Just finished our wide plank pine flooring

floor-sanding

This is me using an orbital sander on our wide plank pine flooring.

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Like she has this whole build, my wife has really been a big help.

We just finished installing and finishing our hardwood flooring. It wasn’t that hard but did take a lot of time and labor.  I can’t believe we are this far along and can really now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After we received our flooring we let it acclimate for about two weeks before we started laying the floor. We wanted to make our flooring as tight as possible so we used a bar, scrap piece of flooring and a 2×6 that we screwed into the sub-floor. This way its hard to see where the seems are. We decided to face nail the flooring using our trim nailer and we put 3 2 1/2 in galvanized nails every 16 inches where every floor joist was.

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The finished flooring really looks good.

We used a dark tung oil to finish the flooring the way they used to do years ago before chemicals.

We used a dark tung oil to finish the flooring the way they used to do years ago before chemicals.

Now just a little bit of baseboard and we are ready for kitchen cabinets.

 

Posted in Buildng our home. | 15 Comments

Its Deer Hunting Season In Iowa

My first deer on our farm.

My first deer on our farm.

I took some time off from working on our home to hunt deer this fall and in just my third time in my tree stand I was able to shoot a big ten point buck. I used my 50 caliber Kentucky rifle and it was during the early muzzle loader season here in Iowa. dsc00202

This deer was well over 200 pounds even after I field dressed him. He was so heavy I could not drag him out of the woods myself. I had to go get my wife who was not too happy to help. Iowa has some of the best whitetail deer hunting in the world with lots of record bucks taken here. I have hunted lots of deer in different states but have never seen bucks this big. I have also not seen better deer hunting than what I have here on our farm and I have seen more deer than I have ever seen in just sitting in my stand 3 times. Our farm isn’t the best for farming but it has world class deer hunting. This deer will score close to 170 and those of you who follow this blog saw a 184  scored buck taken off this farm last year.

This buck was harvested off our land this year from a friend that I let bow hunt. The deer scored 184 ponts.

This buck was harvested off our land last year from a friend that I let bow hunt. The deer scored 184 points.

The deer hunting is so good in Iowa that a lot of people who live out of state try to say that they are residents here so they can hunt. If you are not a resident it is very expensive to hunt deer and there is a lottery drawing to get an out of state tag. Before I could buy a hunting license here I had  to prove I lived here for the last three months and had to provide a copy of my drivers license, utility bills, property tax bill, a recent pay stub that shows I have been paying state income taxes for the last 90 days.  You also have to have a copy of your vehicle registration, and a copy of your lease or property agreement. I provided all of that but the state still had a DNR officer come out to our farm to make sure we were building a home and not just living in our camper. I asked the officer that showed up here why they go through such a tough process to get a resident license and he told me they have lots of people who buy land here just to claim they are full time residents.

It has been a long time dream of mine to move from Chicago to start our farm here in Iowa and I am so glad to now be living that dream.

Posted in Tree tubes | 10 Comments

We Have Finally Moved In

This is one of the bathrooms we have done so we could move in.

This is one of the bathrooms we have done so we could move in.

We have moved into our house even though it is not nearly done. With the temperatures getting down in the lower 30’s F a few nights ago that was all the reason for us to go ahead and get in the house, even though there still  tons of drywall dust we are enjoying being in the house.

Its so nice having a regular sized shower to take a shower in instead of our camper shower.

Its so nice having a regular sized shower instead of the very small one in the camper.

We have gotten a lot done since my last post. We hired a company to do the drywall, than my wife and I painted the whole interior of the house in 3 days with a paint sprayer we borrowed from my brother Danny. The light fixtures, receptacles, and switches are all in and now we are working on the trim. We also have been putting down some vinyl flooring in the basement and this stuff really looks great. My sister Becky suggested it and I didn’t think I would like it because I remember when it first came out, but t has come along way since then.

The vinyl flooring we have started putting in the basement.

The vinyl flooring we have started putting in the basement.

We have come along way from when we broke ground on April and I didn’t know if it would be livable by winter but we have made it.

I have been waiting two years to get this cool chandelier up

I have been waiting two years to get this cool chandelier up. Some of our light fixtures where bought when we still planned to build a log home.

This bed is set up temporarily until we get some carpet in the bestment bedroom thats coming on the 24th of this month.

This bed is set up temporarily until we get some carpet in the basement bedroom that is coming on the 24th of this month. My wife was annoyed at me for taking this picture with her still in it.

This is the basement bedroom will will move into once the carpet arrives so we can start doing the wood flooring on the upper level.

This is the basement bedroom will will move into once the carpet arrives.

My wife wanted to paint the basement walls so they don’t look so plain and I love how it has turned out.

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This is 1100 sf of 8 inch pine tongue and groove flooring and once it acclimates for at least a week will will start to lay that.

This is 1100 sf of 8 inch pine tongue and groove flooring and once it acclimates for at least a week will will start to lay that.

As you can see its a work in progress and that is about it for now, thanks for looking. keep posted for new updates and below are a few more pictures.dsc00184

The start of the downstairs bathroom. We still haven't found a vanity that we think will go in there.

The start of the downstairs bathroom. We still haven’t found a vanity that we think will go in there. We are looking for an antique dresser that will make into a vanity.

