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Thread: Testing My Nails

  1. #1

    Testing My Nails

    As a lot of people know, I live on a pretty big hill with a wide open exposure to the North. When the wind blows just right...which is most of the time...my house takes a ferocious beating. Last night we got another snowstorm, but with a dozen other warnings from the National Weather Service such as "Winter Storm Warning", "Gale Storm Warning", "Coastal Flood Warning"; a "High Wind Warning" came with it.

    Now heights, blizzards, hurricanes and complex machining operations don't scare me much, but snakes and wind storms do for some reason. Since I've covered snakes many times on here, today I'll just stick to wind storms. I don't like them, nor will I. The worst part of it is, my new house arrangement.

    Before my house had the gable ends facing the prevailing wind. Sure I could hear empty boxes blowing across the attic during high winds, and hear the whistle of wind blowing over the trusses too, but that was it. The house would creak and buffet some, but it was no big deal. Well with my new addition jutting off the old part of the house at a 90 angle, the side of the house gets slammed with wind. There is nothing in the way for miles, so it gets really hit hard. Not to mention a 8 foot by 40 foot straight wall makes a pretty big sail forthe wind to "catch" on!

    Today we got 50 knot winds gusting against it, and this morning you could feel the house take the brunt. The toothpicks they called trusses are firmly secured to the outside walls, and then the inside walls are nailed to the bottom cord of the truss. Since my headboard lays up against the inside wall. You could feel the walls move with every wind gust. You could hear the wind rattling the wiring that is overhead in the attic, and whistling as it rushed through the tiny holes of the vent along the soffits. It was enough to wake me up at 2 AM and not let me get back to sleep. Its funny how being in a nice cozy bed you can think of all kinds of nasty things like the roof blowing off, Alyson tumbling into the next county, and how you really meant to get insurance on the new addition.

    Yep, mother nature is certainly testing my nails of my new addition today. I got the day off soI might just call up my insurance company and add some insurance to the new addition. Funny how the wind makes you think of these things!
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 03-21-2008 at 11:01 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    810
    I think it's time to take up tree planting and put in a wind break.

  3. #3
    When you built the addition, did you take an example from the Florida/Gulf Coast Hurricane requirements Re-created after Katrina where trusses and seal plates and cap plates must be strapped together? This $100 addition in materials along with the extra labor would have eased your frettful mind and made a better night's sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
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    3,383
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley View Post
    I think it's time to take up tree planting and put in a wind break.
    This.

  5. #5
    What a spoil my great view?

    Actually I was thinking about cutting the tree plantation that surrounds the rest of my house (on 3 sides currently) as someday I want to build a windmill here. The trees, while not directly in the prevailing wind, would cause turbulence unfortunately.

    The tree plantation I have my house sitting in, is cursed with a Japanese Bark Beetle that is slowly killing the trees. About 3-4 trees per acre die every year from it. The trees are hardly mature, perhaps half grown at 12 years old, but still big enough to sell for making into paper. The current price is pretty high too, about 70 bucks a cord, for 8 foot long wood, 2 inches minimum on the top end. If you do the math, it works out to this:

    Full grown High Bred Hack equates to 30 cord per acre...
    I have 12 acres in this high bred hack plantation...
    For a total of 360 cords...
    Divide that in half for their inmaturity and that equates to 180 cord...
    180 cord at 70 bucks a cord equates to 12500 bucks gross..
    Or about 1000 bucks a year since they were planted in 1996.

    Since I am losing several trees a year to this stupid bark beetle infestation, I might cut my losses now and harvest them. That frees up land for other uses like crop ground for instance. The problem is, crop ground pays 6 bucks an acre per year, while these trees are producing about 83 bucks per acre per year. I could replant with a different species of tree, but high bred hack is a man-derived tree that is bred specifically for fast growth. Any other species would mean double or triple the growing time, and reduce my overall income per acre per year.

    So I have been wrestling with this tree harvesting problem for months now. Do I cut them or not? I like having my house tucked into a nice wooded lot instead of a field, but the trees are dying. (confirmed by a Maine Forest Service Forest Pathologist). Do I cut my losses now and turn it back into crop ground and get 6 bucks per acre, but not have to invest a penny into it, or would raising beef pay better then crop ground even if it meant some initial capital investment? Do I want grazing black and white bovine chomping on grass within sight of my house?

    Plant trees...cut trees...build a windmill...raise beef...my property right now must change in order to keep up with taxes and stay productive, yet I have no idea in which to take it
    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 03-22-2008 at 11:19 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6

    Windmills

    Maybe with all this wind,a windmill might be a good plan. My Uncle currently has one, but he produces electricity with his, and the return on investment is not that good. He is not in such a good spot as me, but still high on a hill.

    His windmill produces 5 kw peak, and monthly he saves about 1/3 on his electric bill. At the current rate, he will pay for his 12,000 dollar windmill in 12 years by selling back electricity to the power company, and by reducing his electrical consumption. By his own admission, this is one poor investment because by the time that happens, this one will be shot.

    Recently I heard of a guy that hooked his windmill up to an air compressor. Now this may or may not be better for me. Being a railroader, I understand pneumatics a lot better then I know electricity. Air is also easier to store and easier to control. I also think it would be less expensive to get a compressor up and running,then it would be to build a set of battery banks, inverters,and ac/dc converters and stuff.

    Now the question is, what can youdo with compressed air for domestic use?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inside the Beltway
    Posts
    2,666
    Travis,

    An evergreen windbreak will save you way more money than any windmill setup, or any other thing. Plant them so they "lift" the wind: small ones on the windward side, then medium, then larger on the house side. You need a few hundred feet, but you have that. Do some research... there's no need to ruin your view. You're just trying to get the wind to flow above your structure, you're not trying to stop it. Most people plant things that try to "brake" the wind, and end up worse off then they were before, because of wind swirls and eddies...

    Oh, and the hurricane ties. Put them in and sleep easier. Way cheaper than insurance...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  8. #8
    You make a real good point Bill. That would stop the snow from drifting in my driveway too. After this winter, I can see where that would be a good thing. It seems we have beat all snowfall records dating back to 1939, or in statistics, 181 inches of snow this year, and yes its still snowing.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    140 miles west of tulsa
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    125
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Travis,

    An evergreen windbreak will save you way more money than any windmill setup, or any other thing. Plant them so they "lift" the wind: small ones on the windward side, then medium, then larger on the house side. You need a few hundred feet, but you have that. Do some research... there's no need to ruin your view. You're just trying to get the wind to flow above your structure, you're not trying to stop it. Most people plant things that try to "brake" the wind, and end up worse off then they were before, because of wind swirls and eddies...

    Oh, and the hurricane ties. Put them in and sleep easier. Way cheaper than insurance...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>

    When a wind break is planted in a V formation, as the geese fly, swirls and eddies are eliminated. You can do a simple test with a couple of pieces of plywood at 90 on a windy day. Take a match along and see if you can successfully light it inside the V.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, Ohio
    Posts
    17

    Wind Break;

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley View Post
    I think it's time to take up tree planting and put in a wind break.
    Hello Travis my young friend, I concur with John Bartley on this one but until the trees grow large enough to be of help to you, you may want to construct a privacy fence style fencing to help break the wind. Now when I speak of the fence DO NOT build one on a straight line but zig zag the fence even if it is only on a 10 angle for stability. Allow a little clearance on the bottom to allow some wind to get through but not enough to do any damage to your home. You could even place some of those stones like the one in your picture between your house and the fence. I just realized that is not a stome but a log.

    Respectfully,

    Last edited by Ralph Jones; 04-14-2008 at 02:05 AM.
    Ralph Jones

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