Monday, July 15, 2013


Since the beginning of March there has been a lot of dirt moved around 3283. Today more was moved...and a whole bunch was brought to the site.  Mervin Hochstetler arrived this morning with a few pieces of power equipment and a strong backed laborer named Tyrone. The landscapers spent the morning regrading the soil [sand] around the house to allow for proper drainage, provide a base for new sidewalks and prepare for installation of topsoil and sod.

Mervin performed final grading with this John Deere tractor.
The rear tractor attachment is a special tool for grading.
Part of the regrading included removing some shrubs next to the outdoor shower.
In the afternoon the topsoil deliveries began. I had seen the estimate that 75 cubic yards of topsoil was to be provided and installed. And I could calculate how much topsoil was needed to cover 6,000 square feet of lawn to a depth of 4 inches. But, I wasn't prepared for the size of truck loads.  Only two loads were delivered today. But each came in a 25 yard semitrailer dump truck. Maneuvering around the drive/site was a challenge. 
Mervin assists unloading the first load.

The first 25 yards.
Mervin began to spread the topsoil while the truck returned for load two.
The first 'strip' of topsoil on the north half of front [west] lawn.
It was very sunny, very hot and very humid at 3283 today.  The 'heat index' away from the lake reached over 100 degrees. Our garage thermometer was well into the ninety's. Mervin and Tyrone worked all day outside in the heat. I appreciate their dedication. For my projects today I stayed indoors. 

First I replaced the paneling next to the fireplace in the living room. It had buckled before the structure was lifted. And since the house is now no longer settling it was time to trim and replace the panels. I should note that each of the panels was intricately cut in a stair-step manner to fit against the sloping bricks of the fireplace chimney.   I can't take credit for the amazing cutting...but I did manage to trim and refit them with no damage.

After finishing the chimney I returned to the stairway wall task. I had completed the north wall to the basement stairs last week. Today I began the south wall. It's not finished yet because I kept leaving the cool basement to check on Mervin and Tyrone. Well, and because I slipped on the stairs late in the day and am typing this with ice on a sore ankle.

While I played in the basement the second 25 yard truckload of topsoil was on its way. The driver decided to back the truck down the drive rather than try to maneuver around behind the cottage. Mervin had moved some of load one but not all. So when unloaded we had probably 40 yards of soil piled east of the cottage.

More heat and more landscaping tomorrow. I'll look over Mervin's work. And I'll try to finish up the basement stairway wall. If lucky, I'll even get to some more electrical work.  

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