Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Big Dig

The excavator has been at the site today digging the hole. It's amazing how fast he's working and how neatly he's digging the hole. I don't want to hover, but it's been so exciting to see things finally happening. Glenn, the excavator, said that they'd probably start pouring the foundation this coming week. Unbelievable. At this pace they will be able to finish the house in 16 weeks! Glenn hit a small stream of water at the SE corner of the hole. It's not a lot of water, but he's going to have to put in a pipe to take it away from the foundation.

Ground Breaking

Well, we didn't break ground on the shortest day of the year, but the excavator started scraping away the topsoil today. Here, high in the mountains, there isn't a lot of topsoil to be scraped away, so things are moving quickly. It's started. I can't believe it!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Surveyor's Tape

I've spent a lot of time this spring plotting the site of the house on the property. With surveyor's tape and flags, I've stepped off a rough approximation of the floor plan. It's helped me imagine what the views will be from the different rooms in the house and the porch that wraps around two sides of the building. It can be really gray in the Catskills during the winter and early spring, so I want to take as much advantage of the sun as possible. I made a mental note back in the winter of where the sun sets over the ridge on the shortest days of the year—likewise last summer during the longest days.

I've probably spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about the placement of the house, but in the process I realized that the plan of the house needed to be flipped so that the side porch would face the nice view across the valley instead of looking into the hillside. Fortunately, the computer program that Eric has been using to design the house allowed him to flip the plan with a few strokes of the computer keys. Wow. It would have been awful if I hadn't realized this too late...after the house was under construction.

When Mark and the excavator visited the site a few weeks ago, they recommended that I move the house about 40 feet up and about 30 feet south on the site. Moving the tape was easy. I finally decided to make the house face due SW, so I used a compass to get the correct orientation. This is it. They'll break ground any day. At this point, it'd be kind of cool for things to start on June 21, the longest day of the year.