Saturday, September 29, 2012
Ditch Digging 101
After failing to post last weekend and leaving it to Brian to put up last weekend's pictures, er, yesterday, I'm trying to be more timely this weekend! We tackled installation of the electrical conduit to run power to the garage today. It didn't start well when I had to go to two different Home Depots to find the wire and then the guy who did find it said to me "Why would you want to install this yourself?" From a store with the motto "You can do it," I found his comment a little disconcerting. Nevertheless, we persevered - aided by a machine that, for once, we just rented and did not buy. We had a ditch digger delivered yesterday for the weekend and I cannot imagine tackling this kind of project without it. Even with the big machine, it still took a couple of hours to get the ditch dug and required a lot of pulling and lifting and maneuvering - the ditch digger definitely does not have automatic steering. But we got the trench dug and then laid in the plastic conduit and pulled the heavy 2-2-2-4 URD wire through it. It ran a total of about 120 feet, with a few elbows that had to be installed just right. We'll get it inspected this week and then hopefully we can fill in the trench and be ready to start installing the driveway once the garage is done.
And on the garage note, Brian's post refrained from noting what a tremendous nuisance that project has become. I think we generally give a pretty unvarnished view of our projects and let's just say, this one is one we wouldn't do again. There are a few mistakes we made - first, we (or I) were determined to situate the garage as close to the property lines as we could in order to maximize our yard space. But, there is no way that gaining a few feet is worth the tremendous hassle of fireproofing the two walls. That 5/8" drywall is heavy, expensive, and an all-around nuisance to work with. Next time, we'll just do what the builders do and site the thing five feet into the property lines. Second, the two story garage that seemed like such a good idea on paper has made everything so much harder than it needs to be. Soffits, gutters, siding and the evil fireproofing - it's all such a bigger challenge when it's 15 to 19 ft up instead of a more reasonable 8 to 12. Next time, one story garage. We're into it now, of course, so we'll finish it up but it's taking longer than we'd like. Lessons learned!
Tomorrow, though, we'll be back at it and should make some progress with siding - so hopefully there will be more pictures then...