Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 10 of Construction

Our horse facility at our new house is just a few inches shy of being complete.  The contractor ran out of material to finish capping the point of the roof, but will be back to finish it when he picks up his tractor.

We were over $7,000 over budget and 4 days past the original time estimate to complete the project thanks to the county permit and inspection process.  The guys almost made it through the entire job without breaking anything, but ended up running over my extra-long industrial strength water hoses, squashing the metal connector on one hose and tearing the rubber away from the metal on the other.  The contractor knocked a few dollars off my bill to help cover the cost to replace them, which I appreciated, because the majority of contractors who worked jobs at my old house and broke things refused to take responsibility for their mistakes, leaving me to handle the cost and/or time to do the repairs.

I've got a 12-foot gate at the end of the barn aisle to deliver hay to the horses...

And another 12-foot gate next to the barn leading into the paddock.  Tall trucks delivering footing materials can come through here...

The gate latches are bars that lift up...

...and then slide to the left.

I know Bombay or Lostine will figure out how to wrap their lips around the top, pull back and slide, so I'll be wrapping chains around the posts just to be safe.  If the horses got out at my old house, they were still blocked from getting loose in the neighborhood by a second gate.  However, if they get loose here, off they go.  I'm not taking any chances.

My son and I picked up some wooden pallets at the feed store to set the hay on.  I'll still need to get a few more pallets to set some bales on outside of the hay barn since I'm not planning on climbing to the top of the stack each time I need a few slices to feed them.  But there's time for that later.

In Nevada, I started out buying wooden pallets at the feed store until I found a building supply company that had much better, stronger pallets for free, and they practically begged me to take them off their hands.  I was angry with the feed store in Nevada because they charged me something ridiculous like $6 a pallet and then loaded a bunch of broken pallets into the back of my truck.  They didn't work at all in holding up a ton of hay, so I had to pay more money to take them to the dump.

Because of that experience, I was hesitant to buy pallets at the feed store here in Arizona, but they only charged me $2 a pallet and were really nice about digging through the stack until they found nine of them that were whole and with no breaks.

I brought some bales of hay from Nevada and they've been sitting in my horse trailer for the past two months.  I'm waiting for it to cool off enough this evening to move the hay bales out of the trailer onto the pallets in the hay shed.  This feels like the hottest day yet because the humidity has risen, and everything you touch burns.  Last night we got a lot of wind and a little bit of rain, followed by a rainbow.  I just sat in the rain and enjoyed it.

I'm also waiting for it to cool down so that I can clear rocks and nails out of the stalls without passing out from heat exhaustion.  Even in the shade it's amazingly hot.  It feels like I'm being cooked in a frying pan.

I don't know how the construction crew managed to work several hours each day in jeans and long sleeved shirts. They are obviously acclimated and in better shape than I am in.

While the horse facility was my big present for the year, (believe me, I do not expect anything for my birthday or Christmas this year after getting this work done), my husband wanted to get rid of our old, bulky standard TV and replace it with an HD flat screen LCD TV.  (We got that before we were totally aware of all the extra costs for the barn.)  Anyway, it meant switching from a standard receiver to a high definition receiver.  I called DirecTV to arrange the exchange.

I expected them to send someone out, but instead they shipped the HD receiver to us and want us to ship the standard receiver back.  I just happened to be walking past the front door and saw a vehicle in our driveway.  I quickly ran outside before someone could knock or ring the doorbell and make my dogs go nuts.  The FedEx guy handed me a box and walked off.  I looked at the name, and it wasn't for us.  I called out to him and said he had the wrong address.

He said no, he had the right address.  (Sigh.  I'm so tired of people arguing with me.  I should know my own name.)  He pointed at the number on the box and then at the number on my house.  He was right... sort of.  He had the right house number, but the wrong street.  He found my box and we made the trade.  I was so glad that I caught the guy, because he admitted that he was just going to leave the wrong box on my doorstep.  Then I would have had to hassle with calling FedEx to explain their mistake.

However, I didn't totally escape all hassles, because DirecTV did not include the return label in my box.  The customer service rep said that might happen, and if it does, to "just call them" and they will ship another return label to me.  My attitude is why should I have to take time out of my busy day to endlessly punch buttons on a phone in an attempt to get a hold of a live person and correct someone else's mistake?  They only give you a few days to return your old equipment before they charge you for it, so I'm sure this will not be the end of the mishaps.  I have never had communications with a communications company go smoothly.  Ironic, isn't it?


