Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Getting Ready for the Concrete Foundation, Clearing Trees and Working on Water Flow

Our second week at the property and getting ready for the new slab.  Mike interviewed three different men to pour our slab.  We ended up hiring the man whose price came in the middle because he was the most conscientious about his work.  He also mentioned things about he slab that we weren't aware of.

Now that someone is scheduled to do the slab we need to get the plumbing in place which has to be in place before the concrete gets poured.

Mike starts off with the bathtub as we will need "exact" measurements for the pipes in the concrete:
We don't need and won't need the tub for quite some time but we are ready.

Here is the man clearing the grass off the foundation area:

The building spot is ready and corner stakes are in:

While they work on that Mike and I go back to work on the front ditch.  Mike uses the tractor to clean it up:

Trying to get the water pitched right so it will flow through the culvert and out the other side:

And out the other side:

Mike needs to do a lot more cleaning, filling sand in spots and clearing other spots.  He can only do so much with the tractor bucket but Mike wants to do it himself.

Working in the muck...before Mike got it looking nice:

Our first truck for the building site...and they brought the biggest truck they have and it broke down going "across" our road...not good:

Their help that showed up to move the tractor trailer out of the road:

Oh well....looks like we will have to wait one more day to start getting the fill dirt, which is sand here, for the building site.

The next morning they are back on track....first of 5 truck loads coming in:

And dumping:

At the same time our ditch is getting cleaned up.  It's been raked and seeded:

And hay has been added.  We usually use straw but it was much easier to find hay here:

I seemed to have skipped some pictures last week with us clearing the "hole" for the new septic area.  So I need to backtrack.  While the trucks were making their way in for the building pad, Mike and I did a lot of tree cutting and clearing.  Mike cutting the pines into smaller pieces so I could load them onto the trailer:

This whole area needs to be cleared:

Getting a lot of it cleared out:

I dig around the stumps so Mike can get the chainsaw low enough to cut them out of the ground:

This is going to be some burn pile:

We are cutting some of those logs up for logs.  They are the perfect diameter for a fire pit.  We saw the neatest one at Rural King:)

Another truck going in:

The second load being dumped:

All of this work was spread out over our second week here.  We also got a head start and ordered our trusses for the building.  It is going to be our storage building first and later on converted while another building is built.  But that will all happen next year as this will be an ongoing project.  We just needed to get the largest one done first as Mike and I are getting older and it's getting a bit harder to build big things alone.

More up next week:)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sand and Clay Mix For The Septic System

Our second week and we are hard at work.  Mike and I continue to mow and clear some of the land.  We have also done our first of many trips to Lowes for supplies.  

On tuesday of our second week the inspector from the health department came out to talk to us about a septic system.  He told us that since we have a lot of clay soil that we would have to have a mound system with a pump....and it would cost about $9000.00 which is insane.  Also with a pump system the main pipe from the house would be above ground and visible.  Hmm...we need a solution.

That night Mike came up with an idea...we like when Mike "has an idea", lol.  We have a huge sunken hole on our property that may or may not be a very old sink hole.  Mike called our septic contractor, Greg, and asked him to come and look at the hole.  Mike's idea is to clear all of the trees and fill it with the sand/clay mix that was required to do the mound system.  It would be the exact same thing as the inspector wanted but it would be a traditional septic since it is technically below "our" ground.  Greg came out and said he would talk to the inspector for us.  

The inspector likes the plan so now it's time for Mike and I to get to work.  The hole that is filled with mostly smaller trees and is about 60x60 feet and about 12 feet down.

Mike cutting one of the larger trees.  We used a strap and tied it off the the tractor for safety and also so it fell on high ground and not back into the hole, lol.

Mike cuts and I do the pulling and loading the trailer with debris:

Our hole is cleared and ready to fill:

One trailer full of many:

Now it's time for the deliveries.  We need a sand/clay mix to fill the hole.  Our first truck laod of about 15:

The sand is dropped on the edge and Mike has to push it over with our little tractor:

It takes him quite awhile to get the sand pushed and dropped into the hole:

One push at a time:

It's a bit daunting but if we do the work ourselves we have to put in the time.  This time it is Mike's time on the tractor.  He must have 50 hours on that tractor to date:

This week we also ordered the trusses for the house and started getting estimates for a concrete slab.  

Our next chapter we will be setting up a small solar system, a lot more sand, and our well.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Culvert and Clearing

Our first week.

We arrived in Florida on a Sunday night and checked into our favorite rv park for a month.  We will use this as our home base until we can move over to the new property.

Monday morning we closed on the new property.  On our way to the property we picked up a gate for the front and dropped that off.  Then it was off to M&J's to have our tractor towed to our new place.  We also brought over our other trailer with the small lawnmower.  As soon as we got there Mike and I started mowing.  Mike on the tractor with the bush hog and me on the small lawnmower.  We had a lot of clean up to do since the property was really overgrown.  The back area had small 6-8 foot trees on it that made it impossible to walk through when we first saw this place.  Mike is able to knock them down with the tractor and bush hog.  I'm kind of jealous because I know he is having loads of fun just plowing through the trees, lol.  I'm just getting covered with dusty debris from sitting so low on the lawnmower.  Really now that we have flat land Mike really needs to teach me to drive the tractor.

