Holy Square Footage Batman

by Darren 31. August 2010 18:29

When we decided to put in floor heating in the Pole Barn we did some estimating and got quotes from a couple of contractors.

They told us some of the things that we could do to save money on the quote, and each of them seemed reasonable at the time.

No one told me that when you multiply an easy thing by 1,536 it gets hard (we have a 24x64 pole barn – you do the math).

Today we finished up the insulation that goes under the concrete. That was a job and a half.

Next we need to put down the wire mesh and then attach the Pex to the mesh. T hen the experts take over for a bit and then I think we have more labour to put in.


It's a good thing we're working toward a place that is certainly Bound to Please!

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More fun – less work – that sounds like a good goal

by Darren 30. August 2010 17:04

(editor's note: I have some bad news and some good news – the bad news is that I shovel like a little girl. The good news is that using my newly learned shoveling skills (thank you, Sherry!) I no longer have a million shovel fulls of moat to fill!)

Every year for New Years Sherry and I set a 'theme' for the year. We don't make resolutions (I'll lose 50 pounds this year or I'll read 120 books, or whatever) we set a general theme for the year.

The very first theme was "More Fun, Less Work". We spent an entire year trimming out the time-wasters that really are just 'work' and adding back in things like Family Game Night and other fun things.

One of our better themes was "One Hand In, One Hand Out". Meaning that you have to be careful to take care of yourself (one hand in), but then you really need to give back to the community (one hand out).

My 'hand in' was hanging out with two very Green People (if you need to ask, don't – that's a three hours course that I teach!). I had coffee with my Green Friends every week (and still do as much as I can and that was years ago!)

Last year's theme was "Living the Dream" – we prepared everything that we needed in order to ensure that we were able to pursue our long term vision for us and our family. It was a mediocre year at best for a bunch of reasons – most of them out of our control.

I usually start thinking about the theme for next year in December or so (117 days to Christmas, everybody) and I watch around me for clues – repeated patterns, hints, words. I also spend a little time meditating about the theme (don't go all weird on me – meditating just means thinking about one thing).

The only thing that kept coming back last December was "Stay the Course". What a sucky theme.

But it resonated with me. And I heard that phrase over and over. Bummer.

Now. Who would have thought that 'The Course' would have taken us this far south on this much land (with this much lawn!) and this much work? That's a pretty aggressive Course to stay on.

But I guess the path should be difficult if it's Bound To Please.

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If it goes up does it really have to come back down

by Darren 29. August 2010 07:51

I guess I should have seen it coming. You know – what goes up must come down and all that jazz.

I don't get to keep my moat. Apparently they're dangerous. Bummer.

So who, now, you may ask, has to fill in my moat?

That's what I should have seen coming. It's me – I'm the one that has to fill in the moat.

Let me back the story up just a little – we had to get the moat to get fresh water to the Pole Barn out back. That means that it had to be four to five feet deep – there's no way to do that by hand – we had a guy come in to do that for us.

While the moat was open we ran a 4" perforated Big-O pipe from the house to the Barn and ran a binder twine 300' through the Big-O. Now I can pull wires from one end to the other using the binder twine. I have phone cable in it now and I'll have Ethernet and intercom going through it shortly.

What a chore that Big-O was! The connectors that join the three 100' pieces of Big-O are about 1.5" bigger around than they need to be. We tried heating the connectors, we tried bending the connectors – we even tried hammering the connectors. Nope. The only thing that seemed to work was a cutesy little wiggling motion. Go figure.

The only other things that I need to run are for the Central Boiler Corn Stove that I'm installing next month some time. I'll need power to drive the pumps and we have to run the hot water lines that'll be doing the heating.

I'll pull the power on Monday and we don't need to bury the Central Boiler lines more than 18" down – they're heavily insulated.

So. I get to fill in my moat and leave the top 18" loose so that we can just push that dirt aside to bury the Central Boiler hot water lines.

I did some rough calculations and I would say there's just over 1,000,000 shovel fulls (that's not an exaggeration for effect. It's also not hyperbole. Or redundant) That's a valid calculation based on some rough estimates.

1M of shovel fulls of dirt. Yikes.

It's not as bad as it would seem though – I only have a couple of hours into the project and I'm already about 5% done.

There's an awful lot of work creating a place that is Bound To Please

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Between Darren's attention to detail and Sherry's warm welcome this Bed and Breakfast is Bound to Please


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