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.

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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

When it rains… buy stuff

After setting aside the money for the roof and septic we decided that since it was way too wet today to do what we wanted to do that we were going to spend the day planning and shopping. We purchased all of the large items we need for the rest of the electric to go in, meaning we have 14 325 watt solar panels, an 8000watt inverter, and charge controller on their way. We called around to get price estimates on insulation, we have a couple people coming out tomorrow to give us quotes. Then we went to Lowe’s to price out the rest of the expensive items so we can budget the project better. We started and ended with the windows and doors. The barn doors we were going to build ourselves were on sale for half price, which was cheaper than what we would spent to make them. So we bought those. Then while helping me find the perfect front door the salesman showed me a special order return front door which was EXACTLY what we were looking for. Needless to say we were able to purchase it for about 1/6 the price we had budgeted for a front door. Then the other salesman was talking about another HUGE special order return piece that he didn’t think he was ever going to be able to move. We took a look at it, loved it for the greenhouse, and was able to get it for what we had budgeted for one greenhouse window. yes, there are two identical pieces that we bought. I would say that we had some pretty big wins today. Also Brent and Dylan at the Shelbyville Lowe’s windows and doors department are excellent. We really enjoy working with them. I’m going to be a little sad when we are finished buying windows and doors!

We did it!!

This post is a little late but … our part of the roof is ON!!! I’m a bit excited about this! The best option for the last bit of trusses was to build 10’foot tall scaffolding. It took three and a half hours to build the scaffolding and 45 minutes to put up the trusses. Go figure!! We will hopefully have the roof finished in the next two weeks, as well as getting the battery house up and the walls finished and plywood put up and covered! At that point it’s just putting in the doors and windows and finishing the greenhouse and we will have a completely enclosed house!!! This is very exciting! We are also quickly running low on funds. After much deliberation I think we have decided that the best option would be to take out as large of a personal loan as we can get (hopefully $20,000), get the house to the point where we can move in, and slowly finish the rest of the house over the next year or so until we can qualify for a mortgage, then get a small mortgage to pay off the remainder of the loan plus the remainder of the land payment. Hopefully all this works out. In he meantime… happy picture of a house with a framed roof!!