ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
EMJ
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by EMJ »

ffj wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:27 pm


I did score some nice flowers for the taking yesterday. A buddy of mine has hundreds of these daffodils all over his property and they really look cool this time of year as they are scattered about randomly. I asked if he could part with a basketful if I dug them up and he said of course. I'll plant these on my property and maybe one day I'll have a nice of showing as his place.
Almost any species that spreads like that is invasive (not just "your" vines and bushes). Deer and rabbits avoid daffodils.

Why Are Daffodils Dangerous?
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/daffodils ... 69188.html

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Interesting. I've never experienced a burning sensation while handling the plant nor have I ever eaten one.

My friends place literally has thousands of them and I find them striking in the Spring. I've never even considered them to be invasive to be honest as it would take decades to get the amount he has on his property and after April they all disappear anyway.

Something to think about.

EMJ
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by EMJ »

ffj wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:30 pm

My friends place literally has thousands of them
Pattern recognition - 1000's of plants etc, no one grazing on them, spread somewhat quickly, given away. Not saying daffodils are the worst invasive plants, just that they follow a pattern.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

That's 100 ton of rock sitting there.

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And it took another 15 ton to level out my shop and porches.

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The amount of rock it has taken to make and repair the driveway and now the foundation has surprised me. I'll have to tally the total amount at some point because it's been a lot, more than I anticipated for sure.

My buddy brought his skid steer yesterday and started loading all of this into each space and today I finished as he had to go to another job. I'm getting pretty adept with this machine as not only have I moved a lot of rock ( and not crashed into my foundation :D ), but I've gotten good at smoothing and leveling. I even re-flattened my entire 800 foot driveway as the rock haulers, which weigh 80,000 lbs loaded, are hard on a gravel driveway. It's been raining so much that everything is soft, and they leave ruts when they deliver the rock.

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My next step is to prepare for the concrete and/or waterproof the foundation. I'll need help pouring the concrete so I'm dependent on others and I'll have to work around their schedule. It was finally sunny and dry today which was very welcoming and tomorrow will be too so I should probably apply the waterproofing.

Igotgoals
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:18 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

You have a really nice piece of property. Lovely views.

Our town gives away daffodil bulbs every year so I plant them every year.
And in the spring I am always reminded of how glad I am that I did so.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Igot

Thanks. It's really looking good now that everything is greening up. Not so much the construction zone but the rest of the property is looking so much better now that trees are flowering and leafing out. And the grass is growing, which means I have two lawns to mow now which isn't so fun. I've decided that I am going to let the grass go to pasture at the new place other than around the house and barn. I just don't have time to be mowing that much acreage like a lawn when I could use that time to be building.


Been busy. I applied the waterproofing to the foundation after cleaning out the mud from the rains. I will be so happy to never have to do that again. It really bothers me to have to redo work, especially crappy and hard work, but the rains keep coming. Once I cleaned the mud away and applied the coating, I put a layer of rock down, and then the drain. The drain will be completely covered in rock once I get a chance to do that, and as long as I do it before the next rain I'll be fine.

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My mushrooms continue to do well which I am happy about. This is what I picked the other day: oysters, kings, chestnuts, and Shiitake! I am very pleased with those as they look great and taste great. The chestnuts are pretty too but I'm just not sure how to prepare them.

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I built the forms and laid the wire mesh down for the concrete floor in the shop the other day. The mesh helps prevent cracking and as you pour the concrete, you lift up on it to float it into the slab.

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And today we poured the concrete. As you all know, I try to save money every chance I get, and today was no exception. My help consisted of my buddy that does all of the excavation work and three of his helpers. And today we almost bit off more than we could chew. The three helpers didn't know anything about concrete and they were just dumb labor, and myself and my friend knew just enough to think we were better than we were. :?

We poured 25 yards and there was a couple of times that I was thinking this was a bad idea, haha. That is a lot of concrete to level and float out for two guys ( the three helpers only knew so much ) as concrete doesn't wait to set up because you don't know what you are doing. But we managed to get it under control and make a presentable slab that isn't too embarrassing. It's level and structurally sound, but there's no beautiful polished shine to it and there's some trowel marks. :roll:

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I am very pleased that this is done as I can start building the shop now once the concrete has cured. That makes me happy.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

For those of you who are curious I'll break down my costs thus far as I consider the foundations complete at this point.

$7,922 to complete the footings

$8,503.55 to complete the block work

$4,247.79 to complete the concrete and drains

$20, 673.34 total for two building foundations.

Keep in mind my lowest bid for this work came in at $41,000 plus. Now I still have to pour two porches and I can easily do that for $3,000 if not cheaper so I am going to record a net savings of at least $17,000 by doing a lot of the work myself. That will buy a lot of wood for the next phase. My goal was to save $20,000 but that just wasn't going to happen. Remember to always add at least 30% to all of your labor and material estimates, haha.

There will be more costs, namely the stone work and vapor barrier, but that was never included in any of the bids.

SavingWithBabies
Posts: 673
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Do you pour cement into the cinder blocks too? Or do they stay hollow? It's looking good. Thanks for taking us along on the ride.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@SWB

Typically they stay hollow unless there is a need to fill them, such as an area that needs more reinforcement. If you were going to fill the cells then at that point a poured concrete wall may be a better option. The concrete company does produce and sell a slurry for filling the voids which isn't concrete, but it does set up and stiffen your walls. But there is no need here to do that as all of my load is going to be straight down.

