Page 1 of 18 123411 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 173
  1. #1
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    I'll play with Obed's thread title for mine as it is pretty close to what we are doing too. I'm going to use this to document our progress towards building our house. It's on the looooong time frame. Several years back I started referring to it as our "rolling 5-year plan"...because it was always 5 yrs away. Then it got closer so became only a "rolling 2 yr plan" We've still got quite a ways to go...

    We bought the land several years back. We had other property at the time but decided it was too far away from the cities so looked for a new lot closer in, so we sold that. We got a great property for a decent price. 10 acres of solid hardwood forest on a rather steep hill. It's a square-ish lot, too, so not one of those long skinny type that do you little good. The only downside it has is that it is on the north face of the slope so anything solar related will be pretty close to impossible. Here's what it looks like in topo (2' increments)



    There is a fairly flat section by the road and then it gets steeper, levels off a bit into a plateau, and then gets really steep in the back section. It became pretty obvious to us that the house site would be on that central plateau.

    And here's an aerial pic of it, before we had done anything to it. Rough outline of the lot lines in red. As you can see it is 100% solid forest, no clearing at all. It's mostly oak and basswood, with some cherry and a smattering of maples, and poplars in a few places. Lots of nice oak out there including both red and white oaks.



    It has always been my intention to build the house largely by myself, with help, of course, but not just contracting it but doing most of the design and building. My best friend is quite experienced in construction, and I helped him with his massive remodel/addition a few years back, so he will be returning the favor. So it will be the two of us on much of this. There are pieces that will be contracted out as it isn't effective to do those alone. Excavation, foundation and getting the shell framed are the big ones. Beyond that (and plumbing - stupid Wisc rules) I will be doing most of the rest from windows to siding to electrical and all finish work. I won't do drywall as it just isn't worth the time it takes vs the cost to contract it, but all other finish work is, to me.

    I will start adding to this the next few nights to get caught up to the present. This will get it started.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -lot-20-fine-topo-medium   -aerial_no_labels-before-jpg  
    Last edited by dstig1; 10-10-2011 at 08:08 PM.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  2. #2
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,198
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Looking forward to the build! We can call it AHITW2.....

    But as Teg pointed out, no pics......??

  3. #3
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    ??I see the pics just fine. I did slip while I was writing and hit the submit button instead of manage attachments, so maybe you saw it before I finished up and added them.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  4. #4
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Land clearing...

    This has been a long process. I started with a friend back in Nov 2009. We did a little bit over Thanksgiving that year and a little more in Dec, but the big push was over Xmas break, and then continued on through Feb 2010.

    Now I had a secret weapon - my friend ran his own firewood business in high school and to put himself through college so he has dropped and blocked and split jillions of trees. He showed me the important parts of felling trees, and overall it went quite well with a couple hiccups along the way.

    First we needed saws. He still had the one he used in high school...30 yrs ago... It was a monster Stihl for the time but my gawd was it heavy. So we invested in a few new saws. I picked up a new Stihl MS362 when they were just coming out, and he got an MS660 - the second biggest saw Stihl makes. We both started with 20" bars, but he also got a 32" for the 660. We thought the 32" was overkill, and would never be needed, and boy were we wrong. That monster has made life so much easier (if you can lift it...) that we would still be out there otherwise. For comparison, the "small" one is the 362 with 20" bar. The 660 is such a beast it pulls fast through anything, but especially handy when dropping 28"+ red oaks.



    We also picked up good safety equipment including chainsaw helmets, chainsaw chaps, and wore steel toe boots.

    The plan was rough at first. I had done a lot of house design and siting work, which I will cover later on, and had a good idea of where the house and driveway were going, but it was so thick that it would have been impractical to do any real survey at that point. Plus I knew where the lines were well enough and the layout of the topo that I had a good enough idea what had to go to get started, so we went with that. We were looking to clear the driveway path and about 1.5-2 ac of woods to open the place up and get sunlight in. My wife and I like the idea of living surrounded by trees, but don't want it dark and cave-like either - so we wanted some room clear.

    So here was the start of clearing. These couple pics were from a low quality cell phone so they aren't the best, but the later pics are all much better. Photos do not do justice to the carnage we did over that winter. We dropped and blocked tree after tree and basically laid it all out in the clearing. At the time I had no tractor or anything, so we just tried to drop them smartly and blocked them where they lay.

    So here's me and a shot down the driveway near the beginning of this. You can see my truck on the road just above the tip of my saw. That's around 400' to the road from there.



    Here's a blurry shot from over Xmas break


    And one more to wrap up this part:


    It may look like a mess, but I assure you it was far worse than that!

