Catching UP.

I have been way too busy to post much, so will do a catch up post.

1st I designed & built a 10′ x 14’shed. I needed a place to store things.  As I do have to get everything out of the single wide, to be moved away.   I don’t work as fast as I used to.

My Shed dDsign

My Shed Design

Shed Built,  but not finished

Shed Built, but not finished


I also built a good sized gravel dog pen behind it, with 5′ high fencing on top timbers, that hopefully will keep Tash in.   Transplanted some nice river birch from the other side of the place,  and seeded nomow seed & landscaped the slope off the back side of the pen. I do need to get an updated photo of that.


We then had a MONSTER rain that just about over flowed a 24″ culvert under the 2nd driveway.  The water went down & I saw there were large branches, logs,& junk the former owner had tossed in the stream bed.  So then I decided I needed to clean  all the ditches & stream bed out. $$$$ Good thing because we have had another monster rain since then.  As of 7/15,  40+” over the normal amount of rain fall.

The water almost over the top of a 24" culvert

The water almost over the top of a 24″ culvert

You can JUST see the top bit of culvert.

so that lead to just plain clearing out & seeding everywhere I could & get it over & done with.

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New Driveway.

I have put in my new driveway.   I designed my house with the garage opening to the side. I don’t care to look at vehicles parked outside the garage, or have people looking right in if it’s open. It also then raps around the Dog Agility ring.  With Both being somewhat out of my livingroom in of sight.

I learned you can’t fight & win with rain water run off.  It rains here a lot!  So you design to directing it away as fast as possible.  I have been working on leveling out the agility Ring, & had to put a culvert under the new driveway.  There is a lot of water coming from above.

Agility Ring & Driveway

It going to take a lot time & fill to get this Ring level.  I don’t want to be running up hill.  There will be sand & then topped with a mix.    There is a 15″ culvert under the drive at the back corner under the small marker tree.

This is the top of the driveway, looping around my HUGE Oak & Maple trees.

Driveway at the house

I tried fixing the ditch to the tune of $1000.   It failed , while gone for 2 weeks, & a “so called” Caretaker, didn’t clear fallen branches, add in the Fall leaf drop.  Major ditch work to come now.  Tired of fighting the D.O.T..

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Starting the Site Work

I will try to explain things as I go for anyone else ever planning to build themselves. There are many MANY things with the site layout & work, people don’t think about until it’s too late.  Plus KNOW your property lines!!!

Take your TIME with laying out your site!  Moving most of this part of this part of  designing,  later is BIG BUCKS or maybe plain just can’t be done.

Think about the future & what you may want to do.   I made a mistake with my first house, or I’d be set now money wise.   If you lot’s size is large enough & it’s ALLOWED, & you CAN divide, & then sell / give to a child, etc., for any reason……….DO IT!!!!  Get it Grandfathered in.  Divide BEFORE they CHANGE the zoning on you, it happens all the time.  You might pay a little more in Taxes, but “Raw Land” rates are low.   You can always USE the spare lot(s) for many things til the time comes.  A Shed/Barn on skids, Farming, Parking, Pasture, Dog run, Walking trails, etc,.  Just don’t put any permanent buildings/things you may want on it(or your septic, well, AND allow for the spare lot’s!) .  Then there are the BIG things like, how & where are you setting your House (additions later & set backs?), Water & power lines(power can be pushed only so far, or it needs a primary box $$$), Driveway, Out buildings, Animals, Pool, Fish pond, etc.?   How your driveway runs, can you back out easily(heavy traffic?), or do you want a turn around? a loop, where you might everyday park & walk to the house without garaging, where is the garage? how many parking spaces…….kid’s cars later?  Steep hill & snow & ice?  Were might the snow be PUSHED to if plowed(no fancy garden there!!).  Ease of use for large trucks, moving, delivery, heating fuel(where are you putting a tank?)  Septic pump out.   A gravel kid’s parking spot now, can become a place for a shed later.  If you are allowed farm animals, say your daughter becomes a horse nut, are you going to pay big $$$ to board out, or keep at home? They have barns on skids, a horse trailer? Water line to a barn(hauling enough water for a horse, is NOT easy), RV.  Goats, Chickens can smell some.  Down wind? but what about your neighbors?  How far do you want to walk to care for any of them in BAD weather, when your are sick as a dog?   Storage/Parking for boats, RV’s, Barn, & whether you run power & water hook up to it.   Line of sight from the house.  What do you want to see?  I had a picture prefect view of my horses in their pasture, but I don’t really care to see my dog’s chain link kennels.  What is ON the lot now?  Have beautiful big trees do you want to save, a stream?  There always is, what kind of screen landscaping you CAN DO, to hide things if your lot is tight.

