Archive for the 'Site Work' Category

Siding, gutters, wood flooring, stone wall and tile grout oh my!

It’s busy time at Uphill House these days. Warren finished the siding yesterday (except for one tiny section where the east entry is going). We started siding back in June, so it was a big milestone for us. The gutters are almost finished too.

The brown maple wood flooring arrived today from Vermont Plank Flooring. It is beautiful. It has to sit for a couple of weeks to acclimate before we start to install it.

Jill was busy grouted the bathroom floor tile today while Warren and I built a small stone retaining wall that will form the parking area next to the house.

Meanwhile Howie is finishing the taping this weekend and we should be able to start priming the first floor Monday night.

Our HVAC guys are scheduled to install the indoor unit of our heat pump on Thursday.

And we’re hoping to take a trip to Ikea to purchase our Kitchen cabinets next weekend.

We’re going to need a vacation very soon.

Leach field approved

Joe and Warren finished digging the trenches and installing the leach field components last week and the inspector gave us the thumbs up. Now if the rain will just let up for a few days they can bury the leach field and finish grading around the house.

This was the next to last inspection by the county before the final inspection for the Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.). We will also need a final electrical inspection from a 3rd party.

Septic tank buried

Our excavator Joe, started working on our leach field and septic tank this week. Warren helped set the elevations and dig test pits to make sure we were clear of all boulders and ledge. Today they dug the hole for the 1,000 gallon septic tank and buried it next to the house. Weather willing, they will be able to dig the trenches and finish the leach field this week.

Blowing cellulose on first floor

Yesterday our insulator, Don Patten and family, came over to finish insulating the house. They stapled up netting and did the first rough blow in roughly 6 hours. They are back today to do the second dense pack blow and top up the attic insulation in areas that settled. This will be the last of the cellulose insulation work. The remaining north and south rim joist areas between the first and second floors will be foamed later this week before the final sheet rocking begins.

In other news, Joe Bates, our friendly local excavator will be installing our septic tank and leach field today.


Unbeknownst to you (but beknownst to us) all our photos of the house have been carefully chosen to avoid the rather large brush pile that has been sitting in front of the house since the site was cleared 17 months ago. All that changed yesterday. In preparation for the leach field, the brush pile was moved to another location down hill to become a habitat for birds, chippies, and all manner of wildlife. We now have a yard, that will become a garden next year.

March Update

Progress was still choppy this month, but we did manage to accomplish a few items.

  • Framed and insulated half of the windows
  • Initiated contact with a few heating and ventilation contractors to start the bid process
  • Installed telephone line
  • Received all our approvals for the solar installation, but we’re still waiting on the building permit to come through. Once that is complete, we can schedule an install date for the solar system.
  • Dug the trench to the house and ran the power into the basement. We had to drill another hole in the foundation because we didn’t plan a big enough sleeve when we poured the foundation walls. But we were happy to get this in before the forecasted 6 inches of snow tonight.

The next big item is getting the siding up. It is currently taking up most of the first floor space. We need space to work before we start the plumbing, electrical and venting rough-ins.

Inching closer to power at the site

The rock drilling truck for National Grid showed up on Thursday to drill the remaining 3 holes, 1 for a pole and 2 for wire anchors. (Unfortunately I could not be there to take a picture.) They succeeded despite the 12-18 inches of snow that fell earlier in the week. Warren plowed the drive and spread enough sand for a small beach.

For some reason they were unable to finish filling the anchor hole for one pole and were unable to set the last pole. A crew arrived the next day to set the pole, but were unable to do anything else. So we await yet another visit by the power company to complete the anchors and string the wire, then hopefully install a meter and box.

And lastly, a shot of the house after the snow storm. It’s shedding the snow quite easily on the south facing side, and only about a quarter of the snow still clings to the north side. The last two remaining roof panels are scheduled to arrive early this week, but more snow is on the way…

Poles and roof

National Grid was at the site today to begin installing electric service to the house. This has been a long journey that started back in May.

Yesterday they came out to check the site and decided to try to install the poles with a regular pole auger. We told them there was a lot of rock and ledge, but it was worth a try. If successful it would be cheaper than their original estimate to install service with a rock drill for all poles.

They were able to place 2 out of the 3 poles, and 1 out of 3 cable anchors. They are going to use the rock drill for the remaining pole and 2 cable anchors. There is apparently only one National Grid rock drilling machine in the state. I hope to be the rock drill paparazzi and snap a few pics for the blog.

Roof-wise, they were 6 or 7 panels shy of finishing the north face today. They ran out of fasteners, but a new supply arrived late in the day. We were hoping to finish tomorrow, but they’re calling for 7-9 inches of snow in the next 24 hours so we may not make much more progress this week.



A window repair person is scheduled to be at the site Monday morning to swap some sashes and glass units, and adjust the remaining units. We’re hoping this goes smoothly and we don’t find any other issues.


We officially own our entire driveway as of yesterday when the final papers were filed. Before yesterday, the center section of our driveway was still on our neighbor’s land. This adjustment has been in the works since April.

Electric Company

National Grid is like any large organization, lot’s of forms to fill out, they never call you back, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I have spared the blog my venom, but this is getting to be a chapter right out of the movie Brazil. I have to report that we still don’t have a scheduled date for electric service to be installed to the house. It could be Spring before we have power from the grid.

Solar Electric

I really wish it made economic sense to go off the grid completely, because so far we’ve gotten a much better response from one of the solar vendors in our area, GroSolar. They came out to the house to do a solar survey and sent us an estimate that same night. To summarize, after all rebates and tax credits, we’re looking at spending roughly $14k for a 6.9 kW system that should bring us to net zero in energy usage. Pretty awesome.


Columbus Day is site rough grading day!

Our excavator Joe made our little house site start to look like a real house site. He shaved the cliff down behind the house and used the cut to fill and level the drop-off in front of the house. He also carved a nice slope to the west berm.

In the Spring he’ll install the septic tank and leach field in front of the house.

Next up… the roof.

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