PDA

View Full Version : choosing to build a house on plot of land, Ruza, west of Moscow.



johnsimpson
28-06-2019, 15:57
Is there anyone interested or has experience in building a house (dacha) on a plot of land in Russia? If so I would like to share your experiences.

My wife and I have a plot of land (12 sotkas) in Ruza, about 60 Km west of Moscow. We have looked at various options, and it can be quite a task in costing under a budget, as obviously there is more to cost than the cost of the basic structure of the house, such as winter insulation, internal wood cladding. In some case not even the internal doors and may not be in the package price. You have then to consider sewerage for running water, washing machines and toilets, a well for running water, electrical wiring etc, etc, etc. We have a budget of $30,000 and realise their will have further costs over and above the house being built. This is one of the links we are considering as the package is quite good compared to what others are offering, as for example wood thickness as standard for insulation, and will include wood panelling on ceiling, floor and walls as well as tiled appearance roof. Prices can be deceiving where other put all of what I mentioned as extras.

https://new.homgart.com/catalog/zagorodnye-doma/klassicheskiy-derevyannyy-zagorodnyy-dom-/

Benedikt
28-06-2019, 17:57
My wife and I have a plot of land (12 sotkas) in Ruza, about 60 Km west of Moscow. We have looked at various options, and it can be quite a task in costing under a budget, as obviously there is more to cost than the cost of the basic structure of the house, such as winter insulation, internal wood cladding. In some case not even the internal doors and may not be in the package price. You have then to consider sewerage for running water, washing machines and toilets, a well for running water, electrical wiring etc, etc, etc. We have a budget of $30,000 and realise their will have further costs over and above the house being built. This is one of the links we are considering as the package is quite good compared to what others are offering, as for example wood thickness as standard for insulation, and will include wood panelling on ceiling, floor and walls as well as tiled appearance roof. Prices can be deceiving where other put all of what I mentioned as extras.

dont forget if you have a -septic tank- needs emptying once a year.
telephone, Internet, where does it come from.
is there enough sun to have a photovoltaic installation. for hot water but also electricity. ( rather new in Russia, no subsidies and it needs about 10 or 15 years for amortisation)
definitely worth to install an extra tank to collect rainwater. even bathroom and,washing machine and all basins water. only toilet to go into septic tank
in winter who cleans the road of snow? how much to pay, if any?
very important how many kgr per sqm weight of snow will the roof be able to hold.
if you have a house you should at least part of it make a cellar or at least a -pogrip-. to store all the jams, pickles, compotes, fruits and vegetables that will accumulate from friends, neighbors and your own.
how good is your electricity supply. worth to invest in a generator to have in a fix at least some light and the freezer going. and of course the hot water kettle. at least one can prepare - doshirak- noodles...
check out the KROKUS EXPO website. there is in October i believe an exhibition about building, constructions, houses, dachas and the likes. well worth seeing.
and definitely well worth to contact the local - hardware - store and building suppliers.. they are around every other corner either were a new suburb goes up. or on the outskirts of every bigger construction site...

americaninmoscow
29-06-2019, 10:00
From what I understand, most companies subcontract out the actual work. So, the easiest and cheapest way is to choose the cheapest options and then explain what u want to the guys that are a actually going to do the work.

You buy the materials and have them delivered, they do the installation. But u also have to keep track of materials, since they might over estimate and then sell the excess or replace with cheaper/inferior materials.

bydand
29-06-2019, 10:53
For sure find out how much it will cost to connect to gas and electricity, if not already there. This can be a big expensive hassle.

Benedikt
29-06-2019, 12:11
From what I understand, most companies subcontract out the actual work. So, the easiest and cheapest way is to choose the cheapest options and then explain what u want to the guys that are a actually going to do the work.

You buy the materials and have them delivered, they do the installation. But u also have to keep track of materials, since they might over estimate and then sell the excess or replace with cheaper/inferior materials.

correct. you never let them buy material themselves. first their friends write out higher cheques and they split the profits. or they charge you - lookalikes- and later when they burst you see that inside was cheap cast iron with a -veneer - of stainless steel instead of stainless steel. the firs -kapremont - we still had to pay our dues. but no more. never buy the cheapest, you do not have enough money for that!and never buy from a friend who has a friend who knows Micha who has everything, does everything and knows everything. while it does not mean anymore - made in Germany- is best quality and - made in China - is crap. you get what you pay for.

johnsimpson
29-06-2019, 16:11
Our plot of land is co-op owned so no problem with road clearing etc. In regards to gas, no gas, but there is electricity.

johnsimpson
29-06-2019, 16:40
Thank you all for your posts, most helpful. In my case I would have a problem with snow clearing or electricity supply as it is co-op land. I will have to put up with mobile telephone internet, Satellite dish etc for internet, most important as our income comes from internet. There will be no land-line as far as I know. Our current intentions is to use a large company who will also carry out the construction. My wife has come up with another as she often does and I must admit I'm sold. A timber log-house, more space, for same budget and solid, no chance of this house falling down from snow on the roof. Worth looking at and the videos are enjoyable to watch.

https://teremwood.ru/

Benedikt
30-06-2019, 08:22
, no chance of this house falling down from snow on the roof. Worth looking at and the videos are enjoyable to watch.


ask them how many kgs of snow per sqm it will carry? and dont let you being told that all is according to law....the law in EVERY country is like a prostitute. you pay and you get what you pay for...
find out from a reputable insurance company what will be the premium for insuring a wooden house. will you get a discount for having a pond (always filled with water...). what difference is needed for wiring between a concrete and wood House. and try to get all this in writing and signed by a person who CAN sign.

bydand
30-06-2019, 08:55
To paraphrase Benedikt; don't trust anyone you don't have to!!!

A former employer/mentor taught me, you don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect.
I have found this to be especially true in Russia.

nicklcool
30-06-2019, 13:53
Thank you to the OP for this incredibly useful and needed thread!

Can I ask the more experienced of you all, is it really true that even when you hire a company or independent contractors, you have to monitor the actual building process, to ensure you aren't defrauded or shortcutted!?
That sounds awfully inconvenient, and almost defeats the purpose of hiring other people to do the work!

Benedikt
30-06-2019, 16:19
Thank you to the OP for this incredibly useful and needed thread!

Can I ask the more experienced of you all, is it really true that even when you hire a company or independent contractors, you have to monitor the actual building process, to ensure you aren't defrauded or shortcutted!?
That sounds awfully inconvenient, and almost defeats the purpose of hiring other people to do the work!

definitely. to me it does not matter who did our constructions or repairs. one of us was always with them. with a car. or other means of transport. they would tell you we need this and that and ten thousand other details. and still forget a small little detail. on purpose or not, it did not matter to us. Leroy Merlin is around the corner. And so were other building suppliers. and things that we had ordered, either via Internet, visited a showroom, one of us was there to check and made sure it was what WE ordered. and that all the LITTLE DETAILS were also packed.never mind we did the BIG -shopping- at the beginning. and since WE bought all the things, they did not bring more then the basic tools. and we bought the rest. of course when machinery was needed, tile cutters, big - perforators- they had their own.

some small little details for instance. we bought FRENCH circuit breakers. because i know they are better the anything else. 2 years later, at an inspection (for something different) an inspector who did not know the circumstances, told me that this were the best ones and that he had never seen them before. he only had heard of them. came along the neighbors lady, she -just have bought some circuit breakers at a special sale-... the inspector looked at them and replied HE for sure would not install them....

Benedikt
30-06-2019, 16:21
To paraphrase Benedikt; don't trust anyone you don't have to!!!

A former employer/mentor taught me, you don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect.
I have found this to be especially true in Russia.

-trust is good, check and double check even better.-

BigBear
01-07-2019, 09:40
...some small little details for instance. we bought FRENCH circuit breakers. because i know they are better the anything else. 2 years later, at an inspection (for something different) an inspector who did not know the circumstances, told me that this were the best ones and that he had never seen them before. he only had heard of them. came along the neighbors lady, she -just have bought some circuit breakers at a special sale-... the inspector looked at them and replied HE for sure would not install them....

When we bought our house (which was built in the late 1980s) we were surprised (shocked even) to find that despite having been renovated fairly recently, the electrical installation was protected by one single fuse. And had been inspected and approved. So don’t expect the same safety standards that you might be used to.

We couldn’t afford to have the entire installation ripped out and renewed so we contented ourselves with a more superficial update, resulting in a nice new fuse box with about 25 different circuits. Again inspected and approved. But no-one ever checked how many power sockets were on each circuit, for example, and none of the circuits where, for example, apparatus that is connected to water (heater, washing machine, etc.) are still not protected by differential circuit breakers — a legal requirement back home in Belgium.

But at least they did use quality fuses (French, as recommended by Benedikt!)

johnsimpson
01-07-2019, 12:59
I was talking about about a solid built Russian log house, as shown in the link.

Uncle Wally
01-07-2019, 14:39
Brick is the way to go.

bydand
01-07-2019, 15:20
Can I ask the more experienced of you all, is it really true that even when you hire a company or independent contractors, you have to monitor the actual building process, to ensure you aren't defrauded or shortcutted!?


Yes.:sick2:

FatAndy
01-07-2019, 16:20
When we bought our house (which was built in the late 1980s) we were surprised (shocked even) to find that despite having been renovated fairly recently, the electrical installation was protected by one single fuse.
Moreover, very many rural area houses still have 2-wire connection to power input lines (phase + zero), no grounding.

In cities, state standard for power with grounding in residential buildings was inroduced only in late USSR, in 1986th.


Yes.:sick2:
Доверяй, но контролируй! :verycool:

BigBear
01-07-2019, 16:29
That was the situation in our house, Andy. We had an earth connection installed after we moved in. It got us a plus point from the Inspector :winking:

FatAndy
01-07-2019, 17:02
That was the situation in our house, Andy. We had an earth connection installed after we moved in. It got us a plus point from the Inspector :winking:
Heh. Once upon a time our company was renting premises in one of former USSR scientific/research institutes of Moscow... now they're bureaucrats in some govt institution.
As they had some relation to telecom, they also had grounding contour in all premises installed... but not really grounded. We started to investigate and dig the question, as planned to launch IT equipment production site there and needed quality mains in. And in a couple of weeks we've found the cable end just behing the fence, torn many years ago while building somewhat garages or supplementary construction nearby. We've found the huge copper plate 2 m deep, required by GOST, and we've connected and molded the cable... then attached the guys-operators on assembly line to the contour by special antistatic bracelets. Failure rate for memory modules has immediately dropped down 10 times. ;)

Benedikt
01-07-2019, 19:36
But at least they did use quality fuses (French, as recommended by Benedikt!)[/QUOTE]

we have one circuit breaker for each room. where there are lights and plugs only. And one each for the washing machine, hot water boiler, and electric oven.

Armoured
01-07-2019, 20:03
Is there anyone interested or has experience in building a house (dacha) on a plot of land in Russia? If so I would like to share your experiences.

My wife and I have a plot of land (12 sotkas) in Ruza, about 60 Km west of Moscow. We have looked at various options, and it can be quite a task in costing under a budget, as obviously there is more to cost than the cost of the basic structure of the house, such as winter insulation, internal wood cladding. In some case not even the internal doors and may not be in the package price. You have then to consider sewerage for running water, washing machines and toilets, a well for running water, electrical wiring etc, etc, etc. We have a budget of $30,000 and realise their will have further costs over and above the house being built. This is one of the links we are considering as the package is quite good compared to what others are offering, as for example wood thickness as standard for insulation, and will include wood panelling on ceiling, floor and walls as well as tiled appearance roof. Prices can be deceiving where other put all of what I mentioned as extras.

I once looked at a place near Ruza; nice area.

To be honest your budget seems tight - depending on what you want. Winterized, to live in full time, etc. You may end up having to do things in stages.

