Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Working Toward a Dried-In Structure!

I should really try to update more often, but the nature of construction leaves me little time to worry about updating this space! So buckle up, this post is a big'un!

Wednesday, July 17, hinged on the arrival of more materials. One of the biggest problems with living remotely is having access to things. Deliveries for most materials Dave orders are only made to our area on Tuesdays and Thursdays - and even then, things rarely go well. There's a good reason why local builders refer to Lowes as Blowes and OC Cluss as Clussterf*ck!

The roofing materials come from a specialty store, so they are a bit more flexible on delivery day. Originally, they were supposed to arrive on Tuesday, but the driver got sick and things got shuffled around. We also needed more lumber and it was anyone's best bet when that would arrive. We thought Wednesday, but that didn't happen. Argh.

All the same, Dave did make some progress getting the window for the back stall framed, OSB up on the back, and exterior finish work on the west side windows.

Eventually, I'll have a cool gif of photos from this spot from start to finish.
White oak framing around the windows - I can't wait to see the white oak siding with the metal trim. Gonna be so gorgeous!
Looking to the inside
OSB on the back side
Framed in the window for the back stall. Lovely 4' x 4' window. Don't worry, there will eventually be something there to bar the horses from fussing with it!
Standing in the hay storage area looking out the back

On Thursday, we crossed our fingers for delivery of the roofing materials and lumber and for the return of the excavator. (Feeling like the boy who cried wolf at this point with the damn excavator's schedule lol!) I need to state for the record though, that despite my frustration with the excavator's schedule, he really, truly can't help it. He's tied into a government contract and they've had a lot of [really stupid] delays that have frustrated all of us.

Unfortunately, the excavator didn't return Thursday and couldn't come as planned on Friday because it rained like hell Thursday night. Fortunately, the deliveries DID come! Unfortunately, Dave's help for the day had to unexpectedly call off to deal with his kid's broken car. Fortunately, Dave was able to get some things done on his own, but it wasn't anything too crazy (exterior framing of windows and some work on the exterior stall doors) and I didn't take any photos.

On Friday, July 19, the roof on the near side of the house went up (the only reason they hadn't finished the first go was due to damaged panels) and the roof over the overhang went up. Dave also made me finish one of the exterior stall door openings and wouldn't let me wimp out of using the scary saw noting that this way I can say I "helped" lol.

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Step by step...
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Progress is made...
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The foam paneling will prevent condensation from forming and "raining" inside
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Panel about to go up!
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And a short while later - FINALLY a finished side!
The finished roof on this side is so satisfying
If I squint, I can imagine the white oak siding all the way across the Tyvek
Finally a roof on the overhang!
The horses are gonna have such a sweet spot to chill under that overhang
Looking in from outside the front door
We were picking up in advance of a Saturday party in celebration of the barn and summer
See the stall doors opening to the overhang area?! 
I finished the one on the right!
Looking toward barn from far side of the to-be dry lot
Tyvek on the back side
Spacious area under the overhang
That's a 10' ladder for scale!
Looking toward feed/tack from rear stall
Lest you think construction is an orderly thing....LOL
Taken on Sunday evening as I sat with my feet propped up on the back porch after the cold front finally swept in and took all
the nasty-ass hot weather away. 66°F has never felt so amazing. Yep, this'll do. This'll do just fine. 

On Monday it Rained. Yes, with a capital "R". Not as bad as the end of June when we got 5" in a span of 2-3 hours, but still a nice dump of rain. As a result, not much happened beyond some framing of one of the tack/feed room walls.

Really starting to take shape
Can't wait for that topsoil to go to its permanent home so this view is a bit cleaner lol
Won't be able to see through the wall much longer
Positives to all the rain though? I feel very good about the drainage on this site. There's one area outside the overhang on the uphill side of the lot that forms a puddle, but it's really minor. Even after the deluge at the end of June that resulted in our road getting washed out and every road/community below us receiving catastrophic flash flooding, the job site looked AMAZING. In fact, when the excavator stopped by a week after the flood event, he was absolutely floored at how great the site looked. He told us he had fully expected there to be a 2' gully down the road to the dry lot and couldn't believe how untouched it all was. Building on top of shale has some huge benefits.. Once we install the French drain with its three outlets, we're going to be GOLDEN.

On Tuesday, the weather took a turn for the better.  It was the first day of what would be nearly a week of rain-free conditions - perfect weather for a whole suite of things like finishing the roof, finishing the dry lot, finishing the excavation, installing the French drain, and getting the utilities to the barn. Oh, and we can't forget - making hay!

Dave spent most of Tuesday helping to mill the trees we cleared.

