You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2013.

I think we’re finally settled on the most important appliance to grace our humble little house – the wood stove. We’ve looked idly at several types and brands this past year. We went from Nectre to Esse to Alderlea to Blaze King, and have ended our search with Woodstock. Say hello to our heater, cooktop, water heater, and most beautiful piece of furniture:

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This is the Progress Hybrid wood stove by Woodstock. I found the company via some strong recommendations at the Hearth.com forum. After making a couple calls to the factory and talking it over with my husband, we put a deposit down a few days ago. Expected delivery for this beauty is August 30th, which also happens to be my hubby’s birthday. Happy birthday, honey!

For those of you who are curious about prices, I’m going to break down each and every cost associated with the stove and the installation. But first, a picture to give you an idea of what goes into a wood stove installation.

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If you click on it, it will take you to the full version that is much easier to read. The only difference in our install will be that the stove pipe comes straight up out of the stove instead of at a 90° angle from the back. While running my errands today I was able to stop at Menard’s and price out all of the components for the pipe. It will be much cheaper to buy them there than to get them from Woodstock and have them shipped. The prices below reflect those I found at our local Menard’s.

Part Name Price Quantity Total
Deluxe Rain Cap 39.99 1 39.99
Adjustable Roof Flashing 49.99 1 49.99
Storm Collar 6.49 1 6.49
Cathedral Ceiling Support 38.99 1 38.99
Stove Pipe Adaptor 19.99 1 19.99
24” Length Chimney 48.00 3 144.00
24” Double Wall Stove Pipe 34.99 5 174.95
Adjustable Length Stove Pipe 29.98 1 29.98
       
  Total   504.38

Here’s what our wood stove costs. The items that say 0 next to them have actual prices, but with the sale that was going on (ended 7/19/13) they threw in a lot of things free. Plus we got the $400.00 discount for the sale. All in all, we saved several hundred dollars by shopping smart.

Part Name Price
Progress Hybrid  (left door, charcoal) 3595.00
Summer Sale -400.00
Bottom Heat Shield Kit  (black) 0
Rear Heat Shield Kit  (charcoal) 0
Ash Lip  (charcoal) 0
Pipe Shield  (charcoal) 0
Shipping Crate 0
Summer Sale Freight 240.00
   
Total 3435.00

Once they’re added up, we’ll have spent $3939.38 less applicable taxes. And that, my good folks, will be the last money we spend on heating our house. With over half of our 27 acres in old growth hardwoods, we’ll not be lacking for fuel any time soon. When I think back on the big, drafty farmhouse we rented just a couple years ago, I positively beam! Did you know it cost us around $900 a month to heat that beast in the deep winter months? And that was with the entire upstairs closed off, all of us piled into the one downstairs bedroom. Ridiculous. Never again. I am so happy!

In other news, I built some nice doors with critter-proof latches for collecting eggs from the nesting boxes.

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I still need to figure out some dividers for the nesting box, work on getting the end gables filled in, and make the two big doors for the eastern and western sides. I’m glad I have all this time to work on it because I am not going nearly as fast as I’d like. It should be ready for our first homestead chickens next spring!

While I am waiting for the inevitable finish, I will be enjoying some mystery bulbs I found sprouting amidst my tools in a forgotten bag. I thought they were delphiniums, but now that they’re coming up I think they might be irises or lillies. What do you think?

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I also hauled another 5000 or so pounds of cord wood and whipped it off of our newly fixed trailer onto the ever-increasing piles behind our house site. Let me tell you, as a hopeless arachnophobe, I really had to power through some deep seated fears to work with all this wood. The size of these wood spiders! Holy crow!

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I finally got a picture of the shy lizard my son has dubbed Heidi (because it likes to hide). I got to watch him stalk, attack, and eat a grasshopper. Nature is awesome.

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And the most important news! This is even better than our wood stove news! Our house – it has a basement!

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Later this week we hope to get the plumber and builder to agree on where fittings and pipes will go so the basement floor can be poured. Once that is cured enough, the builder can start framing in the house. YAHOO! Every time I’m up at the land I look at the basement and do a little happy dance.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

We just spent half of the past week over in Michigan camping with my parents. Boy, was that a nice break! I got two buckets of pretty rocks from Lake Superior to use as decoration next to the chicken coop. We went swimming in the lake (BRRRR!) and met some really nice bikers named Bear and Cheryl – they came over and sat around our campfire a couple times to share stories and s’mores. We cooked every meal over the camp fire, had no electricity or running water… and we just loved it! Although, I have to admit, I was pretty stinky after four days of being coated in sunscreen, dirt, and bug spray. Yeah, I showered once a day. And then proceeded to douse my entire body in deet and lotion again. Ah, the joys of camping.

