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 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.
Sadly, Mr. Shuey died in October, 2008, and Mr. Lyle died in April, 2009.
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.
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.
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.
A third local legend, Jimmy Markum, poured the slab. The slab is a thing of beauty.
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.