Depending also how much you want to live there - full time, part time, just weekends, etc. Electric heat does get expensive, but there are ways to deal with that (some examples, heat pumps, which will struggle a bit in cold temperatures, and the equipment isn't free, either). If you get the three-tariff rate, night time electricity is cheap.

No easy answers on trade-offs. Some of the stuff will just plain cost money, and the tricky part is figuring out what will cost you way more in the long run. If you're going to live in it year round, more insulation is worth the money.

I don't understand the brick obsession. It's expensive, it's harder to insulate, and it's just as vulnerable to doing a crappy job as any other building tech. Doing renovations/moving walls after is a nightmare. It is harder to burn a brick building to the ground, but then you've got a fire damaged interior and fixtures/plumbing/electrics that are barely reachable and may not be salvageable anyway.

johnsimpson
01-07-2019, 22:38
Brick built? A higher budget than stated I presume. And what is wrong with the log houses shown?

johnsimpson
01-07-2019, 22:54
Yes it's tight , and we have received a quote for that amount. Selecting a log house under the name of Russian chalet. 32990
We may also have to giveaway without the attractive tiled appearance roof for the time being to keep within budget, of course there will be additional costs after the house is complete.
http://https://teremwood.ru/catalog/proekty-domov-iz-brevna/russkiy-shale/ (https://teremwood.ru/catalog/proekty-domov-iz-brevna/russkiy-shale/")

Benedikt
02-07-2019, 10:07
[QUOTE=johnsimpson;1488243]Yes it's tight , and we have received a quote for that amount. Selecting a log house under the name of Russian chalet.
We may also have to giveaway without the attractive tiled appearance roof for the time being to keep within budget, of course there will be additional costs after the house is complete.

just make sure what is included in the price. is the FOUNDATION INCLUDED? HOW DEEP WILL THE CONCRETE BE? dont forget to look before they put the first beams onto the foundation that they have put down thick and good insulation. either mats or rubber or whatever they use. but NOT just with a brush some thin layer of bitumen... and it is obvious that the first foundation beams should be fastend with long thick screws into the concrete. so the building will not move. contractors tend to - forget - these things, special when no one is looking...

johnsimpson
02-07-2019, 17:04
The details are provided specifically in the company website I gave, they have also given us a detailed quote for what we have selected based on providing a foundation, however get your point every stage needs to be watched to ensure it is to their specifications. It helps they have a profile history of many houses built for their previous customers. I must its doing my head in with my wife keeps panicking and changing to other options and the fear of the future when all money is spent. I continue to dream for our dream log house, as she worries of a recession as we struggle up and down with which she calls a recession.

johnsimpson
02-07-2019, 17:18
Would you agree the traditional Russian built log-house is clearly winterised naturally with the logs. The timber frame house comes with rockwall insulation etc.

Armoured
03-07-2019, 00:10
Would you agree the traditional Russian built log-house is clearly winterised naturally with the logs. The timber frame house comes with rockwall insulation etc.

With the logs the issue is the connection between the logs particularly if they move and shrink as they dry. So it may be breezier after a few years. And they will shrink and settle.

The first one you linked to is engineered wood and is supposed to not have these issues of the wood beams are dried and laminated well. I'm a bit surprised it says they use rockwool as well. Do they have a picture of what the wall layering is supposed to look like?

Wood frame is sticks with gaps in which they put the insulation (usually rockwool). It can her perfectly fine but is actually a bit more sensitive to having guys who know what they're doing and also having the right outside cladding, vapour and liquid barriers, and being carefully sealed. Usually close to cheapest to build but I'd be cautious with that here. (tech is fine but build quality is easy to screw up)

Personally here I'd go for the engineered wood beams with good thickness. All else equal of course.

johnsimpson
03-07-2019, 00:57
You are getting confused with two links and two option I gave. One is for a timber frame house and within the package yes there is rockwool insulation, internal doors, wood interior panelling on walls, ceiling and floor. The second option for logs and yes there is a set calculator for different options on the thickness of those logs and whether or not they are pre-machine finished which is the dearest option. Yes, the logs need to settle for a year before continuing the second stage and will have a temporary roof. On adding the attractive traditional lookin tiled roof and with double glazing rather than standard windows the budget price I now realise will be $40,000 perhaps a little more. Of course when you consider bathroom suites, running water, fitted kitchen etc, the budget may well run into $50,000. i suggest you read both sites as they are well written, even if you read it in google translation it is pretty good. Timber-frame: http:////new.homgart.com/catalog/
Log house: http://teremwood.ru

johnsimpson
03-07-2019, 01:08
In regards to the timber-frame house insulation, the rock-wool is placed first, and then wood panels are installed to the floors, walls and ceiling. The whole finished interior is wood. There are two options the thickness of wood and I would go for the thickest for lohg stay and winter living.

Benedikt
03-07-2019, 03:32
[QUOTE=johnsimpson;1488189]Is there anyone interested or has experience in building a house (dacha) on a plot of land in Russia? If so I would like to share your experiences.



this is a long shot and maybe even to late? contact this guy. looks super to me. wonder what he could do for you?
https://www.facebook.com/olegkovalpro/photos/a.1336983846443771/1465045330304288/?type=3&theater

johnsimpson
03-07-2019, 13:58
I can see a very nice picture of a log house then it leads me to his facebook page of no relevance. At a guess the picture is a dream log house and very expensive to build. Nice picture Benedict. What do think the whole cost will be? 32991

Benedikt
03-07-2019, 17:01
[QUOTE=johnsimpson;1488261]I can see a very nice picture of a log house then it leads me to his facebook page of no relevance. At a guess the picture is a dream log house and very expensive to build. Nice picture Benedict. What do think the whole cost will be?


as you can see the link is from facebook. i think the best would be to contact the person directly. alone from the thickness of the logs and beams it for sure does not look something -slapdash- put together. and before i stick my head out and say somethign about the price, i rather say nothing... this is the link to Olegs site,https://www.facebook.com/olegkovalpro/photos/a.1336983846443771/1465045330304288/?type=3&theater, i also asked what it did cost. lets see what the answer will be.

Judge
03-07-2019, 21:13
Our plot of land is co-op owned so no problem with road clearing etc. In regards to gas, no gas, but there is electricity.

Look into the cost of heated flooring, and what is a must thing to have since you haven't got gas(not just for back up in case of a power cut), get decent fireplace that will work as your main heat source in winter.

Benedikt
04-07-2019, 03:40
Look into the cost of heated flooring, and what is a must thing to have since you haven't got gas(not just for back up in case of a power cut), get decent fireplace that will work as your main heat source in winter.

on all the dachas i have been over the years more or less each and everyone had a wood burning stove in the kitchen. some a big one some a smaller one. but each owner said, one never knows what will happen. but wood will be always available. a sensible comment...

Armoured
04-07-2019, 10:59
You are getting confused with two links and two option I gave. One is for a timber frame house and within the package yes there is rockwool insulation, internal doors, wood interior panelling on walls, ceiling and floor. The second option for logs and yes there is a set calculator for different options on the thickness of those logs and whether or not they are pre-machine finished which is the dearest option. Yes, the logs need to settle for a year before continuing the second stage and will have a temporary roof. On adding the attractive traditional lookin tiled roof and with double glazing rather than standard windows the budget price I now realise will be $40,000 perhaps a little more. Of course when you consider bathroom suites, running water, fitted kitchen etc, the budget may well run into $50,000. i suggest you read both sites as they are well written, even if you read it in google translation it is pretty good. Timber-frame: http:////new.homgart.com/catalog/
Log house: http://teremwood.ru

I admit I didn't look in detail at the sites, just glanced at them. I thought it was a kleeny brus' (solid engineered / glued wood beams), but I misunderstood.

I think I now understand what the Homgart approach is like; looks to me like just a modified wood frame, using thick dried wood on the inside instead of drywall. I have some modest doubts about it - mainly whether the walls are sufficiently airsealed inside and adjustments after the fact - drywall can be pretty readily patched and sealed and wouldn't be reliant on the wood being perfectly flat and grooves matching etc. But if really well made wood beams and quality installation, could work fine. Balance that against long-term that more expensive to make modifications, etc. I'd still likelhy prefer this to the log beams approach, personal gut feeling only.

An additional comment: consider carefully in plan what I think is often a mistake in dachaland, trying to maximise interior space by having no cold attic. Roof construction important, the part of roof between heated space and the exterior roof panels must be cold to work in this climate. In past, attic would be cold, you'd insulate and seal very well the floor of the attic, and make sure there is sufficient airflow to keep the attic cold in winter. It's relatively easy to put extra insualtion in the attic, and also to go around and find/check/fix any gaps in air getting into attic.

(Note hot air rises and hence heat is mostly lost to attic/roof, hence extra insulation more important here than in walls)

Try to make the attic a living space, you have to do the same thing within the roof construction - extra insulation, a gap between the roof exterior and the insulation, no mistakes, no way to add extra insulation later (not easily), no easy way to seal up air gaps. If you really want to have that extra living space, make sure the roof is very high quality - don't skimp.

Also: nice fancy roofs look cool. But keep it as simple as possible, there's a reason country houses typically just had a v-form roof (two pitched sides), with no dormers and skylights and matching wings, etc: it's because that way snowmelt doesn't meet at corners, refreeze and cause ice dams, and water just runs off.


Look into the cost of heated flooring, and what is a must thing to have since you haven't got gas(not just for back up in case of a power cut), get decent fireplace that will work as your main heat source in winter.

Heated flooring can be quite a bit more expensive. If I were to do this, I'd put money into heated floors in the few rooms you spend most time in (kitchen and living room). Everyone does this for bathrooms, personally I don't spend as much time in those. Note: electric heated floors are mainly for tiled areas, not wood (although possible). Since wood generally feels warmer to the touch, that's usually okay. Insulate under the wood (and especially between any cement and the floor).

Wood heat a great option, but make sure to get one with sealed doors - open fireplaces are worse than useless. Wood stove or a 'topka' (the firebox of a wood stove with the chimney/brick built around it) only. (Or a traditional Russian pechka).

From some experience with these: everyone wants the nice big glass door, they look great. But for most comfort from a wood stove or closed fireplace, you want as much thermal mass as possible (brick, soapstone, whatever). You run your fires hot, and short (modest sized to not ruin the firebox). Don't do the long smoldering fire thing.

Brick and the right types of stone absorb the heat and release it slowly. The heating feel comes more from radiant heat instead of heating the air around it. Also this is why better to have chimney or woodstove in centre of room. The Russian pechka were pretty extreme forms of this - you'd fire the stove once or twice a day and it would stay warm for ages; the downside is they are heavy and enormous and the house has to be built for them (structurally). A lot of the benefit can be from a stone-clad wood stove or a topka inside a normal brick chimney.

In contrast, the pure metal woodstoves mostly are heating up the air and cool down quickly; more severe temperature swings in general, particularly from a comfort perspective.

Mind, if it won't be a serious source of heat, but just for pleasure fires or occasionally to help on very cold days, not as important.

One other point: woodfires pollute way more than people think and it does get in the house. Always. Anyone with senstive / sickly lungs - asthmatics -will suffer. Not good for small children.

And wood really, really needs to be dried properly, well more than a year, or burns awfully (particularly bad for health).

(I love wood stoves but have sort of gone off them as I've read more about the pollution)

Armoured
04-07-2019, 11:20
Should have added: if you do want some kind of wood heat, plan for it in advance. Good metal stovepipe is relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to arrange later if you know where, brick chimney more expensive and close to impossible to incorporate later. I don't know but suspect it would be fairly easy to plan for and even build the chase and roof penetration and add a wood stove later. A good wood stove is not inexpensive, but still likely cheaper and more effective than a cement/brick chimney type fireplace/topka. Of course some just don't like freestanding wood stoves and want the look of a chimeny and fireplace-looking fireplace.

