This is normally a comic-book related site.  Not right now, though.

I decided to build a house.  That doesn’t mean I’m shopping around for real estate.  I’m going to design, contract, and build a house all on my own.  This means I have to study building codes and learn about permits and do a lot of research on furnace efficiency and r-value and carpet fiber and refrigerators and wind direction and toilet height and backsplashes… I simply won’t have time for Tiny Life any time soon.

So, probably through 2015, the majority of these posts will be about building a house.  And possibly about living with the In-Laws while the house is built.

Final Final


Last week I had the Final inspection.  Basically, after two foundation guys, and the building guy, and two electrical guys, two mechanical guys, and two plumbing guys come in to see if everything is up to code (for instance, did you know you have to have a water-resistant outlet on the underside of an island countertop?), the Final Guy comes out.  His name is Monique.

Monique found six things “wrong” with the house:

  1. The hole where the wires go for the garage door opener should be fireproofed
  2. There should be numbers on the house
  3. There should be tempered glass in the garage entry door
  4. Downspout extensions should be at least five feet long
  5. I have no front steps
  6. I need fasteners holding together the deck

The hole where the wires go through can just be filled with spray-foam. Done.

I had house numbers, I just never put them on (it’s odd that this is a code.  you’d think, in order to be “safe”, it would be better to put them on the mailbox using some sort of uniform system).  Done.

There is tempered glass in the garage entry door.  It says on the glass of anything that’s tempered.  Non-issue.

My downspout extensions were exactly five feet long.  Can’t have that.  Another five-dollar fix.

I know I have no front steps.  The foreman came to put those in a day later.

I do need fasteners on the deck.  My desk was literally just sitting on some 4x4s.  I’m happy Monique caught that.

Today Monique is supposed to come back.  She will see all of her worries have been alleviated and I can finally, after more than six-goddamn-months, move into my house.



Holy Shit!

After ten weeks of waiting, I finally am finally able to go number two in my own house

Down Time

As you’re aware, I’ve been waiting for my sewer/water hookup for over two months.  In the meantime, I’ve been doing some other projects.

I’ve added a coatrack in the main closet.  I’ve put up the kids closet rods and shelving.  I added handles on all the kitchen cabinets.  My latest: burying the downspouts and sump-pump outlet.

Ditches and PVC are exciting.  Totally blog-worthy.

The Same Delay

I told you this one was a doozy.

We’re still not in the house.  We still don’t have sewer hookup.  Because we don’t have a sewer hookup, we don’t have water.  Because we don’t have water, the plumbing isn’t officially done.  Because the plumbing isn’t officially done, the electric isn’t officially done.  Because the electric isn’t officially done, the HVAC isn’t officially done.  Because all of those aren’t done, I can’t move in.

It looks like this, but its tires are covered in human shit.

Two weeks ago we were all set to go.  The excavator dug and found no stub.  I called the township office and they said that they had given me the wrong schematic.  The stub was 10 feet to the north.  The excavator dug and found no stub.  The township then sent a “TV” down the pipe (it’s basically a radio-controlled car with a go-pro attached) to see where this stub really is.  It’s under the road.

HA HA! It’s funny AND sad!

The crowd erupts in hilarious applause.  Digging up the road was the one and only reason I wanted to attach to this stub instead of creating my own in the middle of the road in front of my house.

So we got a permit to dig up the road, the stub was attached.  We were all set to finish on Monday.  Then the township came out and said that the excavator was attaching the pipes at the wrong angle.  We need another easement for that process.  That’ll take some time.

It’s been two months since we started the sewer process.  I’ve been with my In-Laws for almost 14 months.

A(nother) Delay

Yes, we should be moved into the house by now.  But this one’s a doozy:

This is the original house design.

Most of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the 40s and 50s.  It’s because of this that I designed my house to be classy (before we bought the land, my original plan was to have a lot of neon lights with “live nude girls”).  Unfortunately, because this system is so old, a few things have been forgotten along the way.  Like sewer access.

Each parcel of land (or possible future parcel) has its own “stub” into the main sewer line; the township does this when they (or whoever) install the sewer.  Apparently, though, the parcel of land that I bought was not parceled properly, so I have no sewer access.  This means one of two things:

  1. I can pay someone to hook a sewer line from my house to the road, and then burrow under the road 100 feet to the nearest manhole, at which point someone would physically go into the sewer and make a connection.  So far, I have yet to find anyone willing to do this.
  2. My wife might have IBS, but I’m the one that cries a little every time I poop.

    I can pay someone to hook a sewer line from my house to the road, get a permit to shut down the road, dig out the road, dig fifteen feet down to the sewer, get a permit to stop the sewer, install a new “stub”, fill in the hole, and repair the road.  I found someone will to do this for just shy of $11,000.  With the $9000 water permit and the $6500 electrical hook-up, I’m looking at over $26000 for the ability to shit in my house at night.

After three weeks of research, I was finally able to talk to the township engineer.  He came out, noticed that the vacant land to the south of me (in a flood plain, I might add) had two “stubs”, and said that he would sign off on me using their sewage access.

But goddamn is that a lot of paperwork.

Over the last two weeks, after getting several permits, one of which is an addendum to my deed to be recorded by the county, I should finally be able to finish this thing up.

I’ve been at my In-Law’s exactly 13 months.

Almost Done House Tour

We still need a few more things (carpet, sewer hook-up, a driveway), but it’s just about done:

The Bus

I’m sure I’ve mentioned “The Bus” on this site more than once.  It’s my family’s “cabin”.  It’s a 1960s bus that broke down in the middle of the state, so we pushed it into the woods and turned it into a refuge (in that only refugees would want to sleep in it).

I’ve spent some serious time there.  Thanksgivings, birthdays, hunting trips, fishing trips… eventually though, because much of my family is so sad (my brother used to live there and my cousins would go there for extended vacations), The Bus became dilapidated from misuse and neglect.  Because no one really wants it, everyone gave it to my younger brother who decided to take it down.

So this week, we disassembled it (by “we” I mean “my mom and my younger brother”; I helped out for a serious 90 minutes); the junk has been junked, the reusable stuff has been reused, and the metal has been scrapped.

This is after the siding had been ripped off, the lean-to knocked down, and the steering wheel ripped out.

On a side-note (and more to the point of why I hate lawyers), we couldn’t have The Bus – which has been sitting in this spot since 1967 – just towed out because no one has a title.  The State needs a title from a passenger bus that doesn’t work and has been sitting in the same place for almost 50 years because they have to make sure sure no one else has a claim to it.  So we hired a guy with a torch and a flat-bed.


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