This is the view we’ll have from our deck once we finish the new house in the Texas Hill Country we’re about to start. Building and remodeling is something Mr. Luan and I have done for years, and we must be masochists because we enjoy it. Each project presents a unique challenge, and there’s something about it that gets us both going. I think the challenges in this project are going to present some unique opportunities for “personal growth,” as they say.
We’ve worked with a local architect for more than a year to get the plans just right. The terrain is typical for the area—rocky outcrops, plenty of Cedar trees, plenty of oaks, and—as you can see from the following photo—plenty of spectators. Knowing now what I didn’t know then I’d say the bull on the left side of the picture must have made the surveyor a tad nervous. Four surveys later, we’re still trying to get the house placed properly.
It’s not difficult to understand why the corners have given us some problems (besides the bull.) As we started clearing, the boulders we found were huge but size wasn’t the only problem. The limestone strata we uncovered was extremely dense. The lot clearing we thought would take two weeks tops has now taken six weeks. Our operators broke so many backhoe hammers the equipment rental business finally told us to take our business elsewhere (six hammers total).
The rock haulers, however, were thrilled with our business. They took out 90 dump truck loads of stone and dirt. I kept as much as I could for future landscaping projects.
By the time we quit, the excavation site was more than 7’ at its deepest point. The spot where I’m standing would be about halfway between the surveyor and the bull in the first photo. The back corner of the house will be tucked into the side of the incline at this location. The opposite end of the house will be cantilevered over the side.Next week: Drilling for Dollars or The Well that Time Forgot.