Judge
04-07-2019, 11:43
@ Armoured, heated floors can be cost effective if done correctly, plus heat rises which sends heat to the 2nd floor, if thought out well, this heat can warm upstairs.

Another thing to remember, is proper air ventilation in the house, good air circulation makes for a healthy house.

Regarding checking on workers, it's no brainer that it's best to follow what's going on step by step, also keep an eye on hidden works, like roof insulation, how they put down rockwool in the roof.
For wooden houses, for electrics, for safety, put wires in metal conduits, cheaper version is plastic ones, and for a neater looking house, put the wiring inside the walls.

Google conduits metal flexible to see what I mean.

Like mentioned before, cheaper to buy materials yourself, the building company will give you a list of what's needed, it takes some running around but you save in the long run, of course things like huge quantity of wood best let them buy smal pieces of wood can be bought at Leroy Merlin.

Also, visit some houses that are in process and finished by the company you choose.

If you plan on living all year round,
There are some things you don't wanna go cheap on, like, roof, windows, wood for house, also paint, best pay extra for decent paint, Russian weather eats cheap paint for breakfast.

Judge
04-07-2019, 11:54
Armoured said,


Wood heat a great option, but make sure to get one with sealed doors - open fireplaces are worse than useless. Wood stove or a 'topka' (the firebox of a wood stove with the chimney/brick built around it) only. (Or a traditional Russian pechka).

100% agree, closed glass firedoors.

Armoured
04-07-2019, 13:53
@ Armoured, heated floors can be cost effective if done correctly, plus heat rises which sends heat to the 2nd floor, if thought out well, this heat can warm upstairs.

I'm sure they can be done cost effectively, but here's a few points:
-electric resistance underfloor heating is fairly reasonably priced, but it locks you into that source of heat - it can't be switched to another heat source later. I still think it's worth considering as a supplemental heat / comfort thing in a few key rooms, but for this reason, wouldn't want to have it as main source of heat.
-underfloor radiant (ie. water tubes below) I believe are generally more expensive.
-Traditional radiator - you can swap out the electric boiler for almost any other heat source relatively easily, ie if gas should eventually be connected, or propane, or a heat pump, each of which could be quite a lot cheaper in future. (Also more possibility, for example, to program an electric boiler to run at night at cheapest rates).

So that's the reason I'd approach this way - but I've no objectio to looking into it and my info may be somewhat out of date on pricing especially.

Side note of importance: underfloor heating, condensing gas boilers (and I think condensing boilers on other fuels), and heat pump boilers all work with lower water temperatures than radiators are typically made to run off of when burning gas in conventional boilers.

What does this mean? To heat a house with lower-temperature water, you basically need more radiators and greater physical sizing of the radiators (higher temp radiators can be smaller) - radiant floors act like very large low temperature radiators. The engineering calcs will be different when they figure out how many rads are needed. So there is some argument to be made to over-size your rads and put more of them in, they can always be fitted with thermostatic controls, or temps reduced overall. Basically this is asking them to design for temp output lower than usual. (yes, more rads can be fitted later if necessary, but extra expense)

I had a place that was heated with electric in winter, the previous owners were at peak spending more than $1k a month on electricity - I think it was >$8k a year. (Full time there, with kids, lots of hot water needs, no use of fireplace, etc - I used it only part time and had the fireplace upgraded and it cost a lot less for my use). A heat pump boiler is fairly expensive but can pay for itself pretty quickly at those kinds of monthly outlays.

Anyway, one reason why going with a standard electric boiler that can be switched out later is an advantage.

Oh, side note: if on an electric boiler, I'd make sure the system had the anti-freeze in the heat system - it's a huge hassle to have to fix a system whose pipes have burst due to freezing. And electricity outages are more common in dachaland than in Moscow.

johnsimpson
04-07-2019, 14:19
Very true, and looking at more remote dachas I have found the subject of Russian stoves practical and very interesting. Not only for cooking but as the old fashioned central heating.

johnsimpson
04-07-2019, 15:20
on all the dachas i have been over the years more or less each and everyone had a wood burning stove in the kitchen. some a big one some a smaller one. but each owner said, one never knows what will happen. but wood will be always available. a sensible comment...



Very true, and looking at more remote dachas I have found the subject of Russian stoves practical and very interesting. Not only for cooking but as the old fashioned central heating.

johnsimpson
04-07-2019, 15:22
Very true, and looking at more remote dachas I have found the subject of Russian stoves practical and very interesting. Not only for cooking but as the old fashioned central heating.

This is an interesting read about Russian stoves. http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_stove

Judge
05-07-2019, 13:11
I'm sure they can be done cost effectively, but here's a few points:
-electric resistance underfloor heating is fairly reasonably priced, but it locks you into that source of heat - it can't be switched to another heat source later. I still think it's worth considering as a supplemental heat / comfort thing in a few key rooms, but for this reason, wouldn't want to have it as main source of heat.
-underfloor radiant (ie. water tubes below) I believe are generally more expensive.
-Traditional radiator - you can swap out the electric boiler for almost any other heat source relatively easily, ie if gas should eventually be connected, or propane, or a heat pump, each of which could be quite a lot cheaper in future. (Also more possibility, for example, to program an electric boiler to run at night at cheapest rates).

So that's the reason I'd approach this way - but I've no objectio to looking into it and my info may be somewhat out of date on pricing especially.

Side note of importance: underfloor heating, condensing gas boilers (and I think condensing boilers on other fuels), and heat pump boilers all work with lower water temperatures than radiators are typically made to run off of when burning gas in conventional boilers.

What does this mean? To heat a house with lower-temperature water, you basically need more radiators and greater physical sizing of the radiators (higher temp radiators can be smaller) - radiant floors act like very large low temperature radiators. The engineering calcs will be different when they figure out how many rads are needed. So there is some argument to be made to over-size your rads and put more of them in, they can always be fitted with thermostatic controls, or temps reduced overall. Basically this is asking them to design for temp output lower than usual. (yes, more rads can be fitted later if necessary, but extra expense)

I had a place that was heated with electric in winter, the previous owners were at peak spending more than $1k a month on electricity - I think it was >$8k a year. (Full time there, with kids, lots of hot water needs, no use of fireplace, etc - I used it only part time and had the fireplace upgraded and it cost a lot less for my use). A heat pump boiler is fairly expensive but can pay for itself pretty quickly at those kinds of monthly outlays.

Anyway, one reason why going with a standard electric boiler that can be switched out later is an advantage.

Oh, side note: if on an electric boiler, I'd make sure the system had the anti-freeze in the heat system - it's a huge hassle to have to fix a system whose pipes have burst due to freezing. And electricity outages are more common in dachaland than in Moscow.



electric resistance underfloor heating

That's the dry system which costs more to run, there's the wet system, where you put water in the pipes that heat up, for Russian weather best mix anti-freeze with the wet system, then set it to a thermostat it will regulate itself..
The wet system cost more I think, you can have a big cement block with the pipes sealed in to it.




– Electric underfloor heating (dry systems)

These systems are cheaper, easier to install, and suitable for DIY. You should expect the running cost of this underfloor heating system to be higher.

– Water underfloor heating (wet system)

Installation of these systems is a lot more involved, usually reserved for new-builds. Since they tap into existing boiler systems they cost significantly less to run.

The total cost of installing underfloor heating will be dependent on the size of your house/room, system type and groundwork required.


https://householdquotes.co.uk/how-much-for-underfloor-heating/

Armoured
05-07-2019, 16:54
That's the dry system which costs more to run, there's the wet system, where you put water in the pipes that heat up, for Russian weather best mix anti-freeze with the wet system, then set it to a thermostat it will regulate itself..
The wet system cost more I think, you can have a big cement block with the pipes sealed in to it.

Yes, the dry system more to run, wet system better but more expensive to install.

Note though: if the heat is just going to be an electric (resistance) boiler, it's not going to be any cheaper to run than the wet system - it might even be more expensive because of the extra heating of the cement block. (As noted, it should be cheaper later when/if a cheaper heating source installed).

Benedikt
06-07-2019, 04:14
In contrast, the pure metal woodstoves mostly are heating up the air and cool down quickly; more severe temperature swings in general, particularly from a comfort perspective.
i only ONCE had the pleasure to sleep on top of a REAL russian brick oven. with the cats and dogs we did not get much sleep anyway.
I do agree with your comment on -iron- ovens. they were there mainly when there should be a real emergency. not done in particular for heating the house or the likes. but just use for cooking if ALL and everything goers wrong. i remember when i was a kid, many years back i nAustria. We had a woodturning oven that was used for cooking and heating but only the kitchen. In winter in our bedrooms, north facing, there were thick ice crystals on the top of the wall and window. BUT a thick feather duvet, a bottle with hot water and we were warm in next to nothing. flue, sniffles, colds? we never knew what that was... of course getting up in the morning and getting dressed was a VERY fast affair...

johnsimpson
06-07-2019, 15:03
On the topic of a Russian stove. Quote: Here is a traditional Russian stove, it's made of bricks, and it's an oven, a cooking stove, a heater for the whole house and... a bed, as you can climb on the stove (on the back side) and sleep on the top (it's warm but not hot up there, the perfect bed when it's in the middle of the Russian winter).

http://youtu.be/Ta8jUejeqDI

johnsimpson
06-07-2019, 15:16
In my browsing I had to to share this video as I enjoyed watching. Most certainly in Russian climate it is good to have a Russian stove especially if you are surrounded by forest. http://youtu.be/r_TO30jzyUA

FatAndy
06-07-2019, 18:50
it's made of bricks
Special bricks, comrade. Полнотелый печной кирпич ;)

johnsimpson
29-07-2019, 01:22
After all the costing of a possible house built in Ruza we I ended up buying a dacha about three hundred Km east of Moscow. Ivanova region, Privolzhsky district, village Nogino (10 km from the town of Ples) The village is located on the shore of a large lake and is surrounded by forest. It has gas, electricity, a Russian stove, a well, 15 sotkas of land. At 800,000 roubles I have enough left in my budget for improvements. We hope to have the official registration this week when we will move in for a while.

I'd love to hear anyone else's experience of living in a dacha. Here is a picture of it. 33000
And the floor plan. 33001

Armoured
29-07-2019, 10:34
After all the costing of a possible house built in Ruza we I ended up buying a dacha about three hundred Km east of Moscow. Ivanova region, Privolzhsky district, village Nogino (10 km from the town of Ples) The village is located on the shore of a large lake and is surrounded by forest. It has gas, electricity, a Russian stove, a well, 15 sotkas of land. At 800,000 roubles I have enough left in my budget for improvements. We hope to have the official registration this week when we will move in for a while.

I'd love to hear anyone else's experience of living in a dacha. Here is a picture of it.

Congrats! Frankly I think that's likely a way better solution for a first house. There are always things to fix/improve in any house, and learning by doing - and learning from the mistakes of others - is way less of a challenge than building a place from scratch (unless of course budget is unlimited). I just heard from a neighbour the figure of a million rubles just to get gas hooked up - not counting the paperwork headache. Another acquaintance in Moscow oblast recently got hooked up "for free" (they have lots of kids and a disabled foster child, anyway some kind of social program) - let's just say their stories about the physical and bureaucratic process are frightening, and it still wasn't 'free.'

I don't have too many comments on the house itself - looks pretty basic and simple which is probably good to start. You don't say much about what the equipment and set-up is like apart from having a traditional Russian stove. Overall thought: at some point you're going to figure out that you want some renovations done, and possibly large enough that you'll need someplace else to live while the work is being done. Anyway, my view is if it's in living condition, live there first for a while, figure out what priorities you have, and take time to look into what the options are.

