A Blank Slate

So, we own some land! To us, this is a really ideal spot and we couldn’t be more excited to make this place our home. What next? We save up our money, and sell just about everything we own, so that we can build a house and a couple barns. And in the meantime, we’re sketching out potential floor plans, researching materials and styles, finding out where the septic needs to be, watching how and where water draws down the hill, creating a driveway, and clearing the spot for the house/garage/garden (the “Zone One”).

Starting with a blank slate–or more accurately, a big open field– is both awesome and daunting. There were about 100 different potential Zone Ones, and we had to narrow it down somehow. In the end, we chose a spot from which the view was superb, the soil perced (for a conventional septic), and there were a couple nice “yard trees” that we liked. This spot happened to be in the woods about 50 yards up from the north edge of the field, which meant we were going to have to clear into the woods a bit.

Mike rented a mini-excavator and a bulldozer and did the clearing himself over the course of a few months. It was really fun to watch our Zone One take shape, and even though it was many hours of work for him (I should swap “work” for “fun” since there’s nothing he’d rather be doing…what man doesn’t like playing with heavy machinery?), we were happy we did it this way rather than paying an excavating company. It gave us the flexibility to take it slow and make little changes to the plan along the way.

We got lucky with a stretch of dry weather towards the end of summer and into fall, which made this work possible, but now that it is October it has been raining regularly, and we’ve had to put the breaks on the clearing work. It’s good timing, though, because we are ready to shift over to making decisions about the house design and positioning. We’ll take the winter to do so, and then fine-tune the clearing/building site in the spring.

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