News Archive: June 2019

30 June 2019. Sheetrocking is coming along in quite a spurt, with much of the living space now done; I even turned the corner and completed the refrigerator nook as well as part of the pantry.

29 June 2019. Sheetrocking progress is slow but steady. While the laundry is about half-done, likely the most significant accomplishment so far has been finishing off the area around the bed. Now I won't feel like I'm sleeping in a construction zone anymore, although I still need to get some hardwood to finish off the headboard.

28 June 2019. The sheetrock delivery has allowed me to make some substantial progress on the main living space: the bathroom is now 100% rocked, and I've rounded the corner and started on the laundry. Unfortunately the new-new dryer wasn't delivered as scheduled, so Lowe's has some explaining to do. Meanwhile, it's just a little disturbing to be working indoors when it's so nice and sunny outside, but it's also brutally hot, so indoor work is infinitely healthier.

27 June 2019. My attention of late has been focused on generating revenue and making other financial arrangements so I can afford to take the next few baby steps. Today, the long-awaited shipment of sheetrock arrives, and tomorrow the new-new dryer will be delivered. Meanwhile, I mustered just enough energy to install a motion-detection light for the front porch. Given the temperature was 90°, it was all I could manage.

23 June 2019. Being just a bit under the weather, I kept things low-key today, focusing on various little odd jobs: I replaced the dimmers in the kitchen with newer ones, as the originals made the lights flicker a little; I recycled the old dimmers for the closet/laundry and toilet lights, which don't flicker with the older models; and I added built-in night lights in the hallway to illuminate the steps at night. I also did a few more loads of laundry—because I could.

22 June 2019. Received the new-new washer today; the dryer will come when I order it, likely sometime next week. Regardless, I ran a load just to be sure the thing works, and it certainly seems to. I'll have to take the wet clothes to the laundromat to dry tomorrow, but that's a trivial inconvenience at this point.

21 June 2019. Arrangements are being made for me to receive a new washer and dryer, with the washer arriving as soon as tomorrow. These are highly-rated models, and owing to their higher cost, I've had to participate in their purchase. And that's fine; you get what you pay for—a lesson I had to re-learn with the last round of these appliances. Meanwhile, I did a bit more rocking in the garage, starting with one of the most complex pieces to cut.

20 June 2019. The rain has been relentless, and threatens to continue (we're enduring a violent thunderstorm and horrendous downpour—complete with overhead thunderclaps and flickering lights—as I write this), so all work has been indoors. Today my helper helped me rock a significant portion of the garage, enough to allow me to set up my workbench; I've had this stuff sitting around for over three years, and finally seeing it all in place is a genuine thrill. Also note how much brighter the space is with light-colored walls—compare this image to the one from 8 June (scroll down).

19 June 2019. The water filtration system is in and functional. I've already seen a noticeable difference in the water quality, and apparently it's so effective that it can essentially substitute for a water softener. I also installed a spin-down filter to remove gross particulates, and you can watch it working though the transparent casing; in addition, it has a purge valve so you can flush out the sediments, rather than constantly replace filters. After having spent nearly $1000 for all of this, it had better work very well indeed!

18 June 2019. Today I bid farewell to the new washer and dryer. Buh-bye!

Meanwhile, I've received my water filtration system, and boy is it a monster! I was not prepared for something this huge. It'll probably take the better part of a day to install. But then I can finally get the water retested, and finally get approval from the County Health Department to finally get a TCO.

16 June 2019. With the strong likelihood of returning to a front-load washer (after doing considerable research), I've just rebuilt the platform that I'd removed on Friday, except this time I've made it taller. It was originally 10" high; now it's 18". That'll put the doors right at chest level, which will eliminate any need to stoop. The only downside is that it'll take two people to install the appliances—and so what.

15 June 2019. I really needed a break after the washer debacle, but Saturday was predicted to be the last rain-free day for up to a week. (No one can convince me these weather patterns are normal for this area.) So I did my best to continue work on the French drain my helpers started two days ago, attacking the trench every hour or so for as long as I could tolerate the pain. However... when I started moving some of the stone, I realized it wasn't going to happen—one small load and I was done for the day. So this will need to wait a while longer. The house is in no way at risk of sliding down the hill into the ravine.

14 June 2019. In anticipation of the arrival of my new washer and dryer, I removed the pedestal I'd built three years ago expecting to have a front-loading washer. I didn't mind doing this one bit, considering the appliances cost me exactly zero.

