Moving dirt

A neighbor with a bobcat sure beats a shovel and a wheelbarrow.

More Concrete

What a busy couple of days.  We passed the rebar inspection for the columns on Thursday around noon.  I called to schedule the concrete and they said mid next week.  At 4pm George called and said they could do it tomorrow if we were ready.   We weren’t ready but I said yes.  Used a come-a-long and the oxy-propane torch to heat and straighten one of the columns.  Next – finish shoveling dirt around three of the columns to stabilize the cardboard tube concrete form.  Stayed up until 11pm welding the 24 steel plates and bolts that get inserted into the concrete in each of the columns.  Went to bed and got up at 4:30 to pump concrete.

Next step.  Craning the containers into place.


Today we poured 20 cubic yards of concrete for the footers that are the base of the 24 piers that will support our home.  A pump was used because there was no way to back a cement truck close enough to all the holes.  One of the important jobs are the hose standers.  They stand on the hose as the concrete is being pumped to keep it from bucking so much.

The concrete splashes quite a bit so I got my daily recommended allowance of cement.

Tomorrow we cut the rebar to final height and install the cardboard tubes that will be the forms for the columns.

Passed footer/rebar inspection

We passed the footing/rebar inspection today.  Sometime next week we will be pumping in 20 yards of concrete.


Rebar columns

24 rebar (3/4 in) cages that will become the support columns for the house




Luxury living off the grid

To make trailer living off the grid we are working on two fronts.

1) Shade – I took the old side door panels from the old shop and put them over the trailer and shop container.

2) Cooling – Built a 12 volt evap cooler from a plastic tub and pvc pipe.  Used some old plywood to duct the air into the trailer roof vent.  We won’t freeze but it takes the edge off the heat – Maggie isn’t quite the desert rat that I am.

The wood box behind the cooler drops down over the vent and cool to duct the air inside.   Once a day I fill the tub with water.


Reality sure can be difficult.  We have sorted thru most of the stuff that was quickly strewn about the ground during the move.  It will be months before we have APS power so we are learning to live with our generator for power.  No shop means I get to sit in the dirt when welding.  I have a few customer projects to finish then back to house construction.


Aerial view of the chaos.

Our neighbor, Bob Hughes, took these photos with his drone.   We got the shop completely moved off the old property at the end day (in the dark) on the 15th.    Once we get our belongings sorted out and stored back in the containers construction will resume.  As you can see the area of disturbance is very small.  The house will go where the dirt mound is – just to right of the 5 red containers.  The shop and carport will be located where the 5 red containers are currently sitting.


Our property extends across the wash and up the 30ft bank to near the corner of the white house.

Containers have moved

All eight containers are now on site.  Tight squeeze but we still have room for our trailer and room to spare for the concrete truck and pump.

Next item (after we finish cleaning up former shop site) will reloading all the stuff we took out of the containers so they could be moved.


This container will be part of the carport structure.  I’m welding angle iron that will become full length shelves on both sides of the container.