Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chapter 17...Hanging Drywall, Spackle, and Kitchen Cabinets

Off Grid...Chapter 17

Taking you back to Sunday 8-3-08.

Mike had to re grade our walkway "again". We got a lot of rain on Saturday. Then we went down to the house and started working on more walls. The first 2 walls we built and installed today were the 2 side walls for our bathroom.

Our first side.

And the other side.

Then we built the front of the bathroom wall with the door opening.

The next two walls were a lot harder. Both of the walls and doorways for the bedrooms are angled. Mike had to take very precise measurements and make accurate angle cuts for the top and bottom board of each wall. He did an excellent job and our walls look awesome. Putting these walls at an angle really opened up the living area of the house. We are very pleased with the outcome.


Out of 135 2x4's that were delivered on Friday we have 2 left. I think we did great. Now we need more material ha, ha. Actually we have to start the wiring and the plumbing in the walls and we already have that material.

Just a quick FYI. We worked inside the house all afternoon and it was very comfortable. We went back inside the motor home for a break, with the a/c on, and it was hotter in the motor home than in the house. Our home is coming along just the way we hoped and planned.

We went back down to the house and started installing the electric boxes in the bedroom walls and then we cleaned up. When we got back to the motor home I started dinner. The next thing I hear is the tractor. I look out the window and Mike is digging a ditch behind our motor home. I put dinner on hold and go out to help.

We've been having problems with our back hill when it rains hard and the water runs to the coach, the house and down the side walkway. Mike is really tired of re-grading our walkway so we are digging a temporary ditch to divert the water to the larger ditch next to the driveway.

Here is the temporary ditch before we cleaned it up.


We worked until 8:30 and we finally cleaned up the ditch.


And Mike has the nerve to call me a slave driver! I'm not sure which one of us is worse but when we work together we don't know how to stop until exhaustion sets in. We are on full throttle ahead until it gets done. Weren't we supposed to take our time on this house?

Today was a very slow morning. We were extremely tired and we were dragging today. I think it might take a few days to get back on track. For the next couple of weeks we will be working on wiring, plumbing, and sheet rocking one room at a time. Mike went down to the house to Prue-drill and screw the bottom wall studs into the floor, we only put a few in each wall before just to hold the walls in place. Mike started going through drill bits in a heartbeat and it was becoming a battle just to drill one hole so we drove to David's to get some more drill bits. We stayed and talked for a while.

After we left David's we went to see Jimmy's(our grader) property. He is working on his roads and pond. Mike and I had to check it out because about a week ago we got a call from Jimmy saying "I see you". Really? Where are you? He was on his land on his track-hoe and from one point he could see our property across the mountains. We couldn't see him. Mike and I wanted to see what he was talking about. We got to Jimmy's land and hiked to the top to see our property. We looked across and saw one area that could have been ours but we couldn't tell without binoculars. We hiked back down, came home, and took a break. After all, it was a long hike. OK, enough procrastinating. It's time to get back to work.

We went back down to the house and Mike started drilling into the floor again. This time it worked smoothly. It's much easier with new bits. Then he started drilling holes through the wall studs, one hole in each stud, so we could start running the electric wiring.

We finished wiring the bedroom.

Now it's time for the sheet rock. We started on one wall and worked our way around the room.

This is Mike putting up our first piece of sheet rock.

Today we got 2 walls of sheet rock installed and only about 20 more to go.

Today we had to make another Lowe's run and also stop at the concrete plant to ask about the "rock block". This is the rock block.

It is stackable and used to build walls like this.

We need to put some kind of wall on both sides of the front of the house to hold the dirt. We like the "rock block" but when Mike did the numbers, it would be very costly. We need about 24 blocks total at $105.00 each(including delivery) and then we would have to hire Jimmy to place them. We are re-thinking our options.

Then we went to Lowe's and got our 3 interior doors, more supplies, and most of my lower kitchen cabinets. My cabinets are a darker wood called "Napa". When we got home we unloaded the trailer.

Thankfully Mike was able to drive right to the front of the house to unload. Later that day we finished installing the sheet rock on the other 2 walls in the 2nd bedroom.

Here is our signature on our wall. Mike wanted someone years from now to know we were here and built this house.

Today I had to go to town and drop Niki at the vets for her yearly shots and spa day. I was gone about 6 hours and Mike really missed me. He said so!

Mike was really busy and did all the first coat of taping and spackling in our 2nd bedroom. It takes quite a while because even though Mike is good he is not a professional so he's not as fast. He did a good job.

When I got home we took a short break and headed over to our other property. It's mowing time again.

We got the mowing done and Mike told me the beavers built a dam in the far back creek. So we put on old sneakers, grabbed the shovel and got in the creek which was very cold. We broke up the dam and threw the sticks and mud to the side of the creek. They had a good size dam and a nice pool area. Unfortunately whats good for them is not good for us. This is part of co-existing with wild animals. If we keep breaking open their dams they may move farther down the creek. At least they are only in one small section of the creek. I think it is one family. The beavers are cute but they can be a pain.

When we got home Mike put the outdoor electrical box on the back of the house. He did all of the wiring and hooked our motor home up to our solar system. Starting last night we now are running the motor home on "M&L Power". Woo Hoo. It is so cool that Mike was able to pull all this off. Considering he has never done solar before and has never seen anyone else's system I think he has done incredible. Our motor home is now running off our solar and wind system.

Now we will see how we do living on solar. That's it for today. 

Lisa and Mike


  1. Just wondering ... with all the work you folks are doing ... do you need to have any kind of "inspections" done through the local municipality or county??

    1. One of the wonderful things about our county in house inspections unless you hook up to the electric company.