Folsom's Rainbow Bridge

Folsom's Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge crossing the American River in Folsom, CA

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fresh Dirt!

Hello and welcome back to Local Fruit. I am happy to say that we finally have something to show that the project is moving forward at last. It has been almost three years since we bought the lot and began designing an energy efficient house in the Historic District. We submitted the design to the City and the Historic District Commission fourteen months ago and then submitted drawings for the plan check phase again in August. Once we moved into temporary quarters this summer we have been eagerly waiting to see tangible changes at the lot.

So back to the week’s progress... the site work of grading and sewer is complete. Future site work include constructing utilities and retaining walls.

A week ago several issues lay before us: locating the City sewer line and getting the grade correct on a narrow sloping lot. Well, last week the excavation company graded the lot and dug the sewer trench. After locating the City sewer main, they constructed our sewer connection, had it inspected, filled in the trench and patched the street. This seemed to happen quickly and with minimal disruption to the neighborhood traffic. The lesson here is that with something as important as a sewer line you want to have the ground work done right the first time. There is no second chance with a sewer line.

The grading has been a challenge because the lot slopes about 10’ from the southeast corner to the northwest corner. The garage pad is the high point, and right now the pad really dominates the parcel. We plan to reduce the excess pad and return the slope to almost the natural grade. I can’t imagine trying to navigate around the high pad as pictured with garden equipment or a green yard waste can.

Another challenge has been getting two City-owned trees removed. Two years ago the City arborist spent time identifying the trees and informing me which City-owned trees were diseased and unsafe. In fact he said that that the City would remove two of the trees because they were a hazard to people and property; however, due to the budget crisis the City now has no staff to trim or remove trees.
Instead the arborist expected us to remove the two City trees. This work was NOT in the budget! We agreed to remove the City’s trees because we did not want the risk of a diseased tree with a weak crotch dropping a limb and hurting someone. (That phrase always makes me want to giggle- pants have weak crotches; trees should be strong!) The photo shows the stump of the maple tree cut down today. I don’t even know how it survived this long with so much of the trunk missing.

The past few months we have been doing fun stuff on Fridays, like picking out flooring, cabinetry, and solid surfaces. We evaluated window bids (Anderson vs Milgard) and began to evaluate HVAC systems. We often take time to pull out the plastic yard chairs and sit on the future porch or in the future dining room…just looking at the future view.

We expect to break ground about the same time and the rainy season arrives. But I have cute new mud boots, and I am ready!