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Philip's Forum Posts: 13
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Well, it's been a long HOT AND DRY summer. Lost some of the trees we planted to the drought. Watering like crazy and dragging 400' of hose gets OLD.
Finally got all my bodarks out that I intended to remove, excluding the monster where the house will sit. It's next. I'll have my tree guys back out to cut the top out of it, and then I'll have to figure out if I can get the whole stump out with a backhoe or have to go to a bulldozer. All of the others I was able to just grind down the stumps, but this one sits where the foundation goes, so it has to come completely out.
Going to put in five more trees in the next month. Some to replace ones that died, and a couple of additional ones.
Next big step is meeting with the designer and getting plans underway.
|Three removed at the front||
|Two removed in the bottoms and others pruned up|
|Two removed at the back
Spent Saturday checking out three builder sources for kitchen appliances and plumbing, though we really didn't look into the plumbing too much. I did look at one Kohler kitchen sink. Their sticker price was $200 more than what I found it for online. I didn't talk to anyone to see if that was retail or builder price, but it was enlightening.
Looked at the Wolf double gas range, but didn't ask about pricing as yet. I love how Wolf has all their vendors locked down to not advertising prices. At one of the distributors, they put me onto American Range. They are a commercial manufacturer that is entering the residential market. The comparable unit to the Wolf has much larger ovens, and the salesperson said the price point is definitely better than Wolf, although again we didn't get into dollar figures. A lot of the manufacturers will work price as you buy more of their line. We'll have to see how that plays out.
Had five trees planted at the lot today, and marked out for an additional 8, five of which I will plant on Wednesday. In looking at the plans and going over them with the designer at the lot again today, we find that he got his boundary lines off... considerably. Doesn't really affect the trees that we are putting in out back, but sure could up front if we hadn't caught it now.
Spending the rest of the week collecting up tons of notes, and highlighted info from various books, magazines, etc. and moving it to our on-line file system so we can start narrowing down the stuff we take to the designer for the house plans.
|Bigtooth Maple and Shumard Red Oak||
|Dawn Redwood, Bigtooth Maple, Shumard Red Oak|
Met with our landscape designer at the lot yesterday. We now have landscape plans for the property. At this stage, mostly trees. We identified more trees to remove and where new key trees will go around the property. The front portion of the plans will change as we come up with the house plans, its exact location and then driveway locations. Now I can get at least a year's head start of some of the trees and screening to the rear and sides of the property.
The previous owner had a water meter and faucet installed, so I got water turned on today. I currently have 11 trees lined up to go in. That's just a beginning. Trick will be getting the trees installed in the correct order and not impede later installations and leaving room for equipment to come in to remove non-desirable trees.
My mission in life... or at least every weekend for the foreseeable future... will be to spray the ivy. The trees got pruned and stumps got ground. Now I'm after all the poison ivy that is growing around all the trees.
Had one Mimosa tree on the lot. HAD is the key word. My wife grew up in west Texas and mentioned that she'd like a Mimosa tree in the yard one day. A week later we found this lot and lo and behold there was a Mimosa tree on it. Well, it looks like some neighborhood kids decided to ride an ATV through my lot and ran into the tree cracking it and stripping the bark off of it, so I had to remove it. I have my suspicions......
I wonder if I'll have to put up No Trespassing signs when I get to construction. My fear is I'll be overrun with the munchkins. Doubt if signs will stop them, but maybe it will protect me some. Barbed wire and a minefield are running a close second to the signs. :P
Since our lot is deep and the construction will be at the front end, I've decided to do some things in the landscape dept. before we start building. I'm meeting my tree trimmers out there this week to have several trees that I know will be staying pruned up, and get all the old vines out of them. Additionally, they'll be taking out a cluster of Bodarks and grinding out one stump that is in our field of view.
Also have a landscape designer working on a design for the back half. We want to incorporate some evergreens and some trees with color into the natural landscape and block views of neighbors' back porches and driveways. He'll continue the plans on the front half along with the house once we have those plans.
Over the weekend we bought two Bigtooth Maples and two Shumard Red Oaks that we've asked the designer to incorporate into the plans. Got a great deal on the oaks, as they were about to be moved to larger containers and were back in their transplant area off the beaten path. The nursery is going to re-pot them to 60 gal. and hold them till we have the design plans. We figure we saved 50% on those trees.
I met with the tree guy I've used for years to do my tree pruning at my current house. We have identified fpir trees that will remain on the upper portion of the property and have a bid to prune them and to remove four more down below. I figure this is stuff that would have to be done, and since I won't be building for another year or so, do it now. The property will look better and that is something done that I won't have to deal with when I build. I'll have enough to do then.
Also met with a landscape designer, and he is going to start working up plans for the back part of the property. That area won't be encroached upon during construction, and I'd like to get some quality trees and some with color added and growing. Like with the pruning, the property will look better and it's done and out of the way when construction begins. It also means that I won't have to be running heavy equipment back there after the house is in place.
