You never know what you're going to find until you start digging!
First things first, driveway improvements! We couldn't drive onto the property without getting stuck due to the heavy rains we had in the spring and low driveway grade. From walking on the property when we purchased it, we knew exactly where we wanted the house to go. But to get to that point, a ton of trees, bushes and garbage had to be removed.
Derrick rented an excavator and got to work. Ripping out cottonwood trees like they were just toothpicks sticking out of the ground. Family and friends were helping us every chance they could just trying to chop, burn and clean up the area.
Because the trees were alive, they were hard to burn. We tried to keep the fire as hot as possible and kept adding small kindling we would pick up around the property just to keep it going.
Here are some progress photos. It is a little hard to tell just how many trees have been removed. Scroll through the photos with the arrows to see the progress! These photos are from May - June of 2019. Not bad for a month's worth of work! The pictures were all taken from the same spot.
There is an existing concrete pad you'll see in the last photo that is where one of the old buildings used to be. We are keeping the pad for now so that we have an area for staging materials and equipment for the build. Eventually we will take it out and incorporate that space into the landscape.
This is a comparison looking towards the road from the same spot. You can see the driveway is more established and many more trees are gone.
We have laid down some bigger rocks as the base of our driveway so when the semi trucks deliver building materials they don't sink or get stuck. Once the base is packed down we will add some finer gravel to the top and smooth it out.
It has been a labor of love cutting trees, digging up trash, burning wood and running some fun equipment to make it all happen. We wouldn't be where we are today without the help of our family and friends lending a hand when they could.
p.s. I was pretty excited to get a new STIHL chainsaw as a gift from my parents, it has gotten plenty of use! I think my mom secretly loved using it too!
At this point we have recycled about 60 tires, filled a 40 yard dumpster, taken a few truckloads of trash to the dump, and scrapped around 7,000 pounds of metal. All of those items were pulled out fo the ground as we were digging and cutting trees. Because our property was abandoned for so long, it was used as a dumping ground by the locals. The previous owners also buried a ton of junk. You name it, we have found it.
At this point the land is cleared enough for the house to be built and we are in the process of getting quotes from contractors. We are looking forward to breaking ground in the spring of 2020!