Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pouring concrete - September 2006

So after a couple of days of prep work we called Alpine and scheduled to have the concrete delivered.

They added something to the concrete to keep it from setting up on the 80 mile trip to our cabin. I'm can't remember what it was but it might have been fly ash.

I told the truck driver he could drive anywhere he wanted except for the one sotol that we wanted to keep, he immediately ran over the sotol. (This is right before he ran over the sotol, which you can see in the lower right hand corner.)

It was a fairly cool morning and actually went smoother than I thought it would.

Here's to a good start on our cabin!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Foundation preparation - September 2006

Preparing the site for the concrete slab. After months of thought and debate we decided on a concrete slab for our foundation. This was by far the most expensive option, but I was convinced to go with the slab both for longevity and because of the thermal properties.  72 degrees will feel nice and cool on the feet during the summer.

No, we are not raising chickens, but chicken legs seem to show up anytime Marilynn takes a picture of Brad.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rain water collection - July 2012

Hard to believe that we went several years without a rain water catchment system at the casita.

In May I saw a barrel catchment system at a green workshop in Bastrop, Texas that used food grade 55 gallon drums to store the water. I liked their design, but I wanted to make a few modifications to fit our needs.

Our requirments:

  • Be able to fit a 5 gallon bucket under faucet.
  • Stand had to be able to hold weight of (2) 55 gallon drums. 110 gallons X 8.35 lbs = 918.5 lbs. 
  • Keep mosquitoes out. 

Our 'would-like-to-haves':

  • Be as freeze-proof as possible.
  • Not look like 2 crappy food grade 55 gallon drums sitting in front of the cabin.
  • I built the stand out of 4X4's and 2X6's. I made half-lap joints to secure the 2X6's to the 4X4's using 3/8" lag bolts to hold everything together. Time will tell, but I believe this design will easily hold approximately 1000 lbs. 
  • The stand is tall enough to fit a 5 gallon bucket under the faucet. 
  • All the vent holes are screened with window screen that is small enough to keep mosquitoes out. 
  • I used 2" PVC pipes to help prevent the pipes from freezing. I'm also going to wrap the pipes with insulation. 
  • We had fun painting the barrels. 
We still have some painting to finish on the barrels and I want to adjust some of the plumbing. It rained 3 consecutive afternoons while we were out there and we were able to collect about 35 gallons of rain water that we used to water our cactus garden. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

"Where should we build the casita?" - September 2005

"Where should we build the casita?"

We ended up picking the spot of the far left of this picture, next time we are out there I'll try to take an 'after' picture to compare these.