Some specific thoughts/questions:
-how old is the place?
-get some tools. Hope you're handy.
-Internet?
-it looks like the attic is most likely a cold attic, i.e. not meant to be used or heated. In terms of insulation and general warmth/comfort, the single biggest (and relatively easy) improvement that can be done is to properly seal the roof/attic juncture so that no airflow up to attic from living space, and then add extra insulation on the floor of the attic. If the sealing is done properly, you can use simple rockwool rolls. For this, more is better. Insulation of walls and changing windows etc is more complex and expensive - but heat rises so the attic isnualtion is the easiest.
-Russian stove (and in general): be careful about air in use and get a carbon monoxide detector or three. Also fire safety. Test the stove carefully - and ideally get it checked. Obviously quesiton of how well it's been maintained and in what condition. Oh - to use any stove/fireplace properly, you need dry (i.e. aged) wood. If there isn't a decent store of wood there already, get wood in now (it's still somewhat late for ideal use this winter but four or five months aged is better than nothing). Standard is to get a cubic metre of split birch dumped and you stack it yourself or pay a bit extra - everyone says their wood is dry and they are all liars (it may not be 'wet' but zero chance it's well aged).
-Gas heat - presume a boiler with rads? May want to check about how/whether to use antifreeze in the rads system. Frozen rads and pipes are very bad and expensive to fix. Not all gas boilers will continue to work properly without electricity, and it's not unheard of for them to stop working for other reasons.
-Septic/wastewater? Keep in mind there are pretty strict regs about what types of systems can be used near any kind of body of water. You may be grandfathered in if existing system, but typically any modifications mean it has to be upgraded to current regulations.
-15 sotkas - very nice. Do yourself a favour and budget for some yard work / general help. Not that most of this stuff is very hard but it can be time consuming and you may as well offload the gruntwork and leave yourself the more pleasant stuff.
-Water - worth getting the water tested. Basically though you'll probably want to budget for a water filtration system. They're pretty standard and not too expensive. Drinking water filter system after that system, i.e. the main 'salt' cleaning system is not for drinking water (not necessarily unsafe but most people want drinking water filtered for that purpose).

As for living at dacha: we're closer to Moscow and not here full time (although much of time). I don't know how comparable, will mostly depend on level of services and all that out there. I understand Ples is fairly developed and a nice place, but it's pretty much a fact that it's going to be different than Moscow. Even where we are, complaints are rampant about medical services, feckless and incompetent local admin, road and electricity etc outages (which while not that bad are still noticeably worse). Oh, garbage collection is a big issue, as is just plain litter and tendency for illegal dumping of trash. Neighbours make a difference - in both good and bad senses. Every nieghbourhood and village has drunks and people to watch out for. Some places have a crime problem - whether real thieves or random smash and grab drunks. Some will suggest a dog is the only practical approach, I don't know.

FatAndy
29-07-2019, 19:58
Regarding crime problem, mentioned by Armoured, I'd recommend to look at nearest neighbours (fence to fence and backyard to backyard) and try to establish good relations with them (though w/o too much familiarity) - having respect from them may help a lot.

johnsimpson
30-07-2019, 01:29
Thanks for a most informative post, much appreciated. Yes it's liveable traditional dacha style will know more when I visit and hopefully stay a while sometime this week as I wait for confirmed documents. The house already has gas, but will need some attention from a gas fitter for central heating. My wife informs me of a packaged service we will use that will cover running water, sewerage, etc. How old is it? The advert said built 1970, but no, it was built 1920 by the sellers grandfather. Surprisingly the wood and paintwork looks in good condition, no peeling or rotten on first short visit. Just faded, and could do with a coat of paint outside and varnish in the interior. Could look rather nice as a traditional styled dacha brightly coloured with the decorative fretwork in a contrast white surrounding the windows etc. Internet, not cable but using a wireless provider there shouldn't be a problem. They say fast enough due to smaller traffic using it. I'll certainly check for insulation including the attic. The sellers did make a fire in the stove the day before we arrived, and by the next day long after the fire had died off the house was actually warm and cosy as the oven retained the heat. The house will be left with furnishing and tools and we have our own as we currently use our own local allotment. We will have a stock of wood to start off with and will probably need more if staying through winter. Here's another view of the house. 33002 There is a large barn attached at the back, not included in the floor plan. Useful for storage and keeping those logs dry etc.

Armoured
30-07-2019, 08:58
Looks lovely.

All comments and suggestions from those (incl me) who haven't seen it firsthand should be taken with a grain of salt, of course.

I'm most curious what this package for sewerage water gas could be.

What's the electrics like? I'd assume you'll have to upgrade whatever's there, i.e. if it hasn't been redone recently. The older-style is still pretty common here and not great for safety.

Armoured
30-07-2019, 09:32
I had a random thought - I have sometimes found these older houses with (by modern standards) small and less numerous windows to be rather dark. Usual solution has been to put in large, cumbersome light fixtures with many bulbs - even so, ends up being bright near the light fixtures but uneven, also because usually electricity was sometimes only wired to a few places in each room. Now though they have these LED lighting strips that don't take much power and can be placed unobtrusively in odd places, for indirect light under/behind things, etc.

Be sure to get instruction on how to properly use the Russian stove. Some of them have quite specific ways they have to be operated, with most direct draft open when lighting a fire, then diverted to a system of baffles once the fire is hot and clean (to absorb the heat in the masonry by maximum exposure), and then closed/diverted again once the fire is down. Anyway each one can be different.

I think there are also recommended ways for the wood - apart from dry wood (of course) but in general the idea is to have periodic short but hot fires (not necessarily large but hot and quick), which overall would mean relatively finely split wood. I've seen some used by people who seemed to be using what I'd think of as almost just kindling, lots and lots of very small pieces. Nothing like sticking an unsplit log per the visual image of say sherlock standing by the large open fireplace with large long logs burning slowly in the background. That said I've never spent lengths of time in a place heated mostly by pechka in very cold weather. Smaller pieces of wood means more air exposure means burns faster and hotter.

(As I understand it the very hot fire with the diversion to the baffled system works with relatively little build up of tar and creosote and the like in those complicated masonry baffles; screw that up by burning too low or diverting to the baffles at wrong time and all that stuff builds up and both starts to destroy the masonry - acidic I suppose - and also raises risk of eventual creosote fire, which can be very dangerous)

johnsimpson
30-07-2019, 13:41
As you can see from the picture there are a lot of windows compared to your typical traditional dacha. And yes we have plans to improve the electrical wiring to modern standards. Yes, there has been a manual written up for us of which my wife is translating for me. Not only that, due to the work I do editing my wife's translations, Russian to English, I have taken an interest Russian culture and traditional way of living, especially in the use of a Russian stove which brought my attention to this dacha in the first place. In regards to wood it is best to use what is locally available and whatever is in supply, using for example the birch bark to start off the fire and quarter split the logs. Here is an interesting video about firing up a Russian stove, by a Swede in cold Russia. Enjoyable viewing.
https://youtu.be/r_TO30jzyUA

johnsimpson
30-07-2019, 15:26
This is the link that attracted me to the dacha in the first place. Unfortunately al the pictures have gone now as it is sold. http://ivanovo.cian.ru/sale/suburban/189022256/
Here's what I saved. 33004

Armoured
30-07-2019, 17:54
That is more Windows than usual. Still in winter it's never enough.

johnsimpson
30-07-2019, 19:22
We will be taking a three hour trip by train to Ivanovo from Moscow on Friday, then onto Ples (beside the Volga) close to where the dacha is. So we will know better after that. Gas as I said, not a major expense as it is already available, and ready to have a gas cooker boiler installed. Electricity wiring probably needs improvement as a washing machine is essential to us and as my sons say a TV with computer games is a must. All must be safe as we leave the place from time to time. But we did observe a kettle and a hotplate stove working, and has two fridges, lighting in the rooms also working, as well as a strimmer available powered for use. Estimated the lot another 800,000 roubles for sewerage, running water and gas, let's say 100,000 would be OK in all. Yes, we will have the electricity checked, wife is already worried about it as the owners left last week leaving the fridges functioning. That seems to worry her a lot. In regards the package, more details later.

Armoured
30-07-2019, 20:36
What's a strimmer?

You have boys? If they're old enough to play video games, they're old enough to cut wood.

Unfortunately also old enough to find porn on their own.

johnsimpson
30-07-2019, 22:12
it cuts grass but not a lawn mower. It cuts overgrowth.

Yes one grown up, 22 and one 13 years old. One good reason we won't live permanently due to schooling. Hopefully they will help, although the young is spoilt. Good at school, though. Clever boy.

Armoured
31-07-2019, 09:29
it cuts grass but not a lawn mower. It cuts overgrowth.

Ah those things. You know, I have one, but tend to do that with a scythe. Old school. But I'm only using it for the parts I can't mow, i.e. not a big territory.

johnsimpson
31-07-2019, 13:22
Ah those things. You know, I have one, but tend to do that with a scythe. Old school. But I'm only using it for the parts I can't mow, i.e. not a big territory.

I love lawns. So I will use a lawn mower once it's all cut down. I hope it keeps through Russian winters.

FatAndy
31-07-2019, 15:37
tend to do that with a scythe. Old school.
Comrade, be careful, this way spies fall through... ;)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW5-03ojX3g

johnsimpson
31-07-2019, 20:14
I only mentioned a strimmer as it was in the barn already. And a scythe does look more efficient If I compare those strimmer cutters that cut the grass in our estate. They are most certainly not as efficient as those scythe cutters in the video. I will give it a try, but I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.

Armoured
31-07-2019, 21:33
I only mentioned a strimmer as it was in the barn already. And a scythe does look more efficient If I compare those strimmer cutters that cut the grass in our estate. They are most certainly not as efficient as those scythe cutters in the video. I will give it a try, but I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.

I find lawnmower more efficient but not once the stuff gets too long.

I like the scythe 'cause it allows me to quietly hunt down the stinging nettles and other stuff all over without a long cable and get around obstacles. But I asked because I didn't know the name strimmer.

I'm sure I wouldn't be efficient at using it for proper haying at all. Nowhere near the technique.

FatAndy
01-08-2019, 10:18
I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.
It's not easy if never did it before and had no regular practice. Many years ago, yet in USSR, I read some book on physiology, and there was the table with energy consumption during different types of physical activities. Scythe "ops" had the max. figures. This is understandable though - you get rather big dynamical load on arms, shoulders, all the vertebra (spinal cord) muscle carcassus, lower back, @$$, hips, and more statical load on hands, feet and thighs. Plus both types on all the joints.

So, consider it as an option tightly depending on your age and physical state, and don't hesitate to consult a doctor BEFORE the activity (surgeon/neurologist/osteologist - хирург, невролог, остеолог).

And drink enough slightly salted water in the process - sweat goes as a river ;)

Armoured
03-08-2019, 18:17
In regards to wood it is best to use what is locally available and whatever is in supply, using for example the birch bark to start off the fire and quarter split the logs.[/video]

Whoever says just use whatever is in local supply is a liar or just happens to have good firewood like birch (which, granted, is much of Russia).

It's certainly not anyone who has a lot of bloody aspen (осина) which is pretty crap burning wood, absorbs water like a sponge and a pain to split when even slightly damp, and has a tendency esp the bark to rot superquick when in touch with the ground and possibly best used for compost. Go ahead, ask me how I know.

I think poplar may be just about as useless but not much personal experience.

Like any wood, it'll burn if you get it dry and keep it there, but you'll need twice as much of it as birch to get real heat. I guarantee if it's plentiful locally and it's all you have that you'll soon be looking for your local birchmonger to make a delivery.

