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Thread: Going to be Semi- off grid for a couple of months (VIDEOS ADDED)

  1. #31
    I arrived here on Tuesday afternoon. The ground growth, can't call it grass because I don't know what is growing, was over 6ft tall in places. When I left just before Memorial day, there were no trees growing next to the foundation. A little over 3 months later I have these broadleaf trees, empress, I think, that are towering above the roof line. Very invasive trees.

    I brought a zero turn mower and have the old tractor I bought in the spring. The tractor was stored at a neighbors barn. I unloaded the zero turn and cut a path from the house to the well. I needed to run a power cord and hose to the well. Don't you know the next day I see one of the bigger tires on the zero turn was flat. I had flat tires on the big tractor last spring. The closest place to get a tire fixed is about 10 miles. This past summer I purchased tire spoons, patches, and some basic special tools for fixing tires and tire tubes. The problem was I was having a very hard time trying to break the bead on that stupid wide tread, small 20 inch tire. I tried a hydraulic bottle jack on the edge of the rim using my Yukon hitch as resistance but the jack just kept sliding off. It was hot and I was not making any progress so decided to just drive to town and get it fixed. Cost $15. I picked up the tractor from the neighbor and bush hogged the majority of the cleared property. Then got back on the zero turn to clean up. Don't you know yesterday another flat on zero turn. I was kinda finished for the day and was not going to drive to town so I decided to see if I could demount that tire. I put the mower in the shade and removed the tire. I remembered that I have a farm jack here. I have not used it for its original intended purpose, because it tends to be not so stable but for breaking the bead on that tire, it was the bees knees. The jack is about 3 feet tall, has a solid rectangular base. I put the tire on the ground under the Yukon, got the jack on top of the tire next to the rim and once again used the Yukon hitch as resistance. That jack was beautiful and allowed me to use my foot to keep the base where it needed to be while pulling on the top of the jack to keep everything in place. A couple of clicks on the jack and the bead was broken. Got the tube out, glued a new patch over the hole, and put it back together. Saved $15 and a drive to town and gained the confidence from the victory.

    I thought that due to the potential bad weather, it would be wise to clean up the outside before the weather turned. Who knows if I will even get any rain now.

    I have lots of saved wood that needs to get moved inside the house. Then I need to remove flooring and joists then build a supporting wall to support the left side of the house then remove old piers and blocks, dig and pour footing, remove sill beam, put concrete block foundation, new sill beam. Then do the same on the front of the house. The rear and right side of the house has new foundation and sill beam. About half of the inside of the house has no flooring, just dirt crawl space. The entire floor will be removed and down to the dirt. I left some of the floor because it was easier to haul out trash on top of the old floor. I would imagine soon when I open the front door there will be a 3 foot drop to the dirt. I will put temporary concrete block steps. I expect by Thanksgiving the entire foundation and sill beam will be new. The rear wall has all new studs and some of the right side has been rebuilt.

    After I am done with the foundation and sill beam, I will encapsulate the crawl space before putting in floor joists and floor.



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  3. #32
    Found a good place to store the used salvaged wood and moved other things that needed moving.

    Tore up the hardwood flooring and floor joists on entire left side of house. Removed all rough sawn lumber that runs perpendicular to the studs on the interior of the left wall.

    In strategic places I tampered down the crawlspace soil and placed concrete blocks and a double 2x12 beam on top of them. Above at the ceiling I had to build supports that will enable the wall to be supported with temporary studs. So got the ceiling and ground ready for a temporary wall. Set the temporary beam, then put in the temporary studs. Removed exterior siding on the wall. Total length of this wall not counting front or back porch is over 48 feet. The wall on the other side, right side of the house was done this past spring and was even more complicated because it has a 9 or 10 foot alcove that jutted out 3 or so feet from the main wall. Most of that wall is newly framed with all window openings, covered with OSB and house wrap.

    I have a delivery of 84 80lb bags 2 skids of premix concrete and a skid of concrete blocks arriving Monday. Between now and then I am hoping to remove the exterior rough sawn lumber that runs perpendicular to the studs. Then I need to remove the old brick piers, and all the 4x8x16 concrete blocks they have between the piers. Then remove the existing wall studs and then hand dig my footings. The good thing is that the soil is easy to dig and since there is no frost line I only have to go 12 inches deep or deeper if that works better. Another plus is the old tractor with the bucket loader makes moving the removed debris much easier than doing so with wheel barrow.