The problem, however, is that I got a lemon. And based on some online research, this is not Whirlpool's best model... indeed, it may be their worst. My mistake for not doing due diligence. Now these will need to go back, and the process starts all over. Word to the wise: avoid Whirlpool Model WTW4816FW (or anything like it) at all cost. Shame on Whirlpool for "proudly" making this piece of garbage in the USA.

13 June 2019. Although it started out pouring rain, the day suddenly turned nice, just like Tuesday, so slave labor got to work on a French drain along the side of the garage (below) to pull water away from the foundation and send it downhill. Also, I've just learned that the new washer and dryer will be arriving sometime tomorrow. Now, that has me really psyched—almost as exciting as having a toilet!

12 June 2019. Slave labor returned to fill in the well head pit (below), while I ran a fool's errand to pick up a water filter system—unaware that they were only available online. So, I came back home and ordered one from Amazon, which pushes the project out yet another week.

11 June 2019. Tuesday started out as another rainy day, but it soon turned sunny and gorgeous, so I wrapped up the siding on the top two levels of the northwest side of the house—I only had to apply the battens, which was a nice low-impact, low-stress activity (below).

10 June 2019. On the minus side, today was a bust for three reasons: my ruined body, having really overdone it Sunday; the weather—it's pouring rain; and the better part of the day was spent dealing with cell phone service technical issues. On the plus side, I was offered a brand new washer and dryer as a housewarming gift from a close friend. How could I refuse? I've no idea when it'll come about, but I couldn't possibly complain if it takes a couple of weeks to happen.

9 June 2019. Spent the pre-dawn hours researching the cost of proceeding with various aspects of the house. Examples: interior doors (unfinished, not pre-hung), $420; tile to finish shower (not including mastic or grout), $185; and so on and so on. The exercise was both alarming (even "economical" stuff costs a lot!) and enlightening: I'll need to very carefully plan each step to coincide with available funds—assuming other things don't crop up. Bottom line: it'll probably take at least a year to finish the house at this rate—excluding the deck, which I may not get to start for almost two years. Yeesh, I hope I live long enough to see everything done...

Meanwhile, with another day of perfect weather, I decided to tackle some lower-hanging fruit, namely the siding on the northwest side of the house (above), where the ground is nearly flat. I managed to get the first and second levels done, including the soffits, but not the battens—my body utterly gave out about the time I was ready to start them. Heavy rain is predicted for Monday and Tuesday, which will be the perfect time to start rocking the garage.

8 June 2019. The only way I can rock the garage is if I can see what I'm doing. So, to use an oft-recycled phrase, let there be light. These units are so bright, in fact, that I'm not installing all ten as originally planned, but just seven (the three leftovers will be used in the studio).

Afterward, I returned to work on the siding. Unfortunately, between the highly uneven ground and too many trips up and down ladders, I only made it halfway around the first of the three kitchen windows (below) before I ran out of steam. But any progress is still progress.

7 June 2019. After taking a break to let my body recover—and to avoid exerting myself during a hot and humid spell—I've gone back to work on the siding, wrapping up some of the unfinished bits around the front porch (below). Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer, so I'm thinking of taking a crack at the kitchen window area, a scary stretch to be sure.

5 June 2019. With another decent day weather-wise, I continued with the siding, this time working in the other direction, up toward the front porch (below). Now the southeast side of the house is almost done; all that's left to do is around the kitchen windows—which, given the extreme terrain, will be a challenge and a half.

4 June 2019. Today was a carbon copy of yesterday, so I pressed onward with the siding, continuing on from the middle level down toward the kitchen (below). The hardest part is the soffit, since working overhead with a herniated disc in the neck is quite painful—not to mention a little unnerving, as it's all done from a ladder on very uneven ground.

3 June 2019. Today was perhaps one of the most perfect days we've had so far this year—70°, mostly sunny, light breeze, low humidity. Despite being in pain from yesterday's little romp in the dirt, I was compelled to not waste the spectacular weather, so I forced myself to do some siding. Decided to finish the office wall I'd started last December (below).

2 June 2019. I started off the month by (finally) connecting the septic pump control. There was no rush since the main tank is 1,000 gallons, and it would be quite some time before the pump (itself in a 500 gallon tank) kicked in. I also made the "mistake" of filling in the trench: since it was dug way back in January and has been sitting open for lo these many months, it was something I had to do right away, so I'm knowingly paying the (painful) price.

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