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I presented the free Owner-Builder Book to my local library last week. They were delighted to receive the book. The librarian flipped through the contents and some of the sections of the book, and noted that this would be a great addition to the library collection, and would likely be used frequently. She added that she and her husband had built their own house twice - actually doing much of the work themselves.
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Posted by Michael in Huntsville, AL on 3/19/2008 3:45:53 PM

As the previous entry states, a Katabatic Wind is a cold downhill wind.  My house has to be build up on a slope, so there you go on another reason I picked that name.  There is a pretty substantial rock face on the road at my tiny street edge. I am in a cul-de-sac on a weird diamond like lot.  This all adds up to a difficult to reach site (read: expensive driveway) that rewards with a decent view.  I knew when buying the lot that it wouldn't be easy to build on. That is why the lot was affordable and in a good area.

My brother-in-law has began some excavation and rock crushing work for me. This was for me to try to determine where driveway will run before I got plans - as this land dictates the route. Well, some of the limestone boulders were too strong for, what I would call, an average size excavator with a hydraulic hammer. So, getting quotes from the excavation company he works for - and they had done some similar lots in the area - it could be anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000. It's hard to tell on this type of land until you start digging.  That basically would make the house un-affordable.  Well, I could afford the same size house I am in now, but the size is the problem with the current one.

Not wanting to throw in the towel so early (or build up a savings that would allow that kind of excavation cost), I have purchased a Micro-Blaster II from Ezebreak [ micro-blaster.com ].  I deliberated about that or some form of non-explosive demolition agent (Dexpan for one).  I plan to test it out on what I estimate to be a 10-ton limestone boulder. Energy withstanding, I'd like to have before and after shots of the grand destruction. After that, come excavation time, I hope to hire my brother-in-law again to move the dirt.  When he reaches a rock thats too big, I'll come in and crack it. 

Wish me luck!

Posted by Gordon in Elkmont, AL on 5/6/2008

Gordon's Forum Posts: 4
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5/6/2008
I would be curious to hear how that Micro-Blaster works for you.  The kit seems a bit expensive for what you get.  It does sound like it is effective.  And the cost of $2 a charge seems ok.  Maybe if it works for you I can find someone like you to rent it from.

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