The Next (and Last) Phase of Work for Cottage East For the Year

Some day, heck maybe it will be today, I’ll sit back and wonder WHY I let codes violations bully me into spending money I should have spent on Cottage West getting it functional instead of just trying to make Codes happy.

After all, it is perfectly acceptable for the maniac down the street to have open gaping holes in his roof, for more than six years now. Any time a report is opened on him, it is magically closed again a few months later. Meanwhile, his house degrading, degrades the rest of the neighborhood. Worse, if it continues, it will cause so much damage to the structure that it won’t be able to be saved. It could collapse on him, even kill him, just because Codes goes after the people they think have money while ignoring those who they assume don’t.

Have I mentioned that we have tried to get him a new roof, for free, TWICE? And each time it has ended with him threatening the person who came to assess his house and see if he qualified for the program.

I’ll step off my soapbox, though, and concentrate on what I CAN change, and that is simply the properties we own, namely Cottage East and West, with our own home sandwiched in between.

Now that we have a utility trailer and a big Ford Expedition capable of pulling it, we will be alternating loads of logs (from trees we have had cut down) with construction debris, like what currently occupies the backyard of Cottage East.

As we put the finishing touches on Cottage West, we have one last step for Cottage East – installing a 200 amp box and running power to it, so that we can also install a burglar alarm.

This is important. With an alarm, and monitoring through Alarm Relay, we won’t have to worry about folks breaking into the property and stealing copper wire, doing drugs, or setting fire to the place. This happened to the quadplex behind us. They had just finished work on the electrical system and someone broke in and ended up starting a fire.

Another positive? The rather sloped and lumpy yard will be very smooth right through here by the time they are done!

By the time someone noticed the smoke and called it in, the fire was going at a good clip. It caused significant damage AND the firemen had to hack through the roof. So now it needs a new roof.


Thanks to adding another window (it seemed like a good idea at the time), we couldn’t put the meter where we had planned (something about clearances, et cetera) unless we trenched from the pole to the house. So that extra window? It cost us an extra $2,500 in electrical work.

That’s a deep trench they are digging!

It’s stuff like this that catches you sideways and knocks you off-kilter.

I like to look at the positive side of things, though. So here it is. I don’t ever have to worry about tree branches in the back of Cottage East interfering with our electrical connection.

Right along here, from left to right behind the brush pile (after significant trimming of vegetation) is where the fence will go.

Oh, and I lied. There’s still ONE MORE THING TO DO this year. Build the back fence. So that folks stop cutting through the property and helping themselves to building supplies or trying to kick in our back door.

Between that and the long run of around 200 feet in the front we hope to install, we have so much fence to build!

There’s some rule about wires near windows, so this window being here meant we had to take it all underground. [sigh] Live and learn.

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