Prepping for a pooper… and being a woman

We are FINALLY having our septic installed. We were able to get the lagoon decreased in size, thanks to the grey water system, and they will be marking where it is going, getting it inspected, and putting it in sometime in the next few weeks. The problem? We have to bush hog the area where it is going before they can even mark it. We don’t have a mower. We have been looking at mowers but aren’t ready to make the commitment of $200 a month for the next 3 years so we can have the mower we need for our property. Instead we bought a heavy duty Stihl brush cutter. A heavy duty handlebar brush mower. This sucker comes with a harness. It’s heavy duty. We even bought the saw blade for it because the regular weed eater type blade isn’t heavy duty enough for our lawn.

C goes to order this crazy thing from a tractor dealer. He tells him what he wants and that he needs it to be able to start easily because his wife will be using it (I have a lot of trouble starting our chainsaw but not our generator so pull chords can be hit or miss with me). The guy looks straight at him and says “you are letting your wife use this?!?! This is a heavy duty piece of equipment for a woman to be using”. To which C replies “first off I don’t ‘let’ my wife do anything. If she really wants to do something there isn’t much that can stop her. Secondly women can do a lot more than people give them credit for”. Kinda made me feel really proud.

Also, I used the brush cutter today. I used it as much as C did, and it’s really not that cumbersome, and it starts much easier than the chainsaw. I feel bad ass right now. And I’m very sore.

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The roof… the roof… the roof is.. well.. ON!

We officially have a roof on the house, and it looks DAMN GOOD!!! They are going to be back later this week to finish the outer walls and put up the plywood. That leaves installing the windows and doors and we will have a fully enclosed structure!!! Don’t get me wrong, we still have a TON more to do before we move, but OMG GUYS WE HAVE A ROOF!!!

We also now have lights in our bedroom and will soon have lights in the bathroom and closet and plugs too. That’s right, the electric is going in!!! The picture is supposed to show the lights and plus. Not a great picture, but still better than nothing. I’m pretty excited.

Let the freak out happen…

Guys. Guys. This is not a joke. This is the real deal. We have a roof!!!

It’s not finished yet, we are short a few pieces of metal that we are picking up tomorrow morning, and the roof should be complete after tomorrow. It. Is. Amazing. Amazing. Beyond what we could have every expected.

These guys that are doing our roof are phenomenal. Absolutely amazing. Also the house isn’t even enclosed fully yet but the temperature in the house has dropped at least 15 degrees. It was comfortable inside and HOT outside.

We are hiring them to finish framing the outer walls of the house, which hopefully will be finished next week. At that point we install the windows and doors and it’s completely and totally enclosed.

C is working. On installing the electric next week while I am finishing the greenhouse and the concrete on the tires. After that we install the water, have the septic finished, get the propane guys out, spray the insulation, have the drywall done, order the appliances, and we should be ready to move in. This is insane. INSANE. We will still have so much more to do once we move but we will be MOVED!! We will be living in our own house!! I’m so overwhelmed right now I can barely breath.

It’s alive!

WE HAVE POWER TO THE HOUSE!!!! We only have 14 lights installed at the moment so it was only pulling 1 amp, but we were able to turn all the lights on inside the house!!! I’m a bit excited. C doesn’t go back to work until the 16th. We are hoping to have most, of not all, of the electric in by then. We are also having the roof guys finish framing the sides of the house and put plywood up. It would be nice to be able to put in the spray foam either right before or right after C goes back to work. Once that goes in we just have to drywall, install the windows and doors, and finishing concreting the tires and it’s almost ready for us to move in. There is a lot more other than that but those are the main things.

Batteries are charging!!

Over the weekend C and I moved all the batteries into the battery house (which took a lot of effort because they are very very heavy and were located behind the battery house), and C got them all connected and hooked to the solar panels. The solar panels go to a PV disconnect, then from there to a midnight classic 150 charge controller, then from that to busbars, then to another disconnect, then to the batteries. In 2 partially cloudy days we have been able to fully charge the batteries, which is pretty exciting. We have 40 of our 60 batteries connected, and will hook up the rest as soon as we order more connectors. We opted for data safe 12hx400s because we were gifted them and they should work nicely for a while. We are hoping to have the house connected in the next few days. It will be nice to have power to the house, and truthfully this is a step we never thought we would see!!

this picture was take. At 5:30pm while it was very cloudy, and we were still making 276 watts plus we have 40 fully charged batteries ready to go. I think this could work!