    So this takes us to about the end of 2009.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -pair-o-stihls-medium-jpg   -drivewayclearing12-20-09-jpg   -12-23-09_day_end-4-large   -12-23-09_day_end-5-large  
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  5. #5
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Sorry about the pics. For some reason, they didn't attach even though I uploaded them like normal. I re-loaded them so they should be there now. I've done it many times - no idea what happened.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Well at least you won`t have trouble with a crummy contractor Good luck to you Tony

  7. #7
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Oh yeah - one last hurrah for 2009....

    Remember how I said my friend had a lot of logging experience? Well sometimes bad things happen even to experienced people...

    The very last day of 2009 as we continued dropping trees there was a problem tree that we had worked around. It was a very gnarly old 28" or so red oak. The trunk and branches were going different directions enough that we couldn't tell which way it was going to go for sure. My friend took it based on our best guess, and watched as it turned 90deg while falling, pinched the bar and naturally crushed the saw when it WHOOMPED to the ground. A brand new less than 1 month old MS660. UG!

    He was aware enough to get out of the way and was unscathed (the really important part of this story...), but the saw looked bad.



    Yeah, well Up Yours too, 2009!

    So I tore into it for him to see if it was salvageable. Turns out there was a bit of luck here. While the back end of the saw got crushed (gas tank, handle, air filter, etc) the carb and engine itself survived intact. A couple dings but no damage to the real expensive end of it. So a few plastic parts and such and, Viola!



    When we analyzed the tree afterwards one thing stood out. He had used wedges to help make sure it went the way we thought it would go. But he went slightly too far on the back cut and cut through the hinge on one side (the side it spun towards, IIRC). That was what did it in. Had he stopped and pounded the wedges more it probably would have gone over, but a slight error and that's all she wrote!
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  8. #8
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    So with the crushed saw fixed it was back at it on weekends through much of Jan and Feb, except when it was below 10deg - just too durn cold to make it worth it.

    The biggest tree we took down we nicknamed Oakzilla. Sure there are bigger trees out there, but this was pretty substantial - around 30" or so and pretty solid. We couldn't figure out why the loggers who logged the place some years back left it, as it looked so nice...until we got it on the ground. They have good eyes and spotted a rotted branch way up that had partially hollowed it out up higher. The bottom section was quite solid.

    That's the 32" bar, for reference.


    And on the ground. Pictures never do these things justice to really give you an idea of the size.


    The weather was very cooperative that year and the snow melted off quite early, partly because it was not a heavy snow year. This is mid March, 2010. Here's a few shots looking from the top of the driveway out into the mess. I used the panorama mode on my camera for some of these - it does everything in the camera to stitch the 3 shots together into one - pretty slick.

    The first shot is down the driveway and the corner of the plateau. The second shot is to the right of the first shot out into the plateau. You can see a tall stump we left in both images to orient them together.





    It may not look like it but walking across that plateau was all but impossible at this point as there was an incredible tangle of logs, blocked up logs, brush, tree tops, stumps...

    I should also note at this moment I am asking myself how the bleep I'm going to clear this all out. As of this point I did not have anything but my truck and chainsaws for equipment. At the end of March I managed to find a used Kubota L3130 locally that saved my bacon over these past two summers. I had lurked a bit on TBN previously but that is when I joined up and started asking questions and such. Total newb.

    Now we just have to clean that all up next!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -oakzilla-1-medium-jpg   -oakzilla-3-medium-jpg   -panorama_n-e_3-16-10-jpg   -panorama_e_3-16-10-jpg  
    Last edited by dstig1; 10-11-2011 at 11:17 PM. Reason: better pics
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  9. #9
    Veteran Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,125
    Location
    W Wisc
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by tony Cecil View Post
    Well at least you won`t have trouble with a crummy contractor Good luck to you Tony
    Tony - it's even worse than you think. This contractor is a real PITA... and cheap to boot!
    Thanks for the thoughts!
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    3,958
    Location
    Raleigh, NC Hillsville, VA
    Tractor
    .

    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Just a formatting thing... It's very hard to read and follow this thread with the oversize photos embedded with the text, I have to scroll to the right 3 computer screens worth. For people on slow connections, it's worst.

Page 1 of 18 123411 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Log cabin construction
    By gcp in forum Rural Living
    Replies: 87
    Last Post: 04-05-2014, 12:48 AM
  2. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 09-18-2007, 05:03 PM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-19-2007, 06:35 PM
  4. Backhoe Branson versus woods backhoe
    By farmyid in forum Century & Branson
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-06-2006, 10:39 AM
  5. Intruder in the woods
    By NoTrespassing in forum Rural Living
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-01-2005, 10:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.