Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mother May I?

Gold! Pure Gold! This is what we have been waiting for! We have permits!

Now don't get too excited. We don't have a building permit for the house, yet, but we have gotten some key permits. The first was the building permit to move the north end of the horsehoe drive. Actually, the first was the permit to remove the tree that was blocking the location of the new driveway. Armallaria is my new best friend. That made the permit to move the drive possible.

Then it was time to call my friend Professor Joe of the Soil Test together with an inspector from the Health Department to inspect the site for the septic tank. Gotta have that septic permit before you can submit the building permit! I knew we were in good shape, though. There was some seriously good karma going on. You'll never believe what the inspector's name was.

Give up?


Permit granted. End of story.
And the beginning of the next chapter -- getting the actual building permit.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Studying for the Soil Test

I had my soil test today and I forgot to study.
That was okay, because my professor of soil was prepared.

Here he is with his amazing four wheeler soil tester.

This bad boy has a GPS system mounted on the back so he can mark the spots he tested on our topo. How cool is that?

Professor Joe made this rig himself. He welded the drill to the back. He just toodles around to the next spot and drills down.

Now he asks the dirt sample hard questions like, "What is the capital of Yugoslavia?"

Not really. He just looks at it and makes sure it is suitable for a septic tank drain field.

I'm left wondering, though... is getting The Golden Shovel Award on a soil test a good thing?

Oh, well, as long as we pass, I guess I can let that be one of life's great unsolved mysteries.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Out On a Limb

The fine guys from Odd Job really went out on a limb for me today.
I don't think you could pay me enough money to do this job.

Although on a beautiful day like today with such a blue sky, it might be kind of fun to scamper into the tree tops and pretend to be a bird. A very large, destructive, tree eating bird. Maybe a wood pecker on steroids.

Just look at the "rooster tail" of sawdust. Woody Woodpecker, eat my dust!

They had some amazing equipment out there today.

This arrangement made me think of the blocks of wood and ingenious devices that we inherited from our fine brother-in-law when we bought his pop up camper. We always called them "Kemperisms." Now *this* is a Kemperism.

The one sad note was that when they began working on this tree, it's inhabitant flew out to see what was afoot.

"Whoo do you think you are?!!"

No More Gas Pain!

The gas guys are such party crashers! I guess they heard about the tree removal today, and they were there bright and early this morning.
They dug all over the front of the lot until it looked like the beagle had been hunting a mole. Finally, they found what they were looking for: a lovely orange gas pipe.

And guess what! It doesn't run through the middle of the lot. It comes in just south of the water lines and runs down the driveway. We won't have to reroute it. No gas service disruptions for our esteemed neighbors.

Now everybody get up from the computer and do a happy dance!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Room With a View

Tomorrow Odd Job Tree Service will come out and cut down some dead, dying, diseased and/or hazardous trees for which we have a DDDH permit. I'm really glad I took pictures last weekend. I tried to go around and estimate where different rooms would be and take pictures of the view from the windows of those rooms. First, here is the picture from the front door:

Then, sliding across the front of the house, the view from the dining room:

From the side porch/laundry room:

Now this is a little tricker. I was standing on a fallen tree to try to get the right elevation and trying to read the trees on the topo, but I *think* this is the view out of the kitchen windows.

and finally, the best for last, the view from the back porch:

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Electric Slide

I spent a chilly morning on Wednesday with these fine gentlemen. I had planned to meet the men from Georgia Power and I guess Atlanta Gas Light heard about the party. They gave me a call and wanted to come on out.

The power company seems to have a plan to do their "electric slide," but when I left, the gas guys hadn't located the gas pipes, yet. I think they dug up every water line on the lot, but couldn't find the gas. They spent all morning and even brought a small back hoe with them, but I don't know that the tractor ever made it off the trailer.

I'm sure they'll find the gas lines, though. Then we'll just have to figure out how to reroute them! Stay tuned for further updates!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Change You Can Believe In

Change is coming. You'd better believe it. I headed out last weekend when the weather was fine to take some "before" pictures. It will be months before we break ground, but small changes will be happening, and I wanted to capture the lot as it is.

These oak trees will make the ultimate sacrifice. After standing so tall and proud for so many years, they will fall victim to progress. At least they won't be chipped or burned or put in a landfill. We will be able to memorialize them and give them a home coming by turning them into our floor boards. I've been told that we may run across a horse shoe or some old hooks for tying up horses imbedded in the trees over the years. That will certainly add some character to the floors!
I wonder if the beagle is warning the woodland creatures. Probably not. I do feel sad for the snakes and chipmunks and other critters whose lives will be so disrupted. I hope they'll all find new homes!

What's in a name?

Starting a blog to track the progress of our new build seemed like a great idea, but I was immediately confronted with a decision. (Everything about building a house seems to involve making decisions including blogging about it.) The decision I was faced with was: what should I name the blog?

I thought about it for a bit and thought about where we are building and what we hope to accomplish by building, and I decided on "Coming Home." First of all, we are building in the woods next to the house in which my better half grew up, so in a sense, it is a home coming. Second of all, we are attempting to build a "new old house" that will recall a simpler time, a time of summer nights, sweet tea, screen porches and rocking chairs. Along those lines, we hope this house will reflect the history of the area. In recent years the streets have been filled with very lavish high end homes. We'd like our house to be more like the simple summer homes that populated the area at the turn of the last century, so in this sense it is also a coming home. Finally, I thought about how I want this house to be a place that our kids will want to come home to after they make their way off to college and the world beyond.

This is going to be such an exciting endeavor! I'm very glad to have a place to record progress and pictures for our own records and for others to enjoy.