Sunday, June 7, 2009

Site clearing

Brad Elledge is the clearing\grading contractor. He's been on-site for a few days now and has got about an acre or so cleared out, next to the driveway. Here's some of the details of what's going on; the original site plan included room for a large detached shop (about 40'x80'):

The above picture also shows you the location of the house, septic field, well, and was all going to turn out perfect, right? Well as Brad cleared more and more space though, we found a lot more elevation change than we expected. There is about 1-1.5 acres of high ground next to the driveway, roughly southwest of the well (just outside of the 100' well buffer zone), that now looks to be the best absolute spot to locate the house. Both Paul and Brad felt pretty strongly about this (partially for drainage reasons, but also for house esthetics and view reasons), and after studying the site for awhile I now agree with them. So the house is moving closer to the well and the driveway.

Here Paul (on the right) and I are chatting about the details; this is looking north I believe:

Even with this limited view, you can see how the ground starts to drop pretty fast about 20-30' beyond where we're standing. This is the main reason the shop just can't go in its original placement. One could argue that we should have done a better job of site planning, but the vegetation is so thick that it's very difficult to see elevation changes when you're traipsing around in there; so on-site plan revisions are a necessity to accomodate the reality on the ground. My future shop will have to be located either further to the west from the house, or (more probably) to the south of the house. Which has some advantages - I can leave a tree break between the house and the shop, and also run a small driveway extension to the shop.

Clearing this much wooded and overgrown space has created another monster pile of debris:

The pile runs east-west, the above picture is looking westward (standing on the driveway) and the pile is easily 30-40' long. Brad will be getting rid of this debris for us (both because it's ugly, and because it's now in the way of where the house will go).

This picture is looking roughly west-north-west from the driveway; gives a better perspective on the size of the pile :):

This is looking roughly southwest, and I'm standing about 60-70' west of the driveway:

These pictures don't really capture the scale of what's happening on the ground (which is a shame but it's the best I can do). A co-worker suggested that I rent a plane ride in order to take some aerial photos of the site, which would be really cool, but perhaps too expensive? I'm looking into the cost of a "scenic flight". If anyone happens to have access to a plane and wants to do a fly-over, I would love to get some pics - email me :).

Brad will be working for a few more days to extend the cleared area and dispose of the debris. Then it will be time to meet on site one more time to nail down the exact location of the house.

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