Monday, September 19, 2011

big plans: soil, water, gas

one of the big things that björn & i realized over the last week was to expect the unexpected.  i had my worries about certain aspects of the project that i didn't fully understand, but i was confident that either björn & i could learn or at least find the person who knew the answer to our problems.  

after finding out that the soils on our piece of property are less than ideal we decided, in conjunction with our structural engineer, that the best approach would be to dig a very deep foundation.  and since we are doing that we might as well have a full basement instead of a partial basement & a crawl space.  no biggie, that just means a bigger hole, taller stem walls, more concrete & rebar for the foundation, which of course means more money but really how much more??  i mean after all its a hole & concrete right?  

my mind immediately jumped to thoughts of what to do with all of this new found space.  while most of the basement will be subterranean with no windows, a portion of the space will be able to have a walk out to the lower grade on the river front.  we are thinking this area would be a great place for a wood shop or an art studio space.   we also thought a room for dry storage & maybe a wine cellar would be in order!  other than that it will probably end up being a space for storage of skis, snowboards, canoes, camping equipment, everything you need to live in colorado!

wine cellar dreams!
our second surprise came when we discovered that the nearest water utility hook-up is way down the road at the main intersection.  the initial approach the city is recommending us to take is to pay for the installation of a 150' 8" water main!  what?!  do you have any idea how big an 8" water main is?!  or how expensive?  this is when i really started to worry.   on top of that come to find out that the closest natural gas line is quite far away as well which means more digging, & more money.
however, we are really hoping to avoid these high costs by using some more creative approaches than tearing up the street & laying an 8” water main.  because björn’s mother owns all of the properties along the proposed pathway of the main we are hoping to dig a trench through the “front yards” of the three properties & using a much smaller diameter pipe if allowable.  we are also rethinking the use of natural gas.  while it is a plentiful resource here in the southwest & an inexpensive option compared to electric or propane it doesn’t seem smart to spend a huge amount to install the gas line all the way to our property.  it seems a much better option to invest the money meant for natural gas into future solar energy resources.  our friend derek at solar works here in durango should be able to help us with any of our energy questions!

one of solar works installations here in colorado

last week was definitely a challenge & it really made us take a look at everything we are doing with a new perspective, but i think all of this will work out and in the mean time we are learning to be flexible and to roll with the punches!  im sure this week will bring more challenges.

1 comment:

  1. Flexibility is a learned skill. Enjoy the creativity that comes with challenges!



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