November 4, 2018 – I worked on establishing the temporary electric service pole all day today. It was slow going but I was able to get the pole set in the ground and braces on.
In accordance with the Penelec specifications the temporary electric service pole is supposed to be 18′ overall with 3′-6″ buried in the ground. The digging sucked. With the copious amount of rain we have had the minute I stuck the shovel in the ground the hole filled with water. I dug out three and a half feet of evil smelling muck!
Thankfully we still have a pile of limestone in the driveway. I was able to use the stone to backfill instead of the mud I dug out.
At the end of the day everything but the main breaker panel and one temporary outlet were installed. As soon as I can get those installed I will call for the inspection of the temporary electric service pole and we will get the service transferred.
October 27, 2018 – Arrived at the cottage this morning at 9:30. It rained all the way from Harrisburg. The sole purpose of this weekend’s visit is for cottage winterization.
Our cottage winterization consists of turning off and draining the hot water heater, draining and blowing out the water lines and placing antifreeze in all the drain traps. This usually takes a couple of hours. It was miserable in the rain but its done.
While waiting for the hot water heater to drain I did some more demolition in the living room. The wood sheathing in the exterior wall to the right of the window is rotting. There is white mold growing in the wall over the window. This window and the rotting wood are going to be removed to make way for a new sliding glass patio door. The sooner the better.
Hopefully it will not rain next weekend. I hope to install a temporary electric pole so the electric can be disconnected from the cottage. This will allow us to take the roof off the old kitchen. Stay tuned.
September 9, 2018 – Rained out! Today the game was called on account of rain! We packed up and headed home while the yard began to flood. Hopefully we will have better luck next weekend and I will be able to continue the blocking installation.
September 8, 2018 – I started the installation of 2 × 10 solid bridging between the porch floor joists today.
Solid bridging provides lateral support to twisted joists and it helps them maintain a vertical orientation. It also facilitates load sharing. Load sharing across wooden joists is important because of the large variation in material properties found between the joists.
It rained just about the whole time. It’s been raining for this entire project and it’s getting old! Once it got to heavy I quit for the day. We packed it in an headed to Shy Bear Brewing for dinner and adult beverages.
Hopefully it will stop raining tomorrow and we won’t have another rain delay!
August 19, 2018 – Today we placed the remaining limestone under the new addition. All of the sub-grade stone is complete and the landscape fabric covered! By volume we have moved almost 9 tons of stone. Not to shabby for a weekend.
Started the porch framing but we quit when it started to rain. Even the toads were seeking cover.
In two weeks I will have the balance of the porch addition framing lumber delivered in one shot. Much easier to have it delivered rather than try and haul it in ourselves.
August 3, 2018 – Got to the Cot-Taj-Mahal around mid-day. The backyard was flooded, the side yard was flooded and the front yard was flooded. Once again, the rain from the previous week left a muddy mess.
The last concrete pier was filled to the brim with ground water. There were three of four frogs sunbathing along the edge. When I approached they all dove in for a swim.
After exposing some more of the existing floor beams along the kitchen, I decided to just chill out and enjoy the day without slopping around in the muddy mess.
Later in the evening, I had dinner and a few drinks at Wingman Brew N Que. That seems to be our new Friday night haunt. I tried a new beer, Field Trip Series Pineapple Mango by Short Bus Brew House from McClure, Pa. It was pretty good.
On the way back to the cottage I made a stop at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant. Chris who works there makes wonderful Whoopie Pies in all sorts of flavors. He gave me a a few of his new Blueberry-Banana to take with me and that was it for the day.
July 22, 2018 – Last night it rained hard all night long. All the excavated holes were filled with water. It was a giant muddy mess. While the neighborhood frogs enjoyed their new Frog Pools we contemplated our next move.
I ran out and purchased a sump pump and we basically dewatered all day. Between the sump pump, Fanny’s old green plastic cups and several buckets we managed to get the water levels down a bit.
In the process we realized the ground water levels were running at about 18 to 20 inches below the surface level. In this situation the holes quickly filled back up even though the rain had subsided.
One of the holes, between the drain pipe laterals, seemed to fill much more slowly than the others. After deliberating we made a decision to dewater this hole, place a Quik-Tube form, backfill and pour. As it turned out it was the only pier we were able to pour.
We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and covering the excavations for the coming monsoon.
July 21, 2018 – To speed up the construction process I decided to use round Quik-Tube forms at the interior piers. These are essentially cardboard tubes with a wax like coating. The tubes are placed in the excavated hole, backfilled and then filled with concrete. The trick with this type of form is to keep them as dry as possible during the installation and backfill. Once they encounter water they become soggy and begin to break down.
We placed, backfilled and poured three Quik-Tube forms and one square plywood form with bagged concrete. This makes a total of seven (7) concrete piers and thirty-five (35) bags of concrete.
The piers that were poured yesterday were also stripped and backfilled.
July 5, 2018 – Today was a good day. Wolfley Excavating was back on site to spread stone for an expanded parking area. They managed to get three loads of 2A limestone delivered and spread before the quarry closed for the day
Around 3:30 PM they dropped the bucket on the skid loader and hooked up a 24″ diameter auger. With the auger attached they began excavating the footings. In a little over 2 hours they completed the remaining 16 footings.
The drilling went much better than I had expected. There were not too many roots but there was more river rock underneath the living room door. This caused the auger to jump off the marked. We will have to hand dig to correct the location.
July 4, 2018 – Today was the start of the footing excavation. We hand dug the first three footers 2′-6″ × 2′-6″ × 3′ deep. Two of them are in close proximity to the underground plumbing. One footing is close to an existing pier that is slightly tilted. We did not want to risk damage to the plumbing or the tilted pier from the digging auger.
All of the old wood from the porch roof was relocated. It was moved from the front of the cottage and put in a neat stack by the old shed. We took the rotted picnic table over to the fire pit. There it will await the return of the #arsonsquad.
We turned over the old wooden platform that the picnic table sits on. After a brief inspection we decided it is in great shape. There is no rot at all, so we relocated it close to the fire pit. It will serve as a stage for future nonsense.
It rained for several hours jeopardizing tomorrows planned parking lot installation. Hopefully Wolfley’s Excavating & Septic Pumping will be on site tomorrow to get it started.
Luckily we had covered the footers prior to the storm. Hopefully the covers will keep them from filling with water so that they can be prepped for the concrete pour.