Lori and I ran errands the day after Christmas but made time to visit the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby near our future home. Our brief two-hour introduction to the trails was enough to convince us we will be coming back. I took a few notes with a pocket camera but already spotted a few things I’ll want to explore more with a beefier camera, better light, and a more thoughtful approach. This place is a treat and available to the public thanks to the Finger Lakes Land Trust.
It was another good week at the home building site. We have basement stairs! It seems like such a luxury after months of climbing a tall rickety step ladder to get up into the house. Matt and crew made a lot of headway with installing windows and part of the siding on the garage, installing the garage doors, and framing the second floor areas. (Although the house is a modular, the upstairs part was delivered entirely unfinished, so Matt starts with an empty shell and builds from there as he would for a stick-built house.)
I just remembered one other bit of activity from a couple weeks ago. The mounds of topsoil piled on the property, waiting to be plowed back for final grading at project completion, have been seeded and mulched. Winter is setting in and nothing will grow now and it’s going to be all plowed out in a couple months you say? It doesn’t matter. Apparently our tax dollars are funding a DEC (Department Of Environmental Conservation) guy to, among other things, keep track of idle piles of dirt and invoke clauses in the Soil and Water Pollution Prevention Plan that require mounds of dirt to be mulched and seeded upon sitting idle for 24 days. The DEC bureaucrat gets on the town building code guy’s case and he visits Matt and gives him what-for. Mulch and seed no matter how absurd the circumstance–them’s the rules.
Owego’s 32nd annual Home Tour & Auction was held on December 8. Lori and I joined the afternoon tour and it knocked our socks off. (Well, it knocked our shoes off anyway, out of consideration to the homeowner’s newly-restored wood floors.)
The four homes and two businesses participating in this year’s tour are all steeped in historical significance and feature a variety of architectural styles and interior design choices. More than that, though, we were blown away by the owners themselves, most of whom had these very same homes severely damaged in the devastating flood of Setptember 2011. It was a privilege to meet these people and hear what they endured and see they brought their beautiful homes back to life, better than ever. They were effusive in their praise of friends, neighbors, family, and strangers who helped them recover. They were equally generous in welcoming a horde of people to come admire these great homes and their restorations. They were gracious hosts, answering questions and offering yummy home-made goodies.
It’s been an eventful week at the home construction site. Matt and his crew finished roofing the garage and entrance, soffit and fascia work are nearly completed, the east wall of the house is completely sided now, the garage floor was poured, and geothermal trench work started.
On the down side, the geothermal people ripped out the underground power line while digging near the house. It took Matt a day and half and a lot of replacement parts to get everything put back together properly and inspected. We were not pleased and neither was Matt. The most aggravating part of the whole problem was that it was completely avoidable with a little coordination and prep work earlier as we kept requesting. (Serenity now!)
Matt, with his quiet deadpan delivery says “This falls in the category of ‘stuff happens'”.
Another week of good progress at the house means we now have garage and entranceway tied together and integrated with the house. A little shingling on the garage will be finished next week. Our builder suggested extending the roof line of the entrance overhang across the front of the garage in what he called a brow. It works beautifully to pull the lines of the garage and entrance together as well as solving some positioning problems we were wrestling with trying to keep the entrance from feeling like it was in a tunnel.
Also, Meadowlands Geothermal got started on installing the duct work. We’re quite excited about heating and cooling with geothermal.