Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Waiting Game

So now everything hinges on moving this house. Maybe its the time or year or the nature of house movers but no one seems to be in a hurry. Its a tad frustrating but we are grinning and bearing it.

Tomorrow we are picking up the rented jackhammer to go to town on removing the handicap ramp that is in the way of how the house will be shifted to leave the property. Of course the ramp would have to go anyway as it would be directly outside the back french doors of the new house facing the wrong way and as much as Ziggy begged it to stay as his new skateboard ramp, no such luck. Its outta here.

Hopefully we will get a moving day nailed down in the next few days, we can't move forward till we at least have a date and for sure have this house gone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stage 2 - Moving the House

Now that our permits are just about ready, financing in place and contractors waiting in the wings our next step is to move the existing house on the property.

We have been looking for a new home for the house and have been inundated with responses of which most didn't pan out as people don't really think through the whole home moving issue.

At last we found a great, local family who have land and just need the home. They have been coming over everyday to prep the house for moving and have single handed removed the roof and loaded it onto trucks to move to their place to rebuild.

All the trusses and wood framing was in fantastic condition, a testament to the shake roof and the great job it did protecting the structure for over 30 years. 

The roof needed to come off completely prior to the house moving as it was an addition to the structure after the fact and was too tall to transport. The family will rebuild the roof over the house once its in place on the new property. 

They found this cedar shake that told us the roof was added in 1976 (the house was put on the property in 1973) and the shakes came from local trees and were hand split by the original owners. Every shake was removed and transported to the new property. They will use them for the chicken coop roof and some other applications. You can no longer have a wood roof in California, fire hazard.

Kyle and I also removed the back deck and front porch that were added onto the house. These were not as good construction though we have salvaged all the decent wood from these for use as shoring on the new house and a temporary deck around the camper we are living in till the house is complete.

The interior of the house is comprised of wood walls and ceilings. It was quite a feat of work and must have taken ages to complete. The walls have sheets of wood that are over 2" thick, 8' tall and up to 4'wide. All this wood was cut and milled on the property so Kyle and I pulled out quite a bit of what we wanted for the new house and can't wait to integrate it into the design in the loft area, doors and kitchen. 

It wasn't easy to remove these pieces, they were on there so well it would have taken an unprecedented act of Mother Nature to tear them down, or Kyle and I. We had to be so careful so as not to damage the existing walls or crack the wood - NOT EASY. It took up to an hour to remove one panel, we tweaked, used crow bars, made wedges out of 2x4, tried to pop nail heads just to list a few techniques we used to get these puppies off. And they weigh a TON. Now starts my fun of pulling all those nails out of the boards.....hours of enjoyment in front of me. The wood we left will be used by the family and they have some great ideas for it as a built in dining room and some other tricks up their sleeves.

Its great to know that just about all the parts of this house will be re-used and so little has gone to waste. It also makes you think hard about how you construct a house and the products you use. There is some real junk out there that doesn't last and results in some terrible waste.

The final pieces to the removal include demoing the front concrete pathway (hopefully give that away on Craigslist), cutting power and water to the structure and then at the last minute splitting it in two for transport. Both Kyle and I and the family can't wait to get it situated in its new home so that they have a house and we can jump into starting our foundation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Love with Two Wheels

I just came across this stunning reno - its a 1954 Airstream (drool in itself) that has been completely renovated by Timeless Travel Trailers for Orvis and is being auctioned off.

Check this shizz out -

It includes reclaimed wood floors, calico hickory veneer siding, leather upholstered seating, all aluminum (that's Al-U-min-ium for the Brits) shower, flat screen TV and blue ray, and a wine rack. SOLD!

You can see more stunning pics HERE and if you have a spare $100k, take a bid, hey its for charity.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Difficulty of "Giving" Away a Home

So as we teeter on the brink of breaking ground one of the last and major hurdles is to magically get rid of our lovely current abode seen here - (sans the drill rig)

After an ad went up on Craigslist the first time - 17 calls in 10 minutes had me pulling it down IMMEDIATELY and quite excited about the interest. It seemed that the world wanted a free home and that we would have no trouble getting rid of it.

Enter - Stupid Humans. Sorry, that might be harsh but honestly, people don't think when they see FREE, they just react, engage brain and common sense later.

So here is my ad: 
We are looking to give away a 1972 Arctic Mobile Home La Cruz Double Wide

It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, extra room, laundry room. Kitchen includes full cabinets, dishwasher and oven. Bathrooms include all facilities. 
It measures 60X24
We will remove the roof, porch and deck prior to moving so it can travel.

Not sure where I went wrong with the wording and I had to reread it a few times to make sure I hadn't inadvertently said RV, on-site etc...

Here is an example of some gems we got in response to the ad, I weeded out the ones that were so hopped on some kind of drug that their messages sounded like they were 2yo:

Respondent 6: Yeh, I am interested in the home for free.....details, details.....Oh, I need land to put it on? Okay, never mind!!!
Yes, you need somewhere to put a 60x24' HOUSE - its not an RV!

Rsepondent 8: Will it fit on my 20ft trailer and can I move it in one trip?
Ummmm, its 60ft LONG - don't think 20ft trailer will do it and its 24ft wide, you would take up the ENTIRE road, doubt the county is gonna like that.

Respondent 12: Hi, I am interested in your double wide mobile home.
Huh, what, where am I, what mobile home, Uhhhhh, its 5:02AM on a Thursday morning, why on earth are you calling me NOW!
Well, can you take my number and call me back with more information about it?
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even find my feet let alone pen at this hour.

Respondent 13: Why are you removing the roof?
Don't think our neighbors will be thrilled with losing power as you drive down the road with a 20ft tall house tearing out the power and phone lines as it goes and you better hope there isn't a tunnel on that route to your place.

It will never cease to amaze me the ability of man to miss so many obvious logistical issues when reading an ad.