Why I built a Holz Hausen Wood Pile (A circular wood pile)

We have always stacked our wood on landscape timbers and cement blocks without any issues.  But living in the city we bought a half a cord at a time at the most.  That amount of wood would last a couple of winters, since we only used it for ambiance and not warmth.

Log-Splitter Required

We had some mulch delivered that came with “some logs” and we have had to fell a couple of trees and suddenly we had a couple of cords of wood.  I decided to buy a log-splitter to take care of it all.

Squirrels Attack

Our new fireplace is huge to look at, but actually has a very small firebox.  So the old style wood stack wasn’t working for us.  The squirrels were making the wood fall and we were afraid of the whole thing coming down.

Internet Search Begins

I started looking on the internet for some ideas and came across the Holz Hausen method that is used across Europe.  It looks so neat and tidy and quite frankly, just looks freaking awesome.  I thought I would give it try.

The advantages that I read are:

  • The logs are slanted inward, so the water runs off and keeps the wood drier.
  • It cures faster due to the chimney effect
  • Can use different lengths of wood to build
  • Will stay neat looking as you use the wood
  • It is strong and won’t fall down (I have verified that so far)
  • You can build it tall

    A Holz Hausen Wood Pile, the European style of stacking wood.

Please watch the video for more details.

 

Log Splitter

Yardmax Log Splitter

When you buy a new property you plan for many expenses.  You also know that you will have unexpected expenses and the log splitter was of those.  We had a dozen or so trees on the property that had to come down before they fell during a storm and hit a car or building.  But luckily they were punky wood and we were able to use them in the raised bed garden.  But one of the things that we found easy to do in the city was call up tree trimming companies and have them drop off their shredded “trash” that we could use around the house instead of buying mulch.  Free!  Is isn’t as pretty as what you buy, but we used so much in our landscaping,  that we just didn’t care.  We would buy a couple of pretty bags to put on top to finish it off.  But the thick layer was down and free.

When we moved out here, we knew we needed lots and lots of mulch to help amend our sand.  I started calling around and didn’t find many companies that would deliver out here in the boonies.  I needed some immediately to help fill in my garden bed and put around the beds to make them look nice.  So I had to go buy my first load.

Free Wood

Then I got lucky and and found someone who would deliver a load to me, free.  But he said it would have some logs included.  No problem.  We have a fireplace.  We have a fire pit.  Bring it on out.

Wood for the new log splitter

We need a log splitter: NOW!

We did a little bit of research and decided that we needed a 27 ton splitter.  When we went to buy it, they didn’t offer it in our area, so we got a Yard Max 28 ton for the same price that we were looking at.   As we told you about in out mower article, you cannot get an 18 wheeler down our driveway.  We met the truck on road.  He put the crate in our pickup and we brought it out to the barn area.  When you order one of these off season and get it delivered, you have to assemble it.  It will take at least 2 or 3 men to put this thing together.  It is not difficult, it is just heavy and unwieldy to handle.

Looking forward to winter!

We got a beautiful load of mulch and a ton of wood.  Lots of wood.  We have split about 3 cords of wood from our first delivery.  We need lots more mulch so we are expecting more wood.  This log splitter makes it so easy to do.

From this stack of Wood

The above stack of wood become the stack below!

Wood Pile from Log Splitter

Wood Pile from Log Splitter

The Lawn Mower

Cub Cadet

We moved from a zero lot line house where we had landscaped away ALL the grass, every last blade!  We had gotten rid of all our lawn equipment.  And here are with 20 acres.  Now granted, we are going to have to either have someone come in an mow and bale most of it, but still there are two yards and the perimeter areas that need to be kept up regularly.  So it became very obvious that one of our first major purchases was going to have to be a riding lawn mower.

Google Map Your Land!

Thank goodness for google maps.  We were able to look at our property and see exactly how much of our land is pond, buildings, forest, pasture and what we need to mow ourselves.  In our case, we have about 3 acres that we need to mow.

Research

I started researching mowers in the 3 acre category.  We needed a 22 to 24 HP 48 to 50 inch deck.  While a 0 turn radius would have been nice, there are just too many other items on our need list to justify to added expense.  So we went with the regular 16 inch turn radius mower.  I read all the reviews.  And I have to tell you, they were all over the place and I never really found a truly consistent  review on anything.

