Lining it out

On Saturday, Si, Dad and I headed out to Vashon with stakes, flags, long tape measures, the transit level and the Stihl 015 (a small chainsaw). It was time to line out the footprint of the house for the guy who was going to do the excavation for the foundation and stubwall.

The spot we’d picked for the house was right where a big tree had come down a couple years ago and on the newly exposed forest floor a carpet of baby hemlocks had popped up. They were competing for the sun, growing tall and skinny, close together. In order to use the transit level, Si had to mash through the mini forest with the chainsaw (probably over kill, but we left the machete in Seattle), clearing the line of sight. He had fun and I tried not to flinch as the baby hemlocks fell left and right. They were so hopeful and green, struggling to beat each other out for the quickly closing in sky.

From Site photos

In order to figure out the location of the house corners, we somewhat arbitrarily picked a spot for the southwest corner. The transit level was set up at the corner after much messing around getting it level in the deep, soft forest floor.

From Site photos

Using a compass, we decided the appropriate direction for the west wall, measured out 30 feet and marked it. Dad shot the location of the northeast corner with the transit level, then rotated 90 degrees for the south wall.

From Site photos

Because the house is actually two towers, connected at a slight angle, there was some guestimating for the east corners, but because a trackhoe is not a particularly precise machine, we weren’t too worried.
As I’ve mentioned before, our land hasn’t been cleared since it was logged in the early 1900’s. There are downed trees everywhere, deep, soft duft and small, hearty bushes through out. Getting 30 feet in any one direction requires a large amount of climbing over/under obstacles and crashing through brush. Big rubber boots are the best way to keep dry, but you loose mobility and control.

From Site photos

Staying upright is a struggle, but even damp from falling in bushes I had fun.

From Site photos

And I got to use the chainsaw!

From Site photos
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