ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by mooretrees »

Did you ever look into your local farmers market for selling your mushrooms?

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@mooretrees

I did, and a few factors caused me to back out at the last minute. First, I'm building a house, and then the virus hit right before the farmers market opened which caused them to create a bunch of rules. And lastly, I was still developing my preferred strains right up to last week so I really wasn't ready.

I did visit the Market last Saturday and to be honest it was kind of sad. There weren't a whole lot of venders and with the social distancing they were all spread out which made it look even worse and sparse. Granted, I visited late in the day so a lot of them may have already sold out and left, but I wasn't impressed with the variety, quantity of vendors, or crowd size. I'll have to visit again early in the day, maybe tomorrow, and compare.

If I sit out a season it just gives me more time to develop my operation so I'm not too concerned, plus this house is taking all of my time.





The builders didn't show today due to the rain, but I got my septic tank installed. The guy I hired to do the job has to be one of the most relaxed persons I have ever met in that he just doesn't seem to care when the job gets done. He'll talk forever and casually do some work when he feels like it. I'm under no time pressure to get the system done so he's kind of amazing to watch in his laissez-faire work method.

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

Wow - haven't checked in for a week or so - I can't believe all your progress.
Your roof and soffits/gutters look very attractive. The design of them is very pleasing and the color is really nice too.

Your house is going up! Things are really happening now.
I've no doubt you'll keep an eye on the money, I know it's tough to write those checks but you know what you're doing and will keep the expenses within your plan.

I've always been fascinated by how things are made whether it be construction or assembly line so thanks for taking us along.
Hi to Yellowface.

Debra

p.s. I was weeding the other day and I yanked this weed out and it had a weird heavy dangly root. I looked at it more closely and it was a walnut sprouted about 8".
I chuckled and tossed it in the weeding bucket and thought of your efforts as well as my own efforts to grow things. Some times you labor so hard and it just doesn't work out. And then a walnut plops itself down, probably buried by a random annoying squirrel and it grows.
I keep thinking I should go pull it out of the bucket and see if I can keep it going.
For sure that will signal it's end lol

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Igot

I'm beginning to think my original goal of building this for under $100,000 is a bit naive. Not that we are going to waste money but these $5,000 checks are adding up rather quickly. However, I do think that we can limit the risk by doing a lot of the work and self-fund as much as we can along the way. I've always said that one should figure what you think it will cost and then add 30%, so we should come in around $130,000 more than likely. We'll see though, and even if it comes to that then the sale of my current house should cover that bill.

You know, when I collected all of those seeds last fall my plan was to repopulate some scrubby areas of the woods. But what I have found is that I already have tons of trees growing, they just need to be saved from the invasive vines and such. So I am going to have a hundred trees that I'm not sure what to do with next year. So yeah, it's funny how these things work out.


I have spent the last couple of days finishing the interior framing of the shop, readying it for interior finishes and a ceiling and garage doors. I thought of taking pictures but it's just boring prep work, but totally necessary. The exciting part though is that the carpentry is done, and I am ready for the exterior siding to be applied, which I should start tomorrow. I thought of trying to help the Amish guys but I decided that finishing the shop is more important and quite honestly, they don't need my help. I would just be in the way as they have a good system in place to get things done. Plus they keep speaking in German Pennsylvania Dutch which I don't understand. And I am paying them for this work. ;)


They accomplished quite a bit today by framing the exterior walls:

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The other walls are built but weren't stood up as they ran out of time today. They have a driver that delivers and picks them up exactly at 7 in the morning and 330 in the afternoon respectively. And they leave exactly at 330 regardless of where they are in progress. I don't know how they pay their driver but it's pretty obvious he doesn't wait for them.



My excavator also has been busy. He dug out the leach field today and installed the plastic things (I don't know what they are called) that create the void for the effluent of the septic tank.


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Per code each bedroom has to have at least 82 feet of these tunnels. I'll have three bedrooms, hence three lines of 82 feet. The concrete box is a distribution box that feeds all three lines.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2987
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

The plastic things are called infiltrators.

Something to think about, when people run into septic problems, it's usually with a drain field not draining at the speed they want. It shouldn't be a problem using infiltrators. Older systems used pipes with holes along their length to slowly distribute the effluent. Plants would send roots into those holes, plugging them, and non biodegradables (like polyester fibers from the wash) can plug the holes from the inside.

Infiltrators solve this by having the entire area under the infiltrators available, no small holes to clog.

But the solution for a slow drain field is to let it "rest" for a few years. By letting it alone, the clogs open with time and bioactivity. Usually this is done by installing a second drain field, and using that.

I bring this up, so you can consider the possibility of a second drain field now, while everything is exposed, and equipment is on site.

It's a belt and suspenders approach, in that you are far less likely to have a problem at all using infiltrators, if your soils are good. But if you are at all concerned about marginal soils, a second drain field at this point could save you headaches in the future. A future issue could be resolved by simply going out and adjusting the openings in your distribution box.