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 12:08
You are so right, as I have experienced my first five day visit to the dacha. In our adjoining barn I am well stocked up by the previous owner what is probably aspen, plenty of knots and the axe bounced off some of my first attempts. Finally a neighbourly babushka popped in to see How were doing with our oven, she arrived with a few quartered logs of her own birch wood, while chatting away she stripped off the bark and split the wood into smaller pieces as starter wood and a fire was burning what seemed to have taken seconds.

We now know of a local supplier who supplies birch wood ready quartered and we will definitely be using their service.

Even though it was cloudy, and often rained in our first five days we can't wait to get back again. We left on a sunny day, most frustrating. We hope to return before beginning of September. I manage to cut down the 15 sotka 'jungle of two metre weeds. The adjoining log barn is sinking so we need to decide whether to have it raised or demolished.

A good tip, get a local newspaper.

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 12:16
What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.

Armoured
08-08-2019, 12:33
I just split a bunch of aspen. While it was relatively fresh, it was okay. If yours are in the round and dry and knotty, they'll be a nightmare.

Even with that, it worked a lot better to use either a wedge or a maul - main thing is heavy angle on the head to do the splitting work. And a mallet to whack it down, and patience to let the splitting pressure to take its time. A regular thin-headed cutting axe is a hell of a lot less effective for the big knotty ones. And sawing the rounds into shorter logs (chainsaw needed) makes the splitting a lot easier.

But frankly, I don't know if it's even worth it in the near term, just split and use it over time. Get a full load or two of birch in quick, that'll be time better spent. Since you have the space, stacking it outside with exposure to wind and sun will actually dry it quicker than stacking it inside your shed or against a wall. Just top-cover it with whatever - sheet metal or part of a tarp - the goal isn't to keep it perfectly dry, just keep heavy rain from getting in there (or put differently, the air and sun more important for drying than getting a bit damp on the sides). If you're lucky it should be dry enough to use by the cold weather.

FatAndy
08-08-2019, 12:33
What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.
Strange question, comrade...
Jam in jars from better fruits and brew samogon of course of worse ones.
https://alcofan.com/samogon-iz-yablok-v-domashnix-usloviyax.html - apples
https://dom-vinokura.ru/samogon/retsepty/samogon-iz-slivy.html - plums
https://samogonov.com/auxpage_samovyvoz/ - rectifying devices :)

Armoured
08-08-2019, 13:43
What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.

I won't have any good suggestions on that, but if it's a heavy apple year, have you picked a spot for garden?

You're going to have spoiled and windfall and apple pressings. Dig up an area, a foot and a half or two deep. Dump whatever's spoiled, pressings, kitchen scraps, whatever - just not your weedy yard waste. Cover with soil. Mulch on top if you have anything you can mulch with. Should make a good spot for a veggie or herb garden (not root veggies in first year). Voila, naturally fertilized garden.

And pick a spot for a compost pile. Or better, two - one to fill up, then leave it while you fill up pile number two. Plain cardboard can go in there (and helps). Makes a big difference in how much garbage you have to haul out. Also helps to have a separate pile for dry leaves or yard waste if you want. Ideally mix something dryish and 'brown' with your kitchen wastes from time to time, also to cover kitchen wastes in layers (keeps smell down and better compost). But it all rots in time.

Is it a real heavy year for apples, old apple trees? It's pretty common for them to have heavy years followed by light years.

Also a good time of year to trim dead branches. A proper pruning saw makes a big difference - I got mine for about 400 rubles. Google for videos on how to lop off branches with less damage. Don't go crazy removing branches in first year. Can't seem to put a picture but google for pruning saw - curved blade, pretty big teeth.

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 15:58
Cider is popular in UK sold nationally with brand names such Bulmers woodpecker, served draught in pubs, punters commonly order a pint of snakebite, a mix of half cider, half lager. It is traditionally brewed in Cornwall, Southeast coast of England, and known locally as Scrumpy. I'm not sure how close it be to apple wine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsg0da-XOMk&t=74s
https://www.lovebrewing.co.uk/guides/cider-making/cider-making-made-easy#.XUwWKaaEbDc

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 16:09
Most definitely a heavy apple year, exceptional year as the branches are falling towards the ground with the weight of them. And yes there are some old trees and a lot of dead wood to cut back and I have already begun doing that (already bought the saws you describe) to gain access while cutting back the 'jungle'. Thanks for the tip of digging a hole for apple waste etc, and we already had plans for compost heap as there is a lot of cut weeds hopefully dried with the sun when we get back soon.

Judge
08-08-2019, 19:04
while chatting away she stripped off the bark
Save the bark for starting the fire, the oils in the bark make the best firestarters.

https://youtu.be/fUbrs_B0bZo

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 19:28
Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?

Armoured
08-08-2019, 22:17
Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?

Just a flint, with something designed to spark against the flint; looks like pretty standard camping gear kit of some kind. Sparks catch okay if the bark scraped into dust beforehand and pretty dry.


Thinking about your house: what do you hear / read about what should be done to treat the wood (on the outside)? I don't know, I presume it's meant to be restained or painted or protected. Rough guess would be that it's supposed to be done every three to five years or so, and actually done every 20 or 25 years or so, if that.

The downside being that if you start the process of prepping/checking the wood you sort of have to rip out any rotted bits and fix properly, which probably explains why it doesn't get done - nobody wants to start for fear it'll lead to yet more work, repeat etc. (Which is pretty much what owning a house is like anyway...)

I'm kind of guessing though, honestly curious what the recommendations are.

(My other slight insight is that the 'natural' stains/wood protectors work just fine but don't last as long, so they need to be more frequently applied, but then hardly anyone does, so it turns into a bigger job)

johnsimpson
08-08-2019, 23:51
Due to the faded colour of the house (apparently was a dark bluish grey colour) I would say it hasn't been painted for many years. At first I thought it was gloss paint but it cant be, as I would have seen peeling of paint. I think it is a stain. The house opposite us appears to be painted in croesite. The windows and the surrounding decorative fretwork I plan to paint in white. I will be making some enquiries and I'll get back to you on that. There are are a lot of dachas that have similar design, only difference is different colours. For rotten and deterioration I don't see any on the original dacha, but the extend parts do need seeing to. Yes the old 1920s solid square logged house with a brick base is in much better condition than the 'new' summer house area. And as for the barn, wood is splitting, a lot of concern with the roof. The condition of the barn logs in reading up is die to movement and sinking apparently., Again I'll be back on that area. We have booked a surveyor for some advice, with particular concern about the adjoining barn. Here's an example of what another dacha similar design would look like. 33009

FatAndy
09-08-2019, 01:11
Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?
Longer fireplace matches, or usual matches + small qty of fire liquid (жидкость для розжига)
https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B5%20%D1%81%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%87%D0%BA%D0%B8

https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%B4%D0%BA%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C%20%D0%B4%D0%BB%D1%8F%20%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%B3%D0%B0 - flammable, be very careful.

Both should be available in network grocery shops like Perekrestok, Magnit, Diksi, Pyaterochka etc.

Benedikt
09-08-2019, 07:07
I'm sure I wouldn't be efficient at using it for proper haying at all. Nowhere near the technique.[/QUOTE]


use these -trimmers- the park service uses to cut the long grass and special AROUND trees or bushes. at the bottom instead of a blade there is a sort of rotating nylon string that guts grass. the whole contraption is held in the hands and with a sling like a rucksack over the shoulder. powered by a small petrol motor. Safety shoes and goggles and thick gloves though are recommended.something like this, cuts the thickest grass and weeds. https://ru.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=pic+handheld+petrol+engine+lawn+trimmers&fr=crmas&imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawnmowersdirect.co.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F11%2FShindaiwa_T2510_Grass_Trimmer_1.png#id=-1&iurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lawnmowersdirect.co.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F11%2FShindaiwa_T2510_Grass_Trimmer_1.png&action=click

Benedikt
09-08-2019, 07:11
Yes, and the best is from birch. What is that he's using instead of matches or a lighter?

collect corks from wine and Champagne bottles. put them in a big glass. soak them in lighter fluid, paraffin or the likes. not that smelly stuff you use for - shashlik-. the corks will then burn a long time, lighten even the most hard burning wood.https://macgyverisms.wonderhowto.com/how-to/easy-diy-fire-starters-plus-9-more-ways-reuse-old-wine-corks-0138343/

Armoured
09-08-2019, 09:40
Due to the faded colour of the house (apparently was a dark bluish grey colour) I would say it hasn't been painted for many years. At first I thought it was gloss paint but it cant be, as I would have seen peeling of paint. I think it is a stain. The house opposite us appears to be painted in croesite. The windows and the surrounding decorative fretwork I plan to paint in white. I will be making some enquiries and I'll get back to you on that.

Definitely look into it, before painting as well. My understanding is that for outdoor bare wood, it's important to use something that penetrates deep into the wood and prevents rot / discourages various microbes and bugs etc as well as partly repelling water. Painting over that may make it more difficult to treat/stain in future; I suppose you can just keep painting over to keep water out but that won't get into the wood as well. I presume stains available in different colours, or possibly as a top coat. If you want to paint windows etc that's more manageable.

When I have done this (decks etc) stains easier as you mostly don't have to remove any paint beforehand.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 09:48
use these -trimmers- the park service uses to cut the long grass and special AROUND trees or bushes. at the bottom instead of a blade there is a sort of rotating nylon string that guts grass. the whole contraption is held in the hands and with a sling like a rucksack over the shoulder. powered by a small petrol motor.

That's what johnsimpson called a strimmer. What I meant when I said "proper haying" was cutting longer grasses to be dried and collected for feeding cows etc. You can't do that with a strimmer, it chews everything up. A scythe is fine for that but it's real work and requires some technique.

I've gone away from using petrol tools wherever possible. Those small engines have terrible pollution and noise and are smelly, too. I read a thing that in immediate area, the particulate pollution is off the charts (like hundreds of times what would be allowable in a factory). Breathing that stuff is not recommended. The disadvantages of electrical equipment are really minor for my uses - mostly minor inconvenience.


collect corks from wine and Champagne bottles. put them in a big glass. soak them in lighter fluid, paraffin or the likes. not that smelly stuff you use for - shashlik-. the corks will then burn a long time, lighten even the most hard burning wood.

I think the question was what the guy in the video was using to light the birch bark. It's a flint - stone against metal usually to get a spark, like in flintlock weapons.

Good suggestions for firestarters, I'll have to try that.

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 11:47
I didn't have much long gr**** simply stinging nettles mixed with a tall plant (1.5 to 2m high) which appeared to have thistle or burdock flowers, but wasn't sharp or thorny( a soft leaf). I used a sickle, sometimes a shovel to flatten and then cut the stems with the shovel, also I simply pulled out the plants by its roots, very easy to pull out. I used the different techniques as my son was fascinated by the sickle and learned to use it.

Yes, must get that fire-starter. Looks cool to start off an outside fire. :)

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 11:50
Yes , I will be avoiding standard gloss paint for the exterior of the house, including the windows. I don't want peeling of paint to strip down a number if years later. Something I don't have at the moment to do, thank goodness.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 13:41
I didn't have much long gr**** simply stinging nettles mixed with a tall plant (1.5 to 2m high) which appeared to have thistle or burdock flowers, but wasn't sharp or thorny( a soft leaf). I used a sickle, sometimes a shovel to flatten and then cut the stems with the shovel, also I simply pulled out the plants by its roots, very easy to pull out. I used the different techniques as my son was fascinated by the sickle and learned to use it.

A wild guess that the plant without the thistles may be comfrey of some kind. Not a problematic plant and easily composted, supposedly high in nutrients for other plants.

