Last week I walked six contractors around the workshop building to get estimates on fixing the leak and doing demo. I’m so used to not hearing back from half of the people I call, I called six, hoping to hear back from three. Surprise! They all called back –so I had them all out. I’m still waiting on two of the estimates so nothing is moving forward on the fix/demo yetl But in between those appointments, I managed (as in supervised lol) a few outdoor projects including a French drain at the back of the workshop!
First off, we finally have access to the side door to the workshop! It has been blocked off by a big row of trees but we need to create a usable entrance over there. The door on the other side enters directly into my workshop and I don’t want that to be used for access to the rest of the building. MY door to my workshop is JUST FOR ME. 🙂
Wes scheduled a tree removal service to come out and cut them down … like 8 weeks prior. They finally made it out and now we can SEE the door. Also, I discovered a usable, outdoor spigot! I previously thought there weren’t any. I guess it wouldn’t be too difficult to have some put in but I’m glad there’s one there. I needed it yesterday to clean out my paint sprayer.
They even cut the wood and stacked it to the side of the workshop! We can use it for our bonfires outside. Woohoo! I don’t know what the big pipe back there is but I think it’s the power. There is a lot of power in that shop!
First time I used a Chainsaw
One fine, hot, and humid day (it’s August in East Tennessee, there’s rarely a day when it’s not hot and humid), I took off into my back woods, to try out some of the 60V cordless outdoor tools CRAFTSMAN sent me. Wes has been using them for months and told me he really liked them but I hadn’t had a chance to use them. I’ve never even used a chainsaw before but Wes gave me a 2 second lesson and off I went. I felt very safe with this chainsaw but it had plenty of power to cut through most of the branches on this big tree. It did struggle when I got to a wider section of the trunk. I then realized why my neighbor owns like 5 different chainsaws. This one won’t cut through a giant tree trunk, but I wouldn’t want to wield the larger, more powerfull chainsaw around for hours while I cut the smaller branches.
In the back of our property there are a few dead trees that have been lying down for a while. I really enjoy building a fire in the firepit as often as there is a cool enough evening to warrant one. I was determined to go get a big load of firewood and then build the biggest bonfire ever!
When I started out, I was enjoying myself. Cutting firewood with a chainsaw — I felt powerful! It was actually kinda awesome until I got SO HOT I started feeling shaky! At that point, I put the power tool away. Then I loaded up all the cut wood into the Challenger and went home.
I was wearing pants and long sleeves to protect myself from bugs, scrapes, tools and the sun but I got way over heated. My face was so red I thought I had the worst sunburn ever! After a couple hours I cooled off and the redness went away. And even though it was a warm evening, I built a fire in the fire pit. Not a bonfire though. Way too hot for that!
Before I discovered the rain water pouring into my shop, I thought the musty smell was an issue of stagnant air and probably some moisture making it’s way into the shop because it didn’t have a path directing it AWAY from the shop.
I scheduled to have a French drain installed before I found the leak. And though the leak IS the biggest issue right now, The French drain is something that will help reduce moisture getting into the shop, in the long run.
I discovered Martin a few months ago, when he did some landscaping at my Richwood house. I originally thought I would work with Martin — and help him do the French drain. However, he got here early on Saturday and already had the trench dug before I even knew he was here. He also had plenty of help as he brought his family. They have a deal that if he works on Saturdays, they will come along so they get “family time”. WORK is how my family always spent time together on the farm so I totally love that! (His sone Cason didn’t appear to love every minute of it, but we grilled hot dogs and he got to feed one to a dog that had strayed into our woods — he LOVED that!)
I was off cutting firewood while the french drain was going in but I did snap a picture of a couple steps in the process.
- The trench is dug (with a slope)
- The trench is lined with mesh type fabric.
- Then this hole riddled tubing goes in
- The trench is filled with gravel.
The tubing has holes all over it to allow the water the water into it. Then the water flows out because the tubing is the easiest path for the water to flow. (I guess.) We had the French drain terminate into the stream that leads to the pond. (That was the natural termination point of our slope and perfect place for the rain water to run off to.
In addition to never using a chainsaw, I don’t think I have ever mowed a lawn. Growing up, my brother, Gene always mowed the lawn. Every other house we’ve owned, we’ve either hired out the lawn mowing or Wes did it with a regular push mower. Now that we have 5 acres of lawn — we bought a commercial mower and I finally used it for the first time!
Wes has been the one to do all the yard work around here and – he likes doing it. But I need to at least know how to use the mower, even if I don’t regularly do the mowing. I found it to be a really rewarding task.
I literally was about to get onto the elliptical machine when Wes came in and asked if I wanted to help mow. So I grabbed my big sun protecting hat and went. The only thing missing was music. I will definitely mow again but next time, I’ll grab some music. It did get a little boring after 1/2 hour of nothing but my thoughts to keep me company.
When we moved in, there was a big green pipe sticking out of the little hill at the end of our back yard. I’m not exactly sure where the water was coming from, but when it rained hard, water poured out of the pipe and flooded the driveway in front of my shop. I imagine it is french drain that someone, at some point, installed at the bottom of the slope that leads from the woods to the back yard. But they just terminated it into the shop driveway. ???
Martin dug back into the lawn to expose enough of their pipe so he could connect a new pipe at a point that no pipe would show. Then he took the new pipe all the way under the driveway and out to the pond.
We had a BIG load of gravel delivered (since they only deliver one size load). So we had plenty of gravel to use for all the drains.
And then some which Martin spread out on the ground behind the shop — where we store the tractor and lawn mower.
Now that the outside water issues are taken care of, I need to get all my quotes so I can make a decision and get the building water issues fixed. So far I’ve heard three things from three people: “I can’t tell how to fix it until we tear out this wall”, “It looks like the gutter wasn’t properly installed over the siding”, and “We need to put an L flashing over the siding (that wraps around to the block on the back)”. It’s hard to know WHAT to think. For now I’m just waiting. Waiting for two more estimates so I have all my ducks in a row before I make a decision. I’m afraid it might just make it more confusing, but maybe not. While I wait for those, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping we don’t have another downpour that floods the back of my shop again.
And painting my workshop rooms. That’s something I CAN do now. That and mow the lawn. 😀