Thursday, January 14, 2010

It Worked

On Tuesday and Wednesday I was heartened because I made it up the last 1/2 mile to my house without needing to use 4-wheel drive (in a 5,000 pound truck!).  So Wednesday night I dug the car out, ran it for an hour and decided to risk driving the car to work on Thursday.  The road is snow-covered for about 1/2 mile and dry for about 24-1/2 miles of my commute.

I was a little concerned because I didn't really have a backup plan if the car couldn't make it up the hill.  Maybe park it at the bottom and walk up?  I made that walk ONCE, shortly after I moved in.  In good weather, it took 45 minutes and I had to stop many times to rest.  Leave the car until spring?  Maybe.  But spending $50 for gas every 200 miles (about 3-4 days) made it worth the risk.  The car costs about $25 for gas every 250 miles.

I took the risk (risk-taker that I am) and for those of you that read the title, you know what happened.  Yay.

The log skidder is a bit of a mystery.  I think it has a bad battery and they bring it down so they can plug it in to start it. Yesterday I came home and the loggers had helpfully shoveled some, including clearing in front of the shed.  I wish they hadn't bothered.  The shed door doesn't open in the winter.  A rock heaves up when the ground freezes, blocking the door.  I knew that, but they didn't.  I'm planning on changing the door from a standard door to a sliding barn door, so it won't matter how high that rock goes.  I priced the hardware for that last week.  Expensive.


  1. Jordan, re your shed door.....

    I have a very similar problem in VT. My FRONT door won't open in the winter, because the frost heave is so great that it messes up something in the lock. First time, I paid a whole lot to a locksmith who spent a lot of time getting it open (hacking away at it after all else failed).

    Second time, year later, new lock, same problem, and I'm smarter. Go in the BACK door (which I couldn't last year because I bolted it). The back door is on a screened back porch with a roof over it.

    When I was getting estimates yesterday, the carpenter (who I called because he did work for previous owners and knows my house), walked around and showed me many more problems from frost heaves.

    It has something to do with the ground/soil. It is clay and rock, and harder. In some places the frost raises the ground several inches!!

    I'm sure there are answers, like giving the area protection. I bet this is the kind of problem where you have expertise!

  2. I don't know what to do about frost heave. Did the carpenter-guy say anything? Thankfully, the only place it makes a visible difference, there's a pretty easy work-around (change the door to a sliding door). I wonder why nobody thought of it in the last 50 years, they've been cutting off the bottom of the door so it goes around the rock. What work are you having done?

  3. I learned it fast from the front door experience, but the carpenter pointed out that when I enclosed the crawl space, a do-it-yourself project, the space I left for frost heave wasn't enough!! (The frost heave makes the crawl space walls bow out a bit.)

    The carpenter built my front porch for a previous owner. He put the stairs off the porch on hinges, so that the stairs could move with the frost without damaging them.

    It is all related to the heavy soil. I also noticed the soil retains a lot of water, so I am thinking it is the frozen water that raises the ground.

    I got estimates for taking six trees down, for putting up a split rail fence, for enclosing the crawl space the right way, with frost in mind, and replacing four windows.

    I don't know about the front door, and will put solving it off until I ever live there year round, when I would probably have the door open some day and not be able to close it. For now, I just use the back door in the winter.

    When the carpenter is here, I will ask about the front door.