On 2/18/2016 2:41 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Nice! I have a tiny N - gauge. My grand kids played with it and now
the little engine has quit running. I'm thinking if I get another one
it'd be a bigger scale. I like he old wood burning (look) engines, too,
similar to the one you've got. I just can't see the tiny wheels of the
N gauge like I used to.
On Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:32:48 -0500, burfordTjustice
I still have to finish the wood trim. We are looking for more of the
"live edge" cypress like we have for the mantel piece over the fire
place. The guy we got that one from died. I want to bring that all the
way around the waist band. I have the cypress to do the end caps but I
want to fit it to the live edge stuff.
On 2/16/2016 6:37 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Exactly. Folks will be able to *touch* this in the normal course
of usage (e.g., approaching the front door, sitting on the porch,
etc.). Also, able to scrutinize it "up close and personal".
And, it wants/needs to be reasonably flat; can't have things
jutting out that folks could bump into.
So, they *are* individual pieces? Not prefabbed "assemblies"
(that just happen to be "busy enough" -- visually -- that your eye
can't readily discern a pattern)?
Most of the properties, here, are surrounded by "privacy walls".
They resemble cinderblock but they are thinner (front to back).
Periodically, there are "pillars" made of "H blocks" (look like
an H when viewed from above; the "thinner" blocks previously mentioned
fit into the "slots" in the H).
The pillars tend to be located every ~10 feet but there is often
variation (lots aren't always regularly shaped, either!).
One neighbor had fashioned a hinged door -- five feet high and
3 or 4 feet wide -- *in* the wall made to resemble the same
blocks that the wall was fashioned of. I'd always dismissed
the area as just "two H pillars that happened to be located
close together" -- until, one day, seeing it *open*!
When I next encounter it as such, I will examine it more
carefully to see if it truly was fashioned of the same 3"
thick, 8x16 "cinder blocks" or if there's some hackery
Again, you're fitting individual "stones" (that are presumably very "thin",
front to back)?
The Eldorodo type "cultured stone" can be had in panels but it is
pretty easy to see it is not stone and your sun may fade it pretty
These stones vary from an inch to an inch and a half thick but I
actually have a mix of 2 different styles here because we wanted a lot
of variation. It is all basically the same stone though. We have
similar stone (flagging) on the patio and front porch too so it
carries all the way through the house. It is a quartzite quarried from
the Rockies, up the road from you. (Colorado,Wyoming Idaho is loaded
with it). We have picked up pieces that are a perfect match hiking.
I suggest you find a good stone yard around there and walk around. If
you are like us and like stone, it can be addicting tho. We are in a
state with pretty much no natively occurring rock and our house looks
like a Rocky Mountain CCC project. It is all stone and wood.
On 2/18/2016 8:59 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The two places are probably the ONLY two places that are guaranteed
to be in perpetual shade (both being porches with significant overhangs)
The opposite is true, here -- I can't recall ever seeing a "wooden
shingled" house! Everything is slump block, cinder block, stucco
finish, stone-and-mortar, etc.
And, folks seem to think there is only *one* color -- that of
[A neighbor had planned on painting their (stucco over frame) house blue.
Another neighbor, on hearing of this, promptly marched over and FORBADE
them from doing so. "It will lower the property values!" Really??
So, his brown, sadly in need of a paint-job home is BETTER for us
than *their* freshly painted blue??
It must have popped his cork to see other homes in the area getting
painted bright yellow, teal, purple, "metallic chocolate", etc.]
That was the appeal of the wood or fitted stone approach -- something
not quite as monotonous as the dreary stucco (that covers most of the
I'm just trying to see what options are available *before* putting
myself under the salesman's "spin operation". Always (IME) better to
have contrary arguments ready at hand to see how well (if at all) he
We have stucco over block for most of our houses, just because of the
wind code. You have to put so much steel in a stick built home, block
My "village" has pretty much decreed that baby poop beige is the
standard here but my neighbors have all sorts of different colors on
The first guy to break from the earth tones is a Mexican guy who went
with school bus yellow and once people understood that there are other
colors in the box, we see blues, greens and soft purples.
(sorry if I am not real good on the real colors, my crayon box only
I kicked rocks around at my stone yard for months before I bought the
first batch. Those guys are pretty easy to get along with, at least
here. They will usually give you a handful to take home and play with.
They are only about a quarter a pound so you really can't carry away
any significant amount, money wise.
We did zero in on the quartzite pretty fast once we got serious about
it, then it was just the color (silver or gold).
This stuff in flagging seems to be the perfect pool deck. It has
enough texture to be safe when wet but still easy on your feet and it
is totally maintenance free. We hose it off now and then but that is
It is a little labor intensive laying them but the time consuming part
is doing the puzzle. We always end up playing with rocks for days
deciding which one goes where. It is sort of fun tho.
Then you mud them in.
On 2/18/2016 2:04 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Many HOA's, here, are mandatory and impose covenants on residents.
Some of those make sense (keep up appearance, etc.). Others are
just overzealous attempts at control.
