Stoned out of my Mind
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Stoned out of my Mind (by DJ [VA]) Mar 25, 2023 10:08 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Ned [AL]) Mar 25, 2023 10:44 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by don [PA]) Mar 25, 2023 11:13 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Richard [MI]) Mar 25, 2023 11:15 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Don [PA]) Mar 25, 2023 11:15 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by small potatoes [NY]) Mar 25, 2023 11:58 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Jason [VA]) Mar 26, 2023 12:20 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Vee [OH]) Mar 26, 2023 5:47 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by MC [PA]) Mar 26, 2023 7:35 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by plenty [MO]) Mar 26, 2023 7:55 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Mar 26, 2023 11:07 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Allym [NJ]) Mar 26, 2023 12:13 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Allym [NJ]) Mar 26, 2023 12:23 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Busy [WI]) Mar 26, 2023 5:16 PM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Robin [WI]) Mar 27, 2023 2:28 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by tryan [MA]) Mar 28, 2023 8:08 AM
       Stoned out of my Mind (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Mar 30, 2023 8:59 AM

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Stoned out of my Mind (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 10:08 PM

Ha! I thought that subject would get your attention! : ).

More accurate to say the stones are driving me mad.

This is a venting post - feel free to ignore it if all has been going well for you & you don't want to lose your good vibe.

If I vent or "complain" to a family member, I get, well why do you buy these houses? If you don't want to deal with it, just sell it. Didn't you know what you were getting into? Don't complain to me - you got what you asked for - don't buy any more! Or other similarly unhelpful comments.

At my house currently being renovated: My intention is to remove all weeds / plants / old roots from dead bushes, etc. along the foundation and have simple grass there instead.

So, I "try" to sink my spade into the soil & hit rocks.

Mind you, there is no naturally-occurring stone around here.

Can't even get a trowel in - without excessive effort. So..... an already somewhat-difficult job has turned into a VERY time-consuming horrible job just because stupid people put stones all around their plants without first putting landscaping fabric down! UGH!!

HOW do they NOT know the stones will sink into the soil & be a Pain in the ##$$ to remove later!? Phew! Now I feel (a little) better : )

Across the entire front of the house. Over 2 buckets full of stones already, & still more to go.

Who cares, just leave them - someone will say. Well, since I want to turn this into a lawn, I'll need to till it, smooth it, and sow grass seed.

Anyone who has ever operated a roto-tiller knows how they are with stones. And there are windows nearby - on the house - that I don't want broken. I don't want the roto-tiller or its operator broken, either. : p

At least I will be able to relocate and use them in the new stone-filled drive- and walk-way.

Also, this is just one thing slowing me down. It seems like all week, I have not been able to accomplish my projects because "things" keep coming up. (eye roll / grimace) So, I have to put off what I want / need to do in order to have things ready for the next job the paid contractors are coming to do. I get off my schedule to be able to keep theirs.

Well, it sure will be a nice place when it's all done! That's what I keep telling myself. This summer I'll be collecting rent and relaxing. : ) Yay!

If you've actually read through all this, can you relate? Anything you want to get off your chest?

Stoned out of my Mind (by Ned [AL]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 10:44 PM

Each time I do a big (to me) rehab (usually it's just $10k-$30k on a 2BR 1BA S/F)...I swear I'm not going to do it again.

What should take weeks takes months.

What should take months takes a year +.

My day job (business) is the excuse I use for letting my rehabs take so long.

But really, it's prolly more a matter of:

~Trying to save $ by doing self or cheap




~Varying from the original plan


~Hiring subgrade subcontractors


Stoned out of my Mind (by don [PA]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 11:13 PM

NED, I hear you. I buy, rehab, rent. Lately, rehabs have moved at a glacial pace. One reason: I am older and do not have the energy. Second reason: I have more rentals than I used to, so doing repairs and turnarounds between tenants on the rented houses interrupts the rehab jobs. Third reason: Cannot find good helpers that I do not have to constantly monitor. Fourth reason: not as motivated as I used to be.

Last time that I got a lot done was during the COVID 19 lockdown. One of my tenants was out of work and so was helping me to cover his rent. My part time helper's main job was stopped so he became full time. Everything except Home Depot was closed, so no distractions. Just went in, closed the door, and worked.

