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not quins. but sextuplets
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I saw this tread some time ago.. never made a comment.. guess I'm sub'd in now..
 

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Professional Homeowner
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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
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).
 

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You've been busy in the barn. Sounds like the weather must be cooperating.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
You've been busy in the barn. Sounds like the weather must be cooperating.
Not really cooperating too awful much, but being as how I'm inside, I guess it doesn't really have to. Mid 20's today when I started. I've got a little 20# propane tank with a heater buddy thing on it that I set next to me when I'm standing in one spot for any length of time. I sat on a ladder above it for about a 15 minute break early this afternoon with my feet dangling over it so they could warm up. Last week it was in the mid 20s all day, but I had the heater cranked up quite a bit more than today. I think the barn last week got up to around 35 inside. Today it didn't really get much above ambient (mid to upper 30s) in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
I see no reason to re-do the electric service to the shed, unless it’s an overhead service?
It is indeed overhead. I don't know yet what the cost would be to run an underground line from the house to the barn would be. I can trench it, but the 120-150' or so of whatever gauge wire I'd need (#2? #0?)isn't cheap. I'd probably need to re-locate the panel to the opposite side of the barn, which would save about 35' of wire. It might also depend on which end of the house they install the service in. Right now, it's about $9.50 per month just to have the service at the barn. It will take many years for the cost of running lines from the house to the barn to justify itself.
 

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Cable should run $1.50-$2.00 per foot. I got innerduct for nothing, scavenged off a jobsite. Ditto on the 10’ of grounding wire. I think the grounding bar and lug were around $20.
 

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I got my last 3 lights hung today, along with two more outlets in the ceiling. Went to remove the fluorescent light I hung, and legit accidentally dropped it. Housing is trashed, but the bulbs survived. I think I’m going to end up scrapping it all out anyways. I’ll pick up 5 more of these little guys and another box of bulbs soon so I have all matching stuff, but won’t be able to hang anything else or put up any more outlets until those boats are out of the way. I’m not risking dropping anything on them since I can avoid it. I’ll just wait for the owners to come collect them. Maybe next weekend I’ll start putting in more outlets on the other wall that only has one on it right now. Here’s a pic of the 11 lights I have hung. The difference before/after isn’t any kind of fair comparison. Maybe night and day?
 

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steddy,


Last two winter were pretty much nonexistent, the winter you have a project is one to remember down this way.

I have some brush to clear at my son's place, haven't been there since right after thanksgiving. Snow, muddy or cold as @#$%^&*.

Project looks good, how many people get the chance for a do over on a house build.

The old adage, "If I was to do it again, I'd move that or add this".

My sister and her husband built a country home, late eighties, early nineties and he put an outlet every six feet because he always had to run extensions cords in all their previous homes. Wiring has changed quite a bit in the last several decades, phone wire, cat 5 wire, coax, we live in a different world compared to years ago.

Oh yeah, jealous of the over powered tractor!

CCMoe
 

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Discussion Starter #51
We have some friends that are building now, and their house should be done in a couple months. They did a 100% custom floor plan. They think we're nuts because they figure we've got a chance to start out fresh, but we're building basically the same house we lived in for 10 years. However, you're exactly right... We now have the chance to fix all the little things we didn't like, right down to one more heat duct in the great room, independent lights on the great room ceiling fan, and a couple extra light switches here and there. Better garage drainage, mud room, vault room w/custom door (oh yeah... That...), more robust flooring, thicker walls, barrier free massive dual head walk in shower, and 100% different basement layout including 4th bedroom, full bathroom rather than 1/2 bath, and 4" sunken down floor (think flood containment!) in the larger more centrally located mechanical room. I have almost every little detail worked out in my head, and our contractor is right on par with everything we want to do.

Our friends are already starting to find things they wish they would have done differently. Their master bedroom is very small, which they didn't realize until they framed in the walk in closet. I believe some day they'll wish they had done a walk out basement, but for now they said they're fine with daylight (we ended up going with a walk out... Our last house only had daylight). My buddy didn't like the way he chose for the stairs to the basement, either. They're straight rather than decend half way, turn right 90 degrees, then decend the other half. I told him it will be easier to get furniture and a pool table and stuff down a straight run of stairs, so now he might be good with his decision. The real bummer is just after they laid their footings, someone decided to plunk another house about 100' away from theirs, and they're in the middle of BFE... What are the odds? Now they have a neighbor's house to stare at out of their bedroom window. Yeah... He's ******. We own several hundred feet of wooded land to the sides of our building site and about 1100' of wooded land out back, so that isn't happening to us.

We're starting to accumulate stuff for building. We were at Habitat for humanity (ReStore, like used building materials) a couple weeks ago looking at used doors for our brand new home (yeah... My wife's crazy like that). I couldn't believe my eyes - standing among the doors and windows was an 8'x8' Andersen sliding glass door in the correct style and exterior color to what we chose for our windows. Brand new in the box. I almost ran up to the counter nearly knocking over 2 elderly folks to ask what they wanted for it. She looked at it a minute, and asked if $150 was too much. I couldn't believe it... That's a $3,000 dollar unit. Needless to say we paid for it and got it out of there before they realized their mistake. Our contractor about keeled over when I told him about it and sent him the pictures. I figured we weren't out much if we couldn't use it, or he could have it for a future project or hawk it on craigslist or something. He got there double quick and snapped up a whole bunch of other high end brand new Andersen stuff they had for some future projects. He says they never get that kind of merchandise there... Must have been some kind of fluke. It is undamaged and complete less lock/handle. This new door is a foot taller and two feet wider than what we origianlly spec'd out from the other house, but seeing as how the blueprints aren't finalized, we can engineer it right into the framework of the house. The vaulted ceiling will give plenty of room. I can live with a different sized slider upstairs than the one downstairs. They're the same style/series, and the upstairs one won't really be visible from outside, so it won't be too bad. I'll attach a pic of what we had. Picture it bigger for the new unit.