Here, most of the "non beige" homes are the most attractive. I.e.,
the owners were actually thoughtful about the appearance and it
is reflected not just by the house color but lawn adornments,
upkeep, etc. The beige/brown homes are more likely to look like
they are in need of some attention!
We put in a decorative walk many years ago so went through the
experience. And, of course, selecting the "aggregate" for the
front and back yards.
But, walking on stone is different than selecting stone
PURELY for its decorative appeal (e.g., on a wall)
Pools here tend to have some form of cement (?) decking -- with drains
interspersed (to keep water from accumulating on top -- perhaps it just
drains to the soil beneath?).
We wanted a yard (less maintenance?) but have considered an "infinite
pool" (a spa seems to be a total waste of space -- giant bathtub?)
But, then we're back to yet another maintenance issue...
Are they somewhat standardized shapes -- i.e., to limit the number of
possibilities that you'd have to address?
E.g., if they were just random/natural stones (size/shape), you could
see yourself getting into a situation where you needed a 3" stone
but only had 4's and 2's (silly example). OTOH, if they are all
4, 8 and 12 inches, then you really can't create a "void" that
also isn't 4, 8 or 12 inches! (ignoring, for the moment, the boundary
Said another way, is it truly a puzzle (like a store bought puzzle!)
or more like a *chore* (just some motions that you have to go through
but you KNOW there WILL be a solution)
Our HOA deed restrictions "sunset" over 30 years ago and any attempt
to reinstate them has gone down decisively (last time it was 44-14 for
"no"). We operate as a voluntary non-profit corporation and usually
still get 90% participation on the dues. Disputes are dealt with using
friendly negotiation and not threats. It seems to work as well as the
This is basically the same stone but the walking surfaces are the flat
side of the grain and the vertical surfaces are the end grain.
That "Deco drain" is supposed to route the water away from the slab.
They are closed on the bottom.
You may get away with draining directly into the soil out there but
if you do it here you will end up with a sink hole under the slab.
Drainage here is done with grading. The pool deck pitches down away
from the pool. I have pieces of deco drain here but they are mostly
decorative, just to break new sections from the older ones. The 2000+
square feet of stone deck evolved over the years. We keep adding on.
I imagine some water does go in there and they do end off of the deck.
My spa swaps water with the pool so the maintenance is negligible. We
don't heat it in the summer and when we do the solars do most of the
Not at all. This is natural stone and they just break it up into
manageable chunks. Occasionally I will score the back side and make
the rock I need but that is only when we are scraping the bottom of
the barrel. Usually you can put a pattern together that works with
existing stone. It is time consuming but we usually start laying them
out and then spend a week or so just walking by and playing with the
rocks for a while then doing something else. When we get a pattern we
like we mud them in. The sections we got in a hurry with, look like
it. After a while you do get a pretty good eye for it. Like most
homeowner projects, about the time you are done, you are getting
pretty good. I am still not sure we are done tho. Every time we stop,
my wife says, "you know ..." and I am building something else. ;-)
Exactly. It gets to be a Zen thing. As I said. you do develop an eye
for it. You definitely want to do the puzzle before you start mixing
If you use the diamond cut stones, they do tend to be regular heights.
The split stones are just that, split wherever the grain in the rock
goes. It does make a more pleasing wall when you are done tho.
On 2/19/2016 10:33 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Our HOA is "voluntary participation". So, the only way to "enforce"
any notion of consistency is personal intimidation. I.e., same neighbor
who intimidated other neighbor NOT to paint "blue" was unsuccessful
in "convincing" neighbor on the other side of him to not paint
"If you want my house to be painted beige, you can BUY IT from me
and paint it as you like!"
So, it's effectively a *pipe*? (trough)
Lots here are small -- often just 1/3 ac. Put in a front yard
(and driveway) and a decent size pool out back and there's little
room for anything else!
Folks behind me have maybe 150-200 sq ft of "lawn" and the rest is
It's more than just treating the water (pools go green REALLY fast,
here --> mosquito hazzard --> city fine). As lots are small and
most of the trees generate lots of litter -- palms, mesquite
(millions of little leaflets the size of a grain of wild rice),
pine needles, etc. -- so you're always fishing stuff out of the
[One neighbor had to fish a palm *tree* out of his! Hint: they are
very heavy when they've had a chance to sit *in* water!]
Wow, that seems like a LOT of work! E.g., each porch would be a couple
hundred feet of wall space. Back porch would be the worst, by far, as it
has lots of window openings into it that would essentially act as
"border multipliers" (where adjoining stones would have to "fit perfectly")
That's how I did the walkway -- laid everything in place before setting
them properly. End up with pieces that you can't use (that find homes
as singletons elsewhere in the yard -- e.g., under water faucets)
There's a new building going up a couple miles from here -- which is
what gave me the idea. I will see if I can get a sympathetic workman
to let me onto the lot so I can inspect (and question!) up close...
We got over the problem of what color you paint things a long time
ago. Basically all we try to stay on top of is the boat ramp and using
the park. The boat ramp is easy, If you screw up there too much, we
won't let you have a new key next year but it really has not been a
Yes it is 1.5" wide and 4" deep
This is the brand we see most of the time here.
