Saturday, April 30, 2005

Excavation, part 2

Yay! It's a basement!
Excavation is complete! It's actually a little bigger than the footprint of the dome, of course; they will backfill once the basement walls are up. It looks ENORMOUS.

The character in the front, by the way, is best enjoyed on rye with a little mustard.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Ground Breaking

Excavation is underway!

The little tractor
First the little tractor got to work. Here he is working on the drainage culvert that runs along the road.

The Big Boy
Next the BIG tractor showed up. Let's get this bad boy rolling...

Breaking ground
Starting the excavation.

More digging
Piling it up...

The excavation should be finished tomorrow & ready to pour the footings on Monday!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

You've Got Mail(box)

So, we've been ready to break ground since Monday, but the bulldozer guy had some kind of equipment breakdown & we've been waiting on him. He was ready today, but was reluctant to open up the ground due to a heavy rainstorm due to roll through tonight and tomorrow. So, first thing next week, maybe.

A man and his mailbox
We went out today & put up a temporary mailbox -- not because we expect to get any mail there, but just to post the address on the site so the various sub-contractors can find it. Look, everything is green!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The First Obstacle

So, yesterday, Mike went out to meet with the electric guy to get a temporary power pole set up on the lot for the construction crew. Turns out that there is no power run to our road, just up to the corner of the access road (where there is an existing farmhouse). Well. Fortunately, the electric co-op is being very nice about it & they are going to run the power in for the whole road, since it will need to be done eventually anyhow, and not charge us an arm & a leg for it... Mike even got him to agree to span our lot so we won't have a power pole smack in front of the dome. But it just serves as a reminder that building in a rural location means you can't make any assumptions. We do have water, we've already checked on that.

Mike & Todd also worked out the orientation of the dome & the leach field for the septic system, which will be downhill, naturally. If you had told me last year that I would spend my time reading up on septic systems & leach fields, I would have laughed at you. Funny, how life changes.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Welcome to Dome World

We visited the dome site this morning. The area is lovely with spring greenery. We saw a pair of wild turkeys on the drive out, and a fox crossed the highway in front of us on the way back! It's mostly farmland in the region, but several houses seem to be popping up. We certainly aren't the only ones who think that a quiet country home that's only a quarter-hour drive from a decent-sized town is a great idea. (In fact, another house has broken ground in our tract just this week.)

Looking east

Here is a look from about halfway down the slope looking east, back up toward the road. The dome will be situated near the top of the property, in a little hollow where some straggly-looking osage orange trees stand. You can see them on the right side of the photo. We will probably have to take all of those trees out, but we are hoping to leave the bottom part of the property in its wild state.


Welcome to my world. The pond in the background is actually on the neighbor's property -- but we still get to enjoy the singing of the spring peepers.

Looking west
I'm standing on the road here facing west, looking down toward the dome site. Mike is walking in front of the aforementioned straggly trees. We will have a good long setback from the road for privacy.

We met with Todd, our contractor, yesterday to finalize some scheduling stuff. Mike will function as the executive contractor & the decision man, but Todd will co-ordinate all the local heavy-equipment labor -- digging the basement, installing the septic tank, and so forth -- and will bring in a crew to erect to dome & frame the interior, pull the electrical, & stub the plumbing. Once it's at that point, Mike will do all of the interior finish work such as cabinetry, countertops, faucets & fixtures, and painting. That should keep him busy for a while :-)

Todd has scheduled his crew to break ground in two weeks! I think the dome shell will go up fairly quickly; it's the interior detail work that takes a long time. This may be the last time we see pictures of the pristine site. So, here's one last one, this of the bottom half of the property.

Mike is all the way down by the back property line.