Sunday, November 27, 2011

BFF 144 Hindsight --> I Got It!!!!

Hindsight? Oh yeah, I got that! I’m wearing bi-focals for all my other sight, but my hindsight just keeps getting better!!!

My house isn’t finished, yet, not even completely dried in, and there are dozens of things that I can now say with all certainty, should have been done differently. That is, now that I know what I know now. I can’t count the times that I’ve said to myself, “If I were going to do this again, which I’m not, I would do this first or not do that at all.”

The outside walls are made from stacked concrete block held together with Surface Bonding Cement. On the outside of that is a layer of Styrofoam, covered with brick. My original plan was to seal up the bottom of the brick part of the wall so that no moisture would come in. That was dumb!!! No matter how water-tight you make a thing, it’s a good idea to have a place at the bottom for the water that does get in, which is what water does, to escape. I knew this. Daddy told me this a long time ago. So the first walls that I did, which fortunately are in the greenhouse, seem to be holding moisture. There was enough time in between that part and the next ones I did to show me the error of my ways. Now, I’m putting weep holes at the bottom of the brick and using gravel to back fill a good part of it. The SBC is reported to be water-proof, but I’m still kind of wishing I’d put some black stuff over that before I laid the brick, but the consequences of that remain to be seen.

And then there are the timbers! I’m still making this part up as I go along. At this point, I know that it’s best to cut them in the fall or the winter. The bark shouldn‘t be left on them to be removed later. Even if they aren’t getting directly rained on, they still need to be waterproofed. If they do get directly rained on enough, no amount of waterproofing will keep them from getting discolored some. And I’m not done yet, so I have the notion I’ll learn some more about that.

Daddy also told me that he hated to use ½” PVC conduit, ’cause it was so hard to put wire into. And I told myself, this isn’t Daddy’s job! Hell, I saved $30 or $40 using ½”. It wasn’t worth it. I struggled with that crap, but now the wire’s in it, and I’m a lot wiser.

That’s what hindsight is for, learning stuff. If we see what we should have done differently, hopefully we’ll know a little better what we should do in the future. Even if it’s not exactly the same situation, hopefully, we’ll be able to apply something we’ve learned from hindsight. Life should be an ongoing learning experience. That’s what growing is all about!


  1. That is how I learned everything...trial and error. Even so, I know your house will be a wonderful success and something that you can be proud of for all the effort, blood, sweat and tears!

    I'm so happy to see you blog again! I know it is necessary for you to work so hard in the good weather, so I miss you, knowing you are progressing and welcome you back when cold weather sets in. It will all be worth it in the end! <3

  2. I missed you too!!! As much as it was important to me to be able to work over the summer, the biggest reason for my absence was my total disenchantment after the Fall of MySpace. I just wasn't ready to jump up and go with the Next Thing right away. Getting in a big-ass hurry is the primo way to screw up. (I learned that from hindsight, too!)

  3. Hindsight is a wonderful way to learn :) I think it is awesome you are building your house. I would love to learn a lot of what goes into building a home--but I have no property to start anything like that. I can only learn by doing repairs on my home--which isn't quite the same thing. Anyway, I know this is something you will be proud of...can't wait to read more!! Cheers, Jenn.

  4. You are a great example of hindsight being a valuable tool. Building what you want by learning what you need. Great blog and I look forward to all the steps ahead!

  5. The difference between a professional and a rookie is.... a pro learns how to fix their mistakes. Sounds like you are pro now :o) I can't think of a single thing I have ever done, that I wouldn't do at least a little different, if I had it to do over.

  6. The list of things I would change is certainly longer, but I've done a few right enough to satisfy. No question, though, I'm a major fan of hindsight.

  7. @Jenn, the best way to learn a thing is to get yourself in the position of having to do it. And NOT jumping up before you start and saying, "I can't." woking on an existing house isn't the same, but you'll be surprised what you can learn by keeping your eyes open when you do it.

    @Jo, thank you! Anyone who can see their screw ups as learning tools is a good example in my book!

    @Wendy, ha ha! I'm not sure I'd say 'pro', but I guess you're welcome to say so!

    @E, This is so not an all inclusive list!!! ha ha

  8. Great post. I think it is so great that you have the fortitude and patience to be so in tune with hindsight. Great job

  9. Thanks, Laura. Learning stuff is THE big passion in my life! I'm not even very picky about what I'm learning. ha ha It's kind of like being a pack rat: "Never know when I might be able to use this."

  10. It is amazing how brilliant we become in hindsight.