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  5. #33

  6. #34

  7. #35

  8. #36

  9. #37
    Above videos made yesterday. I have a couple skids of concrete and a skid of block getting delivered today. I still need to dig footing. I did not remove old concrete block in area where I have temporary supporting concrete block so as to not disturb. Will pour most of footing and deal with those areas at a future date. First time I ever recorded directly onto youtube. I have limited data so this worked for me. I record once and share links with friends and family. Still pictures do not grasp the concept of the repair as does the video.

  10. #38


    Less than 30 seconds shows footings dug.

  11. #39

  12. #40



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  14. #41

  15. #42
    Just got finished removing the last two chimney's/fireplaces. Big Job! Huge rocks on/under ground supporting base. They were probably 35 feet tall. Patched the roof prior to all the rain from Michael.

    Been simultaneously working on a dilapidated 16x24 building. Originally there were two buildings. Last spring I removed all but the floor from one of them. Previous owner had an arts and crafts business. These buildings were full like hoarder style, of all kinds of junk. Hornets all over. Over the past year I got rid of most of the contents. The building that is still standing has rotten sill beams, and doors. The floor is all caved in. Originally I was planning on tearing it down but it was not a priority. Then, I got this great idea. I decided to remove the floor, fix the sill beams, and use it as a barn/garage to park my tractor. I salvaged 12 sheets of 3/4 OSB and most of the floor joists. The joists were all pressure treated 2x6 and most of them were in like new condition. I tripled them up and utilized them for my new sill beam. There were 2 entry doors I will only have one. I opened up one of the 16 foot walls and have decided to put in an 8 foot garage door. Today I plan to frame that wall and put in an entry door that I already have. Besides the garage door, I have zero dollars in the repurposing of that building. It is amazing that we had a dilapidated tear down shed/building that looked terrible that has been transformed into a nice barn/workshop/garage.

    Now that I have removed the chimney's/fireplaces, I need to get out any and all debris that are not necessary before I put sheeting on the exterior walls. After getting debris out and before the sheeting, I plan to pour footings and put in piers that will support at least one of my carrying walls.

  16. #43
    Last edited by Schifference; 10-13-2018 at 05:13 AM.

  17. #44

  18. #45

  19. #46
    Very ambitious project... kinda similar to what I'd been workin' for the last 5 or 6 years... hard work but good for the soul. Best of luck to ya.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  20. #47
    You're probably already familiar with M. D. Creekmore. But if not, you may enjoy checking out his blog, as well as his book, Dirt Cheap Survival Retreats.

    It's been years since I read his blog, and I haven't read his book. But he frequently writes about the kinds of things that would be helpful for someone doing what you're doing. IIRC, he uses propane for most of his power needs, including his refrigerator.

    https://www.mdcreekmore.com/
    https://www.mdcreekmore.com/books-by-m-d-creekmore/


    His former blog was the following, which I see has recently changed hands and is now being run by someone else.
    https://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/

  21. #48
    Compilation of the barn and wall video's.





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  23. #49
    Heading back to work on this project for a month of two. Leaving Tues morning. Plan to take down and rebuild the front wall and front porch. Then bottom 10 feet of all exterior walls and foundation all the way around is new.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  24. #50
    Drove here on Tuesday. Got flat tire on auto trailer. Wednesday tractor would not start. Filed points got it going. Proceeded to cut 5 foot tall vegetation with tractor and bush hog. While cutting on flat ground in straight line front left spindle broke on tractor and the wheel fell off. Got the well going Wed morning pumped out about 60 gallons. This morning I noticed the pressure was not great. I determined the well is low and not refilling. Contacted company to drill new well. Well probably needs to be 350 feet deep. Maybe around $8000? Internet service tethering with Tmobile here sucks. Terrible speeds and often no signal. Cricket was much better.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  25. #51
    Are you trying to escape your wife and daughter?
    Openly Straight Man Danke Awarded Top Rated Influencer

