Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

March 18, 2010

Busy Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Duane Diefenbach @ 7:30 pm

Sorry for little info on the progress of the house but work has been really busy and between work at work and work at home I have had little time to blog. Here’s an update.

The geothermal drilling was put on hold until the company got all their equipment repaired. In the meantime, this meant we could get the electrical and plumbing completed.

Last Friday (12 March) I drove to Brattleboro, VT to purchase four 24′ chestnut beams for our master bedroom. I left Bellefonte at 5:45am and arrived in Brattleboro at noon where I met my parents for lunch. After lunch we got a call from the guy selling the beams that he couldn’t get away from work. Anyway, we got directions to the where the beams were stored, cut them to 16′ and loaded them on the canoe rack of my truck. I met the guys girlfriend in town and paid the balance due and was on my way back to PA. The rack barely supported the weight and I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back!

But I did and on Saturday delivered them to Braucht’s Dry Kiln to have them heated to 160°F for 24 hrs to kill any insects. I haven’t had time to pick them up.

This week Dave Walker, the stone mason, completely opened the passageway from the old to new house through the stone wall.  After he poured a threshold between the two, Windsor (all on her own) stepped in the fresh concrete and left her footprint. I think we have a dog print in almost every bit of concrete we’ve poured on the farm. Dave is slowly re-pointing all the stone and laying stone to frame in the new doorway between the basements. We’ll have pictures soon.

On Tuesday I took the day off work to prepare for pouring concrete slabs for both porches. Basically, all I accomplished was drilling 5 footers using a 3-pt posthole digger. Four of the 5 holes were easy. The one problem one was right where our former “septic field” was located. This drain field was simply a hole full of crushed limestone the size of baseballs. So when I drilled the holes  and pulled up the auger the hole sides collapsed. By the time I was done I had a 3′ deep hole that was 3′ wide. The one good thing was that when drilling one of the holes for the back porch I didn’t hit the water line to the barn that I knew was nearby!

On Wednesday the excavator arrived to dig trenches for the electrical and uncover the access for the septic tank. Also, the building inspector arrived to check out the electrical wiring in the house, the plumbing, and the framing (plus the footers I dug for the porches). Everything passed except that we didn’t have a permit to set a new homestead pole and meter. Something else to do on Thursday.

Today (Thursday), with the help of our neighbor Tom, I built forms for the porch floors, leveled the stone, and tied in rebar. Fortunately, I dug the footers on Tuesday because it took a good 4 hours to get things ready for the concrete truck. I estimated I needed 4.5-5.0 yards of concrete. Turned out to be 5.6 yards. But by 3pm everything was pretty much done except waiting for the concrete to cure.

Here are photos of progress on siding and painting (you can’t really tell what has been painted because the primer and paint are almost identical), plus the trenching and concrete work.

Here is a photo of the electrical conduit from the house to the barn.

Here’s a photo where you can see that the siding on the front of the house is almost complete and the porch concrete pad has been poured.

Below is a photo of the concrete pad for the rear porch. The sheathing on the right is where the sliding door will be installed.

And here’s the pad for the front porch

So before Monday I need to go get the beams (and get one sawn in half for each end of the bedroom) from the kiln, run the sump pump drain from the basement to our cistern, and plane and cut the posts and beams for the porch. Lots to do. Hope I have time to update the blog.

1 Comment »

  1. I like the blue door! Does the trench to the barn go by your cistern drain?

    Comment by Dad — March 19, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Powered by WordPress