Archives May 2017

New Patio Furniture

One of the nice things about buying the lake house is that it’s provided me with an excuse to replace certain things at the main house, and to send certain older things to the lake house to be refurbished and repurposes. This past weekend, I moved the old furniture that was on our deck to the lake house.


I am planning on repainting the table, which has faded pretty badly in the sun over the past seven years. The chairs are in excellent shape though, and will be great for the deck at the lake house. At the main house, my wife and I picked out a furniture set that has more of an indoor-outdoor furniture style, with nice cushions and wicker frames. We also went with some bolder colors, that provide some nice contrast with all the beige and grey in the exterior of our house.


There will be a lot more opportunities to keep sending things to the lake house; expect more pictures of thisĀ sort of refurbishing and replacing. Our storage unit is currently filled to the brim with things for the lake house. Thankfully, we close this Friday!



Excavation Progress

I’ve started digging the trenches required for my project to run water to the guest house. The first step has been to hand excavate sensitive areas that I can’t use a powered trencher to dig, primarily around the propane lines that carry LP from the tank to the main house and the guest house, and around the well. By far the most nerve wracking part was locating the propane lines. I had them well marked, but they are relatively small, thin metal lines that are significantly less deep underground than you might think. I used a small hand trowel to locate them, and then marked them with bright orange spray paint so I make sure to steer clear of them in the future.



I monitored my tank pressure for 24 hours after digging, and made sure that the pressure held. If I had damagedĀ one of the lines, it wouldn’t have been a massive safety hazard (the gas would have just dissipated slowly into the atmosphere), but the tank would slowly have emptied, which would have been an expensive mistake. Thankfully, there were no issues.


My next step was to dig around the well, where the supply lines will eventually be hooked up by a professional plumber.


After this, the last of the manual digging I have to do before the first round of trenching is next to the foundation of the guest house. I may take a short break while I deal with moving into the lake house over the next couple of weeks, but soon the trenching process will begin!

Searching for a Vacation Home

My wife and I have started searching for a vacation home. We are looking for a house with waterfront on Lake Wisconsin, since it’s an easy one hour drive from Madison and is connected to the Wisconsin River. Our first (and leading candidate) is a Frank Lloyd Wright style hole on the bluffs overlooking the lake, with stairs leading down to a dock on the lake.

The view is certainly not bad:

We are looking at it again tomorrow, and hope to make an offer this week if everything looks good.

The Hardin Access Pipeline

I’ve started my project to add running water to the guest house. After getting the propane and electrical lines marked, my first step was to purchase the required PVC pipes (3/4″ inch for the supply lines, 3″ inch for the waste water to the septic system) and to lay them out on the ground under which they will eventually be buried.

The primary purpose of this was to allow me to make sure that my projected route was straight, and possible given 45 and 90 degree turns in the pipe. By also loosely connecting the pipe, I could also run water through it and insure that the grading was correct.

The next step is to rent a ride-on trencher, and to dig a 4+ foot deep trench to bury the pipes. I’ll hand dig around the well, the septic system, the guest house foundation, and obviously near the propane lines. After that, I’ll bury the pipes and have a plumber hook them up and verify that everything is solidly connected before pouring dirt back over the pipes. I’m planning on renting the trencher from United Rentals, something like this:

The ride-on trencher will provide enough depth to get below the frost line, and will also be a fun excuse to play with construction equipment!