We spent about a week cutting and clearing.  Sadly I lost all of the pictures from that time because my camera was lost.  I still haven't found it.

Tuesday October 17-

We are going to do as much of the work ourselves as we can.  Mike using the tractor to dig out the area where we need a culvert:

We were a little busy wrestling the two 10ft culverts and the collar in the mud to take pictures.  Mike and I got enough of a hole dug, him with the tractor and me with the shovel,  for us to drop the culvert in place.  Then we added the collar and put the second culvert on the other side of the collar.  We had to do some wrestling to get the two culverts locked together.  But we did it.

Mike digging:

Digging the sides a little deeper for the water to flow out:

Covering the culvert.  Now we can have a gravel delivery:

We got quite a pile of trees and debris from our clean up round.  We called for a burn permit and started our first clean up fire:

Mike pushing the outer edges in with the tractor bucket:

We called for a couple of truckloads of gravel.  Gravel is a lot different here in Florida than in the mountains.  Since we don't have a choice we had a truck load of Millings delivered which is crushed up recycled pavement.


First truck load coming in:

Mike using that tractor again:

Cleaning up by our entrance.  Getting ready for big trucks to come in:

Our new gate:

We had a rainy day so it was a good day to get our permits.  The ladies at the county were fantastic.  They helped us draw up the plans and apply for our septic permit.  They also helped with the 911 address information.  Even though it was raining we got a lot done.

We had another truck load of millings delivered and Mike spent his time smoothing it out.

Yesterday was my birthday but with Mike and I it's always work before play so we went out to dinner today to celebrate with M&J:)  M is very thoughtful and gave me a pair if work gloves and cream for my hands.  We have a lot of vines and poison ivy/oak here so the gloves will really help(and have:)).

Of course there were many other things going on this week that didn't require pictures and since I lost my camera I lost all of the pictures of us clearing the back 2/3 of the property.  Each day we spent more time mowing, cutting and clearing. I also made multiple calls to contractors to get estimates...we will see who calls back, lol. We did hire our well and septic man.

Next up...ordering trusses and getting a concrete crew.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our New Property...and The Fun Begins

As many of you know Mike and I thrive on projects.  We have been looking for a house to remodel in one of old neighborhoods in FL for many months now.  Sadly we have had no luck in finding any deals so we had to broaden our search requirements.  Since we have traveled and stayed in many places in Florida we are familiar with a lot of areas.  Mike thought we might like to do a small farm this time. Maybe settle down, ha ha, and have some animals in the future.  So in September we started scanning the real estate ads for a piece of property.  Since we have very nice friends, M and J, close to the area we are interested in they will be checking on some properties before we travel down.

Our requirements are 5 acres or more, a paved access road with some trees on the property.  You think that would be easy but it's not.  Sadly many properties in FL that have any acreage are on lime rock roads and those are awful to live on.  They are a big dirty dusty mess and your car and vehicles will constantly be filthy.  Also for whatever reason a lot of property here is completely cleared which offers no privacy.  

There are two properties we are interested in.  This is the one we think we will like best. 

And the entrance:

M and J drove by to take pictures for us:

After hurricane Irma they went back to see if there were any water problems.  As you can see there is a small "pond" by the road caused by not having a culvert and a place to flow out:

The future neighbors, lol, and more water:

The entrance is pretty wet:

Right after Irma, Mike and I contacted the realtor and drove down to Florida to see the two properties that interested us.  We stayed a few nights with M and J and drove around looking at property.   The one that was closest to M and J is the one we liked best so we made an offer and scheduled the closing for mid October.

Then it was time to get back to TN and make arrangements for another big move.  We are going to need just about everything we own to get this new job done.  We have 30 days to get moved.

There are two things we need right away, an enclosed trailer and a bush hog.  We lucked out and found a nice enclosed trailer and bought a new bush hog from the Farm Supply.  Of course Mike wants to take the tractor so we had to call transport companies and wait for quotes.  Sadly none of the places I called came through so I called our local towing company and asked the owner if he could do it.  He said yes but the cost would be too high and I should try uship.  What an amazing site if you need to transport cars, equipment or anything else.  You actually place a free ad and it goes out to haulers.  You tell them what you need hauled, to and from and give them a price.  Private haulers will contact you if you fit their schedule.  Anyway we got a man who makes regular trips from our area in TN down to Florida.  He was excellent and we will use him again.

He picked up the tractor a few days before we were leaving.  We met him at the store in the morning and he loaded up.

He contacted us every few hours with an update.  He arrived at M and J's house at about 8pm.  They sent us a picture of the tractor and bush hog.  All safe and sound.

Mike and I loaded up and heading south:

Next up...the new adventure begins.