SOLAR!!!

I honestly never thought we would be getting to this point. We installed our solar panels this weekend. We have fourteen 325 watt Canadian Solar solar panels. They are HEAVY. At peak (most solar panels can be expected to run at 80% in full sun), but at peak they can product 4550 watts of energy. Considering that we have a much lower energy draw than most homes (no heating or cooling and the two appliances that would be high energy, the stove and dryer, are propane), and we have a huge battery bank, this should do us quite nicely. If now we are also planning on having a backup propane generator and are adding a wind turbine or two next year. I am so thrilled to have these up. C started wiring them too. The wiring from the panels to the battery house is finished (but not connected) and 1/3 of the batteries are in. My hope is that by the end of next weekend we may have power to the house! This would be quite exciting. The second two pictures are of us putting in the panels and building the frame.

The wall

Last weekend we built a retaining wall around the remaining bit of exposed tires. In 90+ degree heat we built a wall, and honestly felt like we were going to die. We had such great plans for how much of the wall we were going to have built. It was supposed to be 7 feet tall and 30 feet long. We rented a backhoe to backfill in the dirt as we went. We finished about 2/3 of the wall and didn’t get nearly the amount of backfill done that we were hoping for. The wall is supposed to reach the top of the tires, however it was enough to feel that everything was properly stabilized though so we are good to continue. We decided that sometime after we move and it is much cooler outside we will rent another backhoe and finish out the wall. It’s looking really nice though! We originally had ordered the red and grey brick, which Lowe’s had assured us they had enough of, only to be called the day of because their inventory was wrong and they didn’t have enough. We already had the backhoe so we decided to get half of that color and half of the brown and Grey. I think it looks pretty good!

Juggling a lot.

There is so much to keep track of right now. We are having the metal for the roof delivered in the next day or two, then the roofers can start putting it up. We also are finishing the battery house so we can start installing the rest of the electric (possibly this weekend and into next week). Yesterday we ordered the stones for the retaining wall and today I reserved a backhoe for this weekend so we can put up the retaining wall (which is the last piece of what needs to be done to the outside of the tires). We still need to finish concreting the inside, but with the outside finished we can breath even easier. We are supposed to meet with the people putting in she septic this week to get that started so we can finish installing the water, and we are calling some guys out to see if we can get someone to finish putting in the side walls of the house because we really just don’t want to do it. Oh, and we have our doors being delivered on Saturday as well. By the end of this month I am hoping to have a fully enclosed house! Then next month we can focus on finishing all the interior stuff (drywall, floors, etc). I am quite excited about all this, and very overwhelmed. Very overwhelmed.

Battery house!

We almost finished building the battery house this weekend. We have a box with a door that locks and would have finished it entirely but it started to rain just as we were putting the metal on the roof. It probably has another 2.5 hours of work Left to get it complete, then we have to put the batteries on the racks and hook up all the wiring and all that fun stuff. It looks really off because the ground was not in any way level. We are putting blocks underneath it to level it out.

Next weekend we are putting up the retaining wall that will go against the front of the house to keep the rest of the tires up so we can continue to build worry free. We also got a quote from a fourth roofer who should be coming out this week to finally get our roof on.

Things are really moving along!!

Things are about to move fast

Today we met with a new roofer who we were very impressed with. As long as his quote comes back at a fairly reasonable price (which we are pretty sure it will since he already gave us a ballpark that we liked) we should be getting our roof up in the next two weeks. We also had a guy come out to give us a quote on insulation. This will be the third most expensive part of the house. The insulation should be going in a week or two after the roof. At that point we can start prepping the floors, putting up drywall, installing floors, and putting in all the finishing touches to the house. Before the roof goes up we need to finish framing the outside of the house and put up the plywood. Then we have the battery house and greenhouse to install, and the windows and doors to put in. We also need to do the finishing concrete work. It’s a lot still but with C getting the first two weeks of July off we could possibly be moving into our new house by the end of a July. I feel a bit sick to my stomach. It’s almost there but there is still so much left to do. We will be working every weekend from now until we move and two full weeks in the beginning of July. If you want to say you helped with the house we are looking for people to help us! We may even be able to provide some compensation…. let me know if you are interested!!!!

We didn’t do any physical labor on the house this weekend, but here is a picture for motivation