Reddunappy said...

The barn looks great!!!!

can a make a small suggestion,

Replace the pallets with concrete as soon as you can. Looks like a prime hiding spot for rattlesnakes!!
But I dont live there.

Just trying to keep you safe!!!!

Glad you did catch that Fedex guy!!

Mikey said...

Reddunappy said what I was thinking. Watch yourself with those pallets and rattlers. I have pallets here and there and so far haven't had a problem, but I'm always looking...
Barn looks great, you've got excellent shade there. Your horses will appreciate it!! Glad it's just about done and you can get your horses in there.
I'm also jealous you got rain. We are dying on this side of the valley. I'm planting more trees along my horse pasture this year. We haven't had rain of any substance in 3 yrs now. I'm about to go insane.
I hear you with DTV too. I went thru the same thing recently, had to replace 2 receivers. They told me the same thing, I had to send my old ones back. But they never sent me any box or labels or anything. I haven't sent them back and they haven't charged me for them...yet. They are a hassle to deal with.

sydney K said...

How come the hay barn doesn't come down to the ground? When it monsoons there won't your hay get wet? I agree about the snakes though, might be a bad place. Also since I was just putting this on my lawn the stuff called sevin kills and repels scorpions and is pretty cheap. We are using it for fleas and ticks.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Believe me, I'm always on the look out for rattlesnakes.

sydney K - I took direction from the contractor on the design of the hay barn. I too thought any hay below the walls would get wet, but he said you really only have to worry about water getting into the top of the stack. If water hits the sides, the air is hot enough most days that the hay should dry out right away. We used to cover our haystacks with tarps that did not cover the bottom of the stack, and dozens of snowstorms and rainstorms coated the bottom bales, but they did dry out and didn't mold since they only got hit on the sides with moisture. However, if the hay sat directly on the ground or we did not clean out the pallets, then water soaked up from the bottom of the stack and the bottom row did mold.

Reddunappy said...

Your lucky, the dry air there!!

If I left a bale outside, under cover, but with no walls here, the mist would make it mold.
Everything molds or grows moss here!! Including our vehicles!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I was going to ask the same question that Sydney did. I'm sure the contractor has a point, but if it were me, I'd have added the extra panels to the bottom for the added protection. It can't hurt right? Why take the chance that you could get moldy hay?
And when hay gets rained on, some of the nutrients can get washed away, too.

Another thing I was thinking of is if you brought the panels all the way down, you could also add a solid gate for the entrance, which would keep out all of the snakes, bunnies and other critters.

The horse barn is looking awesome. Could you store some hay in that extra 4th stall for feeding the horses?


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Reddunappy - That's an interesting regionalism I wasn't aware of. I think most people, if they've lived somewhere a long time, just work out a routine and don't think about the types of challenges a newcomer to the area would face and might be unaware of. Moisture can be pretty destructive.

Lisa - I'm sorry you don't like my hay barn. I think the air flow is just as important as keeping water off the top of the stack. The front would always be open, and the winds blow rain from all directions, so you can't avoid the rain unless you store hay deep inside a large building. A solid gate at the front probably wouldn't keep the wildlife out since everything around here digs underground and/or climbs. Most of the hay barns I've seen around here don't have sides at all. More paneling and frame would have cost more money that I don't have. I'm lucky I got any hay barn at all. I was originally going to use the fourth stall to store hay, but didn't want the horses snatching at it through the metal panels.

lilyrose said...

The barn looks great! I hear ya about the gates. My guys are houdinis too. :) I bought some short lengths of chain at the hardware store and put clasps on them to wrap around my gates too. It's pretty bad how difficult all the cable/tv companies are to deal with.

Cut-N-Jump said...

I agree with getting the concrete underneath, but all things in due time and as money allows. The sides don't need to come all the way to the ground as several here have said. Keeping the top of the hay stack dry is important and the bottom up off the ground for the same reason. Otherwise you are good to go.

The long sleeves- it keeps the sun off your arms. As you sweat and the material gets wet soaking it up- the slightest breeze turns your shirt into a personalized evaporative cooler. Besides, it also keeps the sun from beating directly on your skin, preventing skin cancer without sunscreen. Why do you think the people in the middle east cover up so? Lighter colors reflect the heat too.

achieve1dream said...

It all looks so awesome!!!! I can't wait to see the horses on it. :D I bet they love it!