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  26. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    Drove here on Tuesday. Got flat tire on auto trailer. Wednesday tractor would not start. Filed points got it going. Proceeded to cut 5 foot tall vegetation with tractor and bush hog. While cutting on flat ground in straight line front left spindle broke on tractor and the wheel fell off. Got the well going Wed morning pumped out about 60 gallons. This morning I noticed the pressure was not great. I determined the well is low and not refilling. Contacted company to drill new well. Well probably needs to be 350 feet deep. Maybe around $8000? Internet service tethering with Tmobile here sucks. Terrible speeds and often no signal. Cricket was much better.
    I'm not a well guy, but have been around a few.

    How deep are your neighbor's wells
    Did you 'shock' it (light charge, or chemicals)
    Do you have immersible or above ground pump

    I used to have a 3000 gal/min well 15' from my house, the well I have now is probably about
    30 gallons a min.

    Looks like a great project though that you have going, nice work.

  27. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    Are you trying to escape your wife and daughter?
    No need to escape. Open communication is key. Dearly love the wife. Don't like the daughter and told her so the other day. Told her to grow up. Told her if I am her problem her problem is solved. She is an adult now and I don't need to do things for her. She is not 6 and if she wants to exhibit attitude and ungratefulness and entitlement she can seek that from others. I love her but do not like her. We do not have to be friends.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  28. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratovarious View Post
    I'm not a well guy, but have been around a few.

    How deep are your neighbor's wells
    Did you 'shock' it (light charge, or chemicals)
    Do you have immersible or above ground pump

    I used to have a 3000 gal/min well 15' from my house, the well I have now is probably about
    30 gallons a min.

    Looks like a great project though that you have going, nice work.
    I think the area is in a pretty intense drought. The well is shallow. I forget the particulars. I think they call it a bored well. It is about 35 feet deep and when full the water level was about 15 feet from the top. There is about a 2 foot concrete prefab round casing that contains the water. In the past I could get about 120 gallons at any one time and it would refill in half a day. Neighbor said back then that the more the well was used the faster it would fill because the veins would open and flow better when used. It is obvious that it is dry here. The fire ant hills are all crusted over. When you disturb the pile a few come out but nothing like i remember where a leaf falling on a pile would cause masses to come out. Grass all brown.

    I think new wells below the bedrock in the area are 350 feet deep. The well driller I contacted said usually 2-400 feet gets you an good well. I did not shock the well this year. I just hooked it up, pumped out about 80 gallons, Put on some filters and hooked it up to my camper. There was a slow drip at a connection. The next morning I had water pressure and after a few minutes I noted the pressure drop. Went looking for leaks or running water and saw the drip. Took the cover off the well and water level way down. Hours later it has not risen. If it rained I would think there would be water in the well but we will want reliable water supply here. I am glad that I now know this well will not provide. Most bored wells in the area have dried up and people have drilled modern wells into bedrock.

    This well was not in use by the previous owner. There was an old 220 volt motor disconnected laying on the ground. I did not know if the pump had stopped working or?? The previous owner originally owned all the property around. A family member lived next door. They just tapped into that well.
    Last edited by Schifference; 09-20-2019 at 02:46 AM.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  29. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    I think the area is in a pretty intense drought. The well is shallow. I forget the particulars. I think they call it a bored well. It is about 35 feet deep and when full the water level was about 15 feet from the top. There is about a 2 foot concrete prefab round casing that contains the water. In the past I could get about 120 gallons at any one time and it would refill in half a day. Neighbor said back then that the more the well was used the faster it would fill because the veins would open and flow better when used. It is obvious that it is dry here. The fire ant hills are all crusted over. When you disturb the pile a few come out but nothing like i remember where a leaf falling on a pile would cause masses to come out. Grass all brown.

    I think new wells below the bedrock in the area are 350 feet deep. The well driller I contacted said usually 2-400 feet gets you an good well. I did not shock the well this year. I just hooked it up, pumped out about 80 gallons, Put on some filters and hooked it up to my camper. There was a slow drip at a connection. The next morning I had water pressure and after a few minutes I noted the pressure drop. Went looking for leaks or running water and saw the drip. Took the cover off the well and water level way down. Hours later it has not risen. If it rained I would think there would be water in the well but we will want reliable water supply here. I am glad that I now know this well will not provide. Most bored wells in the area have dried up and people have drilled modern wells into bedrock.

