August 20, 2008—Finish details: grading, electrical trims and more

We weren’t sure if the grading contractor would come this week or next, but his crew had brought up equipment on Monday evening, so I was prepared to see them on Wednesday when I arrived.They were hard at work cleaning up the area around the house.

I had also asked them to dig out the silt pond at the bottom of the gully. The gully drains into the pond, but the silt pond is supposed to collect the dirt out of the water before it goes into the pond. In the summer, you are supposed to clean out the dirt accumulated during the previous winter.

Here is one of the crew with a little excavator digging out the silt pond.

They took the dirt from the silt pond and used it to build up and level out the land around the house. Here is the back-hoe with a load of dirt to go up to the house.
We also had another job dog. This fierce-looking but very sweet bitch belongs to one of the grading crew. I think her name is Sukey.
She followed me down to the pond and got in it to take a drink and get wet.

The silt pond originally was lined with rocks and had a large pipe to move water into the pond under the road. Unfortunately, I did not clean it out in 2005. I went down with a shovel one very hot day and took one look at it and left.

Then, we had a hugely wet winter with a giant storm on New Year’s Day 2006 which completely overwhelmed the silt pond and blew a lot of the rock and a tremendous amount of soil into the pond. Now we have to redo it at some expense. I don’t think I will neglect digging it out again.

Coming back up the hill from the pond, here is a picture of the carport with the preliminary grading done and the morning sun shining though the beams.
Walking by the library and guest room, all the debris from the plastering and concrete work has been smoothed out.
They have even smoothed out the bumps on the west side of the house.
Here is the living room and the area to the west of the house. They did ding the plaster with one of the pieces of equipment but we can get that fixed.
Oops! Not too bad considering how unwieldy that equipment is.
Best of all, they had leveled out the little bump between the veranda and the row of rocks I call the Teeth.
Here is a better view of the Teeth from the veranda. They are very cool volcanic tuff rocks. There is another row of them down the slope.
Looking along the veranda to the west, you can see how even it all looks. We are so pleased because we didn’t think we would have any level space at all outside the house. The original site was quite sloped, but the excess dirt from the foundation and the finish grading has been used to give us some open space around the house. It looks like Jim might get his bocce ball court after all.
More progress from August 20th  
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