Thursday, September 1, 2011


We submitted the plans I drew on graph paper (and then in Excel) to our builder, who gave them to his architect.

The architect took the plans and drew up actual blueprints.

It's an awesome feeling, watching something you've worked so hard on, lost sleep about, and obsessed over, actually become plans for your future house.

Our first house wasn't quite so complicated. We picked the lot (the one with the most trees), we chose a plan out of a book of hundreds (based on how many bedrooms, baths, layout, etc. that we wanted), we selected brick and tile... and the builder turned it into our home. Uniquely ours.

This time it is completely different.

We drew the plans from scratch, for starters. We have to put in a road, a septic system, and electric. Plus the tiny little fact that we're building on our land. This time, there aren't any do-overs. We won't be buying more land (we might, actually, but it's only to expand our current property), selling this place and building again. This is it. The Big One.

 But nothing could happen until some trees were removed. It broke my heart, but there were so many, you couldn't get a vehicle in there, so a few had to go.

My father-in-law knows a guy that does land clearing, so Hubs and I walked the property, marking trees to be removed. We marked a space for our road, and then we mapped out the footprint of the house and marked everything inside it. Hubs cut down the largest trees for firewood, and stacked the logs to dry out. The smaller trees were mulched.

A few weeks ago, Hubs took the week off and started working on the road.

He scheduled two truckloads of crushed limestone for delivery; the first one was to be there early in the morning, the second later in the afternoon. This would give him time to spread the first load, and a place to put the second.

The first driver showed up late. He started backing into our driveway, got scared he might go off into the ditch, and dumped his load in the road. Hubs started yelling (since it's a highway, and we're situated smack dab in the middle of a curve) and the driver took off, leaving Hubs alone with a huge load of limestone in the middle of the roadway.

Thankfully, an off-duty officer came along on the way home from work, and stopped traffic on the blocked roadway while Hubs cleared it.

The limestone company said they would give us a free truckload, for the driver's... ummmm... error.

It took all morning for Hubs to get that limestone off the roadway, and spread it around the entrance to our place.

The next driver showed up around lunch.

Here he is now.

He drove down the roadway until he could turn around to back in at a better angle.

He backed up a little ways, but too far to the left.

He opened up his truck's doors and dropped the crushed limestone... and got stuck.

Hubs and I got shovels and tried to clear some of it out so he could drive forward, but more limestone just poured out over the spot we cleared. It was futile.

Hubs got the tractor and pushed from behind, as the trucker gave it some gas.

But there was just too much limestone, and his tires wouldn't grip the sandy soil.

All this time, I was standing out on the asphalt (it was about 102 degrees, but it felt so much hotter on that blacktop) stopping cars. Finally, the driver of a heavy-duty truck stopped to help. He pulled the 18 wheeler, as Hubs pushed with the tractor. Still, nothing. That 18 wheeler would. not. move.

The Good Samaritan drove a little way down the road and got this off his trailer:

It took his industrial-strength equipment (a digger-outer-puller-thing) pulling the 18 wheeler and Hubs pushing with the tractor to finally get unstuck.

It was a looooooooong day in the heat, and seemed like it was doomed-for-failure right from the beginning.

But Hubs is a super-hard worker, and he finally got all that limestone spread enough that big trucks can now get in. The sprinkling of rain we got a week ago helped compact it into a hard surface, similar to concrete.

A few days later he dug a 3 foot deep trench, from the fence all the way back to where the house will be. Now we're just waiting for the electric provider to drop some line in there, and we can move on.

Baby steps, hard work, and lots of sweat.

Small, slow progress, but we'll take it.

1 comment:

MaryAnne said...

What a project!!! We shopped around and finally found the least problematic house out of a bunch of problematic ones that fit our budget. The main selling point was the lot and neighborhood, which was the one thing we knew we couldn't change! I've always thought it would be fun (and a TON of work) to build my own dream house, though!