Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let Us Break Ground Together

On Martin Luther King Day, just before Andreas and I headed out of town for business trips, we met on our lot with our architect, John Spears; general contractor, Aaron Holmes; and EarthCraft technical advisor, Chris Conway. We gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to recognize the milestones we achieved so far and commemorate the start of the construction project for our new home. Since it was in the teens and low 20 degrees (F) for several days prior to and during our groundbreaking, the topsoil was frozen and extremely hard, so we were able to break away only a few pieces of dirt. We enjoyed some champagne after the groundbreaking (non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider for Andreas, since he was flying that day). Here are some photos (note the beatiful super-silt and tree protection fencing Andreas installed in the background).

Mike (on left) and Andreas (on right).

Aaron (on left); Mike, Andreas, John (on right).

Chris (on left), Mike, Andreas.


Sorry for not posting over the past couple of weeks. We've been out of town for work most of the time, and working on prepping the lot for construction between trips. We closed on the land on January 2nd and the next week the crew was there to take down the trees that needed to be removed. If you've read all the blog postings, you'll recall that we struggled with the decision on which trees to remove, especially the question of the large maple on the front of the lot. Here's a picture as the trees were being taken down.

In the front of the photo, you see the old, green sheds Andreas and I dismantled. The vast majority of the sheds have been taken to the Fairfax County solid waste center where they'll rot away. As Andreas posted earlier, the metal shed was taken for recycling.

For the most part, the tree branches were turned to mulch and are now being used as a root protection matting to save the three holly trees on the South side of the property. The black walnut tree trunks were hauled away by an artist/furniture designer/woodworker who will use the wood in crafts projects. He's also giving one of the black walnut logs to the Corcoran School for students to use in carving and woodworking projects. We feel that went to a wonderful home since we couldn't afford to have the wood milled and prepped for use in our house.

In addition, almost 1/2 of the tree protection fencing and silt fence for erosion control has been installed by Andreas. The rest should be installed tomorrow while I get caught up on paperwork/administrative items for our home construction project and spend the rest of the day on my real job.

After we get the geotextile material from the distributor this week, we can have the tree protection measures inspected and then the construction entrance can be built. Excavation will begin right after that construction entrance is inspected.

To sum it up, I think we're making good progress so far and we're looking forward to the big dig!