Or everything could be fine, and I am suggesting you waste money. :shock: You decide. :D

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@rigger

They've been calling them chambers around here. Might be a regional thing. I just couldn't think of it last night.

The previous owner had to truck in topsoil which I am taking advantage of for my field. We have heavy, heavy clay around here that doesn't percolate, so If I were to take your advice I would have to do the same and then let the dirt sit there for at least a year before they would let me use it for a drain field. She had it done around ten years ago and just never built her house, so I passed the perc test easily.


I spent all day trimming out windows in preparing for the installation of the siding today while the carpenters continued to kick ass.





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And the septic tank was hooked up to the drain field too. Once I pass inspection, then everything can be covered up with dirt.

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ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@MEA

I wouldn't romanticize them too much. If they didn't have such good qualities as hardworking people, which makes people overlook their other habits, then I could easily see them viewed as a cult. You are either in the group or out, and someone like me who genuinely asks questions is always greeted with a polite but always guarded answer. They believe people like me are going to hell and that they are following the correct path and all others are misled. Rules dictate every aspect of their life, from the language spoken to the clothes they wear, the haircut they are allowed to display, who they are allowed to marry, what kind of transportation they can use, what girls are allowed to do, what boys are allowed to do, and their education stops at an eighth grade level, which is completely in-house and bi-lingual.

They are also business people that capitalize on their homespun image. Much of that is earned but one should never forget that they are there to make money, first and foremost.

With all of that said, I can't help but be impressed by the three guys that have done this in six work days:

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This a father, who at 42 years old, has his two sons aged 23 and 21 working with him and they flat out kick ass. They don't talk other than to yell out measurements and they really don't talk much when they break for lunch. They just work, and everybody knows exactly what to do and to anticipate the next step. The father told me he started with his dad who was a carpenter when he was 13 so he has been building for almost 30 years! He's 42 years old, haha. I'm sure those boys of his started around that time too.



In other news I continue to spend a shit ton of money, haha. Having to deal with so many details and orders while still working all day is quite tiring I have to say. Stuff like dealing with windows and doors and lumber orders and different vendors on top of physically working takes a toll but the flip side is that a lot of stuff is getting done, which is nice.


The hay was cut yesterday which makes everything look better and he should bale it up Monday or so.

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My goal is to finish the shop next week and I'll get pictures of the siding soon. It's looking good but I've been so busy I just haven't had time to take pictures this last week.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6649
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

The Amish guys my BF hired to build his shed didn’t even need to use a level!

To be looking across an open field towards trees with something solid at your back is a hard-wired human preference, because we evolved at the fertile chaotic edge of jungle and savanna. Garden designers make use of these innate preferences even when working at small scale.

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@7

These guys don't either other than to plumb up the corners. They literally sight the walls from corner to corner to insure plumbness. I joked about them not using a level and they said we don't have too once the corners are set. Makes sense.


I do that when I frame my photos before I take a picture. There are views from my property that don't look as good so I don't take those pictures, haha.

My goal eventually is to prune and landscape the entire 8 acres so that all views are pleasing to the eye. It's amazing what pruning a tree into a desirable shape will accomplish or creating a border or transition does for beauty. As well as layering. I love doing that kind of stuff and once all of this building is done I'll be focusing of that heavily.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6649
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

What fun! I wish I could recall title of brilliant book that focused on human psychology towards garden design. You could play at creating settings that promote any number of positive human emotional states. For instance, simple bench by lily pond = peaceful/serene or rope tire swing hung over soft landing space = invitation to play. Hiding places and cubby-holes, very curvy paths through thick high growth that suddenly open into lovely, light dappled, open space , etc. etc.

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

Unbelievable. I'm stunned at basically a week's worth of progress.
Your house is really taking shape.

theanimal
Posts: 1612
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by theanimal »

Wow. I'm also amazed at the progress in such a short span of time. You've done well in hiring. Want to see if they want to come up to AK after they're done with you and help me out? I guess that'd be quite the trip by horse and buggy. :lol:

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@7

Something I am going to have to do at some point is select the nice specimens in my woods and kill off a lot of the understory trees that don't have a chance to ever fully mature. It pains me though to destroy a beautiful young tree thats only sin was to grow in a bad spot where it can never outcompete the mature trees above it. A lot of them contort themselves trying to get to sunlight and they have crazy bent trunks, which can be attractive too but they also aren't healthy a lot of the times. My goal is to create a grove of trees that are pruned and spaced to where you can casually stroll throughout, while still maintaining privacy. The possibilities are endless which is exciting.

@Igot

It's really happening. No turning back now.

@animal

He told me today that in a couple of years he wants to switch gears and build furniture so you had better book him soon. But the catch is that he isn't allowed to use electricity at his home so he is going to have to rig a diesel motor to run hydraulics that will run the machines. Now mind you he uses electricity all day while building my house but for some reason thats taboo at home, even though it would be his business at that point. I really wanted to question some of the logic but I let it go as I am sure he has his reasons. As I understand it, each Amish community establishes what they can and cannot do in regards to electricity and transportation, and that is why you'll see some that ride bikes but others only allow scooters, and some allow electricity for home business such as greenhouses using a generator but like him, others only allow hydraulic motors. Kind of crazy.