I have a tad over a 1/3d of an acre but I also have functional use of
the FPL right of way behind me, the DOT right of way in front and a
quarter of an acre of HOA property next to me.
That is still a lot of grass to mow. We are running out of land we can
actually build on tho.
Pools here are pretty much always "caged". I have 2300 sq/ft under
screen. That eliminates most of the leaf and bug problems.
I fish them out of the river now and them.
If you use the man made product it does go up easier because they are
basically Lego blocks, (regular sizes). The diamond cut are similar
except for length. They come in multiples of a given dimension. That
is truly stacking stone.
On 2/19/2016 12:10 PM, email@example.com wrote:
There's nothing *practical* that the HOA *or* local residents can
do -- other than try intimidation (as in the case of the "blue"
neighbor). We're not a gated community, have no clubhouse nor
any other "shared resources".
They can hassle you (as anyone can) about violations of city
ordinances (they *love* to piss and moan about "weeds"). But,
you *should* be in compliance with those, regardless.
Oh. So, the neighbors' must drain "somewhere". No evidence of
When we moved in, we considered:
and ruled out the spa and pool on maintenance grounds (both would have
been a nightmare given the 60+ ft pines behind us -- we find pine needles
in our *front* yard!).
However, we hadn't realized how much "maintenance" the *planted* yard
would be! After felling all the trees on the property (litter, allergies,
etc.) we opted for a more "lush" environment (40 and 50 foot trees
just look like a *pole* in the yard) with large shrubs (10-15 ft tall)
around the perimeter.
We've been through several iterations as we've discovered the drawbacks
of various species *empirically*. Some terrible for litter; others
bad for reseeding prolificly; still others poisonous to the dogs; etc.
The roses that we *had* to have lasted a few years before SHE got tired
of maintaining them ("OK, I'll plant them but *you* have to take care
But, the rest of the plantings have proven inviting for the hummingbirds
(and other birds, unfortunately) so we scored on that count.
[I should have adopted the same criteria with the citrus as *I* don't
eat the stuff -- yet seem to bear the brunt of the maintenance efforts;
presently juicing 2G each day and will continue to do so for at least
another week -- then pick the remaining fruit so the blossoms won't
I had a friend in chicago with his pool indoors. Interesting
"option" -- though cost a bundle to keep it and the "room"
heated in the winter!
From a cursory examination of this particular product, I can't discern
any "regular pattern" -- regardless of how large a section I choose to
examine. I will have to stop by when there are workmen on the jobsite
and see if any can fill me in on how it went up (reasonably quickly;
but, I wasn't noticing it WHILE it was going up) and what it's called.
Time to pick another 30# to juice tomorrow...
The county won't step in here until the weeds/grass or whatever is
over 18" over a certain percentage of the lot but if the lot is
vacant, foreclosed or whatever the HOA would mow it before it ever got
that bad. The people who live here are pretty good about mowing before
it really gets bad.
If you don't irrigate and do the chemical thing, most people would
call our lawns weeds anyway. In the rainy season it is bahia grass and
in the winter it is these little white flowers. Sort of looks like a
dusting of snow.
There us just going to be a small cut out on the edge of the slab
The "regular" part is the height of the stones, usually 3 sizes that
are multiples of the smallest one. It allows you to mix them up and
make it look random.
We had 40 fruit trees here of various varieties, they are all gone
now. I don't miss them
On 2/20/2016 11:14 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Few folks have "grass" as grass needs to be watered.
The city will promptly notify you if a complaint is brought
to their attention (though they don't go out checking neighborhoods
LOOKING for violations). After 10 days, you can be fined
(no idea as to the amount).
Then how do you accommodate a "large and fat" stone in the middle of
I wouldn't miss these! (though I *do* miss the blood orange; it's
juice was heavenly!)
But, SWMBO likes her oranges and her OJ. (truth be told, I much prefer
our *sweet* lemon juice in my tea than the store bought *sour* stuff!).
We didn't hesitate to get rid of the peach or the pecan. And, when
the Valencia gets whacked (cold spell), I'll be happy to pull it out
(and plant a blood orange in its place).
Unfortunately, big crop this year -- I've even started juicing the *navels*
(disgustingly sweet) -- and the freezer is already pretty full with other
items. In the past, the navels came due earlier than the Valencias...
which came due earlier than the blood oranges. But, winters have been
getting less severe and the trees want to get started on the *next* crop
sooner (the oranges are just starting to blossom; lemon has been
setting out blossoms all winter; lime already has small *fruit*!)
On 2/20/2016 4:31 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Here, folks let them rot on the tree. Or, pick them -- but they are crap
because they haven't attended to them throughout the growing season.
Navels are presently $1/pound in the store. We'll probably pick 250 pounds
of navels and another 250 of valencia. We got 60 pounds of lemons off a
4 ft tree...
And then what. You have 500 pounds of fruit that will only last a few
weeks and nothing to do with it.
That was my problem. I was trying to give away fruit all winter but
everyone knew someone else with trees.
I did make orange juice moonshine one year that was interesting.
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