Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Molasses in Winter

One of the frustrations of contracting your own house is that you don't have anyone to blame for inactivity except yourself. There are periods where nothing is happening at the house, and while there are multiple tasks to get done you can't get to them. Working a regular job and trying to lead a 'normal' life, despite juggling the 5,000 piece house building puzzle, leaves a few hours available each day to concentrate on building. Yesterday was one of my workout days (conveniently required by the Air Force, so I have to make it fit my schedule) and I left work about 45 minutes later than normal. So that sucked up even more time. I did laze around the house for a bit, but my window of opportunity to work on the house was only about 12.5 seconds. Some of the Olympic skiing runs were shorter than that, but they ended in a crash.
Today I carried over all the items that were on yesterday's To Do List. Call two plumbers back, call a HVAC company to ask about their bid and the township zoning office to get our siteplan offically blessed. And that's why I reply 'about September first' when asked "When will you move in?"

Friday, February 24, 2006

Water from the well, well well. Only one hole in the ground though. If interested, it came out to less than 1 PPM of iron and about 23 grains of water hardness. That's almost half of what we had in Texas on city water. The well has a static level of about 20 feet and is 110' deep.

Life lessons from salty water

Well, well well-three holes in the ground. That was one of my Dad's favorite sayings, and I wish he was alive so I could tell him that we own a hole in the ground. We got a call this afternoon as I was leaving work from Rod the well driller. He said that he was done and was packing up the rig--did we want to come up and see the well working? Did we ever! I went home and grabbed Linnea and the kids and headed North. Got up there on a cooling Ohio afternoon; the sun was still high enough to warm us by it's heat, but the wind was strong enough to blow it away before you were warm. So we stood in the wind and sun for about an hour talking wells and work and life with Rod the driller. Rod's one of the saltiest salts of the earth I have ever met. His grandfather got him started on drilling when Rod was still in school. Rod said he used to sneak out of school to spend the day with his Granpa and drill wells. Rod is still drilling wells the same way his Granpa did, with a cable rig. The cable rig is an old school drill that uses percussive pounding to drill the well, rather than a rotary drill that cuts through quickly. Rod and about half of the county inspectors we spoke to recommended the percussive drill as it breaks up the rock and produces more veins that feed the well. So as Rod told me more about wells and how he drills them I heard more than just the work he did, I heard him talking about a passing way of life--working hard for a living. Rod has been through 15 different apprentices in the last couple of years. Rod's about my age (close to 40), but working in the heat and cold, sun and rain has weathered him like the rock he drills in. None of the apprentices has worked out as they all wanted to apprentice to Donald Trump rather than a hard working man who knows the value of hard work. It made me want to tell him "I will work for you!" or maybe volunteer one of our sons. I know that my grandfathers knew the value of hard work and so did my Dad. It took me a lot longer to learn that lesson than I want to admit.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What does a drill rig look like anyway?

Here's a photo of the rig that's drilling our well.

There's a hole in the bucket...

Just got off the phone with the thickest accent I have found in Ohio. That's Rod, our well driller. He's got the well at 80' right now and he thinks it's putting out about 8 to 10 gallons a minute. He is going to punch on down to 110' or so to see if he can get the flow a little higher. He also suggested that we put in a PVC liner to keep out the shale as there is so much loose rock. So that's the first item to go over budget. Maybe not, as I budgeted $4,200 for the entire well and rough water connection. We shall see. As God said, "He will be like a tree {firmly} planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers."

We have a plan

Yep, the plans FINALLY printed at the reprographics shop correctly. It wasn't their fault but ours. What a learning curve. You know, building a house is one long series of learning curves, and angles, and lengths and widths and even some straight lines.
So we have our plans, and I will post the Adobe Acrobat file to the blog for you to enjoy. Now that we have the plans, and the well is being drilled, we can apply for the permit. Hopefully next week. So, back to work and back to finishing the construction budget...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

We are go!

We have started the build. While the only thing we can see so far is mud, it's a start. Since we started in October preparing to build, we have been slowly going stir-crazy (like stir-fry, only slower and more painful). Yes, the well is being drilled. At the end of the week we hope and pray for a $2000 hole in the ground. Only, this hole should be about 120' deep and have water on the other end. If successful, we will drop the plans at the county building office and buy us a building permit.
In other news, we have also have lined up our electrican and masonry subs. Three cheers for Ken Lowry and Bob Peters. Now if we can only find a plumber!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006