the Tire Bale house project


June 2012 -

We never did like the way the front turned out after having it stuccoed, so we decided to cover it with the many rocks we dig up during the excavation.

We discovered that the stucco guys cut many holes in the vapor barrier when they put the stucco on and we had water leaking into the house as a result. Last Fall we patched as many holes as we could find and then covered the south tire bales with a roof underlayment called "Guardian". It's very thick and similar to "Grace Ice and Water Shield" only it has a fabric on the top side. Really nice stuff. Then we put paper roofing felt over that as a sacrificial covering so the "Guardian" would not get ruined over winter. On top of all that, we put "chicken wire" stucco netting so the mortar can get a grip.



We started laying rocks in a thick bed of concrete. We can't make a real footer here like we probably should because the french drain is directly underneath. Now we are building up the layers. We are just finished layer seven. We've been playing with larger rocks for the top flatter part (you can see a few rocks in the right picture under the window in the corner). We wanted to get most or all of it done by the time it got too cold for the mortar to harden properly. It was obvious that wouldn't happen, so we had to stop at the beginning of November and turn our efforts to working on the inside electrical. Approximately 850-900 rocks fit and mortared in these pictures. The plan is to stack and mortar the rocks along the front of the tire bales and across the top so that when we need to maintain the windows, a ladder won't hurt the stucco. More to come about this...


Black Bear

July 28, 2012

It's not unusual to have black bears roaming this area, but with this year's drought, there are more sightings than usual. The local newspaper has several reports each week. There just isn't enough food to support all the critters so they come looking around houses. The deer have devastated our hummingbird garden (fortunately it's coming back), plus we added another fence to our four foot fence making it eight feet high. That should help. Now we've got the black bears coming around in search of garbage, bird feeders, or whatever they can get their paws on. We take the hummingbird feeders in at night and keep the trash in a shed. Still they come around looking. This rather large black bear was at our gate at 7:30PM on July 28, 2012.


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