fence repair the easier way

Some time ago I noticed  the perimeter fence was down - a post had rotted at the base and 2 8ft attached panels fell with it. I call them panels because you can buy them that way - 8 ft length with 3 horizontals and 17 attached panels for about $49.  Or you can buy 3 2x4 8ft pieces for horizontals and 17 individual panels and nail them together.  I prefer the latter - easier to transport and move and cheaper but will take much longer unless you have a nail gun, which I happen Read more [...]

common sense goes a long way

In my recent post on September 4 I described the installation of a whole house filter, see schematic below. Since this was the first time I was using pex, I was concerned there could be a rupture or seepage in the basement during the night when I was not at the house and so I disconnected power to the well pump which is located deep in the ground.  The following day when I switched on the power I was surprised that the pump had to run for some time to charge the expansion tank.  I thought Read more [...]

time for a whole house filter

A few weeks ago M. confronted me in the kitchen with a glass of discolored water.  “It’s dirty” she accused.  I agreed but suggested if she wanted drinking water she should use the under sink 2 stage filters I installed, which deliver crystal clear water, and not worry about the water from the faucet.  She was not appeased and said she would not shower in discolored water nor did she want the dishes or clothing to be washed in the water.   We have a deep well I explained so bacteria is Read more [...]

exterior cladding and a vexing mistake

The house on the property has D log wood siding.  The "D" describes the shape of the log as seen in cross-section, one side is flat and the other has the shape of a D.  The house was built in 2002 and when I purchased it 10 years later the siding was neglected.  I engaged a well recommended painting contractor who provided a 5 year guarantee.  He recommended, rather than a transparent varnish which would show the wood grain underneath, that we use a block stain which required less annual maintenance.  Read more [...]

quick fix with a farm jack

We always access the house through the kitchen door since this is most convenient to the carport.  The steps to the porch to the front door are neglected and have sagged miserably as the concrete base on which they rest settled into the ground. My neighbor is a builder and his suggestion was to remove the stairs and then level the concrete base and then re-attach the stairs.  I notice  professionals prefer to remove what is defective and begin from the beginning, which is logical since Read more [...]

gravel drive

My drive is 220 ft long and is a gravel drive with most of the original gravel buried, worn or washed away.  Time for a new face.  I contacted the local trucking company and dispatch was not available but the accounting lady, who acknowledged she was not very knowledgeable about gravel, suggested that #34 gravel would work and that it costs $30.50 a ton.  A ton is 2,000 lbs which is what she was referring to, though there is also a metric ton which is defined as 1,000 kg which equates to 2,204.6 Read more [...]

building a bookshelf

how I built a large bookshelf My logcabin has a large basement and I have many books in piles around the living areas - time for a large bookshelf.  The Atlanta house we bought 20 years ago had a built in bookshelf in a couple of rooms (that's what attracted us) and in the attic was surplus wood shelves of varied lengths - 36", 33" and 32". Preparation I cleared a wall and corner in the basement, polyfilled the holes in the sheetrock, painted the wall with the color I will use for the rest Read more [...]

raised beds for growing vegetables

One of my takeaways from the recent GO conference (see two previous posts) is that a raised bed can be constructed from untreated pine and will last a number of years.  I have previously constructed my raised beds from composite decking planks. On the first day of the conference we visited local farms and the small farm I visited was on 2.5 acres of mainly granite and therefore made extensive use of raised beds.  The composite decking planks I used for my raised beds cost $21.97 for 1.25"x6"x12' Read more [...]

when it rains incessantly – then build a bat house

Rain has been unrelenting in the Atlanta area.  I have captured all I can in my storage tanks and contour ditches and I hope most of the surplus is recharging the underground reservoirs and not running for the Gulf.  So, with little to do outside, I decided to build a bat house. I am increasingly relying on natural predators to combat pests.  Because the weather has been unusually warm, a number of pest families are happily populating themselves on my lettuce in my cold frames.  So I was pleased Read more [...]

mushroom shelter – improved irrigation

In a recent post I mentioned that mushroom production in my mushroom shelter has been poor due to inadequate watering.  The system I installed had a 0.5" diameter water pipe run from a nearby slightly higher rainwater collection tank to the ceiling of the mushroom shelter from which the water flowed via bubblers onto the spawn impregnated logs.  Water flow was weak and the bubblers often clogged. I rectified this by replacing the 0.5" diameter pipe with a 1" pipe and by eliminating the bubblers Read more [...]