The 5-acre lot we’re building on is located in Newfield, NY, south of Ithaca. Newfield is a sparsely-populated area with picturesque rolling farmlands with a history built on the determination and resourcefulness of Czech and Finnish immigrants and descendants. Our lot, on the eastern slope of the sprawling Benjamin Hill, is one of several subdivided from a former farm. The lot is mostly field bordered on the south side with woods.
Before a house is built up, you need to dig down. Our general contractor, Matt Ness, has been busy orchestrating the preparations for foundation and house placement. The excavation for the basement and frost walls for garage and entryway are now complete and awaiting the arrival of the precast concrete walls. The excavators found the soil to be very easily-worked clay/sand mixture with only small rocks. This is in contrast to 2 neighbors who have built nearby in the last few years on ground that is riddled with hardpan and shale rocks making excavation more difficult and landscaping a chore.
About the same time the excavation was completed, Randolph Well & Pump Co., Inc. came in and dug our well using quite a huge rig that made the 240-foot well an easy day’s work. It didn’t hurt that the shale they ran through was lower-density high-carbon shale that was easy for the drill bit to work through.