And just found 7 8' LED light fixtures on Facebook Marketplace locally for $100. I think I'll snap those up for the garge, walk in closet, vault, over the work bench, or whatever else. Might put one in the barn above the work bench rather than a 4'.

Once we get ground broken, there should be a lot more pictures. Sorry everything is so wordy.
 

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steddy,

Well, you liked the first house, just changing location and making subtle improvements over what you have.

Great find on the Andersen Slider, $150.00, your lucky day! Did the screens come with it?

I would imagine they did, buying windows in the process you did, screens are sometimes not with them.

I take it you are going with 2"X6" walls, the added insulation, new windows and doors will pay for themselves in heating costs over time.

Geothermal?

CCMoe
 

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Discussion Starter #53
steddy,

Well, you liked the first house, just changing location and making subtle improvements over what you have.

Great find on the Andersen Slider, $150.00, your lucky day! Did the screens come with it?

I would imagine they did, buying windows in the process you did, screens are sometimes not with them.

I take it you are going with 2"X6" walls, the added insulation, new windows and doors will pay for themselves in heating costs over time.

Geothermal?

CCMoe
Almost every house (3 out of 4) I've ever lived in had very high quality Andersen casement windows. We lived in one el cheapo spec house with no name double hung windows for about 7 years. I'm going back to Andersen casement style for this build. Our contractor uses nothing but Andersen anyways, so it isn't news to him. The sliding door will lead out on either a screened in or windowed in 12x22 elevated porch. Won't matter if it has a screen door with it or not, because it will never be needed.

The exterior walls are going to be 2x6. I've never had them, nor been in a house that does (that I'm aware of), but I don't believe we'll regret it. Both from insulation/sound deadening standpoint, and a structural improvement. I think I'm going to have interior bedroom walls done also, just for sound deadening.

Heat will be natural gas, but we're adding a couple provisions in to make it REALLY easy to plumb in an outdoor boiler down the road at some point (conduit to run the lines to the mechanical room through the finished basement ceiling). Single zone forced air heat. We had a few incredibly minor temperature control issues, but I think that was mainly because the furnace was all the way to one end of the 62' long house, and there weren't enough ducts in the great room. There was also a super drafty natural gas fireplace in the great room we never used, which was at the opposite end of the house as the furnace. Gas fireplace was too inefficient to use for my taste. Gas fireplace isn't part of the new home. Plus the 2x6 walls might help some...
 

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Don't you feel bad that you stole that door? :tango_face_surprise The lockset probably costs $1200. :tango_face_smile_bi

You probably already thought of this, but make sure you have enough overhang to be able to open those casements during a summer rain. My buddy didn't think of that and now they have to almost close the windows when it rains or they will get soaked.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Progress is slow. Still waiting on financing before officially breaking ground.

I think we’re overbuilding. I’m doing 2x6 walls with foam insulation. R-value I’m told will be around 30.

In the mean time, this is life. Weekends and about 3 hours every day after work.
I think it’s about 250-300 yards from my sand mine, about 2/3 of the way back on the property, to our building site. If I really hustle, I can do 4 loads in 10 minutes. We’re budgeted for $20,000 in fill sand (cough). I figure I can run my tractor darn near into the ground, get 2/3 of that, and still be money ahead. So far, I think I’ve hauled at least 200-300 yards in about 18 hours over many hundreds of trips. We figured we’d need 2000 yards to start with, but I think we’ll be beyond that. Hopefully that $20,000 is a REALLY high estimate. What I’m hauling isn’t really clean, so it’ll just be for the yard. I’ll have good clean sand brought in for under the house and driveway. I figure this has to be saving me about $50-$75 every hour I’m hauling. About 2-3 of those hours are making and maintaining a pathway.

Tomorrow I think a landscaper friend of mine is dropping off an actual loader with a 2.5 yard bucket. Same pathway, but will be MUCH faster than my .7 yard bucket. Pics and video to come of that one!
 

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Too bad there isn't a small creek near your strip mine. You could have dug a nice bass pond. :tango_face_smile_bi
 

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Well, there's a vernal pool. I think I'll stay way away from that with all excavation and constructuon activities. It isn't state recognized, nor do I want it to be, at least until after everything is built.
Well Ted, I'm guessing that you have already seen this, or something similar. Doesn't look like any formal regulations or such to worry about but everything changes over time. Here's a link concerning Vernal Pools in Michigan. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=17&ved=2ahUKEwiZ-qah7qXhAhXNc98KHYO5BUYQFjAQegQICBAC&url=https://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/abstracts/ecology/vernal_pool.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2i0_sNRS4MiSaPR58c4g64
Pages 18, 19 and 20 pretty much sum up what they want folks to do. And it looks like your doing it.
MikeC
 
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