The more you might want to be able to do with your lot, the more time & planning at this stage you have to do.  Bringing “The BIG Machines” back in later is expensive, & plain tears up or out, your landscaping you might have worked years on.

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Sold The Caswell House, Time to start on my Final Home.

I finally sold (gave away, really) my Spec house, The Caswell.    I did pick up 5 tough acres in Western, North Carolina, 2 years ago, with an old rotting Single Wide Model home on it.   This will be my final home I design, & build as much of it as I can, before I get too old.

It took me 2 1/2 yrs to find it.  It has almost all I was looking for, but it is a very rough lot & a lot of it is in very rough shape.  Will take a lot of work to get it fixed up.   The former owner clear cut over 1/2 of it, & left the stumps & let the briers all grow up, (there are still many Black Walnut trees, will come down( too messy, & they almost poison the ground under them).  A HUGE mess.  But areas will be my private woods, & mostly stay wild.

A lot of it(& most of where I’m building) has Huge trees, & a area of large & one really HUGE Beech trees, which I love.  It has town water(I’m not going to deal with whole house filters & dead well pumps in my old age), but there are NO RESTRICTIONS!!   A big thing for someone with 5+ dogs & chickens, & what ever I want to do.  Dog Training, Doggy Day care?   There a tiny spring running down the middle in a gully.  This time, I will divide it into 2 pieces, to be-able to sell off later, when I need the money.  Which as someone who has only been self employed, means no pensions, or big savings after losing mine in the building bust.   Meanwhile I can use it, (they do need a lot of work cleaning them up).   I will just keep my buildings/gardens, etc. to “my Lot”.  A stone’s throw to a Country Club, 1 level mile to the small town, with everything right there.  New Food Store, Post Office,  2 banks, hardware store, small lumber yard, 3 Gas stations, etc. even a Thriftshop!!!  15/20  minutes to Asheville airport, Hospital, & the big stores, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, etc.

The ditch at the road has failed, & the D.O.T will not do anything about it.   There are is one huge Wash out areas/ Tunnel, that runs for 50′ into my land & is half open & half under ground that runs UNDER two large trees!  Then a few smaller ones.  Tash is ON the big one, & the log sticking out of the hole is 6′ LONG.  So  a lot of work to be done.

I want to place the house where the Mobile is now, & found out, no one knows where the septic is, & it has NEVER been pumped out!  And most surely not up to code. So a lot of planing to do this.

It will be an “Outside the Box” House, on a Japanese theme & gardens. Using Superior Walls for all the walls of the house & garage.

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Roofing Done just in Time to Head to FL.

Weather Tight to Leave for the Winter

I have been too flat out since well before Thanksgiving to post this.    The weather cleared enough for me to finish the roofing to safely leave my Tiny House Trailer for a period.  There is still 2 windows to put in on this side, & maybe one on the dormer. But for now it’s weather “Tight” this way.

I’m having to take 2 1/2 to 3 months to go to FL. to move my parents into Assisted Living, & then clear their home totally out for placing on the market.     My Mother who has ALZ now, was an acquirer/ hoarder, not on an really bad scale, but they also have a world class Shell collection, & she has 1000’s of photos of them from their 12 years in Micronesia.  Every single thing has to be opened & looked into.  I have found over $1000 in cash, & many Rare shells, hidden so far.  I do hope to make this somewhat of a wake up call to myself………Stop keeping things, After I finish my last home!  It will be awhile before I write again.

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Inside Work

It has been Raining & RAINING, day in & day out again.   I have had the New pieces of Everlast II roofing,  but can’t put them up!  The color is a PERFECT match to the 8 year old pieces!   So I have been still working inside.  So glad I went with the Zip panels.  So I have been putting in the Insulation.

The Bedroom Walls

I have even been getting the Lauan Plywood wall panels up.  The bedroom is walls are done.  The bed will run the way the table is, with the head to the right where the wiring is.

I had pre painted them during the warm weather.  I’ll just spot paint them later.   I have painted white where I’ll build in the cabinet/closets.  I’ll use cleats & only one side, the front panel, & the bottom.  saves space & weight.