Stinging nettle: on the positive side, krapivo is said to be a sign of pretty good soil and the best 'shchi' is made from krapivo (although you need young tender plants and I'm too lazy to try and prepare it). I've found that if you want to rid an area of krapivo, you pretty much have to pull it up by the roots - it just comes back every year if you're only cutting it; well-established krapivo has solid roots that just bounce back. Thick rubber gloves work fine or - pro tip - forego the gloves and just put up with the pain; the endorphins kick in and you get a cheap high for a full day or so. If you're really, really diligent and cut the krapivo before it goes to seed, it might work given enough time, but uprooting works much better.

Side note on soil: useful to dig down and see what you have. Since you're close to a river, you may have great river sediment and loam. Everywhere I've seen in podmoskovie has thick clay soil below. Nothing wrong with clay soil but can be a pain and sometimes drains poorly, becomes a thick mud in spring and brick-solid if it ever dries out. It doesn't need to be 'fixed' per se, but can be improved; relatively easy to deal with by adding as much organic material as possible. If you do the trench composting I described above, you can also dispose of as much woody stuff as you can - branches, rotted wood, etc - by tossing that in there as well, just bury the stuff. It'll rot over time and just become part of the soil. I really, really try to avoid burning stuff just to get rid of it - hate the air pollution from jerks burning all their yard waste. You can also bury charcoal and some - not too much - wood ash.

The other things you can do are plant cover crops - grechka (buckwheat), mustards, clovers, whatever - that root down and loosen up the soil and feed microbes. These are all supercheap at the usual garden spots and a lot cheaper than 'grass seeds' (ie the stuff you buy to make a proper lawn). It's really useful to do this when trying to get rid of the stinging nettles because something needs to grow there instead of the nettles, otherwise you'll just get other weeds growing in place.

One interesting approach is to buy tillage or forage radishes - basically these are similar to Daikon. You sow them around this time of year and they die in the fall (or you cut them before the frost). They grow enormous deep radish roots - and when they die in the fall the huge radish roots rot in the soil and break up the harder soil for you leaving these pockets that other plants love. The seeds are harder to find and I can't remember what they're called in Russian but they're not expensive. (I recall I bought a bunch of seed stuff that was cheap in bulk online - they'd be even cheaper if you bought them in kolkhoz quantities)

One small warning: in Russia as in other places, sometimes garden plots/dacha plots have a lot of broken brick, glass and other stuff including bits of metal, nails, screws, and lord knows what else. Sometimes these spots are just from old middens (garbage/compost dumps and even outhouses basically), sometimes from old buildings that just rotted away and there was kind of a myth that glass and whatnot was good for the soil (it's probably not bad for the soil, but it's whatever else was dumped there that's good for it). I'm not kidding, you can get cut from 'finding' old beer bottles. Everyone should have up-to-date tetanus shots and be a bit careful rooting around with their hands/use gloves.

Note, none of these suggestions require a lot of work, just things you can get to over time while you're doing other stuff. I'm not sure about the forage radishes, but most of the other plants/cover crops don't need to be 'planted', just cast around at appropriate times of year.

Avoid using herbicides and pesticides if you can. Probably pretty obvious - fortunately russia is less chemical mad than some other countries.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 14:01
A few really small thoughts on things I wish I did more of (even where I did a lot of it):

-stuff to make sitting outside more pleasant. Why live in the countryside if you don't spend more time outside?
-mosquito netting on windows improves life.
-I know grilling on real charcoal is better. I don't care. Gas barbecues are easier and we grill outside and sit out with friends a lot more because we have one.
-everyone enjoys a nice swing. Other simple outdoor stuff is great too.

All just my opinion.

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 15:11
Your posts on gardening are much appreciated, Armoured. I was planning on clearing the whole land, weeding frequently, using a hover mower regularly to encourage the grass to grow and develop into a lawn. this will make future work much easier. After that we will draw a plan for our garden, where the vegetable plots and paths will be etc. It worked in a smaller garden I had in the UK and hoping for the same results here. But I will certainly be taking note of your tips in also using clover, buckwheat, radishes etc. Thankfully, so far no sign of garbage, gl**** bottles etc in the garden, and seems to be garbage free.

We have a lot of what appears to be white fungus on some of our trees. any tips for treatment?

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 15:17
After a large stock of of dry birch wood and its bark, and the skills gained for using a Russian stove do we really need a gas barbecue and purchased charcoal? :) Of course I hope to have some time to enjoy some time in our garden by next summer.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 15:49
After a large stock of of dry birch wood and its bark, and the skills gained for using a Russian stove do we really need a gas barbecue and purchased charcoal? :) Of course I hope to have some time to enjoy some time in our garden by next summer.

I think no need to purchase charcoal. One can certainly grill without a gas barbecue; just my own experience is that it takes a good while to get proper coals for cooking outside, and often that means you say to heck with it, let's just cook on the stove. Gas barbecue, turn a knob and you're away. Grilled corn is actually my favourite. Oh, and use the gas barbecue year round. Except when the temperature falls below about minus 15, then the gas is a liquid ....))

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 16:20
LOL! glass and grass are being censored. They are not swear words, and I am aware of key wording to cut out swearing etc as I am admin myself elsewhere.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 16:33
I was planning on clearing the whole land, weeding frequently, using a hover mower regularly to encourage the grass to grow and develop into a lawn. this will make future work much easier. After that we will draw a plan for our garden, where the vegetable plots and paths will be etc. It worked in a smaller garden I had in the UK and hoping for the same results here. But I will certainly be taking note of your tips in also using clover, buckwheat, radishes etc. Thankfully, so far no sign of garbage, gl**** bottles etc in the garden, and seems to be garbage free.

It should work. I'm no expert on getting a lawn going. But doing more or less what you're suggesting and mixing in different seeds, wildflowers, clover, and yes, some grass seeds will probably work eventually. In part just to displace the weeds and whatever else is growing there that you don't want. That said, I know some who want the perfect "English lawn" with all the exact same grass and perfect-perfect. Sowing different seeds from time to time and just keeping the other stuff under control should work. Natural mixes tend to require less work.

Alternatively, try and get a perfect lawn in a small area and let the rest be more natural )).

Anyway, the thing I'd be more worried about is stuff like drainage and whether there are bad/soft patches and stuff like that. You may need to wait and see what's what before making any decisions on that.

I didn't mean to say 'garbage' per se, just that burying piles of stuff used to be pretty common.


We have a lot of what appears to be white fungus on some of our trees. any tips for treatment?

Hmmm, no, don't really know. On all the trees? Is it actually damaging them or just looks unpleasant? Just like a mildew covering or janky looking in spots? All trees or just apple trees? From what little I know, two simple things:
i) One is just that they've been too damp from overgrowth, dead branches, and wounds/bark that's split in places. Scrape away (not too violently) loose and damaged bark, trim dead limbs, etc. (I suspect the proper approach is 'correct' professional trimming / thinning of apple trees and that's beyond me). Anyway at least some of the common diseases and blights for apple trees esp are from fungi/spores that spread and fester with rain, the spores getting spread by rain against ground, rotting stuff on the ground that's accumulated, and loose faff/bark etc on the trees and branches, and not enough air and sun and wind due to overgrowth. So trimming and cleaning up, just rubbing off moss and loose bark, some thinning, branches that are too low, etc might help a lot. Oh, since some of the blights are from splashing up, it's possible some kind of dry ground covering (like wood chips) would help if the ground below is bare or overgrown. Possibly just raking and cleaning underneath.
ii) Light spraying of diluted copper sulfate treatments, either straight or a mix - bordeaux mixture I think it's called? These are considered pretty natural, safe if used with a small amount of caution/common sense (they're considered organic). I've used for dealing with moss / algae growth on buildings and surfaces not trees. Copper sulphate readily available in any place that sells garden stuff, not expensive; I've seen bordeaux mixture as well. (Iron sulphate also used but I don't know what the differences are). If there are rotted/damp bits on trunk or at branch junctures, there's probably some recommended treatment to clean it up and dry it out.

I think what you have is pretty normal for trees that have been left alone/neglected and left to overgrow for a long time in damp-ish conditions. And will be under control pretty quick with only a bit of work. But if it's something more serious, way beyond my knowledge. I'd say don't try and fix it all at once and see if it clears up next season after some modest clean-up. (Oh, if you have concerns, try to use compost stuff from plants in different parts of the yard - i.e. don't use composted apple tree leaves around the apple trees(

Oh, in spring, it's pretty common here for folk to whitewash the tree trunks - I think against insects and rodents. If you ask in a garden store they'll show you what's used, I forget what the stuff is called. I've never bothered.

Armoured
09-08-2019, 17:04
Sorry, long post. Short form is I bet if you clean up generally and get things in a bit of order, taking care of the obvious, that a lot of this stuff will just clear up on its own.

johnsimpson
09-08-2019, 17:05
Yes, thanks for all that and will be doing much what you said plus a bit of googling and possibly advice from who seem to be helpful and pop in form time time. We have 12 sotkas of land locally in Gorki-10, so we have some experience in gardening, it is in the last stages of having building permission but it might not happen in our lifetime due to slow red-tape. It will be sold soon along with the 12 sotka plot in Ruza ( I mentioned at first, as we don't need them any more. Any interested buyers, please let me know.

Yes, we have used this white latex paint here locally, to keep the pests away. https://fruitgrowersnews.com/article/painting-tree-trunks-protects-against-rodents-borers/#//

Armoured
09-08-2019, 17:26
Yes, thanks for all that and will be doing much what you said plus a bit of googling and possibly advice from who seem to be helpful and pop in form time time. We have 12 sotkas of land locally in Gorki-10, so we have some experience in gardening, it is in the last stages of having building permission but it might not happen in our lifetime due to slow red-tape. It will be sold soon along with the 12 sotka plot in Ruza ( I mentioned at first, as we don't need them any more. Any interested buyers, please let me know.

Yes, we have used this white latex paint here locally, to keep the pests away. https://fruitgrowersnews.com/article/painting-tree-trunks-protects-against-rodents-borers/#//

The stuff I was referring to is a lime mixture, called известь I think in Russian. Personally I'd use that before a latex paint, but whatever works.

When I was referring to removing loose bark and stuff that gets damp and rots, I just used a heavy work glove and rubbed the stuff off. Any parts that have more damage you could look into, but again, getting generally in order might make a big difference on its own.

There are various light soaps meant for trees and plants to deal with bugs like aphids, also I think just plain white vinegar is sometimes used. More light and sun and less damp and whatever to just disrupt the growth of the fungus or yeast or bugs that have made a home in there will do most of the work. Not uncommon for older trees to have these problems, but mainly/partly just neglect. The copper sulphate/bordeaux sprays will also help, but I don't know what time of year is recommended (probalby not when you're still eating apples); may not be needed if the other steps work.

Put up ads here for your other places ).

Armoured
11-08-2019, 08:57
Had a good example of why you sometimes need to uproot the stinging nettles. They get woody and very tough - gloves needed. What looked like a wee nettle shoot had a 10 inch long root and probably a half/two third cm diameter. Tough little bâtarde. Easy enough to pull up with thick gloves but that thing could live for years and years. I think they also can reproduce by sending out shoots, not certain though.

johnsimpson
11-08-2019, 12:37
Yes Armoured, I think they do reproduce. I had 15 sotkas of them up to two metres high mixed with what I now know were a species of thistle with soft leaves, no hard splikes. All easily pulled out with a good pair of gardening gloves, not the cloth type. Somehow they do reproduce to make a jungle of them. I'm hoping to return soon and they will have dried up ready to clear in a heap. Getting myself a Flymo hovermower to train the ground in the hope of a future carpet of gr**** ensuring those weeds never return again.

nicklcool
14-08-2019, 18:51
That's what johnsimpson called a strimmer.