It felt so good to finally get the trees milled AND to be able to use trees we cut in the structure. Those that cannot be milled will become firewood for the winter ahead. My little biologist heart goes pitter patter knowing I was able to make the most of my resource with minimal waste. <3

Getting to this point was a bit frustrating though! Originally, the excavator was going to mill for us. But then the trailer he was going to put/mount his mill on fell through or something. So then we were going to have another local farmer with a mill do it, but then the rain event at the end of June flooded his mill and it's out of commission for a good long while. Such a travesty! So then we got the name of an 80+ year old local gentleman who had a portable mill. We called him 2 weeks ago and he said he could absolutely help us out, but it "would be awhile". Dave and I groaned inwardly for approximately 2 seconds before this gentleman finished with, "Maybe 10 days or so? I could definitely fit you in within the next 2 weeks." Well hot damn, SOLD.

Lots of sawdust...
Jolene doing truck things

These boards will go in both the tack/feed room, and in the stalls. I can't believe how beautiful some of those boards are! I very well may eventually stain the tack/feed area.

In addition to milling, the framing for the tack/feed room was completed! It's a regular little space now. I can practically SEE my saddles and bridles and halters all lined up neatly in their places. Not long now!

There's going to be so much room in there
Glad to see the grass growing on that slope
Lots of milled wood that will go into the stalls etc.

On Wednesday, after an incredibly taxing day at work, I came home to find the rest of the barn covered with OSB and the exterior wall between the tack room and hay area nearly complete. And ohmygoodnessgracious, y'all, it's so beautiful! The mish-mash of maple and cherry is absolutely stunning. I am so freaking excited for the tack room walls to be finished now. They're going to be GORGEOUS.

That completed roof on this side makes such a difference
Closed in
OMG y'all. LOOK at that wall. Inside the tack/feed room will be the same!
Skeptical Kenai...
Pity I'll never see this side again. Photos to remember!
Even unfinished and unstained, the colors are amazing
All closed in
Can't see out that wall anymore...
From the outside looking in
Tools and freshly milled boards
More milled lumber
Wrapping 'er up
Looking in from the back door
Looking in from the front door
Roof progress!
Heavy Metal Huskies, debut album dropping soon!

It's kinda crazy to see everything closed in now. I'd gotten so accustomed to it being open even though I knew it wouldn't stay that way.

As of Wednesday evening, I also appeared to be quite the equipment hoarder. As if one two three four expensive hobbyies wasn't weren't enough, now it may appear to passers-by that I've got a love of heavy equipment.

My collection of equipment
Thursday morning was NUTS in the best way possible. I had opted to telework knowing that the planets had finally aligned to bring the excavator back and because my fence posts were slated to be placed in advance of stringing the wire on Friday. However, it turns out that the fence posts going in on Thursday was misinformation on the part of the fence crew's boss. D'oh! I'd've been more miffed if I didn't know the guy really well. As it was, I was able to just laugh about it and shake my head about such a classic move by him to mix things up.

Even without the fence crew though, things were super busy for about an hour as so many things do-si-doed on my property.

8:01am, the gas company showed up to mark their gas line that we need to watch out for when we put the fence in and when we install the utilities. I go out to speak with them and double-check fence location as it relates to the gas line.
8:10am, I hear rumbling coming up the mountain and know the excavator is arriving with the first load of gravel.
8:11-8:15am, not one, but THREE dump trucks with full loads of clean #4 stone arrive along with my crew of two heavy equipment operators (the excavators as I've been referring to them).

For those keeping track, I now had 1 skid steer with post pounder, 1 portable wood mill, 1 bull dozer, 3 dump trucks, 2 heavy equipment operators, and 2 gas company individuals on my property, plus Dave who was busily working away on the barn.

Oi vey!

I may or may not have squealed, jumped about in glee, did a happy dance, and shrieked, "It's a party! It's a party!" to no one in particular as all of these players maneuvered about staging themselves in my field.

In no time at all, each of the three dump trucks had evacuated their massive loads (I'm sorry, there's no way to put this that doesn't sound like defecation), released a brontosaurus-esque roar, and pulled out of the dry lot area.

Leading the first dumptruck down to the work site
Third load...
Eeeee gravel! Only wish that they'd staggered how they came across the pasture so it didn't compact so dramatically in the one area

Caption: I never thought gravel would feel like Christmas morning.

By the end of the day Thursday, my equipment collection grew by 1 mini excavator and 1 skid steer with a bucket attachment. Almost all of my remaining topsoil was spread to create a better slope down into the second pasture (an estimated 4 triaxle loads of topsoil! I know where I'm going if I ever need any topsoil or a quick buck.) and the roof was almost finished.

I spy with my little eye, GRAVEL
The third generation of the family excavation business contemplating life lol
Soon to be a dry lot!
All that topsoil where it's going to live unless I need to harvest some one day
It STUNK. It's so damn rich. The vegetation that had been on it had been decomposing. Smelled like a cattle farm. Which isn't odd considering this area was once a cattle farm...
From second pasture looking toward barn
Bit of a mess in here....
Trim on roof
Dark in there now due to the nearly complete roof!
LOVE this view with the topsoil piles gonnneee

I'd hoped to update progress through the weekend with this post, but the internet isn't cooperating for me to sync all of the photos over from my phone. Argh. Stay tuned though - I'll hope to have another update before the end of the week!