagon in front of your house. Thanks for all the updates. You will have so many memories tied to a home long before moving in.


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I'm always happy to see this thread. Congrats, real progress and lots of hard work paying off.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Loving the plans on paper finally becoming a reality. Looks wonderful Jay.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yes, Jay, it is coming along so well. You will be dry under roof soon! Are you planning to get windows and doors in and work inside this winter, or are you going home again for the winter? You must be so proud. Not everyone can do what you are doing. I see the dog is still keeping you company, too!


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Oh what a great job you are doing. I'm bookmarking this post to show my sweetheart. What a nice update. Good luck with it all !!!!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Looks like you are making great progress to me. We've spent the last 9 months just adding on one little room and redoing the kitchen. You'll be dried in before winter for sure.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Thanks for all of the supportive comments! Yes, I'd like to be dried in for the winter. The doors and windows are ordered, done, and waiting at the warehouse. I really need to keep moving forward at this point to keep my permit 'active'. I have set aside some time in FL to get our old house ready to sell, though.

Winter in SC is pretty mild. Last winter, I could have worked pretty much all winter, as it didn't get very cold. Local folk lore is calling for a much rougher winter, so I'll just play it by ear. FL is only 10 hours away if I chicken out!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Way to go! You're doing a great job. Here's praying you have a mild winter.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

A quick follow-up, and a chance to say 'Hello'. For some reason, my aircard is incompatible with GW, so I can't post from SC.

Anyhow- winter has been fairly mild, but wet, wet, wet. The roof is sheathed, but not yet covered in tin. It is ready for it; just waiting for a dry window of opportunity. After that, I can work indoors in relative comfort. Meanwhile, I've been working on stuff you can't see, like rough plumbing. Here's an old picture with the sheathing and porch on it. This spring, I'm going to work inside on wet days, and do the siding when the weather is dry.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

It's really coming along. Are you both in NC now or are you still commuting?


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

No- my wife is still in FL, while I am mostly in SC. I'm in FL for a few days, which is why I'm able to post. My wife sent her resume to the main hospital in SC, so the ball is in motion for a big change. Ironically, if she gets a job in SC, I'll be in FL, getting our house ready to sell!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Looking very nice. Will be so nice to have it in the dry so you can work on those rainy damp days. Coming along!!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Thanks for remembering to send us the update. I think of you whenever I hear weather reports for your part of the country. Your home is looking very inviting!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Well, now you can 'picture' the barn! I got my final inspection today- finally! The main hold-up was trying to paint it; we've had an unusually cool, wet winter this year.

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I looks good! Any new photos of the house?


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Love it! Have always wanted a red barn behind my house.


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I do have a more recent pic of the house:

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I like the roof!


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Thanks! I went with the old-fashioned 5V tin in natural galvanized color. The house doesn't look like much now, but will get dressed up with roof brackets and typical fat Craftsman porch columns. Here's a pic of one of the roof brackets (the top is to the left). They are made from heavy rough-cut cypress, and will be secured with the large square head bolts. The green color is a wood preservative prior to painting.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Another update- There haven't been all that many 'photographic' changes. I finally finished the gable end over the roof, and then finished up the tin roofing. During all of the rain, I've been working on interior stuff like plumbing and electrical. I did manage to wrap the exterior and install of my doors and windows, so I'm truly weather tight now. ICF isn't usually wrapped, but I need to protect the foam from the sun at my slow pace, and it makes it easier to flash the windows.

It was fun figuring out how to install the windows by myself, but I worked out a way. The big triple window goes over the kitchen sink, and is some 15' off the ground.

I got most of the interior framing done- I call it the Ironwood Forest. The quality of lumber is so poor, I opted for steel studs instead. Easy to install, and straight, straight, straight!

There's a picture of the finished gable end, although you can't see the colors well because of the lighting.

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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

It's looking great. I like your roof brackets. Did you notch them to fit around the facia?

You're so right about the quality of wood studs. how much of a price difference is there between wood and metal studs? I'm really impressed that you are putting in the windows all by yourself. I helped dh with our double window and French door and they nearly killed both of us.

This post was edited by marti8a on Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 13:14


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

wow - it's looking so good! and getting done. I'd say the worst/hardest parts are done - right?

I can't imagine putting in a window alone. I have one here to be put in and figure it'll take 2 guys to do it. My handyman is huge and strong as the hulk (ok, almost) and I still think he needs a 2nd guy to help him.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Because lumber has gone up, the steel studs were actually cheaper- about $100 less for all of them. I'm using the heavier 20 gauge rather than the flimsy 25 they sell at the big box stores.

As for the windows- here's my trick. The windows have a nailing fin which is folded flat. I fastened a board outside of the house with big enough spacers to let the window come out far enough to unfold the nailing fin, but still hold the window from falling. I put the bottom of the window on the window ledge (inside) and walked it up, guiding it through the opening, and letting it lean out against the board described above. Then i went outside and worked the fins out. I pushed the window back against the opening (it can't go back in once the fins are folded out) and used wedges of scrap styrofoam to push it back off of my board. I then went inside (whew!) and shimmed everything into place before caulking and fastening. I even did the big triple window that way. It was heavy, but I managed.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

I have a question - when using metal studs, how do you do blocking? I am talking about blocking for heavy objects that you want to put on the walls or things like grab bars in the bathroom.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

You can just put wood blocking in the walls, screwing it from stud to stud. The steel studs feel flimsy until they are drywalled, after which they are just as strong as wood. Molding can be tricky, too. They do make finish screws, but they are kind of big. I'm going to put 1/2" plywood about 1/2" lower than the baseboards. It gives you a nailing surface, and the top of the baseboard covers the seam between the plywood and drywall.