Stoned out of my Mind (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 11:15 PM

A couple of stone stories I heard about:

A guy used a stone to prop his door open for several years. Turned out one day somebody who knew more than he did said "that stone might be a meteorite and have some value". Turned out it was one and was worth a lot.

There's a place in Arkansas called Crater of Diamonds,now a state park where you can find diamonds all over. They sell buckets of dirt for a price and you sift through or, I think, you can go looking in the fields. The largest one found there was just over 40 carats.

Likely you don't have either of these possibilities, but you never know.

I bought a house one time and in the yard flower beds were several large pieces of petrified wood (over 10 pounds). --97.85.x.xx

Stoned out of my Mind (by Don [PA]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 11:15 PM

DJ--I sympathize. Some years ago I had a place at the shore with stones in the back yard. Real PITA keeping the weed down. I was considering removing them and sodding it. My tenant then informs me that since more stones were needed she had had a couple of tons delivered and dumped, and I should pay her for it.

Stoned out of my Mind (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2023 11:58 PM

I assume you're working outside of the drip line of the roof, otherwise that is the perfect place for stones. You can alternatively put at least 6 inches of good compost mixed soil on top of the existing dirt in this area and slope it away from the foundation wall and plant this w/ grass. That way you are directing water away from the house too. You would be surprised what grows in poor conditions. I personally would not want grass against the house and then have to water it and worry about the impact of extra moisture close to the wall, not to mention the weed wacker hitting it all the time. Filter fabric is a waste so good thing you are not digging out pieces of that as well. --67.240.xx.xx

Stoned out of my Mind (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 12:20 AM

Man I was ready to grab the popcorn --71.63.xx.xx

Stoned out of my Mind (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 5:47 AM

Stones are typically put there when backfilling new construction or waterproofing, the idea is draining ground water from pushing in basement walls, if a crawl space place the previous owner was sold a waterproofing they never needed - amazing how that works eh?

Stoned out of my Mind (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 7:35 AM

Even the simple things here tend to take way longer. Last place we slightly fixed up took "too lomg." SO blamed me( I work FT and PT) so I wasn't as available and I blamed SO because "someone" deviated from the simple plan.

Stoned out of my Mind (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 7:55 AM

DJ each of those stones are good luck! Everything you uncover one your increase your chances of winning the lottery. Pick them up, rubb them well and place in a bucket! Whoo hoo you are the luckiest poster on MrLL! This is fantastic... Good luck will follow you all year! See you in Ohio?

Stoned out of my Mind (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 11:07 AM

Making sympathetic noises.

Stoned out of my Mind (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 12:13 PM

Ugh. I have that every day for small things now. I start out to go to basement for laundry and before I know it the time has passed and two hours have gone over other things and no laundry. Interesting about the buckets of diamonds in Arkansas. That's an old volcano lava pipe no doubt. Heat and pressure on carbon/coal. And Superman made one for Lois. The reason there might be that in VA is if there was an old stone house there that fell down. What do the stones look like? Gray? Brown? Flat? Round? Jagged? Had Geology in college.

Stoned out of my Mind (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 12:23 PM

I will use this "stone" post to tell you something locally. There is a place that sold medicinal pot near me. The state has now allowed recreational pot to be sold there. On Thursday I was in the food store parking lot and could smell fruity pot and also smokey pot coming up the hill in the breeze. Then I read about the switch. But I also saw a car with a Federal license plate and what I assume was an agent inside, in the same parking lot. I parked right next to him and looked toward him and he covered his face. Its still a federal crime to sell pot like this and the State of NJ is doing it. I am not happy having to breathe second had drugs.

Stoned out of my Mind (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 26, 2023 5:16 PM

TL; DR: Busy sympathizes, had two projects like this.

Last year I decided we ( me and hubby) were going to deal with our front yard. When we bought the house, neighbors told us there used to be a semi-circle driveway, but that last owners removed it and put in grass. they covered the roadbase with six inches of soil. Years ago, our son helped me dig the worst section out over the course of a summer. We got nice clean roadbase to use to fill potholes at the end of our driveway, and to make ramps into our sheds. My husband, who wants a perfect lawn, was annoyed I was digging up the grass, even though the grass would die in that area each August. Husband would add a smidge more topsoil and reseed each fall, sure it was gonna work this time.

