Friday, April 29, 2016

The Driveway Completed (A Tiny Home/Land Development Report)

What a week this has been! It's amazing how quickly things can happen sometimes!

My driveway entrance
I have felt this to be a rollercoaster week emotionally. I was elated on Monday – so excited about work beginning on the driveway sooner than I had hoped.

Around the gentle curve...

I was advised to install one culvert to manage water
through the "dip" in my driveway
I felt frustrated and aggravated on Tuesday and Wednesday, because my volume of desk work was very heavy and I had to stay in my home office, ploughing through work, when all I wanted to do was go out to my land and watch the bulldozer and dump truck do their thing.

But, I consoled myself with the thought that I need all the desk work I can get in order to pay for the work being done on my land. It's the age-old Catch-22 of time but no money, or money but no time. And since working for money is vital to this land-development process – while sitting out there watching wouldn't contribute anything – it was a no-brainer where I needed to be. Even if my inner-four-year-old did spend a little bit of time whining about wanting to go see the big machines in action.

A call out on Facebook for photos from neighbouring friends resulted in two different people sending me pictures of the work done on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Those photos, and the kindness of the people who sent them to me, soothed my soul.

My clearing, facing the sun and the
My clearing, facing back out
toward the un-driveway
Yesterday, I was so excited, I actually forgot it was market day and missed the Lunenburg Farmer's Market for the very first time since I started living in Lunenburg for the winter.

Happily, I was able to get out to my land for about an hour, in time to watch (and enjoy) the process of digging the septic system test pit. I can't remember ever having been that excited about a hole in the ground.

The backhoe dug a deep hole (big rocks! very cool) and the engineer had a good look at my dirt. Sandy loam was the verdict – very auspicious soil for a septic system. The topography is also favourable for a less-expensive gravity-fed system. We discussed the best site for the house, too, and I believe I have settled on a location that means I won't have to cut down the beautiful old maple tree in the middle of my clearing. All in all, an excellent day.

The septic test pit
And, the driveway is now completely done! My contractor had predicted five days, but finished in four. All that's left to do is run a cheque up to his house today or Monday. 

A number of people have warned me that everything about this project will probably take longer than expected and cost more than I thought, but so far so good! Buying the land proceeded ahead of schedule, cutting trees went more quickly (and was less expensive) than I thought it would be and the driveway too is completed earlier than I thought and didn't cost as much as I feared (although it's not small change, I feel like I paid a fair price for the work done).

This feels like a big milestone to reach. I don't know why it should be so, but the land looks and feels more "open" now that there's a road instead of just a lumber-strewn cutting.

I am one year into this process. I hope it's going to be only three years in total before I am all set up. Because I like graphs and stuff, here is a proposed timeline:

My next two big tasks are to establish my garden and to move my tiny home from West Dublin to Crousetown. Stay tuned for all the news!

(Now back to work for me! I have never seen such a busy April! The VERSE is throwing whacks of work my way, which is very helpful and for which I am very grateful!)


  1. Wow, I'm so excited for your adventure friend. It makes me wonder if Elissa and I can do the same thing.
    Big hugs, love, and good luck to you.

  2. Thank you, Trevor! If you and Elissa decide to do something like this, I'm sure you will enjoy the adventure and learn lots along the way!

  3. Looks like your contractors did a much better job than many of the others out there, although I'd say the amount of planning you've put in was key to getting a good result. A lot of people don't put in the time and wonder why they get project creep. Well done! Don't forget to keep your culvert clear.

    Keneth Parish @ Lion Land Marketing