Before and Beneath

Mr. Lyle clears the property

Mr. Lyle clears the property.

Kelley hired Mr. Pete Lyle to clear the property and dig the foundation for the house in May, 2008. Mr. Lyle was a local legend. He cleared the property and dug the foundations for many of the homes in our area. Kelley met him several years ago when he prepared the site for the addition at Taylor and Boody Organbuilders.  Although Mr. Lyle retired from the company he founded and owned for forty years, Wayland J. Lyle Excavating, he still owned heavy equipment and continued to work. He was seventy-nine years old when he worked on Bunny Vista.

We tried to leave as many trees standing as possible, but some pretty big ones had to go.

Kelley and a big stump.

Kelley and a big stump.

Kelley hired Mr. Bill Shuey, another colorful local legend, to haul away the stumps and branches. Mr. Shuey, a contemporary of Pete Lyle, was a farmer and a life-long resident of Swoope. He was well-known for raising and training Percheron horses. Mr. Lyle and Mr. Shuey entertained Kelley with stories of their younger days, especially one in which the schoolboy Billy Shuey rode his pony up the stairs and into the gymnasium of Hebron School (now Taylor and Boody Organbuilders) during recess and later was roundly punished by his father. Mr. Shuey told Kelley he left Augusta County only when the Army took him away to serve in World War II, during which he lost an eye.

Pete Lyle loads the giant stump into Bill Shuey's dumptruck.

Pete Lyle loads the giant stump into Bill Shuey's dumptruck.

Sadly, Mr. Shuey died in October, 2008, and Mr. Lyle died in April, 2009.

Mr. Bill Shuey makes sure Mr. Lyle gets the job done right.

Mr. Bill Shuey makes sure Mr. Lyle gets the job done right.

After months of preparation, work on Bunny Vista began in earnest in January, 2009. Cornerstone Foundations of Harrisonburg poured the footers and the foundation. Working under a tight deadline, they did much of the pour at night.

First of the big machines

Pouring the footers. Our trailer is in the background.

Pouring the foundation on a cold January night.

Pouring the foundation on a cold January night.

The foundation is insulated on the inside with T-Roc, a newly-patented product with foam insulation laminated to weatherproof drywall. Our house is the first residence to be built using the T-Roc, so the inventor was here, taking photos and watching the procedure.

Inside the basement, T-Rock insulation is already on walls. We also insulated the exterior before Jim Roepke laid the stone. I think this will be a warm basement.

Inside the basement, T-Roc insulation is already on walls. We also insulated the exterior before Jim Roepke laid the stone. Kelley's workshop is on the left, two bedrooms, a bath, and a den are on the right.

The house will have radiant floor heating on both floors. We will use a geothermal system for heating and cooling the house and solar panels to heat our water. Kelley has been working with Eric Thompson at Earthstar, a company in Waynesboro, on the heating and cooling. Tubes to convey hot water through the house were installed on the floor of the basement before the slab was poured.

I am dreaming of warm feet.

I am dreaming of warm feet.

A third local legend, Jimmy Markum, poured the slab. The slab is a thing of beauty.

Jimmy Marcum pours the basement slab.

Jimmy Markum pours the basement slab.

Jimmy Marcum directs the pouring team. Lewis is on the right, ready for work.

Jimmy Markum directs the pouring team. Lewis is on the right, ready for work.

Many months of preparation and hard work went into building the house before the first stone was laid and the first log was placed. In one week, Jordan Finch, the timber framer, will arrive with the timber frame.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “Before and Beneath”

  1. Robin Says:

    What a great post. I really enjoyed reading about Mr. Lyle and Mr. Shuey. They gave you a good start on your project. I remember how excited you were to start finally clearing the land. And now the timber frame is coming…!!!

  2. skowroneck Says:

    So where lives the old groundhog these days? And what a Big stump indeed. We (neighbor and I) are just hacking away on a bit of maple which looks tiny in comparison and still it takes a new effort every time we nibble at it with our chainsaws.
    Loved the story of the pony in the organ shop!

  3. Susan Says:

    Tilman, Aaron and Braxton both despise wildlife in groundhog form and have vowed to rid our home of the pesky critters. For quite a while, the groundhogs, who are faster than they appear to be, eluded the guys. But now, the score is Builders 1-Groundhogs 1. More to follow, I am sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: