Time for an update...
Not much has happened with the building site this winter. The last big project was taking down a big white pine about 28" diameter. Our contrator brought his Pettibone (skytrack) over and pushed on it from about 20' up to influence the fall. Weather was crappy, it was starting to get dark, and I had to run the saw while he stopped traffic briefly with the machine, so no pictures
. The stump is still there though, because it's a little big for my backhoe to easily dig out. There are many many taproots I can't reach. If I was smarter, I would have cut the stump flush with the ground, parked over the top of it, and undermined it. I would have had to fill the 3' deep 6' wide mote I dug around it to get the other roots first. I'll just wait for the contractor to bring his mini excavator over when construction commences. My friend has a 3 yard loader, and will let me use it to move the 1,000+ yards of sand we'll need. When those events happen, there will be pics and likely some video.
We're pretty much done picking stuff out for the house now. Plumbing fixtures, shower drain/tile/details chosen, flooring & carpeting, all Andersen casement windows, and cabinets. Basement layout is finalized (we had the main floor pretty much nailed down from day one). Our local Sears went belly up, so we went through and bought a bunch of shelving for our walk in closet from a stick room. That's all disassembled and sitting in our 5x8 trailer in the pole barn. I'll be doing some cutting and welding when it's time to install that. Financing is pretty much all set... Just need to sign on the dotted line. I'm very happy with the interest rate and terms, which seem to keep getting better as the bank is allowing us to keep the property and construction loans separate.
I'm now working on upgrading the electrical in the pole barn. When we got it, there were two light fixtures in the ceiling, each with a single incandescent bulb, and a 4' fluorescent light over the work bench. There was a single outlet by the entrance door on the same circuit as one of the lights, about 3 outlets at the workbench, and one outlet about 40' down the side of one wall by the switch for the other light. Yeah... That's insufficient for my needs and wants. I've been running 40' of extension cord for months. I checked the outlets before starting any new work, and 4 out of the 5 were wired incorrectly (hot/neutral reversed) I **** you not. I'm putting a 120v outlet on about every post fed by 12 guage wire. There will be at least 2 220v outlets (one is now done) for my air compressor and welder. I separated the lights and a (now) bank of outlets so if I pop a breaker I won't be left in the dark. I'll be adding a couple more circuits for more outlets. I'm working on 3 zones of lights so I can just illuminate the section I'm working in. It's turning out pretty good.
I've been squirreling away 3 4' fluorescent lights for years for just this type of occasion. So - today I FINALLY get the chance to get them out of my way and in to use. One worked as it should, one does not work at all (double dead ballast) and one has 2 of the 3 bulbs working. The fixtures are mismatched and don't work for crap. I just happened to grab the good one first, wired it up with a plug to test it, and hoisted it to the ceiling. It puts out very little light (ugh!). I was pretty darn mad after finding out the other two were bad. I looked at all the nice new work I've done, and the 3 mismatched semi-working fluorescent fixtures that won't even work in the cold, and took a trip to Lowes, hellbent on getting all new LED lighting. Lots of it. I heard it was reasonable. Long story short, I would have had over $900 into the 10 8' fixtures I was going to buy (eep!). Nope. So I thought about just buying a couple here and there, shopping online, or something. Clerk walk up to me and asks if she can help. I ask if the lights I'm looking at go on sale. She says no. She asks what I'm doing, and I told her anout my 30x60 barn. She points to a stack of 4' fluorescent fixtures for $16 each. I reiterated I don't want stupid fluorescent - LED only! She sighs, and points out that the fixtures come with everything but bulbs, then points out the $5 each 4' LED bulb, so $26 per fixture. Ecstatic, I bought 11 of them (10 for the ceiling and one for over the workbench.). They came with mounting hardware and everything. I've been putting switch operated outlets in the ceiling rather than hard wiring lights because I figured something like this might happen. I struggled for a good hour and a half prepping and hanging that first I swear 50# crappily working fluorescent fixture on the 12' ceiling this afternoon all alone, and was disappointed at the light it threw. I think it took a total of 15 minutes to unbox, install bulbs, cut longer pieces of chain (the included chains were way too short), hang, and plug in each new fluorescent/LED fixture. I'm going back for 5 more of those buggers that I'll hang later this year when the 2 boats aren't in there. It's nice I'll be able to replace bulbs and/or ballasts if they ever quit on me. The LED fixtures I started off loonpking at are non-serviceable. I'll get some pictures of my progress tomorrow.
In the first couple pics at the start of the thread, you might be able to see the lack of outlets and lights. There's a nice foundation to work with not pictured - a modern (maybe 15-20 yr old?) breaker panel including lots of available capacity fed by 100 amp service on its own meter. Costs about $10/month to have electric. I think once we build I'll run power from the house out there, about 100 feet away, and get rid of that meter.
I still have to put in 2 more circuits for about 8 more outlets on the walls, correct the existing wiring, install another light circuit for the 3rd zone, and hang the rest of the lights (I got 7 hung already this afternoon, and the lighting is already a hundred times better than it was). The best part is that the 7 fixtures I put up so far just barely draw more than the two single incandescent lights that were there (each LED fixture is 32 watts).