Yeah, back in the States we call those tools weed whackers. Probably awful for the environment, yes, but also likely great for dads as they can made yardwork “fun” thereby motivating young teenage sons to help out! :laughing:

Armoured
14-08-2019, 20:53
Yes Armoured, I think they do reproduce. I had 15 sotkas of them up to two metres high mixed with what I now know were a species of thistle with soft leaves, no hard splikes. All easily pulled out with a good pair of gardening gloves, not the cloth type. Somehow they do reproduce to make a jungle of them. I'm hoping to return soon and they will have dried up ready to clear in a heap. Getting myself a Flymo hovermower to train the ground in the hope of a future carpet of gr**** ensuring those weeds never return again.

Yes the krapivo grow through shoots (rhizomes) as well as seeds, I looked it up. You can sort of get them under control by cutting but if you want to really rid an area of them you have to uproot them. But it's really not that hard if you're patient. Only thing is, easier to identify and uproot if you let them grow, you lose them if you cut all the time barber style.

Armoured
14-08-2019, 20:55
Yeah, back in the States we call those tools weed whackers. Probably awful for the environment, yes, but also likely great for dads as they can made yardwork “fun” thereby motivating young teenage sons to help out! :laughing:

The electric ones are fine.

johnsimpson
15-08-2019, 15:43
Theft is a major problem for dachas. Especially when it s known as an area for the seasonal dacha lover who return to the city from time to time. We just had news of a neighbour being robbed, and they also stole their installed radiators. Unbelievable. Security is a major problem.

johnsimpson
15-08-2019, 16:06
What lawnmower to use for a large garden? petrol, rechargeable battery, or electric. I have weighed up all the pros and cons and discussed with family what they want and don't want and I've end up purchasing an electric Flymo turbo 400 hover-mower. I do know I am get a few amazed stares and laighs when I use it and the criticism I am going to get with this choice, but I have successful experience using this hover-mower.

The rechargeable battery one was considered but reading reviews the battery power is not as good as claimed. One charge will cover a tennis court, but only if you already have a well trained lawn, light gr**** and you keep it cut low on a regular basis. Petrol? Wife doesn't like the smell of petrol and we be carrying it back and forth at the beginning, and then there is the extra weight. What? no wheels, no box to collect grass?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtN_cfkaR6M

Armoured
15-08-2019, 16:44
What lawnmower to use for a large garden? petrol, rechargeable battery, or electric. I have weighed up all the pros and cons and discussed with family what they want and don't want and I've end up purchasing an electric Flymo turbo 400 hover-mower. I do know I am get a few amazed stares and laighs when I use it and the criticism I am going to get with this choice, but I have successful experience using this hover-mower.

The rechargeable battery one was considered but reading reviews the battery power is not as good as claimed. One charge will cover a tennis court, but only if you already have a well trained lawn, light gr**** and you keep it cut low on a regular basis. Petrol? Wife doesn't like the smell of petrol and we be carrying it back and forth at the beginning, and then there is the extra weight. What? no wheels, no box to collect grass?

If it works for you, it works for you. Can you adjust the cutting height fo this hover-beast? Overall what I've heard and read in most places is cut at the highest allowable distance, that allows good grass to get well established and strong.

I have a cheapo Bosch battery one. Yes, it has some disadvantages, particularly if you want to do a lot of mowing all at once or have a big lawn. I have a beer instead while it's charging, which generally only happens if it's a particularly heavy workout (mulching not mowing piles of leaves ie. stuff it's not designed for). Other than that, it's kind of nice to not have to deal with a long extension cord.

But overall I'd put it at 50/50 between traditional electric and battery for my uses; basically okay either way, advantage to wired electric if you need to do a lot of mowing all at once. (Oh, BTW, an extra battery would help a lot, except that the last time I checked they cost almost as much as the lawnmower)

I should say, I have been pleasantly surprised at how durable it's been. The battery life may be a bit shorter than new, but other than that, it's lasted quite a number of years, albeit not very heavy use. (I pretty much have the smallest/lightest model, or close to it, so it's actually performed beyond expectations.

Mind, heavier-duty likely best wired electric, as you'd pay through the nose for a much larger battery.

Armoured
15-08-2019, 16:47
Theft is a major problem for dachas. Especially when it s known as an area for the seasonal dacha lover who return to the city from time to time. We just had news of a neighbour being robbed, and they also stole their installed radiators. Unbelievable. Security is a major problem.

A friend once suggested hiring a guy with big, scary dogs. The idea was he leaves the scary dog at your place and feeds and takes care of it when you're away, and takes the dog back when you're in residence. No idea how feasible in your location.

johnsimpson
15-08-2019, 18:15
Dogs, we have two taken as stray thrown out puppies by my sons. However my family would be against leaving the dogs behind when we leave. All dogs are territorial and can seem scary to strangers. Good solution and very popular with dachas in Russia. Worth thinking about, but need to round my family who would be reluctant keeping them outdoors and left behind.

Other thoughts, lighting that switches on when you enter, bars or shutters on windows, strong doors with locks. nothing can be 100% but to put them off to try somewhere easier. Perhaps a dummy burglar alarm box. Perhaps geese?

johnsimpson
15-08-2019, 19:09
The hover-beast cutting height is adjustable by inserting one or more special disc spacers above the rotary cutter. Surprisingly easy. Yes, I definitely recommend a high cut to begin with and probably as the last cut for winter.

There is a sister company, Husqvarna, owned by electrolux, same as Flymo. They have a twin battery mower. Some critics say that is not even enough, and one complained he bought two additional charger and a charger, setting him back an extra $600. Their mowers are expensive, yet some of them are exactly the same as the flymo wheeled range using same honda engine where they would be much cheaper in UK.

johnsimpson
15-08-2019, 19:58
Fencing posts? are they erected in Russia using concrete? My wife says that's not the Russian way due to climate, they use brick, stones etc compact in the ground. Saw videos using sigafencing post foam, But that would be too expensive if bought from Amazon.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1XmjWDXJn4

33015

Armoured
23-08-2019, 17:47
The other things you can do are plant cover crops - grechka (buckwheat), mustards, clovers, whatever - that root down and loosen up the soil and feed microbes. These are all supercheap at the usual garden spots and a lot cheaper than 'grass seeds' (ie the stuff you buy to make a proper lawn). It's really useful to do this when trying to get rid of the stinging nettles because something needs to grow there instead of the nettles, otherwise you'll just get other weeds growing in place.

One interesting approach is to buy tillage or forage radishes - basically these are similar to Daikon. You sow them around this time of year and they die in the fall (or you cut them before the frost). They grow enormous deep radish roots - and when they die in the fall the huge radish roots rot in the soil and break up the harder soil for you leaving these pockets that other plants love. The seeds are harder to find and I can't remember what they're called in Russian but they're not expensive. (I recall I bought a bunch of seed stuff that was cheap in bulk online - they'd be even cheaper if you bought them in kolkhoz quantities)

After several years of moderate planting and sort-of maintaining parts of a lawn, was looking around today.

Best bang for buck: clover seeds. Mix green and red if you can. Cheap in bulk and integrates well with a traditional lawn but provides variety and not quite so picky about being mowed frequently. Get a mix and toss around in different places, looks good, good for soil too (sucks in nitrogen). Best thing about clover: it will get established in good areas and come back year after year and require no work whatsoever, apart from the mowing you were going to do anyway. Bees and local insects like it. It also tends to grow well around other plants/gardens without disturbing them - doesn't insist on being the only damn plant like grass.

Close to that: white mustard seeds. Very cheap even not in bulk (a couple bucks for a couple kilograms), will seem to seed in almost any soil (biggest dependence is at least some sun), so e.g. bad soil, rotting wood chips, piles of leaves that haven't fully broken down, etc. Let it grow as little or as much as you like, has pleasant enough flowers, if it gets mowed down before flowering, no big deal. Also considered a 'green manure' (one reason it's cheap). I don't think mustard comes back each season unless it goes through full flowering/seed cycle (so you can avoid it if you want).

Boht of the above will at least make an attempt to grow under trees, although some combination of competing for resrouces (water/sun) will keep them from growing well.

Next, various 'green manure' (sideraty?) mixes which might include buckwheat oats clover mustard some vetches and who knows what. Overall cheap enough to help displace stuff you don't like.

Least favourite: actual grass seed. Overpriced and some of it grows well, some of it doesnt. My best results have been from casting some about from time to time, along with other stuff like clover, but clover does better.

johnsimpson
25-08-2019, 14:17
It's very frustrating for me that we can't go back to our dacha until 5th September due to commitments and putting our son first for school. Our plans to stay there longer term will need to begin at first melt next year. I have spent a lot of time watching youtube and gardening, creating lawns naturally, self seeding allowing grass to grow and seed etc, back to Eden gardening & Ruth Stokes method on no digging and mulching with hay etc.

For lawns I need to get back and observe the ground conditions after my last period, and yes intend to develop a lawn without purchasing grass seeds, and yes I am aware of how useful clover is to ground conditions, I think the preparations done now before winter and next early spring will help prepare the lawn are for next year midsummer. Between allowing whatever grass I have to seed and the chop, and using whatever the surrounding meadows we have I hope to use the local grass seeds of which is best for that particular area. I can't really say much more until after 4th September.

Armoured
25-08-2019, 22:59
Fencing posts? are they erected in Russia using concrete? My wife says that's not the Russian way due to climate, they use brick, stones etc compact in the ground. Saw videos using sigafencing post foam, But that would be too expensive if bought from Amazon.

Sounds like nonsense to me. Haven't done fenceposts but had some climbing gear installed - they did it exactly like fenceposts would be done, cement in the ground. That said, nothing wrong with doing it the old way, which I've done as well, but it's slow - everything that goes into the posthole has to be tamped, tamped, tamped, good and slow and thorough, or it won't last. And needs to be deeper than you could get away with without cement.

This is a really weird coincidence but I came across the fake cement stuff on sale here while looking for something else just a day or two ago:
http://gardeck.ru/zamena_betona

No recommendation, just happened to see it's for sale.


It's very frustrating for me that we can't go back to our dacha until 5th September due to commitments and putting our son first for school. Our plans to stay there longer term will need to begin at first melt next year. I have spent a lot of time watching youtube and gardening, creating lawns naturally, self seeding allowing grass to grow and seed etc, back to Eden gardening & Ruth Stokes method on no digging and mulching with hay etc.

For lawns I need to get back and observe the ground conditions after my last period, and yes intend to develop a lawn without purchasing grass seeds, and yes I am aware of how useful clover is to ground conditions, I think the preparations done now before winter and next early spring will help prepare the lawn are for next year midsummer. Between allowing whatever grass I have to seed and the chop, and using whatever the surrounding meadows we have I hope to use the local grass seeds of which is best for that particular area. I can't really say much more until after 4th September.

Whatever works for you. I'd put lawn pretty far down the priority list, esp since it's a task you can only do best over time.

I like sowing seeds around as feels like doing something and hardly any work involved at all. But mainly this is to deal with rough/empty patches as heavily treed spot.

Armoured
26-08-2019, 09:20
I might not have been clear, meant that posts put in without cement may need to be in deeper.

Of course, locals might have good reason to do it the old way (tamped-down soil plus odds and ends as described), maybe local soil or frost heave conditions make cement unworkable. Or maybe they just prefer to do it the traditional way due to habit. If they're experienced doing it the way they always have, that may be preferable - plus, hey, if you ever have to move or remove them, easier without cement.

