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Hurricane Katrina

New House

First Grandchild

Second Grandchild

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Gulf Coast House
(Destroyed by Katrina)

Building our
new home
on the
Virginia Northern Neck
-- 1st Day--

Today, 11 February 2008, we broke ground on the house.  Our builder, Chris Flora, and his brother John:

  •  Put culvert in place in the ditch.
  •  Cleared topsoil from the driveway, house site, garage site, and shed site.
  •  Dumped rock over the culvert to create the construction driveway.
  •  Pulled the building permit.

Meanwhile, my wife and I did the following:

  •  Signed construction loan documents at the bank.
  •  Pulled building and electrical permits for the shed ( which we will build ourselves ).
  •  Talked with our son about ordering the windows from him ( he is a Lowe's manager and can get the window's for us at cost + 10 percent )
  •  Made extra copies of the floor plan so we can draw in electrical plan.

The high temperature today was 36 degrees and the wind coming off the Potomac River was bitter.  Here are photos taken between 0800 and 0930 this morning.

John ( not in the picture, operating the Caterpillar skid-steer loader on the right ) has just dropped the second culvert pipe into the ditch.  Chris is out of the photo, getting his shovel -- because of the lip on one end of each pipe we need to dig out under each pipe to accommodate the lip.  Next photo shows all culvert in place.

John standing on top of the pipe, Chris to the right.

In the following photo, Chris is using the turf shredder on his Kubota tractor to tear up the topsoil and turf to a depth of around six inches.  John then scrapes off the turf-topsoil and piles it up, out of the way.  By doing this, we accomplish several things:

  •  We have clean soil to work on.  Some builders leave the turf but it's best to build on the cleared soil.
  •  Save the turf and topsoil to use as fill later on -- no need to purchase fill dirt.
  •  Piling up the turf-topsoil out of the way keeps a clean, neat job site.

And here's a photo of the house site being scraped clean -- note the pile of topsoil to the right.  They put the topsoil in three locations around the property.  Chris on the orange Kubota tractor is tearing up the turf-topsoil and John in the Cat is scraping it clean and flat.

Follow these links to see the construction progress.

Return to new house first page
Our lot on the Virginia Northern Neck
Front elevation and floor plan.
Specifications and materials
Day 1: Culvert and clearing 
Update at end of week 1; 11-15 February 2008.
Digging and preparing footers; 20-21 Feb
More to come.



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