Projects

By peterm95018, 13 January, 2024

I got into home automation with an environment known as SmartThings when I read about them on Kickstarter back in 2013. As you can read here, over the years we went from just SmartThings with its proprietary UI and migrated towards Apple Homekit in our ever expanding home Applesphere.

We've finally abandoned SmartThings in favour of Hubitat Elevation. My objective was to get better and more consistent behaviour from our Zwave devices using Apple Siri voice commands.

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By peterm95018, 7 January, 2024

In April 2022 we started to sense the septic system wasn’t working quite right. We had pooling water in the leach field and the accompanying smell.

Since it had only been 10 years since we had faced this situation we thought, it can’t be. Yeah, well, it was. In the picture below you can see a whole drilled into the line that has roots that have filled the line.

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By peterm, 22 November, 2023

In late 2021, we began a terrace project to our lower hillside. We had come to find through a property survey that we had approximately 100' of slope to manage. In an effort to comply with Firewise principles (brush cutting, defensible space), we figured that grading, retaining and adding astroturf would give us more space for kids and dog training. Along the way, we built in some additional steps and planter boxes.

The project finished just prior to the Winter of 2023 and the heavy rainfall we had. We some minor damage to gravell paths but that's fixable.

Here's some shots.

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By peterm, 7 May, 2018

At some point in our home remodeling project, we were about to lose our concrete guy due to weather. It was a El Nino year, so of course we were grading and pouring during the winter! 

So we got a thought. Instead of losing our concrete guys, maybe we should expand our scope. So we had them grade what was already a pretty flat and unused section of side yard and pour a 20x20 pad. We figured at some point we'd install a greenhouse.

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By peterm, 8 March, 2018

As part of the exterior remodeling, we added 2 tanks to the house to capture water for yard use. We get our water from the stockholders membership, but we’re on wells that can run low during drought.

Our approach was to drop in a flat 2000 gal tank under the deck as the primary source. We fill this tank with the downspouts from about 1/4 of our roof. It only takes 1-2 rains to fill this tank up.

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By peterm, 7 June, 2015

Going through these hundreds of snapshots, I'm reminded about some of our design principlles in going from the old house to new house. No 70's wallpaper, no vinyl floor patterns, easy cat cleanup, no electric range, no brown tile, no clutter, no slipping on bricks, no dark woods, no carpet, filtered air, filtered water, better and more lighting. 

Even the cats got a new wall library out of the deal.

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By peterm, 7 June, 2015

After we moved the propane tank, we knew we wante to stop using the wood burning stove and the old fireplace was never utilized. So, we did a fireplace insert with gas and we've never regretted it. I've updated the thermostat to work with our home automation tools and we can heat the front room in 10-15 mins.  We used Woodstove and Sun and we'll use them again for the firepit supplies when that project gets scoped.

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By peterm, 5 June, 2015

After the septic was replaced and hillsides graded and a lot of brush removed, Ken suggested we hydroseed to protect the open hillside. This gave ua a great bloom of wildflowers and grass.

What was surprising was that Morgan Karst of Superior Hydroseeding was someone I went to high school with.

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By peterm, 5 June, 2015

We did a lot of work on grading projects with Ken Clausing of A+ Construction. He and his crew replaced our septic lines, removed a lot of brush, graded a swale, graded a place for the propane tank, removed stumps and gave us lots of good advice for mountain livin'.

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By peterm, 6 May, 2015

The failed septic system in late May 2012, got us started on a number of projects. Ken Clausing of A+ Construction was nice enough to come up that day. This is the project that started it all...

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