Over the winter we began site work on the property. We are doing as much as we can to get started while we wait for our Board of Health approval.
Mapping it Out
Our engineer mapped out how the common drive and our driveway would work best with the topography of the land. Our engineer had to meet with the town engineer and the Highway Superintendent to determine how water would drain off the common drive. He created a plan for grading and adding catch basins to divert the water, so it does not flow back down the main road.
Clearing the Land
Our engineer used his map to flag the centerline of the common drive, our driveway and staked the location of the house and garage. The excavators followed this flagging to do an initial cut with a brush hog. They used tree removal equipment to cut the larger trees, and piled the logs up on the side of the road.
This forest is only about 40 years old (it used to be a cornfield), so we don’t have any larger trees on the property that would be worth selling for lumber. Most of the wood will be put through a wood chipper, and then spread back out on the land.
The excavators came back through after the trees were cut to pull up the stumps. They will bury the stumps on another part of the property.
Grading the Driveway
During the Planning Board approval process, there was a lot of talk about how the construction of the common drive would impact the main paved road that we are coming off of. There was concern that, when it rained, water would flow back down the drive onto the main road. This water could potentially pool up and flood the main road.
Our engineer drew a plan to grade the driveway and keep the water from flowing out onto the main road.
Our excavators removed dirt from the start of the common drive and brought it back to our house site. This created a slight descent when you enter the common drive. Gravity will bring the water back down into our property, away from the main road.
They will use the removed dirt to level the ground where the house will sit.
They also graded the drive so that water flows off to the side and doesn’t pool up. There are two catch basins along the common drive to collect and then divert water into the woods.
We need to get our well drilled, and water tested to be granted our Board of Health approval. In order to get the well truck back to the house site (down the 800 ft. driveway), we need to finish constructing the road. Once they finish grading, item 4 gravel will be put down on the surface.
Currently, there is a slight slope where our house will sit, so we are going to use the dirt that was moved from grading the driveway to fill in and level the site. We really want to keep our porch low enough (below 30 in.) so that we don’t need a railing. This means we will need to make sure that our basement stays below ground on all sides. Leveling the land a bit will help to make this happen.
While the site work continues, we starting to gather estimates from all the subcontractors. We will put together a price very soon.
I feel like we’ve been in Planning Board limbo for so long, so it’s really exciting to see some actual progress on the land.
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