Friday, May 13, 2016

New House Next Door to the Pond

Thus begins another New House Next Door!
Don't worry, I'll continue giving updates on the New House Next Door to the Mountains as well.

The design and engineering of this project started years ago and it's exciting to see the construction phase beginning this spring. Once the framing crew gets on site, you know it will move along to completion FAST.

The site is large and wooded with a meadow by the road and a small pond fed by a running stream. Even with the spring-flowering trees, and the bright green new meadow grass, the photos don't do it justice- it's a really beautiful spot.

The site has many restrictions as to where a building could be located and the solar exposure and pond views are, unfortunately, in opposite directions - so orienting the house and planning the fenestration (window location) was challenging!

Site Plan

The site plan shows the house located up the hill on a level spot, with the driveway crossing the stream and following an existing old farm lane. The thick, dashed line surrounding the pond and stream indicates the wetlands buffer, where no construction can occur. The two funny lined boxes on the top left are the septic area located in the meadow down the hill behind the house. The small dashed rectangles between the septic and the house are the original proposed house locations, which were rejected because of the steep, rocky, topography, poor solar orientation, and concerns about drainage flowing down from the higher ground. The front long face of the house faces south to allow sun to shine in. The garage is tucked behind the house - to the north. Exterior living spaces jut out to the south and west for fun in the sun or in the evening listening to peepers at the pond.
 By hiring an architect, one of the many benefits clients receive is a "site responsive" design. (the opposite of choosing a house plan from a book in which the designer never even saw the site and the building is just plunked down without much thought as to views or sunlight- mostly the only thing accounted for is how the car drives in)  As I blog about this project over the next months, I will discuss some of the site analysis (and "program analysis"- architect's word for the required rooms and how they relate to each other and the site) and how that early research informed the final design and placement of this house on this site.

Concrete Box Culvert with Wings Creates Stream Crossing
  Site work began over this mild winter with tree clearing at the building site and for visible sight lines at the road curb cut. A driveway with an Army Corp of Engineers approved stream crossing (aka bridge or culvert) has been the major work so far, along with a graded, landscape-fabric-lined driveway.

Beginning of the hole for the Foundation

Next the hole for the foundation is being dug out- and the encountered rock is being hammered out. The G.C. (general contractor) plans to have the foundation concrete poured this month.

View through wood to Pond
Graded Driveway Base heads up from road


  1. What a lovely site selection for this new home! I love all of the natural surroundings and expansive natural spaces, especially the quaint pond. The long driveway is a nice touch. I think the owner will enjoy plenty of privacy and seclusion in this fabulous place. I will be sure to follow along to see progress updates along the way.

    Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate

  2. That space is ideal for your new home. The pond will add to the feel. Being closer to nature is one of those things on my dream list as I live in the city for work I do not get to experience nature very much. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the progress. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

    Jacqueline @ Buyer's Option Realty Services