24 HP Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 Hydrostatic Transmission

I finally, just had to make a decision and based on the best I could find vs price etc, decided on the 24 HP Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 with Hydrostatic Transmission.  50 inch Deck.  Went with the little bit bigger on since we are the upside of the sized property and want it to last as long as possible.

Delivery

Life in the country is different than the city, when it come to deliveries.   Our house is at the back of the property and it is a quarter of a mile of dirt road to the house.  The turn into the drive isn’t an easy one.  We have to leave the gate open when FedEx or UPS is expected.  The mailman will not drive up to the house except under extreme duress!  UPS delivers after 7pm!

 

We bought the mower from the local Big Box store and they did not have it in stock so it had to be delivered. We knew the 18 wheeler could not make the turn up our road.  We were in touch with dispatch and were waiting by the mailbox when the driver arrived.  He took the mower off the truck with his lift and there we were.  A mower on two separate pallets on the side of the road.

 

NO DIRECTIONS!

There were no directions included on how to remove the mower from the pallets and honestly, I can’t tell you an easy way to do.  You just have to dis-assemble the pallet and push it off.

First Drive

But we have a video of us putting all stuff you have to put on the mower and taking our first drive.

Cub Cadet on the Ranch

 

5 Reasons Why We Had Our Shed Built

Chemical Storage

One of our first planned expenses was a shed or storeroom for chemicals.  We don’t believe it is safe to keep paint, fertilizer, etc in the same area that we build things.  Also, we run a business out of our home that uses chemicals, so we have more than the average person.  Building a chemical storage building was our first priority once we got moved in.

Research|Research|Research

I did extensive internet research on the type of building I needed.  Some of our chemicals cause metal to rust so anything that had metal was out.  This included plastic premade sheds since they are fitted together with metal.  We decided that a good old fashion wood building was our best bet.  I first priced out the local big box and building it ourselves.  I looked at prefab online.  I also saw an ad for a local company that would build on site.  The build on site was just a couple of hundred bucks more than my son and I “DYI”ing it.

The “Build On Site” Won

these are the reason why we are really happy with the results:

1.  Quick turnaround.

2.  Price.  As I watched them build, I realized I had not actually calculated the whole price to build it myself.  I forgot many of the small items that would have added up.

3.  Freed our time to work on other projects.  As we watched, we figured it would have taken us a good two weekends as we probably would have tried to “reinvented the wheel” on too many things.

4.  Well built by experienced workmen.

5.  Level.  This may seem minor, but we ended up building on a slope.  Their experience here ended up being VERY important.

Truth in Advertising

I called to order, expecting that perhaps the ad was going to be deceptive and there would be a lot of add ons or a horribly long wait time.  Neither proved to be true.  I ordered and it was built within a week.

New Shed

New Shed at The Chicken Poop

Side View of Shed

Side View of Shed

Shed matches the barn

Shed matches the barn

Five Hours in 28 Seconds

We did a time lapse video of the shed being built.  It took two men five hours from the time they drove on the property to when they left.    Everything was done on site.  We were very impressed.

Hope you enjoy the video.

The Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop Up-Sized!

The coop is inside the barn/stable.  We do not plan on ever having horses, so we use the barn for storage.  It also seemed like the perfect place for the girls to be safe and warm.  So the run is built right outside of the barn with an automatic door leading out.

Chicken Coop in stable being secured against predators

Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes in New Chicken Coop

We are planning on about a dozen chickens, so I built 6 nesting boxes (in case we get more).  Probably way too many, but its easier to build them all at once then to add more later.  It is a simple wood build using materials that I had on hand.

Roosting Bar

I built the roosting bars out of 2 x 4  wood.  The girls will sit on  4 inch wood so their feet will be flat and covered from below. This keeps their feet warm.  I built the roosting bar on a hinge so I can lift it up to clean.  Under the roost I built a poop hammock that I can remove and take out to clean.

Roosting Bar with hinge to lift and clean. Poop hammock attached for easy cleaning.

The Floor

The floor was covered in wood shavings, but that is so dusty, I will remove that and cover it with sand.  This removes that dust and makes it easy to clean up with a kitty scoop.

New Chicken Coop in the Barn

New Chicken Coop in the Barn

Hope you enjoy the tour