Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finally heard from the bank....

The loan officer finally called us bank yesterday and said that while we are approved for the amount of money- but if they can't get "true value" of the house, they will not give us a construction loan. So, basically because there haven't been any other homes like ours to sell in the county they don't know how to appraise it. So now we have to start all over with a new bank. That is as long as we can find someone willing and able to appraise our house plans.
Maybe the third time is the charm!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Straw bale struggles!

As of a week ago, we were just about ready to go.
-Construction insurance lined up
-Loan amount approved
We were just waiting on the appraiser to let the bank know the value of the home according to his reading of the plans.
Then Monday came and went. Tuesday was phone tag with our loan officer. Then Wednesday I get a call from the bank saying that the appraiser can't give him a value because there hasn't been any straw bale homes bought or sold in our county in the last four years.
The loan officer tells me that it is up to the president of the bank to decide if they will still loan us the money.
Thankfully, Thursday morning, the president of the Colorado Straw Bale Association called me to offer his help! http://www.coloradostrawbale.org/
Among many wonderful points being made he said, "People don't describe their homes as being post and beam with fiberglass insulation." So, just because we are using a natural material to insulate our house shouldn't make the bank not want to loan us the money.
He then spoke to our loan officer and put him in touch with another bank in Durango, Colorado that has done many construction loans for houses just like ours.
There are three other straw bale structures in our county that have gone thru the hoops of building permits and regulations. So I am grateful that that won't be a major battle for us. However, those other homes were payed for out of pocket. So we are the ones having to pave the way for future construction loans for houses like ours.
So, now we wait for the answer from the bank and see where we go from here......
We are trying to do a good thing! Your happy thoughts are welcome!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ok so this is an on going project. As of right now the truck has a completely rebuilt engine, see pics below. I am willing to sell/trade the truck at any point during the process if someone is wanting to pick up the project mid way. I need the money/materials to build a house that I am starting on hopefully next week.
If you work for someone that could provide labor and skills or can get materials at cost I am willing to trade or combined anything to make a deal to save money on building the house. The following materials are needed:
lumber, 2x4's and such 300+
plywood for the roof
metal roof, green or blue, concrete work (in the next 3 weeks). post and beam materials.

The end goal for this truck is a full rebuild with new paint and a grease car vegetable fuel system. When all that is complete It will be selling for somewhere around $6000.00. As of right now I will take $3000 for it. The interior is still rough but good. The windshield is cracked but I have one. Most importantly it runs great and mechanically is DONE!

Here it is all new parts where necessary. Ready to be put back in the truck. Install took a few tries since I dropped it is from the top as apposed to hoisting the vehicle. Engine runs awesome, feels like a brand new truck. Shifting is perfect with no slop. A rebuilt engine of this quality with all German replacement parts goes for $1999.00 from Parts Place inc. in Michigan. That does not include a tranny or any other bolted on parts...just the head and the block. They are the leading VW parts supplier of anything and everything VW in the US.
New head Gasket, coated with copper high temp gasket sealer. This stuff works great I have used it on all the rebuilds and my daily driver.

The head has been completely rebuilt by Clegg's machine shop. All new valves, springs, and guides...the whole deal.

Bolts being chased for proper torque.
Plastigage being measured to ensure appropriate bearing selection

Main bearings and other components being installed. New oil seals and gaskets all around or course.
Main bearings being installed. After installation they were checked with "Plastigage" to ensure the proper size was used. All bearings in this engine are still standard size.
Here the new pistons are being installed. This normally requires a special VW tool but I have made something that works just fine out of a section of galvanized tube and 2 squeeze clamps.
Full assembly has been started. All the parts are here and ready to go. In this step I am applying assembly grease so that the pistons will slide down into the cylinder.
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