    This well was not in use by the previous owner. There was an old 220 volt motor disconnected laying on the ground. I did not know if the pump had stopped working or?? The previous owner originally owned all the property around. A family member lived next door. They just tapped into that well.
    That $8000 price sounds pretty good considering 350 to 400 ft, especially if you can
    get some good water and slow draw down out of it.

  30. #56
    Had a well drilled. Hit bedrock at 140 feet. Ended up going all the way to 645 feet. Hit 1.5 gallons per minute at 330 feet. Got 2.5 gallons per minute at 420 feet. Guy had a problem with his rig at 540 feet. Some electrical component that operates the rotation of the hydraulic drill was faulty. Guy has a new rig. He had part overnighted and came out Saturday to finish after receiving his overnighted part. Ended up with 4 gallons per minute at 600 feet. The deeper you go the less gallons per minute a family would need. There is 1.5 gallons per foot stored in the 6 inch hole. Guy seemed to think the static level would end up around 30 feet. Static level is where the water level is in the well after it fills completely and is not being used. If well was 630 deep with 30 foot static level there is 600 feet of water in the hole. 600 x 1.5 gallons = 900 gallons just in storage not accounting for the water entering into the well. Since the well was an unexpected expense this trip, I tried to keep expenses to a minimum. I did elect to drill deeper than some people would have gone. My theory was if something happened to one of the "cracks or veins", I would still have water. The morning after the well was drilled I checked the static level. It was way down at 113 feet. The cost of a pump placed at 600 feet by professional's was $3500 not counting any ditch digging or getting water or electric from the house to the well. I did some math while the guy was still drilling and decided I would just use the submersible pump I had in my old bored well. I thought I could just pump the static level to the pump and would have more than I need while doing this work. I was disappointed when static level was 113 feet. The pump I had if hooked up to a pressure tank would not pump higher than 114 feet. I spoke with the driller and he told me it would take a couple of days to achieve static level. The 113 feet measurement I got was at 10am. I talked to the guy at 2:30pm. I went out and checked the static level again and it had risen to 77 feet. I don't know how high it ended up because I dropped my old pump into the hole with 100 feet of pipe and called it good for now.

    The local hardware store has pipe I was having trouble finding elsewhere. They also matched an internet price on 6-2 direct burial UF-B wire when considering the cost of the wire plus shipping. The also gave me the name of 3 people that do ditch digging. What a great place. I called a ditch digger and he came out with a New Holland skidsteer with a ditch attachment and dug over 150 feet for $200. The guy had a special ditch shovel. He asked me, "do you want to borrow this shovel?" Very cool. I have to dig under the garage and clean up a few spots. The shovel fits perfectly in the ditch. Today I plan to lay the wire and pipe. The pipe I elected to go with is belled end PVC. Obviously it needs to be glued. It comes in 20 foot lengths. I am hoping to have water this evening that is not running thru a garden hose.

    When I had no water, I ended up using a 60 gallon food grade plastic barrel. I put it on a flat trailer. I put a shallow well pump I already had on some saw horses and used it to pump water out of the barrel. My sister is here with me. The two of us could get 3 days out of the barrel even showering daily.

    I still have several years that I will be working on this house. Putting a submersible pump that I already had in the well that meets my needs seems like a great idea. When needed, I can put a pump deeper and attain more water than I will ever use. I have options of just going deeper and using the hole capacity with the recovery to static level, going down to the first crack at 330 feet, down to the second crack at 420 feet or putting a pump down deep at 600 feet. I felt I would rather put money into the hole than in the finishing. The pipe and wire I am putting in today will be capable of handling a bigger pump placed deep.

    Cost me a little over $8000 to dig the hole. They charged $11 per foot to drill, $5 per foot for the casing into the bedrock, $150 for grout, and $70 for permit. The pipe I bought was $10 for 20 foot length. The 6-2 wire as $1.70 per foot.
    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.



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  32. #57
    Very interesting.
    I'll have to go back and read more of this thread.

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