Site work begins–October 2014

site location pre-sitework

Site location for our house before site work.

After a long wait, (about one year) we finally received site approval from the DEC to move forward with our plans. We never anticipated it taking so long, but it gave us time to think about what we wanted and time to do our homework. Tom retired about a year ago and was able to spend a lot of time researching and educating himself on understanding net zero. We both felt strongly about trying to use local contractors for the work. Our first point of contact and help was a local civil engineer, Mike Lasell of MBL Engineering, who we ended up hiring as our site engineer. He put us in touch with a lot of great folks to talk to for the site work. After a few interviews, we agreed to use Bob Coffin, who owns Coffin’s Gravel and Excavating. He had the right equipment to remove the old foundation and bring in the required fill. It took him approximately three days to complete the project, which we both thought was impressive. Tom was there during the site work and captured some great photos (below). We wanted to save as many trees as possible, but we also wanted to open up the south side of the house for solar gain. As it turned out, we needed to take down six trees, four of which had rot in the lower section of the trunk: four white oak, a black cherry and a beech tree. We contacted Lakeshore Hardwoods, a local mill, to help us find someone who could help us harvest the wood for use in the house. We ended up using Ted Aubin who brought his portable mill on the property and cut the wood for us. We kiln dried the wood and it is currently stored in the shed on our property. We already have a long list of projects and ideas slated for it, including benches, counters and tables, but first we have to build the house!

After sitework, cleared and ready for construction.

After site work, cleared and ready for construction.


4/4 black cherry and white oak kiln dried, stacked and stored for our spring construction project.

The portable mill at work cutting slabs of wood for future projects. We wanted to make sure that we kept the natural live edge of the wood.

The portable mill at work cutting slabs of beech for future projects. We wanted to make sure that we kept the natural live edge of the wood on the 8/4 boards whenever possible.

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