I am aware that there has not been a whole lot of pretty in this blog lately. Those magical and satisfying aftershots, with their inspiring condensation of the nitty-gritty, have been really lacking. I wish it were otherwise, because believe me, it feels like a shitstorm of drudgery on the house project front around here.
All I've been doing for months on end it seems is painting and tearing up my yard, and I've got a lot of loose end projects that I haven't finished-finished yet either. I do aim to have this blog reflect reality, however, so I guess there you have it.
And when I say I'm tearing up the yard, I really mean it.
The hot tub project is moving forward, at what feels like a snail's pace. My plumber is installing a new gas line for the boiler, he actually has to upgrade my whole system because the hot tub heater requires a massive 400,000 BTUs and my current pipe diameter cannot accommodate that along with the other systems I have in the house. For those of you who care about the technical shit, he's installing a 2" pipe, and that is the inside dimension, so it looks and is massive.
The gas line will come out from through the foundation and travel underground to the retaining wall. From there, in order to spare the Thuja roots, we're running it low along the retaining wall, to the shed, where it dips back underground. The heating unit will be by the shed.
Digging trenches is vicious work. Oliver and I dug ours in order to save money and to be in charge of our own destiny. It took a couple of weekend afternoons.
Here's the gist of it. Code requires 18" under grade. That's pretty deep folks. This photo is actually only our preliminary dig. The trench had to be widened by about 8" because it has to accommodate the gas line and two pvc water lines -carrying water to and from the boiler. Thankfully I already have a 220 volt/50 amp electrical box installed by the shed from the original construction, so I don't also have to trench for that.
"Digging ditches" is really a misnomer. One doesn't just put a shovel to the ground and spoon out the dirt, at least not in my geographic reality. Where I'm located in San Francisco, digging actually means hammering away at the packed rock with a pickaxe and then scooping it out with a shovel. This is especially true because my yard was already excavated out of a sloping hill to make it flat, with only a foot or so of topsoil added back.
All I can say is, Oy vey. My hands are killing me.