Ok, so in part 1 of this saga, we were getting ready to have a new HVAC system installed. In order to make the air optimization engineer man happy with the placement of the return, we had to move the master bedroom doorway over and build a closet for the ductwork. Also, we had to dig a trench for the 18″ ductwork that would be run to that new closet.
So we took down the wall and pulled up the piece of subfloor. Digging would be much easier with the wall and floor out of the way. 2 steps back…
And we started digging! We rented an “electric shovel” to break up the hard, compacted clay. Julie broke up the hard clay and I shoveled it into buckets. The buckets were dumped into our rickety wheel barrow and one of us hauled it outside and dumped it.
It’s really difficult to balance a wheel barrow full of dirt as you teeter it down the wheel chair ramp. Exciting stuff!
We started out strong!
After 5 hours, I texted Wes and told him we were going to be late. Very late. Digging. I didn’t even ask for help. I got myself into this!
But Wes, being my night in shining armor that he is, asked if he could help.
I didn’t hesitate to accept (and Julie and I both smothered him with gratitude). He brought us dinner, new shovels, and his muscles.
We told him it would probably take another hour. It took 3. But we got that trench dug!
To make sure there was room for the ductwork to hang from the floor joists, well off the ground — we dug an extra 6″ more than the 18″ they told us we needed. We dug that trench 24″ deep! Wes went home while Julie and I stayed for another hour to put back the subfloor and build our wall again. (With the door in a new spot.)Fueled by our successful trench digging, we got up bright and early the next morning to let the HVAC guys in so they could do their work.
It’s exciting when things are happening on schedule! The new equipment went in and they started installing the ductwork. By now the weather has cooled down to the mid 30’s.
It’s cold but things are coming together and we’re feeling positive!
At the end of the day we saw the ductwork in our trench was not hanging. Not only that, it was a little smooshed in our 24″ deep trench.
We gawked! The inner diameter of the ductwork is 18″ and then there’s a whole bunch of insulation around it. Additionally, we needed a wider trench for two lines.
So we had to dig some more. Deeper and wider. We needed a 48″ wide by 30″ deep trench.
We took down our wall –again, and pulled up the subfloor –again. It was Friday, so we had the weekend to “dig to China”.
Wes and Madison both helped us on Saturday. We made some good progress! But not enough. 48″ wide by 30″ deep is a BIG trench! Plus, we needed a (smaller) trench under a part of house that still had subfloor. We needed more help.
On Sunday, we had some “professional help”. The guy who we had lined up to do our drywall, Bucket, who was recommended by our plumber, knew a guy… And MAN could he dig! We call him Mario Mark because was like a video game character. He hammered away at the hard ground with one spiky tool in each hand. Mark referred to himself as a gopher. I like Mario Mark better.
Mark shoveled the dirt up onto the floor, Julie and I shoveled the dirt into the wheel barrow and hauled it outside. Around midnight, Mark and I worked toward each other on the under the subfloor trench. We finished at 12:30 am on Monday.
It was late. We were so sore and tired and sick of digging. But it was done. Again.
We laid down on the subfloor (the part of the house that has subfloor) and contemplated seeping right there. We probably could have ignored the hardness, but it was too cold.
In the morning, Julie got up and let the HVAC guys in to the house while I slept in – a bit. She is ALWAYS up before I want to be so we designated her as the “let them in’er”.
We couldn’t get in the HVAC guys’ way while they were working but had some things that we needed to prepare before the spray foam insulation went in.
That was scheduled for the following day. So once again, we were there until after midnight, working by the light of our headlamps. The thing I love about working with Julie is that we can work SOOOOO hard and still laugh all the time.
This is definitely not a glamorous job. It’s cold and dirty. We stink and are so sore — every- single- night.
We keep ourselves motivated by looking forward to the end of the week when we’re going to be getting DRYWALL on the walls! It’s going to look and feel so different once we have drywall!
Part 3 soon!
This is so fun to read! I am working on building a greenhouse. It is a kit and it is redwood. We are at the part where we are digging trenches and deciding where the water and electricity will go. I do not envy you, but the end result of the hard work is part that keeps you going and there are always snags (challenges) in the way of getting there even on the little projects at least for me. We are 60 and 70 so age is also one of those challenges, but I love working on projects like this so I trudge on with a smile on my face!
That’s awesome that you’re not slowing down. I think hard work keeps you young, but working TOO hard hurts things so you have to find the sweet spot. Somewhere in the middle. And keep smiling!
Wow! You girls are amazing!
Thanks so much. We’re committed! LOL
Awesome!!! What great memories you are creating too.
That’s true. Even the really hard jobs will be good memories. Someday. LOL
Vic Rauch says
I am exhausted and sore all over my body just reading what you gals have done! But still find it fun to read what you are doing. Really appreciate your husbands. Often I feel we need more loving men like the husbands you sisters have!
LOL I think this is the hardest work I’ve done since I was young, on the farm. Very appreciative of my husband. VERY! He cooks delicious dinners for Julie and I every night. HE IS THE BEST!
I’m so excited!! Can’t wait. Dear god… I can’t imagine digging that much. Just the summer garden wears me out, lol! You guys still inspire me and I want to take on a project like this eventually. Maybe in a few decades. 🙂
I got to admit, “the gopher” has a nice ring to it, too, but Mario Mark is hilarious.
Hey, gardening is hard work too! When you do take on a big renovation, I have a good digger! LOL
Love the updates on this place – you are rockstars!!
Thanks so much. We’re just committed and tenacious. LOL
OMG, OMG,OMG……I could NEVER dig continuously like that..!! My body gets sore sometimes after cleaning my house.
YOU LADIES ROCK …!!! I cant wait to see it all put together..!!
My body now gets sore after just sitting down on a hard floor for 5 minutes. LOL I can’t wait to see it put back together too. Can’t happen soon enough!
Totally love watching and reading your updates. You two are amazing and best of all I love that you can be working so hard and can still have a laugh as you go along. Keep up the awesome work – can’t wait for the next update … I just know this house is going to be amazing! Go girls! You are inspirational! ?
Thank you so much Carmen. We are starting to get to a point where once in a while, we get excited about getting to the fun stuff. Soon. LOL
Barbara H. says
Oh my gosh, what a huge task! And you were able to complete it! It blows my mind. Congratulations. Glad you were able to get help from Mario Mark.
I think it was the hardest task on this house yet. I think. It’s hard to remember because almost everything so far has been really difficult. LOL
Some people are born “trencher”…born to dig…yesterday I had to have the sewer main dug up and replaced…10 feet down …so I can appreciate what you went through. Wall will be up soon and a whole new look to the place. I am waiting for the pics!
Nigel William says
How long did it take you to complete this project? Congratulations on your hard work!
We spent 3 or 4 days digging.
Jake williams says
This post gave me flashbacks to last summer when I began replacing the subfloor in my house and also reminded me of what is to come this summer when I resume the project. Thanks for the insight and info, it is hard work but I still find it to be enjoyable.
Jake with tool-school.com