A trench by any other name, is still hard to dig

In preparation for having running water in the house, we needed to dig yet another trench. I had it pretty easy using Dozy but Jeff had to dig a portion of trench alongside the house entrance wall by hand. 
We have two lines coming from the pump house.  One is our main house line, which is 1″ PEX pipe (what Jeff is holding onto).  The other is 3/4″ water pipe that feeds the outdoor hose spigots that are situated around the house.  The grey pipe you see in the picture is electrical conduit which we slipped over the water pipe for extra protection.

More Digging With Dozy

 With the pump house in place, we need to get the waterline from our big water tank up the hill, into the shed.  The soil we have on our property is a really hard Saprolite Clay and digging into it by hand is a major chore.  Fortunately we have a backhoe attachment for Dozy (which is actually attached to the front).  This made digging the trench much easier though there was still a certain amount of hand work.After running the waterline into the pump house, we were able to hook up the booster pump (at least temporarily), so that we can attach garden hoses to start “watering” the roof. Later on we will have a more permanent set up when we hook into the house plumbing.Jeff started to water the roof to help the ground settle.  Next week we will seed the roof with a mix of grasses, native  cover plants and wild flowers.  We hope to have some growth going before the big rains come to help prevent erosion.

David & Goliath

Or rather, Ken & MobyHere helper Ken tests his strength against Moby while he gets the chains in place to tow the pump house up the hill.

We thought it might be a tough haul but Moby had no trouble towing the shed up the hill.Once up top, we used Dozy and the winch to move it into place on the concrete pad.  We then cut a hole in the end of the shed so we could slide it “around” the electric meter base. This will be much more asthetically pleasing than having an exposed meter base. Now all we have to do is run waterlines and install the pump.  Soon we will be able to water the “roof”.

Voila! (Nearly) Instant pump house.

Nice Pad Dude!

We never seem to be able to get away from mixing concrete.  Here we are making the pad for our pump house.    While the concrete was setting, we prepared our laundry shack (previously the vegie shack), for making the trip up this hill.First we had to jack the shed up off the ground.Then we built a skid sled under the shed that we will use to drag it up the hill.  That will happen on Sunday.  Temporarily, we have set up a laundry room under the cover we use for Johnny.

Pump House Prep

Pump House Prep

This weekend we worked on preparations for our pump house.  When we dug out the hill to get more earth to cover the house, our power meter box ended up being in the “Middle” of our yard. We will be able to hide the meter base by putting  the pump house right up against it.  This will also make it easy to get power to the pump.  Following along with our whole reuse, renew, recycle philosophy, we will be bringing what is now our laundry shack   at the bottom of the hill, up and placing it on the pad that we are creating.

Hi From Down Under

Photo by Dave Morgan, NewsLincolnCounty.com

Well we finally did it! Our earth sheltered home is now completely “Earth Sheltered”Over The Top.
(We are amazed at how much “flat” space there is up there. Croquet anyone?),

… Down between the East and West retaining walls.

Photo by Dave Morgan, NewLincolnCounty.com

The final job was to place what topsoil we were able to scrape off the hill from behind the house, to on top of the house.  Later we will go back and rake it out evenly.  Since there will most likely be some settling over the next year, we will leave this ramp up the NW side in case we have to add more material later. As soon as we can get our pressurized water system working, we will plant grass and wild flowers to help control erosion.

Photo by Dave Morgan, NewLincolnCounty.com


Photo by Dave Morgan, NewLincolnCounty.com

With the earth covering really showing from the road now,  we have seen even more traffic stop on the Bay Rd. to check it out.

Risers Up, then Down Under

One of the first things we needed to do after installing the septic tank was attach the Risers above the access hatches. (we have a 2 compartment tank)  We then filled it with water and measured for any loss over 24 hours to check for leaks.  It stayed at the level so we don’t have to worry about leaks.

Now it was time to attach the pipes coming out from the house.  The other end of the tank will remain capped off until we put in the drain field.  With this completed… we started to bury the tank.

Several people have asked me why there is a “spare tire” stuck on the back of Dozy.  Since he is small, light and nimble I sometimes have balance issues when scooping a heavy load in the bucket.  There needs to be a counterweight off the back to help keep the tracks level. I have a metal box filled with rocks that I can use but it is big and bulky.   I am working in tight courters up on the roof (around the cupola and vent pipes) and I didn’t want to risk bumping into anything with a big “rear end”.   

So I devised this clever counterweight using an old truck tire and a block of cement.  I even drilled a hole in the tire to fill it with water for more weight.