Site Decisions and Instinct

blogphoto.JPGToday I visited the recently cleared site of a new house I have been working on. The site was a wooded plateau that is part of a much larger piece of land. There are old foundations, some amazing trees, steep slopes and lots of runoff water. My initial reaction to siting the house was avoid the old foundations. They were too cool to mess with. The old Frank Lloyd Wright idea of finding the least nice part of the site to put the house really applied here. I spent time on the site in all seasons and felt fairly confident in locating the house and yard where I did but it is always a nervous moment driving up to the site after the initial clearing. WoW! I did a good job on this one. The house will sit nestled into the uphill side of the plateau and have marvelous southeast views down the valley in the winter. In the summer it will sit on the edge of a lovely little meadow. Enough pine trees came down to provide siding for the house next year after getting milled and drying. The rest of the trees were smallish maples that will provide firewood for three years or so. From the main floor of the house there will be a commanding view of the little valley but without the house appearing arbitrarily plunked down. It is gratifying to see decisions of this nature play out. There is an interesting mix of gut reaction, intellectualizing, site analysis and just plain spending time on the site. Of course the site is now a mess of mud mixed with snow and a pile of stumps burns slowly in the middle. It will be a hot dusty summer there while the house is being constructed. But I look past that to what will be. 100 years ago someone made this hillside their home. Now someone will live there again.