Well……..after a long winter of planning, researching and……adjusting to changes as we anticipated the start of the construction of our new home in the Spring,…. we finally have begun the early stages of the construction process. Very little changed for much of the winter and then in the last two months there has been a flurry of activity. So much has happened during the last two months that it is difficult to describe it all, but the following is a summary list of what has happened since our last post:
1. Evaluating the house designs that Eric has been sending to us and Eric has been busy redesigning the house based upon our assessments and needs and are getting closer to the final design.
2. Chose a new builder, Riemco Building Company (Chelsea, MI) after our previous builder, Hybrid Homes (North Muskegon) had to back out from our project due to being overwhelmed with their own workload on the west side of the state. We are very pleased with how it is all working out for the best!!!
3. Researching the cistern design, including on a system that includes a wash/settling tank, a sand filter, and a large tank, and modular smaller tanks hooked in series in a room underneath the garage for easy access to the tanks and filters. (See Pete’s drawing)
4. Decided on a high efficiency advanced burning soapstone free standing wood stove for the family room in the basement and a high efficiency advanced burning fireplace for the great room on the main floor. (See links).
5. We have tentatively decided to use geothermal as part of our heating and cooling design
6. Steve DeWolf (professional excavator, driveway builder, pond designer extraordinaire, next door neighbor, and all-around great guy that grew up in the same village of Dixboro as Pete did) has begun the driveway and pond excavation. (See pictures).
7. A partial shipment of recycled crushed concrete was delivered to Steve Dewolf’s property for the driveway and sheds.
8. Pete has been cleaning up around the existing shed by chain-sawing the “trash” trees and driving the backhoe and bulldozer (sometimes with Whitney working the levers as well) to move the piles of wood and brush and stockpile the large boulders for later landscaping around the pond. (See pictures)
9. Purchased windows from the Habitat for Humanity Re-store for the shed.
10. Submitted the layout for the West half of the house (including the kitchen) to Nancy Roelson to evaluate and design the kitchen layout.
11. We have begun looking at appliances for the kitchen
12. We have been researching use of reclaimed lumber from local trees and razing of stick built buildings, since the original idea of traveling to Virginia to get trim from Pete’s sister and brother-in-law is not practical since it will be difficult to get it kiln dried and milled in time for use.
13. Mary is working on refinishing and repairing a single door for the shed that contains stained glass panels with flowering plants in them.