What I did on Saturday

When you own that piece of land that you return to occasionally. You may wish to construct an off grid dwelling. This is the place to discuss different construction methods, materials, and types. Think straw bale, earth ship, yurt, etc..

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stuartcnz
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What I did on Saturday

Post by stuartcnz »

I'm in the middle of putting in a driveway, down the side of the house today. To do this I hired a little 1.8 ton digger.

The first thing I had to do was remove a cherry tree stump.

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I wasn't sure how the little digger would cope with it, but after a bit of work, I eventually managed to get it out.

Next, I had to undercut the driveway. A lot of soil came out with that little digger.
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Then I had 30 ton of M4 65 gravel delivered for the drive. It is used as roading base course so will handle the weight of trucks, no problems.
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I still need to finish spreading it out, which I will do later today.
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So, when I get a truck to convert into a house truck in a few years, I will now have somewhere to park it. :D
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by Headache »

That digger looks like awesome fun and from what I can see of your house that looks pretty cool too.
kb2iaw

Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by kb2iaw »

I like the way the windows are installed on the corners ...never saw that feature on a house ... :)
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by rlaggren »

Ditto the house windows. Looks like a real nice place. What's the big plan? Just a new drive to the back?

How much trouble (or how easy) was it learning the machine? I've got a little trenching I was thinking about for some drainage problems and considered one of those little excavators; seems I recall you can get them so they fit through a 36" gate... Figure I better get it done before they clap on a bunch of insurance and certification requirements b4 they let you run one.

Rufus
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Re: What I did on Saturday

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It's all finished for now.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by stuartcnz »

It is a cool little house. Built in about 1895, it needs a lot of work, but has loads of character.
rlaggren wrote:Ditto the house windows. Looks like a real nice place. What's the big plan? Just a new drive to the back?


The drive is just a part of it. I intend on bringing my boat home and putting it in the back yard. To do that, I need to be able to get it down the side of the house, on a tractor-trailer, so needed a driveway with a strong foundation. I will put a temporary road across the rest of the yard for the truck, when I do the boat shift. As for the house, the first project will be to replace the piles, then the roof, then work on everything in between. It is a long term project, but I intend on keeping the house long term, as a base, from where to travel from in various forms of house truck and boat, starting in a few years from now.
rlaggren wrote:How much trouble (or how easy) was it learning the machine? I've got a little trenching I was thinking about for some drainage problems and considered one of those little excavators; seems I recall you can get them so they fit through a 36" gate... Figure I better get it done before they clap on a bunch of insurance and certification requirements b4 they let you run one.

Rufus
For me it wasn't that hard to learn, but then I operate heavy machinery every day for a living and also spent a couple of years working in road construction and maintenance. If you don't have much heavy machinery experience and or are working in a confined area, would probably be better off using a shovel if it is a small enough job, or hiring in an experienced operator with the biggest machine that will fit in the space. I would not recommend hiring in a digger to operate yourself, if you don't have somewhere open to practice with it first.

Hiring the little digger that I did cost about as much as hiring an operator with a much larger digger would have cost. But because I knew exactly what I wanted done and am experienced with similar machinery, I decided it was worth doing myself, for the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself, as much as anything.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by rlaggren »

> diggers..

That's about what I thought - judgment required. <g> I ran a backhoe for about 40 minutes long time ago; caught on well enough, dug a hole and didn't mess anything up mean time, but... Guess I'll add up the cubic feet and see what that looks like on the end of a shovel, then consider hiring. Problem is, hiring looks like about $800-1000 and renting looks like $300-$500. Don't have to decide for a while anyway.

Thanks.

Rufus
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by Mark R. Obtinario »

A nice project completed without monsoons making everything a mess.

What are you going to do with the pile of spoils? If it had been me I would have used the machine to spread it out. Moving that pile by hand is going to be a big job.

In regards to renting a machine: I would echo that if you don't have a lot of space to practice I wouldn't spend the $$$ to rent. At every rental center I have ever been in I have seen pictures of what has happened to various machines when operated incorrectly.

On the other hand, mini-excavators are pretty user friendly. If you can walk and chew gum while talking you should be able to master the controls within a short period of time. I just wouldn't advocate learning in tight spaces next to expensive structures. You can use up any savings by one careless swing of the boom.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

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Mark R. Obtinario wrote:
What are you going to do with the pile of spoils? If it had been me I would have used the machine to spread it out. Moving that pile by hand is going to be a big job.
That pile needs to be moved further than the boom would reach, so I will hire a front end loader with a bigger bucket to move it. Then I will get another 10-20 ton of gravel to put a temporary road across the yard to bring my boat in. After that is done I will hire the little digger again to lift the temporary road and do some landscaping with the soil pile. I won't just spread it around, I do have some shaping plans for it.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by rlaggren »

Stuart

Looks almost like you rolled the drive? Pretty good grading for that little digger.

Rufus
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Re: What I did on Saturday

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I didn't use a roller, but given that nature decided to provide water, in the form of light rain, once the digger was returned to the hire place, I did take the opportunity to put a compactor plate over it. It is definitely not of roading level grading, but the falls all keep the water from going where I don't want it to go.
Once the boat is home and I finish tidying up the drive area, I will dress the drive with AP20 and will level it with the correct falls properly by hand and will compact it again. Using the right amount of water on good gravel, with a roller or compactor, is like making concrete without cement.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

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It proved to difficult to put the boat where I wanted, so I am leaving it in the water. Instead I decided to shift my little 1.8 by 1.8 metre garden shed, down to where the pointy end of the boat was going to go. Because there is a stream behind the fence, which is prone to flooding occasionally, I wanted to put it up, off the ground. To this end, I decided to space the piles 1.4 metres apart, which is what the foundations were, where the shed already is. I figured that I would be able to just shift it as is, and set it on top of the new piles. Then I decided that I would build a plywood shed on the new piles instead, with the standard sheet being 2.4 metres (8 feet) long, that would be a good size to build, and I had already allowed enough distance from the boundary to make that okay. As bearers, I planned to use two, three metre, 125 by 125mm piles that I already had. Once I had placed them on top of the foundation piles, I thought that, that looked like a pretty good size too. I already had a cheap 3 by 3 metre metal shed, so decided to go with the increased size, which now, is only just far away from the boundary to be legal.

Foundations.
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Shed on foundations.
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Easy access into the shed.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by Headache »

I don't know why but the first thing I thought of when I saw the shed up on those pilings was boat house! I pictured the creek flooding enough that if there was a hole in the floor of the shed you could lower a small boat down and tour the flood plain. Just my imagination getting carried away. Time for some oatmeal.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by stuartcnz »

Headache wrote:I don't know why but the first thing I thought of when I saw the shed up on those pilings was boat house!
Interesting, I thought more Japanese tea house when building it, but that was when all you could see was, relatively speaking, big timbers. Before the tin shed went on top.
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Re: What I did on Saturday

Post by Stealth Camper »

Very cool. I want to construct a barn in similar fashion - timbers, etc. Gotta figure out a way to make it resist a tornado.
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