It still sounds like nonsense to me to say that fence posts not done with cement in Russia, but I've never had them done here.

johnsimpson
26-08-2019, 14:38
My Russian wife's words listening to locals in , not mine. Tamped down down due to climate. Yes, viewing on youtube 1/3 of the post is underground, and there are plenty of contradicting arguments on there. Most instructions are for using concrete, however many farmers swear tamping down is best, and they should know due to the volume of posts they erect. They also have some amazing machines such as augers I won't have

Armoured
26-08-2019, 17:16
My Russian wife's words listening to locals in , not mine. Tamped down down due to climate. Yes, viewing on youtube 1/3 of the post is underground, and there are plenty of contradicting arguments on there. Most instructions are for using concrete, however many farmers swear tamping down is best, and they should know due to the volume of posts they erect. They also have some amazing machines such as augers I won't have

The old way'll work fine, it'll hold plenty long if done properly. And I hadn't thought of the auger - which for a farmer is easy, attachment to the tractor, for everyone else cement solves the issue of having to dig deeper post holes; with an auger, the cement is an extra time and expense.

This is how I've done (I was the dumb labour, mind) - auger a whole, tamp dirt with a pole bit by bit until done. Mostly stuff that can be done in slow periods, not time sensitive work - also convenient for farmers. Mind I expect busier/wealthier farmers would do both - auger a bunch of holes and use cement to speed the process up.

Anyway, I was only saying the 'nobody uses cement in Russia' for this is nonsense. Nothing wrong with the old way.

johnsimpson
01-09-2019, 02:23
What about a russian stove or woodstove?

It has been discussed here, gas or electric. electric is a no go, especially if you intend to live all year round though the winter, too expensive. Most go for gas if its available, and even gas can be expensive, and whether to use it for central heating.

But what if you live an area where wood is freely available nearby from scraps, as well as you are surrounded by forest cost of wood is relatively low. We are fortunate enough to have a Russian stove and it is pretty warm, but it only covers part of the house and you can see the stove in the drawing front part of the house. So, maybe another wood stove or utilise the original Russian stove to provide heating with the rest of the house, or do we go for gas central heating. I shall be making some enquiries. 33036

https://youtu.be/5AJ-1m3zQC4

https://www.pechilux.ru/catalog/pechi_dlya_doma/otopitelnye/

Armoured
01-09-2019, 13:56
What about a russian stove or woodstove?

It has been discussed here, gas or electric. electric is a no go, especially if you intend to live all year round though the winter, too expensive. Most go for gas if its available, and even gas can be expensive, and whether to use it for central heating.

But what if you live an area where wood is freely available nearby from scraps, as well as you are surrounded by forest cost of wood is relatively low. We are fortunate enough to have a Russian stove and it is pretty warm, but it only covers part of the house and you can see the stove in the drawing front part of the house. So, maybe another wood stove or utilise the original Russian stove to provide heating with the rest of the house, or do we go for gas central heating. I shall be making some enquiries.

Are you running into an issue with getting the gas? Is it more expensive than you originally thought (or long delay or not possible)?

So my suggestions/thoughts:
-sure, gas is preferable. But when I've looked into/done in the past, it's been quite a lot of money upfront - like 500k to 1 million rubles up-front, before the cost of gas. Sometimes these original estimates grow and then on top of it, the time delays mean you end up doing two heating systems.
-that's a lot to cover the cost difference between gas and electric (or money for additional wood or woodstove installation or whatever.) Particularly if you're not sure for how many years you'll be using it (and not necessarily 'giving up' on the option of gas in future).
-Electric: seriously look at heat pumps / minisplits for heat. Short form: these are air conditioners in reverse. They are much, much more efficient than regular electric - like three or four times more efficient most of the time (literally they quote the efficiency in coefficient of performance at e.g. 2.5-3X more efficient than resistance electric. That's a big difference and _may_ put it in neighbourhood of gas pricing for much of the year.
-The catch is: they do not work as well in colder weather - especially much colder - and efficiency drops. At ~minus 20 celsius, they sometimes/often have to switch to backup electric resistance, i.e. they get expensive. But if it's only a few weeks a year, still may be more cost effective, especially if the resistance heat can be timed to come on during the night (lowest priced tariff).
-You have to look at specs of the heat pumps quite carefully - they are 'tuned' to work best/most efficiently in temperature bands (almost all air heat pumps also double as air conditioners/dehumidifers, which you probably don't care about).
-[Side note: you can also do ground source heat pumps which are way more efficient but have high up-front costs because they have to sink pipes in the ground. I have some friends here who are happy with it but wasn't necessarily cheap. I believe they said it was a bit cheaper than gas to install but a lot faster because gas monopoly.]
-Likewise there are air-to-water (radiator) heat pumps, more complex and probably somewhere inbetween price-wise.
-You can do combined: minisplits in the parts of the house that aren't heated (well) by your existing pechka. Use the minisplit heat pumps for the other rooms when needed 10 or 11 months of the year, with an additional wood stove for the coldest month or two. Or basically fire up the wood stove whenever the heat pump is running a lot. Or, heat primarily by heat pump and electric resistance heat just to even things out or keep things from freezing when you're not there.
-also has to be weighed off against how much of the year you are there and stuff like that.
-Local knowledge i.e. how well the installers and servicers know the options matter. A bit dangerous going for overly complex equipment if locals ahve no idea what to do with it. (Not that any of this is that complex in principle but you can screw up anything)
-Oh: keep in mind the amount of insulation and possibly some fixes to improve heat circulation from the area with the pechka to other parts of the house might also make a big difference. (Oh - if the house is very leaky and poorly insulated, you may need too much electric/heat pumps and that again tips the balance to gas...)

Options for non-gas heating and all that is getting a lot better, tech improving, and who knows if we can count on gas prices being so low in Russia in long term.

don't get me wrong, I'm not a fanatic, gas is usually more efficient and simple IF you have it already or easy hook-up. But the gas monopoly upfront costs and hassle are high and the non-gas options actually increasingly realistic. If you can get gas put in quickly for say 300k rubles it's almost a no-brainer; difficult choices come up if gas is over say 600k and will take a season to do.

Good luck, none of these choices are that easy, you just have to go with something you can live with.

johnsimpson
01-09-2019, 16:38
Wife is deadset for gas central heating, looks like I will just have to do a low cost experiment outside and possible future backup. She has explained to me that the tariff gas costs are much less in Ivanovo area than it is is in Moscow region. Her other argument is we took the trouble of ensuring we purchased a place that had gas ready to install, so we might as well use it. Look at the front of the Dacha, the yellow and black pipe is the source of our gas supply. 33037

Armoured
01-09-2019, 20:59
Wife is deadset for gas central heating, looks like I will just have to do a low cost experiment outside and possible future backup. She has explained to me that the tariff gas costs are much less in Ivanovo area than it is is in Moscow region. Her other argument is we took the trouble of ensuring we purchased a place that had gas ready to install, so we might as well use it. Look at the front of the Dacha, the yellow and black pipe is the source of our gas supply. 33037

If you have gas ready and the hook-up is relatively simple (documentation-wise especially), absolutely, go for it. On top of it - and this is a real thing - it does improve your resale value, or at least how quickly you can sell.

Also, it will enable you to establish straightforward comfortable central heating easily, without messing about with trying to use electricity only at night and stuff like that (which is feasible but a pain). And while I like wood stoves and pechka, I absolutely would not want to rely on one for heat all the time. Air pollution from these is a lot worse than people think, and of some of the worst kind, the particulate matter.

Out of interest how much is the gas connection itself? Do I understand correctly that when she says the gas is cheaper in Ivanovo, she means the hook-up cost?

I wouldn't be surprised by that. The hook-up cost is basically driven by hidden (or not) corruption, where the gas monopoly subcontractors and local authorities and everyone else conspire to extract as much as they can from the population. There's more to extract in Moscow region. (I could write more about this, like the scam they have going where they make you 'test' the gas meter every four years or something like that, and doing it costs more than getting a new meter, oh, and to test the meter you have to have the gas guys come out twice, and the list of authorized meter testing facilities is, ahem, basically the same people... and on and on)

Small thing to consider: think about excluding gas from your kitchen if you can. It will reduce the complexity of the hook-up (less piping) and less unsightly pipes around the house. But my main reason is: gas inside the kitchen area is at least a little bit dangerous - both more risk of someone leaving it on and the fumes really are not that good for you (and no-one ever uses the vent hoods all the time like they're supposed to). I used to be a gas stovetop fan, but the new induction ranges are really quite good. If you wish to convince your spouse, search for kitchen gas fumes or indoor air pollution or something like that. (Yes, natural gas boilers have fumes as well but they're vented directly out - not into the living space - and quite frequently here are in rooms that are isolated from the rest of the house air-wise). About the only downside is not all pots and pans work with them.

(But you do have to check if you have sufficient electrical connection for the induction plate - almost certainly won't be cheaper overall)

johnsimpson
01-09-2019, 22:57
Lots of questions. I'll cover some for now and some later. We have no landline and wife has arranged a special contract for internet by a provider in the area. It'll cost 5000 roubles which is more than we pay here in Moscow region. I believe its satellite as there is no cable. I'll be more specific in a few weeks time. There is a local tax to pay for road clearing, garbage etc. It is a village called Nogino (10 km to the city of Plyos, on the banks of river Volga, nice place) The village is located on the banks of a magnificent lake and surrounded by forest. Service isn't great because the road is in very poor condition (plenty of pot holes) and although pressed by the locals they have done nothing for years. We currently have a well, now working just beside our front garden. It can later be utilised to have running using this as source. For storage we have a massive barn attached to the Dacha, it's sinking but we have a surveyor who will advise on raising it and put a floor in it for an extra extension. Storage again, their are special hatches on the floor boards that are raised to store more food such as jams and pickles. Wife is keen on drying produce using Russian stove for mushrooms, tomatoes, fish etc. As for electricity we do have lighting and some basic uses such as heating a hot stove, but we are also using an electrician we know who happens to also live in the area and he will check the electricity and ensure it is good enough for the like of a washing machine, which is a must. Most of our activities will have to take place on first melt next year, and will be going back on 5th September. Yes there are some good hardware store about 6KM away, there is also a special village market I'd like to see. Missed it last last it opens only on certain days in the mornings.

Armoured
06-01-2020, 12:25
Was thinking of this thread and time for a winter update johnsimpson. How is the pechka working out?

johnsimpson
27-02-2020, 18:47
I'll let you know as we begin spring into summer and we will be returning soon. We have been staying closer to Moscow at home throughout the winter due to personal reasons such as renewing permanent residency (for the last time hopefully) and then there is our son's schooling etc. With a fresh start beginning summer compared to end of summer last time, hopefully, we can get started again. for our self employed work, we must have good internet connection which we don't have at the moment. The village is close Plus by the river.

Armoured
22-03-2020, 15:16
Was thinking of this as had a very nice fire going in our outside wood stove area, which is really nothing more than a firepit in an aboveground cement/firebrick thing and a stovepipe. Meaning it's for pleasure fires and to keep me warm when grilling (gas grill, highly recommend).

Anyway a wood-burning truism: crappy wood that's dry and several years old beats much better wood that's damp or not sufficiently dried. Every. Single. Time.

We don't really need to burn wood - it's for pleasure - but I was dealing with the ruins of a relative's dacha the other day (coronia social isolation and all that, time on my hands). Fun discoveries spelunking around there. But I was struck that they have a massive store of wood (for the 'dark days'). Random wood piles that have been covered and just left there for use sometime in future. Who knows what wood it is, but it's probably all ten years plus aged wood.

Seriously, if I had to heat a place for real with wood, I'd find someone cleaning out an old dacha and hire some guys to truck the old woodpiles over. (The alternative with this relative's place - as they think about someday maybe selling - is they'll just burn all the stuff to free up space on their uchastok. As it is I'm going to have to find the neighbourhood junkman to cart away all the old stoves and other crap in random outbuildings...)

Repeat: old wood better than good wood.

johnsimpson
23-03-2020, 22:16
There's nothing better than a dacha with a traditional Russian stove which is versatile and des more than just heat your home. And yes the best fuel is a good stick of seasoned wood if you happen to be in local woodland area it is more cost effective than gas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_stove