I managed to get most of our stuff put away yesterday, thinking I’d get to the rest of it today. I didn’t consider how doggone tired we all were! My youngest slept in until after 10:00am! Highly unusual. Around 10:30, as we’re all lounging around in the darkened living room in our pajamas, trying to wake up, the phone rings. It’s the builder. He’s already been on site three hours and is waiting for the inspector to show up to approve his forms for the pour. Woohoo!

A bit of hastiness and some frantic running around ensued, then we made it up there just in time to take pictures of the whole process.

Our builder finishing up his forms.

Our builder finishing up his forms.

Laying out the drain tile.

Laying out the drain tile.

Starting to pour the gravel.

Starting to pour the gravel.

The big dozer moving the eastern dirt pile.

The big dozer moving the eastern dirt pile.

The dozer made a nice, stable road for me using the fill dirt. Now we can drive safely back to the pond. Yay!

The dozer made a nice, stable road for me using the fill dirt. Now we can drive safely back to the pond. Yay!

Took two loads of gravel to fill it up. You can tell which side got rain as it was being put in. :)

Took two loads of gravel to fill it up. You can tell which side got rain as it was being put in. 🙂

Pouring the concrete for the footer.

Pouring the concrete for the footer.

Five on each long wall and three on each short wall, these pieces of drain tile are pulling double duty.

Five on each long wall and three on each short wall, these pieces of drain tile are pulling double duty.

The big, eastern dirt pile is gone, and the footer is curing overnight in preparation for three of the basement walls to be formed and poured tomorrow. The fourth wall will be stick-built, opening out into a cutaway section of our hill. We’ll put two big windows down there for future bedrooms. The builder says that the three poured walls will need to cure for 10-14 days depending on the weather before he will pour the basement floor and start laying the trusses for the first floor. We’ll have a day or two to get big items down into the basement before the first story walls go up. Since our stairs will have a 90 degree curve in them, we won’t be able to fit our commercial freezer or gun safe down them easily. Cross your fingers for us that the weather cooperates on those days!

That’s it for today’s update. Tune in tomorrow to see our basement take shape!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, guess what? It’s finally here! Today was the official first day of our house construction. The builder came with his excavator and dug a big 30×45′ hole in about two hours.

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The next time we see him will be next Monday or Tuesday, when he comes with a crew to set up the forms for the footers. He had wanted to get the footers poured and curing before the 4th of July, but that didn’t work out.

While that excitement was going on, my dad and I worked on the chicken coop some more. In the past few days, we’ve finished sheathing the roof, added fascia and drip edge, tacked down tar paper, laid all the shingles, reinforced a few weak spots, installed a weather vane, reversed a window, built up the nesting box, put in blocking, and had a lot of fun together.

Finishing the roof trusses over the covered porch.

Finishing the roof trusses over the covered porch.

Sheathing is on.

Sheathing is on.

 

Tar paper, fascia, and drip edge added.

Tar paper, fascia, and drip edge added.

The start of the shingles. I finished the covered porch and called it a night.

The start of the shingles. I finished the covered porch and called it a night.

My new rooster weather vane.

My new rooster weather vane.

The roof is finished!

The roof is finished!

Framing up the nesting box.

Framing up the nesting box.

Nesting box just needs two hinged doors and it's done. The window above was reversed so now it opens outward. Note the blocking is done between joists.

Nesting box just needs two hinged doors and it’s done. The window above was reversed so now it opens outward. Note the blocking is done between joists.

We also did another wood run yesterday, our fourth so far with probably another three or four left to do. I was planning on doing another one today, but our trailer decided to poop out on us. It’s in the shop getting rewired so that the brakes actually work. Having no brakes with 5000 pounds of cord wood in the back is not a good thing. I hope to finish hauling all that wood over here next month. In the meantime, I’ll be busy stacking.

That's not even the big pile. There's another further off to the left. Holy moly!

That’s not even the big pile. There’s another further off to the left. Holy moly!

So that’s my latest update on the homestead. Hope y’all are having as much fun as I am in this beautiful weather!

 

 

 

 

 

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