Building Our Dreams - Stage 2
We are now a month in after closing on our construction loan. The big steps here at the beginning where we are working with contractors (Big step 1: Septic tank dropped, Big step 2: Foundation poured) is taking some patience. We are continuing to work on what we can and push the contractor "bid/proposal/actually get started" process along.
Darren did get to rent a bobcat and play with it for two days. He took what was a three foot variance from one corner to the other and brought it down to less than 3 inches. The bobcat, although much easier than a pickax, shovel or other tool, was surprisingly more labor intensive than one might think. Poor Darren was getting jostled around on this thing with no suspension, man-handling the controls to maneuver the earth from one side to the other. He compared it to being on a wooden roller coaster all day, just without the major drops. He did a fantastic job and now there is nothing preventing the foundation from going in...except the septic tank.
Progress is being made on that step, though, so don't worry! At the end of last week, Darren awarded the bid and sent over the paperwork for the contractor to sign. This week, we received the paperwork back and got the formal proposal for work. The septic guy came out with his snazzy excavator and dug most of the hole where the tank will sit. He needed to confirm that he didn't need a jackhammer to get through any rock shelves, and luckily, the rock that we sit on broke up with the bobcat. The plan is that he will return next week with the tank, finish the hole and drop that puppy in!
We did have a slight change of plans that involves both the work that Darren did to level out the foundation area and the septic fields. Basically, the septic designer and county inspector didn't take into account the berm that would be created upon leveling out the site. A septic field cannot be located within 25 feet of a steep drop off, so the septic company had to work with Darren to come up with an alternative location, which will be finalized this week. Luckily, with lots of land to work with, the two options that are being considered should not cause the loss of too many more trees.
Back to the berm. After seeing how much of a berm we created upon leveling, we knew we needed to do something to avoid erosion toward the house. Our solution - a natural approach, of course! Darren smoothed it out a bit and then spread a grass/flower seed mix that has plants ideal for rehabilitating soil and growing in harsh conditions. In order to ensure these seeds stayed put until established, we purchased a jute netting to cover them. This is similar to the plastic netting you see on the side of the road in newly constructed areas, but the jute will degrade much faster than the plastic and become part of the earth instead of trash. With our recent rains and our continuous monitoring and watering, the seeds are getting established nicely and should make for a beautiful area we can enjoy out of the side windows.
Finally, Darren has been working on clearing the fence line. The plan is to work on the fence while the foundation cures for 21 days. clearing a path for the fence is the first step in that process and not wanting to lose any time, Darren tends to attack that in between the rest of the action.