Well, it took them awhile but Mt. Brush Pile is finally gone. Sort of Biblical as in Loaves and Fishes. Never would have guessed clearing that overgrown area would have created such a LARGE or in this case TWO LARGE brush piles.
Next I'll get the surveyor back out there. I have the original survey that covers the boundaries. A designer suggested that I get a soft copy done that covers the front portion of the property where the house will sit. It is to include the large-tree locations with their diameters. The designer can take house plans and scale them to the survey, and then superimpose the plans over the survey so we can see which way to move it and which trees will have to be removed.
I'll also be getting a tree company out there to clean up some of the large trees that I know will be remaining. They've had vines and poison ivy growing up in them for years. I want to get that all out and get them cleaned up this winter. I don't plan on building for another year, but that is something I can do now to improve the property, and it would have to be done eventually; I may as well get it done now, since I'll have plenty of other stuff to do out there later.
|Mt. Brush Pile is GONE|
Did two tours of homes over the weekend. Picked up some great ideas and saw some stuff in some $2 to $3-million-dollar homes that just made me wonder WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING? Just because you build a big expensive house doesn't mean they have good taste or think through how someone will use the house. I saw major wasted counter space and poor planning in kitchens, outdoor kitchens off a bedroom, and at completely opposite ends of the house from the main kitchen and dining area, and a waterfall sink that would waste half the water it would take to simply wash your hands. That last one sounded neat, but in actuality it was a bad idea.
Some of the things I did like:
- recycling sheet waterfall on wall by front door
- rock work carried inside on interior columns and on the face of the bar area. No more scuffing the paint with shoes and barstools.
- LARGE sliding doors from living area to back porch and smaller slider from kitchen to outdoor kitchen.
- large media/game room combo room.
Well worth the time.
Now, back to finding a way to get rid of Mt. Brushpile on my lot.
Never imaged that some undergrowth here and there, when piled together would make a mountain. Wonder how many dumpsters it would take to haul off a forest? I'll let you know.
Had a crew show up today to clean out the undergrowth down one side of my two-acre lot. HOLY COW. Initial thought was we would move the pile to the front by the street and the city would pick it up on bulk-trash day. At least, that's what the neighbors said. We had it all scheduled to take place today, but my wife called the city yesterday just to double-check stuff. NOPE. No water service, no pickup. So... we decided that we'll just pile it up on the lot near where we were clearing it out and then figure out how to get it hauled off.
It looks great now. At least I think it does. I can't really see the area overall from the center of the lot, because it is hidden behind a MOUNTAIN of brush. Two piles with the longest being 20 long paces by 5 long paces by over my head, probably 7 to 8 feet tall.
HMMMM, wonder how I get rid of this stuff now? I'll figure it out and let you know. Burning isn't an option as the lot is inside the city limits.
Going to still be awhile before I build, but figure I'll do what I can to the lot that won't be affected by the construction. Clean it up, remove some dead trees in the future and plant some desirable trees in the low area and in the rear and give them a head start on getting established.
|Front area before||
|Front area after. You can also see through the back area.||
|Rear area after|
|Rear area after||
|Just a little of the larger of the two piles.||
|Rear area before|
Met with the owner of the landscape company yesterday that takes care of my current house. They will start mowing the future-house property next week. Also going to hire some of his crew to start clearing underbrush on the drainage area that runs down the south side of my property. It's the last lot on this street, so that area has sort of gone to the wilds. Neighborhood kids have built a bridge across the dry creek bed and put a platform up in one of the trees. All of that is on my property. Hate to be "THAT GUY" but my insurance agent says that HAS TO GO. Guess the crew will be tearing that out as well.
I know some trees will have to go for the construction and some others will come out and even more get pruned up. Still contemplating on how to attack all of this. We don't plan on breaking ground for another couple of years, but I want to do what I can as I can. Take out some, plant some others that are behind the construction area. Wonder how and when to attack two large trees on the back of the property. They need to go. I could rent a bulldozer for a day and knock them down, but then what? Can't burn them. They're Bodark, so they're as hard as a rock to cut up. HMMM. Guess I need to call my tree guy and pick his brain.
Once we have building plans, then I'll come up with some landscape design so I know where stuff will be planted out back. Then I can attack that as I have time and money to get a start of trees growing before I even move there. At least that's what I'm thinking right now.
Also went looking at appliances today. Ran into a professional chef friend of mine and he told me to check out Morrison Supply Co. in Ft Worth. Checked out their website and found that they have a supplier in Rockwall and a showroom in Plano. He said to get with him and he'll help me plan out my kitchen. How Great is That!!!
Closed on the lot today. After three years of looking, we found the one we wanted. Two acres on a long cul-de-sac.
When we first found it another person beat us to the punch with making a bid much higher than what we anticipated making. His bid was countered and the deal fell through. We then had an appraiser that was approved by our bank take a look at it and give us an idea of what he felt it was worth. We went with that as our offer and it was accepted.
Let the games begin...
|Another shot of the lot|
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