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Dreaming of Home cont.

March 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Again, it’s a winter day with bright sun offering great solar gain in our house. The snow is deep, 3′, covering the ground and softening the landscape. The view through the forest is far-reaching.
To continue on my previous post…
We didn’t find land that we could afford that had a waterfall with an amazing swimming hole, but we did find a plot of land that was at least 10 acres, had southern exposure, (although we cleared some of the forest to get that solar access), afforded us the privacy that we wanted, and we have some of the best neighbors in the world.
We waited to purchase the land until we could really see the ground. This part of New England is known for its’ ledge, exposed and sub-surface geology, and we wanted to make sure that we could find a place for our house site, garden, and orchard, and be able to access all of those without undue expense.
We had first seen the land advertised in the winter and we had made a previous promise to ourselves not buy any land where we couldn’t see the soil. So this meant waiting until the snow melted. It was hard because we had been looking for land and walking many pieces for almost 3 years now. Some of those pieces that we had been interested in had been snatched up quickly, but we had our rule about waiting to see the ground We were also getting impatient to buy a place and get started.
When we first saw the land advertised, we snowshoed through the forest and found all of the boundary pins. We would come back every couple, few weeks and ski or snowshoe and do more exploring. We acquainted ourselves with the land, its’ topography, how the sun moved across it, where the breezes came from, sounds that we would hear, and animal tracks that we would see. We looked for places for a potential house site and dreamed.
To be continued…

Dreaming of Home

February 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

Since there are two feet of snow on the ground, even though I have gotten out to shovel, ski, and snowshoe, I have spent more time in my home this time of year. It is cozy, and the winter sun still being low in the sky, allows the light to penetrate deeply into the house and illuminate the interior space. I know every inch of this house intimately. My partner and I designed and built this house. It is a dream that I’ve had since I was sixteen years old. I have encountered many people with that same dream. I think on some level, it is a very deeply seated and primitive desire to want to create your own home.
There are so many things to think about when building a house, but being a landscape designer and a builder gives me the insight to be able to look equally at the land and the building and how they will work together and compliment each other.
Looking at the land first is a step that unfortunately many people completely overlook, do not consider, or don’t even know about. By looking at land I mean walking it, bringing a compass with you and familiarizing yourself with the cardinal directions, looking at what is growing there, what the soil looks, feels, and smells like, how the water runs across it when it rains, what direction the breezes are coming from, how you will access your land. This list continues and is extensive. The more you know about a piece of land, the more you know what you can or cannot do with each piece you acquaint yourself with. It is quite educational to walk many pieces of land. Each parcel can teach you something different and the more land that you walk and experience, the deeper you will cultivate a sense of what you are actually looking for.
Before we bought our land we compiled two lists. The first list encompassed things that we had to have such as at least ten acres, privacy, a good house site, land that perced, fairly close proximity to a store, a place to put a garden, and southern exposure. The second list encompassed ideals such as a waterfall with an amazing swimming hole and all like-minded neighbors. Everyone has their own list and it is extremely helpful to actually write it down. It helps solidify what you are looking for and focuses your search thus wasting less of your time.
To be continued…