I took the forms off yesterday and was pleased there were no voids. Overall the concrete slab is o.k., but I will probably paint the floor to hide a lot of the finish imperfections. I am a little disappointed that we didn't do a better job but in my defense I thought my friend was bringing better help. :( And we were rushed the entire time we were pouring, partly because the help didn't know how to do anything beyond using a rake. My point is that this could have turned out really badly, haha, so be careful when you try to save too much money, but this is my fault for not wanting to hire professionals. Overall it's not too bad though so I probably need to shut up about it, as most people don't notice imperfections until you point them out. ;)

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Something I will have to do at some point is cut some relief lines in the slab. All concrete eventually cracks, and the relief lines give the cracks a place to go in a decorative manner.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

You could probably polish the concrete, they do that in big box stores.

George the original one
Posts: 5356
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:00 am
You could probably polish the concrete, they do that in big box stores.
I thought that was done while the concrete was still wet? There are leveling compounds to use when it's dry.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

As far as I know it is done like when you refinish a wood floor. A machine with an abrasive sands the concrete. I saw it done in a store once. I'm not seriously suggesting this as a good idea, just bringing it up as a weird option.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Gilberto, George

I'm going to leave it. It is just going to be covered in sawdust, or spilled paint, or whatever else I will be working on in the future. When I walk across it I don't sense any unevenness unless I look at it and see the bull float lines and some minor depressions. Some floor paint will fix the optical illusion.

I finally got back to my skill-set today. I put on all of the sill plates on the shop but not until I created a safe spot for the cats. I built them a loft in the barn where they can sleep and get away and feel safe. Because their safe-spot now is the lumber that are the building blocks for the shop. Hopefully in a couple of weeks all of that lumber they hide in will have been incorporated in the building.

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ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Everything is coming alive on the new place and it is wonderful to see. All of my trees are leafing out and I am finally able to identify most of them to see what I have in my mini-forest. A lot of them have been quite the mystery over the winter. The grass is also growing very well which means I am spending a lot of time on a lawn mower and to top it off, my neighbor is quarantined in Georgia and she can't return to Kentucky until June, so I have agreed to mow her grass too while she is stuck there for a small fee. My days are full but I enjoy being busy.

Saw this hefty guy crawling across my driveway and took his picture. The lighting is awful but he wouldn't pose for me in the shade, ha.

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I would guess he was almost 4 feet long and after some research I believe he is a Northern Watersnake. There is a pond nearby so that makes sense.

https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsocie ... rsnake.php



I double plated the sill plates to hide the anchor bolts and provide a smooth surface in which to build my walls. It isn't necessary but I have the extra wood and I like the look so I incorporated the additional step.

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Currently what I am doing is taking all of the wood out of the barn ( from the Craigslist sale ) and making all of my components for the walls. I've already built my bottom and top plates and am currently making the wall studs. It's taking extra time because I have to plan for the proper yield of each board and not waste anything. That means spending some extra time deciding what is the best place for each board and if the off-cuts can be used elsewhere. My goal is to have very little waste when this is done.

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Nice danger noodle! I like those things.

Those old boards are going to confuse the heck out of someone someday. :)

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Snakes are cool however I accidentally killed an Eastern Milk Snake today mowing grass. I felt bad but I didn't see him. I've encountered two snakes in two days and I saw something the other day that I have never seen in the wild: a bald eagle. I had a bald eagle fly over my property which just blows my mind as there aren't many eagles in my part of Kentucky.

The boards have nice patina to them. I'm really hoping that I don't have to use new wood just because of the color! I went through about 90 rafters today selecting the best ones for the roof and I cut up the rest for the walls. I should start actual building in the next couple of days.

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

We had some major rain come through yesterday and knowing that I have been focusing on yard work, namely mowing the 3! lawns I am responsible for this year and reseeding bare areas where I built a new driveway. And I also managed to burn 6 of the 7 large brush piles in my back field. For some reason I just couldn't get one to burn and those trees were cut at the same time as the others.

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But I have been steadily working on the shop and today I finished framing all of the windows. Hopefully tomorrow, if we have mild winds, I will start putting together the walls as all of the components have been cut out or assembled. Since I am mainly working by myself, I am going to build the walls in place instead of on the floor and raising them up. They are just too big for that but I need calm weather or else the wind will blow it over before I can reinforce it.

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The tree experiment is going well. I've counted 70 trees growing so far and more on their way. The walnuts, however, haven't done anything and I don't know why.

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For those of you following the cats. They are growing and SLIGHTLY trust me now, but man are they skittish.

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ertyu
Posts: 1208
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ertyu »

Person following the cats, reporting. The cats are wonderful and this is a very well-composed picture of them. Good cats!

ffj
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@ertyu

I almost had all three in the picture but man these guys are suspicious. I think if I worked with them I could have them eating out of my hand but I just don't have the time or patience. But they'll get within a few feet of me when they eat, but absent the food they won't come near me. That crucial time period when they could have been acclimated to people was lost as I had no idea they were even living under my porch. Right now we have lunch together and while I eat my sandwich, they eat their cat food which is good enough for now.




Started framing yesterday in the snowfall! This is crazy for this part of the world at this time of year.

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But today I finished working with about 70 feet of wall built. It's slow but it's happening.

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chenda
Posts: 1487
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by chenda »

I'm loving your updates and photos, looks like a great location you have.

What are you doing for a damp course, chemical ?

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