It’s early June. It’s been two weeks since our clearing work began on the site and, wow, what a difference that has made! With trees removed and sent off for milling, the house site has been outlined with stakes and marking tape so that we can walk through the imaginary front door, all the rooms, and hallways. As is the case for so many home builders, these are exciting times…the hypothetical home begins to feel like something more tangible, if only in the form of a rough outline in the dirt. Our three year old has enjoyed walking in and out of the imaginary front door many times, even pretending to ring the door bell and call out into the house “is anybody home.” Sweet moments. A calm arises in me when I stand in the outline of the someday-living room, looking out a currently invisible window into the trees beyond the meadow. A young maple tree is nearly perfectly framed by the imagined center window in the south wall of the living room. Sweet. This is getting good…Back to clearing updates!
In early May we began carefully outlining the boundaries of our clearing site so that surrounding vegetation would be maintained as much as possible. Our goal was to remove the stand of diseased fir trees as well as several healthy trees within the footprint of the home. Once removed, these trees would be trucked to our local miller, David Kotz, to be transformed into boards for floors, trim, and walls. When outlining was complete and the City of Bainbridge Island approved our clearing, the machines arrived on site. We felt nervous. Seeing trees come down is always hard. Thankfully, there was solace in knowing that they would have a new “life” within our home someday soon. Lee Rosenbaum and his team with Bainbridge Landscaping did a great job getting us through this first phase of site prep. It took about 5 days in total from initial removal of the understory and fallen trees to the final truck load of logs making its way offsite.
The sky is larger now and the tale of our journey home now contains a chapter or two. We know that there will need to be some additional trees taken down (some to be turned into snags to allow for the replacement of lost habitat with our clearing of the diseased trees, which were frequented by many species of birds, bugs, and chipmunks). First we will need to get through the permitting phase and consult with our arborist regarding the remaining trees in close proximity to the home. Additional solar analysis will also factor in, to ensure adequate light will be hitting our Photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the garage. For now, we will continue to walk the imaginary halls with glee.