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Michiganmobileman

What a difference a year makes

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Michiganmobileman
Warning, long post lots of pics of our new house. What started as a dream almost 30 years ago has finally materialized for us after about a full year worth of work. Since the boss and I got hitched in 1980 we had always hoped for a place on a lake to end our days. Stumbling upon the deal of a lifetime in 2000 we started buying on land contract our 1.9 acres of bliss. Selling the old home that we built when we were first married, we moved a mobile home to the property in 2005 and built our new home last year. Following this for all who dare are many pictures of the year long process.

We started with about 140 yards of fill dumped in where we would not be able to get a truck in after the crawl space hole was dug. Of course this ended up not being enough and we are at about 250 yards total now. The excavation for the crawlspace cost me $17.97 including tip and my breakfast:D:D. We refer a lot of work to a local guy who moves and sets mobile homes and also has a dozer. When I first had asked him if he could do the crawl space hole he said he would for $100 and fuel used. The day he came out he was done in an hour and a half and asked me for a cup of coffee when he got off the dozer. I told him I was actually all out but would buy him breakfast and coffee at the local restaurant. While we were eating I had asked for the bill for the dozer work so I could get him a check and that’s when he said no charge.

We hired the masonry work done by a friend from high school days. They had the footings formed and poured and the first row of blocks laid a week after they started. We went 6 blocks tall to give more space in the crawl. They went real quick, would have taken me forever. I wanted a cement floor in the crawl for various reasons, the main one being I am getting old and the thought of a sitting on a wheeled cart while doing the heating and plumbing beat crawling around on my hands and knees. I also wanted the access into the crawl space inside the garage. You can see part of the opening in the lower left corner of this picture. The floor was poured the week before the Memorial Day weekend last year 2008.

The first load of lumber was delivered and we got started on Memorial Day weekend. My younger brother Ross and I got all of the I-joists and rim boards set in place and most of the floor decking down by Monday afternoon. The next week this big jigsaw puzzle showed up in the driveway. Oh Oh, what did I get myself into now?


With the assistance of Brother Ross and brother in law Dave plus wife Kathy and sister in law Janet we were able to get all of the exterior walls framed and up by Jun 7th. I am not sure why the Ford got in this picture as we were using the AC919 some too for back filling. The crawl space opening is shown here real good too. The mobile home we lived in is about 6 foot in front of the overhead garage door opening shown here so there was no room to get a dump truck in to fill the garage. We dumped the sand over the footings with Ross’s front end loader and spread it with the GTs.

We put 2“-foam board around outside of crawl space, backfilled with two garden tractors (the AC919 is in background of this picture) for close to the house finish and Ross’s Kubota with front end loader for the big stuff back from the house.


After getting the interior walls framed we were ready for trusses and Jun 14th, which happened to be our 28th anniversary, was the day. HELP was called for and we had all 3 of my brothers, Steve, Mark and Ross, two of my niece’s husbands, Jason and David, and two old family friends, Don and Rick. It went real good, and by the end of the day we had the trusses up and braced on the house and the garage trusses out of the way on short garage walls. We had to make room for the truck that was coming on Sunday with the siding and shingles.

I did not think to ask Menards about roof top delivery, and when the truck showed up I didn’t think we were BUT…but that’s what we got.

We did not have any sheathing down and he said he would wait for us to do so if we wanted the shingles on the roof. I never would have thought a semi tractor was set up to do that but it sure saved some work. The next week the garage floor was poured and it wasn’t long before we had the garage walls built and up and the trusses in place.

First side shingled, finally gave us a dry floor in half of the house that we did not have to sweep the frequent rains off of. I don’t like to shingle and we were going to hire it done but ended up doing it ourselves. My brother in law Bernie helped with this and we got it done in one day. OUCH my ankles and feet were sore.

Wife caught me on a Beer break.

We were on vacation the first week of July and I spent most all of the week tying the two peaks together. I did get one boat ride in this summer during vacation when three of our four grand kids were over for the day. They visited for a short week and then back to Pennsylvania. RJ, Brianna and Mason, with the rear end of our dog Mille for good measures.

Front wall toward the water all sealed up and ready for siding. We put 1/2 inch foam over the OSB, taped and caulked all joints.