There is a learning curve with the metal studs. Everything is slightly different, including electrical and plumbing. I couldn't find a good electrical box, so I'm going to use nail-on boxes, nailed to a short piece of 2X4, which will then be screwed to the metal stud. You have to use plastic grommets where wires go through the metal studs. When the house is done, we'll use various hollow wall fasteners for hanging pictures, etc. I did a lot of googling before starting the framing. There are a lot of little tricks.

The fascia itself is notched, instead of the brackets. Despite the massive square-head bolts, the whole thing is just for looks. Although they do add a lot of strength, they are not part of the engineered structure.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Flgargoyle here, under a new user name. I posted about it under 'Reintroduction'.

Not much new on the house, other than electric and plumbing, which is proving to be a big task. It's hard to believe in a small house, but I've used about a half a MILE of wire for 52 outlets and 28 switches!

The big news is that we're officially moving- now! My wife got a job in SC (Yay!) so the old house is going on the market, and we're packing up and moving to SC in October. It'll be fun setting up house in the basement of our unfinished home, living off of a single 120V extension cord. Hopefully, the power will be on soon!

Jay


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow, Jay, this is the big step. Has Mrs. Jay been to the new house yet? It sounds like you two will be camping out for a while in that basement.

Wiring always amazes me. I remember the first time I saw the "electrical room" for one of those 6000 sq ft monstrosities that people thought that they needed to build in the early 2000's. I was astounded that a HOUSE needed an electrical room, but it was completely full of wiring and boxes. It had hundreds of recessed lights, plus every bell and whistle. I think that house's wiring could circle the earth, go all the way to the moon, or some other outlandish feat. Since it was before home-use LEDs, I bet their electrical bills ran over $500/month without air conditioning.

Are you going to make use of LEDs? We put in Cree 6" recessed lights in the kitchen and for the smaller pot lights I found LED bulbs for the 4" pots. Both are supposed to last 10 years. They don't just blink out when they die, but their brightness will fade, so it will be hard to tell if our aging eyes are dimming or if the LEDs are. So far, we really like the lights, but they are also our first recessed lights, too.

Do you have to wait until the drywall is up to turn on the electric power to the house? Is drywall the next step once plumbing and electric are done? Are you doing drywall all by yourself? How long do you think it will take? Once walls are up, then I can imagine exactly how the rest of the process will go.

And here you and Mrs. Jay are, culling, packing, cleaning, and getting ready to sell a house that you have already emotionally left. May you have only pleasant memories in your task, and may the RE market work quickly in your favor!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Nancy- Mrs Jay (Carol) gets up to SC every few months, so she's seen most of the progress. It was during her last visit that she interviewed for, and got, her new job.

The house will be almost all LED. I've made use of a number of the Cree 6" recessed, as Home Depot has a very good price on them. At 3 hours a day, they are supposed to last some 32 years! I might be buried in the back 40 before I ever have to change a lightbulb LOL!

In our area, they have grouped the inspections due to rather severe cutbacks in the building department. My last inspection was the basement slab; the next one is framing, rough electric, and rough plumbing combined! That's a biggie. Once it passes, they give me a form to give to the power company, and they schedule burying a line from the transformer to the meter. At that point, I have full power. After that, I can drywall the ceiling and insulate the attic, which I'd like to do before it gets really cold. My A/C won't be in the attic at all, so I can button it up. I will at least attempt my own drywall; we'll see how it goes.

This move is really starting to turn into a sit-com episode. My son has to go to Wyoming for 3 months (work), so we are dog-sitting. Unfortunately, his dog can't run free as she takes off. Also, she does not get along with my dog, or our cat! On top of juggling incompatible pets and building a house, we are hosting Thanksgiving this year! Hopefully, I'll have the power on so I can hook up the range for cooking. Otherwise, I'll make do with my smoker and my little toaster oven. Should prove interesting. I really need to write a book when all of this is over!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow, Jay, I just got caught up on your new home and it's fantastic. My husband would have enjoyed seeing all that you've done yourself.

I'm sure you'll pass your inspections. When we were doing building here, it was always great getting those behind you so that you could carry on.

Thanks for sharing this adventure here.

FlowerLady


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Well, I passed a huge inspection! They've cut back on staff at the building department, so they combine inspections. My last inspection was the basement slab, and this one was framing, rough electric, and rough plumbing! Essentially, you have to build an entire house, and wire and plumb it.

How thorough was the inspection? They didn't even turn their truck off! One year of hard work for me, 3 minutes of time for them to 'inspect' it. I'm glad I know what I'm doing!

Up next is drywall and other interior work! On nice days, I'll work on the outside siding.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Yeah Jay! Thanks for the update! Looking forward to more pics of your beautiful home. So it's October! Hope you and Mrs. J are enjoying your new home together!


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Congrats! Hope you post more pictures :)


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Great job! They're predicting a colder winter for SC this year. I'm just 60 miles from the beach so we have fairly mild winters here. Hope you have a mild winter and clear weather for Thanksgiving.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Great job! They're predicting a colder winter for SC this year. I'm just 60 miles from the beach so we have fairly mild winters here. Hope you have a mild winter and clear weather for Thanksgiving.


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Hey idie2live, good to see you posting!


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RE: Picture a small house..... and a barn.

Wow, what a let-down that inspection was! It is nice that they did not find stuff to bug you on, but a "fine job," would be a nice compliment after all your work. If they didn't even look at it, any superlatives would be pretty meaningless.

That's just me, I know you probably had no ego needs to be met by the inspection!

Can't wait to see more pictures. Be sure to take some of your Thanksgiving feast. I want to see how you do this without actual rooms yet! You are an adventurous couple.


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