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Starting on The Roofing

Figuring Out the Roofing Layout

I’m finally getting to “Fitting” the roofing.  I have 9   6′ pieces leftover pieces of the good Everlast II Steel Roofing from when I had to re roofed the big Vineyard Barn, of it’s Ondura within 8 yrs,………. some life time.  Do NOT use  it for anything more than a shed.  The Everlast II  is a nice neutral color, Ash Gray. But it’s a color I can’t match from big box stores.  Also I want to collect rain water off this roof,  or I would just use their Gal Steel roofing.  So for the water collecting, I have saved & paint a 14′ piece of the tiny “gutter”from the RV Demo.  It’s only about 1 1/2″ tall  by 3/4” in depth, & I put it up on the backside.     I doubt any “new” Pieces of Everlast II will match in color, after 8 yrs.  Should be close.  The panels were all cut off leftovers, and the cut edge IS totally rust free yet.   So I will put the new on the back.  That way any difference doesn’t show,  your eye can’t compare the two flat side be side.  A trick if you are painting a room, and have to do only one or two messed up walls, or one or two half empty cans of paint(don’t want to bother with the messy job of mixing the cans).   Just do the whole wall, but stop at the corners. The corner & lighting never lets you compare the difference.

There has been a lot of rain, so have been working inside.  The benefits of the new Zip panels, lets you start inside.  I do have a couple of leaks, one on a dormer side & that roof panel too. It was where I last came through the rafters from the inside to work on the roof. I put something to collect the drips.   I have mostly been cutting & fitting the Polyisocyanurate  insulation panels.  Been cutting it on the table saw, & fitting them.  Seem to do any tapers easier that way.

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Front end Roof Trim

The Nose Roofline Trim

I finally have the Nose Gable end Trim Up.  There is a bit of Flair hidden in it as, something is off a hair.  I used a piece of The Steel roofing to “see it” & correct it.  As I know from putting up the Roofing on my Barn.  Steel has NO GIVE for not being square.  Which my Pole Barn was not.

Notice I haven’t put anymore windows in, than I did to stop the rain coming in the holes I had.   They can be cut in ANY TIME.   Windows restricts where you can lean a ladder, to work on the roof trim & roofing.  I did build a custom height Homemade set of Staging.  I don’t have any steel sets, & am not going rent them.  It’s lighter in weight to move around.    2 Tall “H” brackets, all crossed braced together.  One person can drag slowly as a whole unit, no taking it apart every time you need to move it.

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My Door is Up!

The Door

I finally have the door Up, but I wouldn’t say in.  I have to trim it out, which is tied in with window above it & the “Rafterets” I have to put across the front.   They will break up that flat face front, & Caboose Look”, & give me a place to tie in some kind of a overhang.   I have decided not to put the 18′ awning up.  It is just too long, when rolled up (which is always here, remember the open 150 acres hayfield), so it blocks two windows from opening right.  If I can find or trade for a smaller one, I might still put one up.

The door was a pain. I bought it about two years ago for my Nomad design……& swing.  So I can’t return now, so had to cut it down & flip it to change the swing(to keep exterior side out), so  the knob is on the high side now.  The jam was for the old  2″x4″ exterior wall width & was only a 2’6″ 78″ high.  So it was a small fiberglass not steel door to begin with, at only a cost of $149, & was hard to find.   I cut it down another inch to 77″, & planed 3/16″s  off the sides to clear off the old hinge cut outs on the door.  Then ripped the jams down for a 2″x3″ wall(every inch that stays out of my path to the kitchen(door left open), if I get a screen door up), will help.  so then shorten it & brought the sides in on the Jam too, because of planing off 3/8″.  Painted it & the jam.

At some point I need to build a Mini porch,  I’m not hanging out on those RV steps to open the door in the wind & weather.  I did it with the RV & hated it sometimes, & fell off more than once, when the wind grabbed the door.   I just haven’t decided what light weight materials to use.  I can’t find straight grain fir decking here, or come up with a design that comes apart easily for transport.  It is quit high up.

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1st Window In

1st Window is IN

We had another small HHH “heatwave”.  So I repainted in the shady sides, staying one side ahead of the sun.  Since it is now so closed in(I quit cutting the window holes out),  it is HOT inside & DARK!  So to get some cross ventilation & working inside in bad weather, I put the bedroom awning window up.    I still have to cut the vent in & get the two corner pieces of T-111 up on the top back.  I’ll have to do that from a big ladder, everything else was done from the “upstairs” hanging over the top.

New color on a long side too

I have a lot of work to do on the front yet.  So I have left off the small ridge pieces of Zip panels yet.  Much more jungle jim work off the collar ties to do.

Need to put in a few more windows, like the big double casement, that’s on the weather side, & a rain problem now. I have to put it back together.   I wanted the tan windows, & found a few.   All my windows are leftover, wrong sizes, from many trips to an outlet store for replacement windows.  I have paid only a Total of $385 for all 8 windows in my Tiny House Trailer!  I have 5 awning, which were very hard to find.  I want to be able to leave them open in the rain.  So I have been painting the outside of the white ones.  Everywhere you see old color is a window cut out.  Can see how it goes with the roofing panel at least tone wise, that’s leaning on the garage in the back ground.  I guess I’ll see if I can spray paint the LP tanks cover now, too.

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