Front wall with siding, soffit and fascia all finished. I used aluminum coil stock, bent with our brake in 8 to 10 foot pieces, to cover the foam board on the foundation walls, again lots of caulk and sealing as needed. By the time we got the house all sided it was the first week in August. It was time to start the utilities, and our picture taking stopped for some reason. I have no pictures at all of the plumbing, HVAC and electrical as they were going in. Every night after work and long days on the week ends but by the middle of October I had been done long enough that the dry-wall contractor had all of the boards hung and they were done with the finishing by the end of the following week.

By the first of November the painting was finished and time for the kitchen cabinets to go in. I wish I would have had my hat on for that picture, thanks Kathy.

Cabinets done, light fixtures hung, no floor coverings yet we saved that for last as we did the staining of our doors and trim in the living room and dining room.

Living room wall, doors and casing on, base board installed, ready for carpet. We decided (she did) during building that she wanted 6 panel doors instead of flat. We opted to go with oakinstead of pine as the cabinets were going to be oak. We got a super deal on fluted oak casing, rosette corner blocks and base board from a local Amish millwork company. It was cheaper than pine would have been through Big Box stores, and real nice wood to work with. Kathy did most of the staining and urethane, she did a great job.

An original request form the boss when we were planning what and where to put the house was to build a deck around the group of maples in front. We also moved the deck we had on the back side of the mobile to the rear of the home. This deck was only three years old and we knew we would move it when we built it. Still was a major pain though.

We passed our inspections and moved in on January 7. Within two weeks we had the mobile home cleaned up and moved out, still for sale, anyone interested? This gave us a 14 foot x 70 foot driveway and the first garage we ever had. Now I have room for my tractors and Kathy has a place to park her truck.

We are now mostly done inside with outside stuff yet to do come warmer weather. I had a whole bunch more pictures but figured this was enough to post. We saved a lot of money doing most by ourselves, I am glad I was not much older though. THANKS FOR BEARING WITH ME. Greg

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joshuaareed
Man oh man that is one beautiful looking house you have built there. I also love the garage. Very Very nice work. I absolutely love the moldings around the inside doors.

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johnmonkey
Great story Greg, I like the doors and trim. So the aluminum coil stock covers the foam board and goes down to the grade? What prevents termites from coming up between the cinder blocks and the back side of the foam board? I like the idea of insulating all the way down, that must keep those energy bills down. jh

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tracktor312
Looks great to bad you didn't get pictures of the plumbing. When building mine I did and AI am glad I did now I can look at the pictures and see where everything is in the walls before doing new projects. I would love a place on the water good for you.. your Dream house is yours. Good luck with it:D

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Michiganmobileman
Thanks for all the compliments. The trim was great to work with and did save time as there were no miter joints on the casing (I did cheat with the baseboard and mitered and glued inside corners, coping would have taken too long:(). Unfortunately the only "retire" I see in my visible future is maybe a new set of tires for one of my tractors;). The foam board goes down to the top of the footing 48 inches. Aluminum was cut at 16 inches so I ended up with about 4 inches of it below grade in most spots after bending. Although we do not build for termites here I did also put coil over sill plate and bent down at top of foam before starting floor framing. We have been heating with our fireplace mostly and yesterday I got a call from our gas supplier: "Could we have you check the meter reading, we think it was misread". I had looked at the meter that morning walking by and asked her if she had 905 as the number? Yep. Its going to be nice to get away from that winter bill:D. Thanks Marty, I did not even buy a license last year knowing we would be busy. Looking forward to trying although Kathy is the one that usually kills them. She most always out-fishes me by an embarrassing amount, same bait, same place, they just like her more I guess. Greg

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Michiganmobileman
Oops thanks Dan missed your post. The lake is a flooding containing 10 lakes and over 2000 acres of water. See my post last year http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=91943 regarding a Michigan Club meeting (Jun 27 this year, come one come all^) there are some overhead shots of the flooding there. Greg

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B-16_IC
Nice work!!dOd Looks like a very nice home in a very pretty setting.8D Something for many to envy for sure.:D I helped a bit several years ago when my folks built a new home and was the main "contractor" on our new barn here a few years back. So I can appreciate the hard work you and yours put in on this project, and it certainly paid off.^

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