September 17, 2013

Perc tests and septic systems: an update on the lot

The soil test was completed Thursday of last week. The results show that the land cannot support a conventional septic system and so an alternative system costing $10,000 - $15,000 dollars more will be required in order to build a home here. We requested a small adjustment in the sale price and received confirmation late last night that the seller has agreed. The next step will be an official survey, but there really shouldn't be any surprises there.

On Friday we were asked to confirm the location of the soil test to be sure that the general vicinity of the test was the basic location we envision for the house to sit. Andy and I were able to leave the boys with our neighbors and drive out to the lot to explore it for the first time.  Before this weekend we'd only walked the cleared area that fronts the road.

Andy models tick prevention fashion, and the accessory of the season: a machete.
One of the first things we encountered was a pretty impressive dumping ground for housewares and appliances! Otherwise, the land is mostly untouched. It is very flat and completely wooded with typical Virginia pine and oak. It looks like the land was cleared, maybe in the 40's for farming, because the regrowth is natural but still seems young. The lot is a rectangular shape and gently slopes up to a little peak somewhere in the middle (that would be the place to build the house). Passed that point (the last 1/3 of the lot), the foliage changes a bit and then turns to marshy ground.  Somewhere toward the back of the lot (we didn't make it that far) there is a seasonal creek that leads to a large body of water that began naturally, but has been damaged by years of gravel mining in some of the 400 acres that surround the property.

The soil test was based at this little clearing roped off with twine (bottom right). The machete was helpful for the underbrush and overgrowth, and especially for the spiderwebs overhead.
It is exciting to think about the ways that we can maximize use of the different aspects of the land. We envision clearing a couple acres in the middle for the house and a few key dwellings, namely a garage, workhouse, and guesthouse. These will be incorporated into the site plan that we'll have drawn up once we identify an architect, but we will construct them over time, probably many years. Otherwise, we would like the land to remain undisturbed for the most part. It would be nice to clear some trails for walking, and perhaps build a boardwalk through the marsh so that we can enjoy that space as well. A boardwalk that leads to a patio overlook would be serene.


  1. MARSH LAND?! OH DEAR! That little clearing looks nice though! Too bad the septic system will be so expensive!!! :o/

  2. What a wonderful little oasis for you and your family this is going to be!

  3. I am loving these updates and I can't wait to see how it all unfolds. Someday my family will come visit you there! :)


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