I've been siding my shop for several days now and with all of these windows, angles and door openings it has really been slow. And on top of that I have never trimmed windows out before using J-channel with metal siding. I had to watch a Youtube video to learn how to do it, and if you ever build a structure with metal siding, then this is the guy to learn from: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWXEQs ... jwgGN5HUeQ

He's an excellent teacher and I would have never figured how to perform these corner joints without him. I was happy with the results.

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And I am almost done:

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The hay was baled today which I missed but I got a picture of some of the machinery. This tool sweeps up the loose grass into fluffy rows that the hay baler picks up and bales. It's called a hay sweeper?

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And todays progress. I think these guys may be done by Wednesday which is insane.

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I'll leave you guys with a funny picture.

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I stopped by the firehouse today and this was laying on the table. I had seen this before and the story goes the guy who had this axe was using it at a house fire and at one point he decided to smash out a bedroom window and when he did, the axe flew out of his hands into the burning bedroom.

Now after the fire was finally out, he went to look for it and apparently when it flew into the room it landed on a feather bed, and the heat melted the handle into the burning bed and the feathers were fused into the handle. It's a great conversation piece, haha.

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I've reached two milestones here recently, the house is framed and the shop is finished.

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The builders finished up on Thursday and I finally finished the shop today.*

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It took exactly 10 days for the framers to frame the house and it took me 2 and a half months to complete the shop once framing began. :? They say you should never compare yourself to others and this is why. :D In all fairness though I worked by myself and there is a lot of detail work around all of those opening with the siding. I've hired a guy to install the garage doors which should happen fairly soon.

So let's talk about the upside of the last 2.5 months. I tallied the total for the cost of my 1,300 square foot shop and with the garage doors installed I have spent around $19,000 to $20,000. Since I poured the concrete and dug the footers at the same time as the house I somewhat guessed at what share the cost was for the shop but I think I am pretty close. And I'm pretty confident if I would have hired this shop out to a contractor it would have been at least $35,000 so I am going to calculate my savings at $15,000 at a minimum, which more than paid for the Amish guys to frame the house. Not too shabby.

Thankfully now I can walk away from the shop and start working on the house. I am really tired of working with these metal panels but as luck would have it, I need a roof on my house and we are using metal, so no break for me. :x The roof has a membrane on it that is a vapor barrier as well as water proof so I do have breathing room in the install, which is nice.


* like all things, nothing is truly finished as I still have to complete the interior, but I can walk away and do something else as it is weather-tight

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1170
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Congratulations, this build has been extremely satisfying to watch since the beginning.

SavingWithBabies
Posts: 679
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm
Location: Midwest, USA

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies »

That is amazing how quick the house went up. But also amazing just how much progress you've made overall.

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Thanks all.

I spent all day today mowing and trimming grass as I have been neglecting those chores to work on construction.

I am so ready to move out here in peace surrounded by wildlife and beautiful views. Thanks for your encouragement.

bottlerocks
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Magicant (WalkScore: Pajamas)

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by bottlerocks »

I learn so much from this journal, thanks for the continuous updates.

I apologize if this has come up before and I missed it but could you summarize what kind of permitting/inspections you've had to do to this point, if any? And what will need to be done going forward?

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

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Igotgoals »

The shop really looks nice, ffj , and your house is all framed.
Big milestone day.

Well worth the money paying someone else to do the house framing I'd say.
Especially these guys. Sounds like you made a good choice selecting them.

ffj
Posts: 2261
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@bottlerocks

No problem.

I had to pay for a permit to build the house. A permit and inspection fee for the temporary electrical service. A permit to install my own water and a fee, and the latest one was a permit for the installation of the septic tank which was $150. Now people do come out and inspect and make sure it is done correctly but I am out over $1000 already for that pleasure.

I'll have to have my plumbing and electrical work inspected once its done as well as the HVAC before I am allowed to install drywall. Not sure what that will cost but everybody has their hand out in the name of safety.

And I'm glad you're learning, that makes me happy.


@Igot

Yeah, I do too in regards to hiring out the framing. Now I can compartmentalize all of the future tasks at hand one at a time without a large looming task ahead of me. And it's also a nice psychological boost seeing an actual house standing there.


Well, I said I was done with the shop, and I am on the outside, but I have hired a garage door installer to put in the doors and he will need to bolt brackets to the ceiling. Now he could do this without a proper ceiling, but that means I would either have to cut around the brackets or disassemble them partly to get my ceiling panels in at a later date, either of which is a huge pain in the ass.

So, I decided to put the ceiling in now before he shows up. I bought these panels several years ago and they have been in my barn for 5 years, and if you will remember my porch addition when I started this journal, this metal was part of that batch. The top layer was pretty dirty but the gunk washed off fairly easily. I just can't seem to get away from all of this metal work.

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