Master bed and bath still has a way to go.

Master bed and bath still has a way to go.

 

 

Posted in Buildng our home. | 19 Comments

Pelican Brief

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I am always amazed of the variety of wildlife we see on our farm. Yesterday we had over 500 Pelicans stop by our pond on their southern migration. They only stayed and rested one day and where gone this morning.

 

Posted in Ramblings | 8 Comments

Cows Gone Wild

This is a picture of our neighbors cow who has been loose all summer.

This is a picture of our neighbors cow who has been loose all summer. She looks to be an Black Angus cow.

Actually its just one cow who has gone wild. Earlier this spring we came home and this black cow was in our yard and as soon as we pulled up she jumped back over the fence to our neighbors pasture where she belongs. I have never seen a cow so athletic as her. Since then we have seen her here many times on our 40 acres. The neighbor has tried to round her up several times using ATV’s and horses but she keeps  eluding them. When this first started she would only go back to her pasture when she felt like visiting the other cows and now she hardly goes back at all. She thinks she is a deer and only comes out to feed where we can see her in the evening.

I hope I don’t mistake her for a deer when deer season rolls around next month:)

 

 

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Passed Rough in Electric Inspection

This is our 200 amp main service panel that I completed

This is our 200 amp main service panel that I completed

I am happy to say we passed our rough-in electrical inspection and have the go ahead to finish up the insulation in our home. I did the electrical myself but wasn’t supposed to. In the state of Iowa you have to be a licensed electrician to do new construction.  If it had been an existing home I could have done it after getting a permit.

In this picture you can see how far we had to run our main service wire from that pole in the center of this picture.

In this picture you can see how far we had to run our main service wire from that pole in the center of this picture. 120 ft of wiring.

I didn’t find this out until my heating and air conditioning guy came after I had done all the work and told me I wasn’t supposed to do that. Earlier, when I called the county they told me the only permit they required was septic but they failed to mention the state requires a permit for electrical. Anyway it all turned out well, I called the state Fire Marshal and he told me to get a licensed electrician to pull a permit then they would come and inspect it.

Laundry Room

Laundry Room

The first thing I had to do after we passed inspection was to put in our washer and dryer. The wife was really getting tired of going to town to do our laundry.

We now have heating and air conditioning.

We now have heating and air conditioning.

My wife has also started on the insulation and is doing a great job. The plan is to be done with the insulation by Labor Day weekend and have the drywall crew come in on that Tuesday to start the drywall. I hate doing drywall and not very good at it so we are hiring a company to do that for us.

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Insulation started with baffles in the ceiling so the attic can still draw outside air from the soffit and flow out the ridge vent to help keep the attic cooler in the summer.

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We also got our 1000 gal lp tank delivered last week. It cost 70 dollars a year to rent the tank and we went with a 1000 gal tank because we plan to have it filled every summer when lp prices are low and companies offer a summer fill up rate. We hope to get by on about 800 gallons of lp a year, but will have to see how it goes. Utilities are much higher here than in the city including electric and most people around here go with mostly electric appliances. That’s because most people usually get a 500 gal lp tank and need to fill up again in the middle of winter when lp prices are at their highest. We hope it will be cheaper doing it this way.

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While waiting for the electrical inspection I was able to start on our deck railing and I really love how it is turning out. When done this will have 4 different wildlife scenes.

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My wife and I also was able to pour our front door stoop. It took exactly 1 yard of concrete to do this.  The plan is to have a pea gravel sidewalk leading from our barn and driveway to the house.

That’s it for now, stayed tuned for more updates as they happen.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 18 Comments

Dog Days Of Summer

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Another view of our home

I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I would get you all an update. The weather here has been very hot almost all summer with the temperature being in the 90s with high humidity. We have been only working about half a day each day this past month because of the heat, so work has slowed down.

I am happy to say I have all the plumbing done. It was a lot more of a job than I first realized and the main reason is because we went with copper instead of Pex. Pex would have been a lot faster but my wife can taste the plastic in Pex and so that’s the reason we went with copper.DSC00108DSC00106

 

The drain and vent piping was probably the easiest of the plumbing. We now have the water turned on and everything tested with no leaks and everything drains as it should.

Our waste line that leads to our septic tank.

Our waste line that leads to our septic tank.

We had a company put in our septic and and I found the whole thing pretty interesting.

Our 1200 gal three chamber septic tank being delivered.

Our 1200 gal three chamber septic tank being delivered.

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Our waste goes into the first chamber and then bacteria start to brake down the waste and as it rises in the tank the solids stay towards the bottom and the grey water rises and goes to the second tank. Again even smaller particles of solids are broken down by more bacteria and then the gray water rises and goes into the 3rd tank. From there it is almost all water and from there that goes to our sand filter pit.

This is our sand filter pit.

This is our sand filter pit.

The gray water is slowly leached into the sand filter pit and is cleansed by the sand and earth.DSC00127

Then it is picked back up by this pipe and discharged to daylight. When the water comes out it is cleaner than the treated water that comes out of your tap at home. At least that’s what they say, I won’t be tasting it to see if its true.

That’s it for this post, next post will be about electrical and heating and cooling.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 8 Comments