Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Support Costs and Advertising

When I started this blog exactly 2-1/2 years ago, I thought it would be a place for me to collect my thoughts, express and debate my point of view, and generally document my experiences while I designed and built a energy efficient home.

The experience has blown me away, and I cannot believe the response.  I look forward to the messages I receive weekly from some of the readers.  I also appreciate the silent majority that are in the shadows but stop by regularly.  I was amazed when after only 1 year I had 1000 visits.  I am blown away that a short 1-1/2 year later we are over ten thousand hits and I am averaging 1000+ hits a month.

Right from the beginning, I made a decision to not monetize this blog.  I did not want my readers to be bombarded with adds.  I want the hyperlinks present to be those I added - not Google. At the same time, the costs to host the content featured in this blog are starting to add up and I would like to do even more, but I really cannot afford to divert the funds away from the build.  Between websites, cameras, and camera hosting, I have spent over $6K to date and that will start to climb as the volume of content increases and I exceed both my broadband and hosting bandwidth.  I just had to upgrade to a higher Shaw 'business' service because I was exceeding my monthly bandwidth.

SO - I have made the decision to accept donations from those who feel so moved to provide.  You will see the donate button at the top right of my blog.  Any amount, no matter how small is appreciated and if you are not moved to donate - no worries - the blog will continue for your enjoyment.  I will use this money to pay my monthly hosting and camera costs and to improve the camera service.

If you do not have a Paypal account just click the  continue bottom to use any credit card.

Thank you in advance for any of your generosity!

Monday, 26 May 2014

10,000 + Hits

WOW!  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that my measly efforts to document one persons quest to build a sustainable house would receive such a large and wide audience.

I am humbled and encouraged by your support and interest.


Friday, 9 May 2014

Working Through a Braced Wall Panel and the Cost to Protect Trees

Earlier in the week my engineer discovered a design blunder I had made on one of my Braced Wall Bands.  I had not ensured that I had a Panel starting within 2.4m of the band edge.

You can read about my fix on the Project Journal

In the meantime, I received two quotes to provide stabilization to my excavation bank around two sets of trees using driven anchors and shotcrete.  One was $30K and the other up to $45K!  I just about had a cow!!!  This is well outside my budget and is not going to work for me.

So I will need to come up with other solutions and will possible need to take down one tree (unpopular choice with me, my wife, and the neighbours).  I will work with the arborist during the air spading to see if we can get any closer to the trees without disturbing structural roots.

For the south elevation, the worst case scenario is that I will need to stabilize the bank using large concrete blocks (2.5' x 2.5' x 5').  I am told this would cost a few thousand. For the NW corner tree, my only option will be to use the blocks.  But this will only be possible if there is no structural roots where the blocks would need to go.  We would need to excavate within 1.5' of one side of the tree if we are going to be able to place these blocks there.  Otherwise, I will need to take down this lovely tree :-(    I will only find out once excavation starts.

In the meantime, I work to empty out the house and start the deconstruction.

Thanks for visiting.