Dianne's Construction Page 2

May 23 & 24

To offset some of the insulation costs I applied for a rebate under the utility's "Power Smart" program. According to their form I was eligible for just over $2,000 in rebates
which they arbitrarily reduced to $1,500. While trying to get a justification for the adjustment from the utility I decided I may as well get "an energy audit" done ($280) to be eligible for federal grant money as well. The earliest date I could get for an audit was June 4.

In the mean time, since I needed a wider gate to get the crawler up to the house for excavating and since the frost had heaved my existing gate posts nearly a foot (!!) I decided to build a "floating gate", one that sits atop the ground rather than relying on conventional posts.
 I had done one year ago that was successful but it was 36" wide and 8' high - the new gate would be 10 feet wide and 10 feet high!

The top and bottom timbers are 4x6x16 PWF, the uprights are PWF 4x4x10, the diagonal braces and ties are 2x4 PWF on both sides. Since the top of the gate would be 10 feet above grade, I primed and painted the top of the structure before standing it up. Sometimes I DO think ahead! ;)
The frame is substantially HEAVY - the little dozer and ropes were used to stand the gate up so I could finish priming the lower part.

A trench was dug and leveled so the bottom 4x6 would sit flush with the ground and with a little jury-rigging the crawler was used to lift the gate into the trench.
(Jury-rigging was necessary since the crawler's reach was about 6" less than the height of the gate!)

With the gate in position, the 4x4 braces were added and pinned to the ground.

 There were supposed to be 4 conductors buried along the bottom 4x6: 115V 'cab tire' for the lights, a high voltage insulated conductor for the electric fence (to convey the fencer charge to the other side of the gate), a bare ground wire that bonds the stock wire on each side of the gate, and a doorbell wire but I couldn't find the @$#%$ roll of bell wire so it will be added later :(

The coach lights and wiring were fastened in place and rest of the structure was give its first coat of paint. The second coat will be added after I find the bell wire!

A "simple little job" ended up taking nearly two and a half days and isn't quite done - the door bell wire needs to be added and the coach lights aren't weather-proof to the surface mount boxes - but at least it is secure (for the dog) and the fence is re-energized. No problem getting ANYTHING up to the house now and frost heave should be a thing of the past.

I wonder if I could persuade my iron-worker friend to do me a nice scroll-work to sit atop that top 4x6? ;)

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