Tuesday, April 30, 2013


A lot has happened since my last post, mostly still related to the excavation/infrastructure side of things, as shown in the pictures at the bottom.  Here is what has happened:

**The foundation is now complete and has been backfilled with drainage swales graded out.

**The electric pole has been installed in the lower, South East corner of the property, receiving electric from a neighboring property.

**The trench has been dug, and electric lines installed that carry the electricity underground from the pole up to the house (the electric will temporarily “run” into a pedestal up near the house that the builders will use during construction.  It will eventually “run” from there, underground into the house.

**The entire septic system has been installed and passed inspection from the DEP (Department of   Environmental Protection).

One interesting thing that happened when the trench for the electric was being dug:  Soon after they started digging, they hit a water pipe near the road, breaking it open.  It gushed water for a couple minutes, before trickling to a stop.  The excavator then went into town to research with the town clerk’s office what the pipe could possibly be (there are no public water utilities in our area).  Turns out, that pipe used to feed water to the nearby town of Hobart, probably from a spring or an old reservoir a long time ago.  Long enough ago that it didn’t show up on the initial “utilities check” he did before beginning work on the property.  The local code inspector told him to simply cap it since it’s been out of use for many decades. You can see the capped pipe in the picture below.

One note about our septic system:  As I mentioned in a previous post about the driveway, our property is located in the NYC Watershed region of the Catskills, and because of that, stricter guidelines are in place for residential and commercial septic systems.  That means our septic system cost us more than it would have in a location outside of the Watershed because of the advanced design requirements by the DEP.  We’re lucky though; it could have cost us a lot more than it did. Soil tests (perc tests) performed on a few different areas of the property by an engineer and a DEP rep before we purchased the property, detected one “sweet spot” where the soil was most ideal in terms of it’s fertile ability to handle a “shallow trench” system.  We were also very fortunate that that spot happened to be in an ideal location for the septic system in terms of where the house was going to sit.  It saved us thousands of dollars compared to what a “deep trench” system, commonly required in the area, would have cost us. 

So, what’s next?  The well is being drilled this week and Framing is due to begin in a couple of weeks! I plan to be onsite to “help” the builders for the framing process for as much time as I’m able to take off from my job.  I’m really looking forward to that! Thanks for taking the time to read this!  Here’s some pictures: 

Backfill is in place around the foundation with a nice "drainage swale" surrounding the site.

The electric pole installed at the bottom corner of the property, next to the road.  The electric lines going in to that pole will be mostly out of site from the cabin.  If you look closely, you can see the capped water pipe I talked about in the trench.  The trench goes all the way up to the house site and will run the electric inside conduit as seen here.  

The cement septic tank being installed

The line going from the tank to the distribution box.

Several pipes leave the distribution box and drain into the area called the leach field. The driveway, seen here in the background, will get a final layer of gravel as soon as soon as all site work is completed.

The DEP inspector's truck.  A DEP inspector is required to be onsite during the septic system installation.  It passed inspection!!  Another thing you can see in this photo is the electric "pedestal" I talked about sticking out of the ground behind the truck.  That's where the builders will tap into for electricity during construction.  Eventually, the electric will be routed from there underground and into the cabin.

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