Dirt, Boxes and Empty Houses

So we hit a major milestone this weekend.  The old house is completely empty, clean and ready for new people to move in. The deal was that if I emptied everything and brought it to the new house, Lauren would clean the old house.  Probably 95% of the move was done by May, but there were some things lingering in the old house that took us a while to get to, like our office, which we didn't really pack in its entirety before the movers got there.  There was also a lot of stuff in the basement and in the attic.

So a lot of the weekend was spent moving boxes, which made it not very distinguishable from other weekends in recent memory.  Just getting everything to the right place, much less getting it unpacked, is a nightmare.

Then there was the dirt thing.  See, it's been raining pretty much non-stop in New York for the past several weeks.  That's led to water intrusion in the basement.  I've been doing a lot of stuff to get the gutters to channel water off the roof and away from the foundation, like cleaning all the goop and trash out of the gutters and buying pieces of elephant trunk to extend the downspouts.  But there's another thing we need to do - pitch the grade away from the foundation so that water siting on the lawn won't pool up against the house.

So I ordered some topsoil on Saturday.  Ten yards for $120 delivered - not a bad price.  It was just the "delivery" that was the problem.  You see, the topsoil was somewhat moist, so when the delivery guy showed up with his truck, he raised his dump bed about as high as it would go without tipping the truck over, but the dirt just stuck and refused to slide down onto the driveway.  The delivery guy actually had to take the dirt back and bring a different, wider truck that wouldn't tip over in order to make the delivery.

Then Jimmy and I started taking it out back to where it was needed.  We'd fill up a wheelbarrow and the John Deere's dump cart and take it back into the yard, dump it and rake it out.  Jimmy and I would switch after two loads, so that I'd be using the wheelbarrow while he used the tractor and cart.  It was a pretty good system and we moved at least five yards that way.  There's still five yards sitting in the driveway on a tarp, though.  We'll do a few loads when I get home from work.

I think I'm going to end up ordering more dirt, though.  There are plenty of uneven areas around the lawn and I still haven't put any fill or soil under the porch where there's a whole other bit that needs to be filled in.  Water is pooling under there, too, because no one ever took the time to do a final grade before the builders put the porch on the house.  So the grade under the porch is slanting back toward the house.

Soon, Jimmy and I will start pouring the slab for the air conditioning units and the hot tub.