Fast forward to last summer. I was going to dig up all the rest of that roadbase and get it outta there, as the front yard continues to be a nasty, weedy, dead by August mess. ( Backyard lawn grass could be an advertising photo for a lawn care company- absolutely lush and perfect! )

So, in front yard,

I dug a large hole, maybe three foot across, and more than a foot deep. ALL of the roadbase had gotten ' churned' into the soil. Mixed not quite evenly, but definitely not the separate layers we so easily removed twenty years ago. Nuts! I thought I'd take a compost screen and separate it out, but after a couple of buckets of that, I called it quits. Oh, and besides the roadbase somehow getting mixed into the soil, the three river birch trees I'd planted twenty years ago near the ditch along the street had spread their roots far and wide. There was no separating the gravel from the soil without interfering with those majestic trees. Double nuts!

So, instead of screening the gravel out, we decided to add two more inches of topsoil, with a good amount of decomposed peat that I had from a landlording project ( used bags of peat as a doorstop for a back security door until concrete cured and I got a nice railing with rubber bumpers as a proper door stop. I hate those door closer thingies.) And, while we were going to redo the front ( one more time) I did some research, went all lawn grass nerdy, bought some fun tools. We applied glyphosate to kill, then ran a scarifier over the dead patch. The topsoil my husband ordered had lots of lumps of clay, and a good bit of rocks, even though it was screened. (humph! Send a husband to buy good topsoil.... ) Anyway, we ended up spending all our evenings for ....hmmmm... an eternity.. or maybe three four days screening the topsoil to get all of those chunks out of there. I made another compost screen with 1/4" hardware cloth, as our first one my sweet husband made with 1/2" hardware cloth, which is good for compost. So, he screened with the half inch, I took the screenings through the quarter inch. Margaritas were consumed. We got to chat with all of our neighbors as they walked their dogs,or babies in strollers. Two yards of topsoil doesn't look like much until ya decide to double screen all of it by hand.

We dumped the screened topsoil in piles on the lawn. Something fun to watch happened: little sparrows and finches took dust baths in the piles of screened topsoil. We saw as many as twenty out there flitting and flapping, a regular little birdy orgee. It was cute to watch. To spread the soil, we used a lawn leveling rake ( golf course supply store online,) to get a smoooooth lawn. Then hubby seeded, spread the cover straw, and watered. It all came up nice last fall, and so far looks good this spring.

But, let us see how it looks in August.

I feel ya, sister!

These poky projects we do pay off, but they are annoying at the time.

At my second rental, I discovered chunks of buried concrete rubble, complete with reinforcing wire, lightly buried in the backyard. Pieces poked out randomly. I spent many days on hands and knees , over the course of three summers, digging chunks of rubble, using a metal detector to locate additional pieces. Each spring I was reassured of the importance of clearing this out as frost heave moved more pieces to the surface, with poky reinforcing wire sticking up among the blades of grass. Fortunately, my tenant had older teenagers who weren't into sports, so they didn't mind I asked them not to run across that section of lawn. I was greatly relieved when I had the last of that mess cleared up. I could have hired someone to bring a skid steer in and just haul that mess off, then add topsoil and seed, but I had the time, love to do yard work, and the rubble was scattered far and wide. One summer, Mama Robin kept me company as I tossed worms to her as I dug them out. With that wire, leaving the rubble just wasn't an option. Some kid would have stepped on it barefoot sooner or later ( y'all winced, didn't ya? I do, every time I think of that mess.)

Yep, one of the joys of buying used houses- cleaning up someone else bad decisions!

New Jersey Tea ( Ceanothus americanus) is a 2-3 ' shrub that prefers dry-medium soils, in sand or loam. Full sun to part shade. I ordered some to try along the foundation on the east side of one of my houses. Haven't grown this plant before, but it looks good in the youtube videos I've watched. ( master gardeners of NoVa has excellent videos, especially on native plants. )

Stoned out of my Mind (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 27, 2023 2:28 AM

I'll trade you my five layers of wallpaper that were painted over for your stone problem...

Stoned out of my Mind (by tryan [MA]) Posted on: Mar 28, 2023 8:08 AM

20 yr tenant ... 3 cats, 2 dogs. Litter box rarely changed so they peed around it. 3 layers of flooring, a gallon of lemon amonia before you could breath the air.

Stinky job.

I would throw 3 inches of screened loam and seed it.

Stoned out of my Mind (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Mar 30, 2023 8:59 AM

Sounds like Vee has seen what happens when clay gets backfilled against that wall.

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