When we first started clearing the 10 acres, I wouldn't let them push down anything that over six inches in diameter I think! My daddy at time had said...."now Jeannie Dale, you need to let them clear out these trees....clear them all off where you want to build you house."
Smart as we were, we thought he was wrong. Not! We cleared enough trees for a long winding driveway and a spot for the house. We left several big oaks especially and some were pretty close to the house.
Isn't there a song with ....regrets...I have a few..? Well, I do have a few regrets. And we should have listed to my dad!
Over the years, we paid again and again for a bulldozer to come back and "get a few more trees." Then there was an ice storm and that took care of some.....bulldozer again. Then there was Katrina and even being eight hours away from the coast, Katrina took care of about 17 trees for us......bulldozer again.
And you think, well a downed tree can be cut up for firewood and it can. If you burn wood. We started out with a wood burning fireplace in our home and that lasted about a year or so before we decided gas logs was much easier to fool with. And even if you do cut up trees for firewood.....do you have any idea how big those stumps are! After Katrina, the bulldozer dug a hole in our yard that you could have backed a tractor-trailer rig into. That's what it took to get rid of the stumps.
So, when we started clearing this lot, I had much less sentimental value over the trees. Yes, we wanted to keep some, but it was much easier to say....take it down! Daddy would be so proud of me))) He hasn't seen the lot yet, but I'm to drive him over soon. His 95th birthday comes up in May so he's seen a lot of tree clearing in his days)))
It's really difficult to tell exactly what you're getting in a lot until you start clearing. Measurements just don't mean anything much to me, I have to see a stake with a ribbon on it! This clearing was just on the first day, and that brush pile has really grown and grown.
We had all the pines pushed down. Pines are beautiful trees, but having learned from experience, their roots are shallow and they will blow over.
You can see the slope of the lot much easier after the clearing started. This is important when choosing a house plan. For instance which side of the house would it be more feasible to put the driveway on? For ours, according to the builder, the driveway would work better on the left, then build up on the right. Otherwise we would be getting out of the car and having steps up to the house level.
Choosing your builder is the next step after finding your lot. For our lot, it was in a development that the builder owned, so it was easy for him to give advice to us about the lot. He knows every inch of the property. But we shared a printed off view of a few houses we were interested in. Whatever you do, don't purchase house plans without the builder looking at your lot first. Our lot is wider in the front, more narrow to the back, so we needed a house that had a wide front, or that's what we wanted anyway.
Then the rains set in. Yes, that's part of building a house. You get so excited and worked up that the actual process has started, then everything comes to a screeching halt. Once it's dry enough the brush pile will be disposed of, burned likely, and then the final bulldozing and clearing up done. Already we can see a few more trees will need to come down. Gosh, never believed I would hear myself saying that!