Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Friday, January 29, 2010

Floor Plans

Here are a couple of images of the floor plans for the house in case you're interested.

Tree clearing nearly done

Spent a second day clearing trees so the serious construction can start- boy am I tired! We plan to finish up on Monday, just a few trees to remove for the new driveway and will have to move our travel trailer first. Here's a view from the cul-de-sac looking towards the house site.

Allegheny Power finished putting up the poles for power and told us they should have the electric service ready by early next week, a lot faster than we expected. Will be nice to plug in the trailer in the spring without having to use the generator.

There are a couple of new videos up on Youtube as well.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clearing Started, January 26

After a one day rain delay, clearing for the new house has started. We created a bit of a road block at the start of the day on the road leading up to the property. As we headed up the mountain with a large truck hauling the caterpillar and 3 more pick up trucks behind, we ran in to the Allegheny Power team who had just arrived to start putting in the electric lines. They were there with 3 large trucks but everyone found their way and work started about 9:00 am. Here's a shot of the lot at the end of the day.

We made a couple of minor modifications to the site plan before starting, moved the driveway entrance to make it easier to get in and out to the house and garage. Larry drove the caterpillar and took down a lot of trees, Doc was there to separate the stumps (they'll be hauled away later) and cut off the tree tops. I spent the day running my chipper/shredder trying to stay ahead of the team to keep the branches laying around to a minimum- a real workout for my little tractor and shredder but we were caught up at the end of the day. We plan to be back on site Thursday to finish the clearing work, then the excavations can start.

Here is one last picture- 4 of the power poles have been set and all the remaining poles are laid out near their final locations as well. Not much to see, but you get the idea.

All in all, a great first day.

Here's a link to some videos on Youtube-


Friday, January 22, 2010

Excavation to Start on Jan 25

If all goes as planned, our builder will start clearing trees and excavating on Monday (1/25). I took my small tractor with the woodchipper attached up to the property this week so I can clean up some of the smaller brush and use it for mulch. Tree trunks that are large enough for the sawmill will be saved to make fencing and anything else will be cut for use in the wood stove. The plan is also to bury the stumps somewhere on the site as well to keep the mess to a minimum. I plan to be there on Monday and will take some pictures.

Contacted Frontier Telephone yesterday and ordered phone service. For the neighbors down the hill from us, it took about 5 months to get their service connected so even though we don't need it now, figured it would be good to get started. They told us that high speed internet will be available to us as well- good news is that there is a central office not far down Route 50 so DSL is within reach- great news. With high speed internet and satellite tv, we'll never need to leave :).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jan 17 Update- Temporary Electric Started

The power pole for the temporary electric meeting has been installed, we're ready for Allegheny Power to actually run the service about 3600 feet up to the property. Once we have temporary power, we'll be able to use the trailer a bit more easily and have a few more comforts like satellite tv, lol.

On January 13, our builder applied for the building permits from Hampshire County- should get an update in the next week or so if all is okay. Once the permits are issued, construction can really get moving. The log house kit has been ordered but there are some final details to complete before the mill starts cutting the logs. There was a slight delay getting the applications for the permits in to the county as the plans needed to be stamped by a design engineer- this isn't a requirement in Berkley County where SNRL has built most of their log homes- not a big deal, just a step.

It turns out the review by the design engineer helped us out a bit- there were a couple of supporting beams in the hall and kitchen that were going to be about 7 1/2 feet above the floor- the design engineer made a suggestion that allowed the beams to be raised nearly a foot so the head room will be higher- nice news!

Donna and I are spending a bit of time trying to make some decisions related to kitchen cabinets, location of outlets, ethernet, and trying to think these things through. There are a lot of choices and we're just getting started! We're still planning to have a wood stove in the basement for supplemental heat but will be adding a propane connection in the great room in case we later tire of the wood handling and want to go with a gas stove upstairs.

Here's one last picture from my last visit the site- our trailer in the snow. Good news is we're finally starting to see a melt of the big snowfall (nearly 2 feet) of snow from before Christmas- road was still covered but only with an inch or two and with four wheel drive, no problem getting to where the house will eventually be built.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nearly Ready to Start

Donna and I reviewed the house plans on 12/30 during a trip to Hedgesville, WV to Snowy River Log Homes. Plans look great, incredible amount of detail to review. Hope is to have building permits in the coming week and for basement construction to be completed by the end of January.

While in Hedgesville, we also took a look at the kitchen cabinets that had been spec'd for the house- they are by Kraftmaid- we liked the look but will be thinking through the color/door combinations over the next couple of months. We also went to a customer of SNRL to see some custom cabinets that were made for a kitchen remodel. The work was great, very detailed, strong construction, and a lot of touches that were obviously done to fit the job. When the time comes for cabinets, we'll get a quote on the custom constructed cabinets- they have a lot going for them but will have to see how the pricing comes out.

We took a ride to the property on 1/1- just spent an hour or so walking around- road to top of the hill wasn't plowed but we made it up there anyway- lot of wildlife tracks and the trailer was in good shape. Started to snow while we were there and it was beautiful, great views like we hoped for.

Every time we're in Home Depot or somewhere like that, we take time to look at appliances, lighting, sinks, and other items for the house- an incredible amount of choices to be made as we move forward. For now though, we're just looking forward to seeing some physical work started like excavation for the house and garage/shop.

We're getting close.