(9)Monday July 23, 2001 - I normally work a 4 day work week
taking Friday off but since the rock hammer is still on rental and
I had not finished the excavation yet, I decided to work out at
the land today. But first, I had to change the oil in the burb and
weld the exhaust pipe for the rental. I got out to the land just
before 8am and worked nonstop until 4pm when the septic designer
showed up. One of the things I wanted to get done this week if possible
was to excavate for the septic tank to offset the costs of the rental
of the rock hammer. We will see how that goes. I have to dig a hole
that is nine feet wide, fifteen feet long, and seven feet deep.
Also, the best way to get a truck in to set the concrete tank is
over the excavation site so I need to get the tank set before I
dig my footings or put in more road. I am tired of putting in roads.
I think I will rent a rock saw to dig my footings. That is what
we use in the Texas Hill Country to dig ditches. Those wimpy ditch
witches don't work in this area. The rock saw is a large wheel with
a bunch of carbide teeth that basically just pulverizes rocks, dirt,
roots, etc. I have to rent one anyway to dig my ditches for water,
electricity, and sewage so why not do the footings with it as well?
I also talked with the guys from the electric company who were out
marking the path for the line. They told me it would be another
6 to 8 weeks before I see any service. This is not good because
that means we need to use generators for the construction phase
which is not the ideal situation.
(4)Tuesday July 24, 2001 - We went out and Patti continued
bamming at the rocks to chip away at what will be the patio area
beside my shop. I spent some time clearing the area for the septic
tank to allow room for two back hoes and for the delivery truck
when it arrives. I got a flat on the front tire of the rental today.
I took it off and Patti is going to take it to get it fixed tomorrow.
I have also been talking with the builder and SIP company to establish
the schedule. As is stands right now, I want to have the slab poured
by August 13th, get my first draw and pay the deposit on the panels.
This will put delivery around the second week in September allowing
the builder to start shortly after that. The house should go up
fairly quickly but we are allowing two weeks to allow for any gotchas.
(Nothing like that has happened so far, has it?) I will follow up
with windows and doors and the house should be blacked in and I
will have 6 months to finish.
(4)Wednesday July 25, 2001 - Today I finished clearing the
path to where the septic tank is supposed to go and started digging
and bamming. I am hitting solid rock here and progress is going
(4.5)Thursday July 26, 2001 - More bamming on the septic
tank hole. The whole idea of digging this hole was to save money.
Well, at about 7pm I decided to abandon this effort due to the amount
of rock and the fact that I would not be able to finish by the time
the rental was due back so I will fine tune the house site and driveway
tomorrow. Check out
the excavation site so far. Also check out
this picture of the rare Wimberley
kissing frog that I encountered on the property.
(8.5)Friday July 27, 2001 - I spent all day fine tuning
the house site with the rock hammer. I straightened the walls, extended
one out further, knocked down the high spots and removed some rocks
on the perimeter. The site is now level within 8" which will
facilitate the construction of the forms and use less concrete.
I started filling in the area where the patio will be as well. I
did have one mishap -- while I was using the rock hammer on one
of the walls, all the remaining mounting bolts broke and luckily
it was wedged into the ground or the hoses may have been broken
off. I had to go and get 8 more bolts to put the thing back together.
I had to have the rental back around 3:30 so I busted all the rocks
in the road on the way.
(0)Saturday July 28, 2001 - Today marks one month since
we closed. I feel that we have accomplished quite a bit in the last
month. I have been averaging about 35 hours per week on this project
in addition to my real job. We are trying to get the slab done because
that's when we get our first draw. We have financed everything so
far ourselves. I met with our neighbor on the East side of us to
see if they would grant me an easement to run electricity from their
pole which is close to our property. It would have resulted in cutting
too many trees and they did not want to do that. I can understand
because that is why I don't want the power line coming down my driveway,
they would end up cutting too many of my oak trees. Plan B is to
come from the West side of the property. I have discussed this with
the Realtor and he seems agreeable with this plan. I'll let you
know what happens.
(0)Sunday July 29, 2001 - I have decided to make up some
hours for my day job since I spent so much of my time out at the
land this week. This week will be a little slow until Friday. A
buddy of mine is coming into town and is going to help me for a
few days so Friday I will rent the rock saw and cut the footings
and other ditches. I also think I will rent a shredder and get some
help with that as well. It should be a busy couple of days so I
will get my hours in at my day job before then. I will need to move
one pile of dirt and layout the footings before Friday though.