Ruffles Have Ridges and So do Mountains

Building on or close to the Ridgeline of the mountain. This was something we did not anticipate completely, but we were in compliance with it anyway. So you may be wondering what is Seth talking about and why am I hungry.

In our planning we didn’t know about the fact that you cannot build 25′ or higher above the ridge line of a mountain. The ridge line would be considered the point where the moisture runs off both sides of the mountain and down both sides. Kind of like the Continental Divide. The county sent out great guy who took multiple measurements and elevations via GPS and gave us an ok on our site location. This was fortunate for us because we have much of the site excavated. The reason they require to build below the ridge line is to keep the views beautiful and without large house sticking up in the forest. So this we agree is a great requirement.


Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power. But a lack of knowledge would make you what? Of that I am not really sure. But any way we are trying to get our electrical poles installed and have run into some obstacles, namely more granite. So because of this two of our four pole holes are rock holes. This means they cost more because they have to drill through rock. On one of them they also have to install an anchor into the rock, extra cost. But once they are complete they should never go anywhere. So what went from a 2-3 day job turned into about 10 days.

On The Move

Buying and selling can be a stressful thing. The best advise I can give you is, “Be prepared and be flexible!” And make sure you have a realtor you can trust. We recommend Corey Martin of Keller Williams Martin Home Group. He is awesome!

In the process of building our new home we have had to sell our existing homes. The Colorado market is fairly crazy when it comes to the type of house that we are in, which is a 1st time home buyer/small family home. Because of this we had our house put on the market Friday evening, Saturday from 1-4 we did an open house, there were 10 showings scheduled, 3-4 more on Sunday and 7 offers in by Sunday at noon. This was great because we knew we would be able to sell our home but we had to decide who was going to be the smoothest process for us to finish the selling process.

Ultimately we found one of the seven and went with our decision. Now we have closed and both parties in the end were very happy. Now we are living with some great friends for a bit while the winter continues on. We hope in the spring to be in a trailer on the property.

Another tip in selling your home is make sure your realtor has professional pictures taken to show off your home. They make a huge difference as you can see in the video below. When pricing, don’t be greedy. Find a price you will be happy with and that is good for the neighborhood and anything over that is a great bonus.

A quick note about moving. First, our friends and family are awesome. Some helped the days before in packing and we had lots to help the day of with moving and putting things in storage. The biggest advice I can give is make sure you are packed about 90% before everyone shows up, it makes things go a lot quicker and your help is a lot happier. Also, don’t forget to feed those who so lovingly offered themselves. They need fuel and deserve it as well.

Thanks to all that have helped this time and in the past.


So this week has been lots of catch up on the leach field and a little of digging the crawl space. Not much to say at this point we are continuing work and some things will slow down until we get our plans back from the structural engineer and get them in to the county for approval.

Oh, How Things Change!!!

So Monday was a rough day for Dad and I. We failed our leach field inspection and had a lot of work to get done (another foot of dirt to remove and blowing up two fairly large rocks that were in our way) we had what seemed like one thing after another fall apart and by the end of the day we were toast. Tuesday was a little better, we worked hard but still did not have our excitement back, we were just working at moving dirt and started the drilling to blow up the rock in the leach field.

Wednesday (today) was awesome! It seemed like we got two weeks worth of work done in a day. We were able to get the following done.
– Moving Rock from the basement
– Both of our septic tanks were delivered and set in place (2 Tanks, 1,250 gallon and 1,0000 gallon tanks)
– We had an appointment with our structural engineer and got a plan started for the foundation design
– Final removal of a couple of huge rocks that were sticking up above the grade of our basement
– Explosive guys showed up and we blew up our leach field rocks (we had to put 1-2′ of dirt on top of rocks to dampen the sound and concussion of explosion)
– Electrical Power Contractors came and started installing the power poles and line.

Needless to say by the end of the day we felt very accomplished and its only Wednesday. Check out the video montage of our day.

Eww, Leaches

So we are digging our leach field for the septic system. Slowly we move dirt in so we can fill with sand later. But a perk today was seeing a huge herd of Elk on the way in. There were about 60+ and they looked really healthy. I guess hunting season is over so they decided to come back out. HAHA. Funny how they know when that is all happening.

Who wants to blow something up? Oooh pick me!! ✋🏻 💣 🎇 ☄️

While doing some of the excavation in the basement we came across a huge rock. It is about 12′ around and about 3′ above grade and it has to go. There are a couple of options.

1- Rock Breaker- Using equipment that is like an oversized jack hammer to break up the rock.

2- Blasting- Drill multiple holes, fill with explosives and ignite to break apart the rock.

We had to go with option 2 due to the size and makeup of the rock. This entailed getting a blasting company (A & A Blasting and Drilling) to check out the rock (Wednesday). They were able to get us in the schedule today, which was awesome so we jumped at it.

Blasting consisted of the following
– Drilling 61 holes approximately 24″-30″ (This took about 5-6 Hours)
– Installing explosives 100 lbs. of Ammonia Nitrate = 30lbs of Dynamite
– Installing Blasting Caps that were daisy chained together to make sure all of them went off.
– Phone call to Park County to inform them of the coming blasting
– Warning that blasting is coming (2 sets of 3 horn blasts) and a “Fire in the Hole”
– Set off the charges
– Boom!!!!!!

So I put together a video of the day and what it entailed. Funny thing is once it was blown, Dad and I were a bit shocked over the event. In a word, it was “Awesome!!”.

Update – Leach Field and Driveway

So we are moving ahead full steam right now since the weather has been nice to us. We hope it will keep going. There is supposed to be some snow tonight which is a bit of a two edged sword for us, I will explain.

First, we rented a piece of equipment to move dirt again. The first day (Last Thursday) we worked on the Leach field (a leach field is the end of the Septic system). The leach field consists of perforated pipe (2 pipes, 1 1/2″ in diameter and 72′ long) that leach the remaining waste (which is only liquid at this point) back into the ground. It is then filtered through 3 feet of sand, 1 foot of 1 1/2″ rock and then back into the ground. By this point it is ok for the ground to absorb and not cause problems.

Second, we needed to add road base to the driveway to meet the code for Park County. It will also solidify the driveway and make it easier to drive one with 2 wheel drive. The decomposed granite we have on most of the road is like little ball bearings. They are great for a base but do not compress much and make it less stable then we would like to drive on. The road base has more dirt in it to lock all of it in place and make it a nice road to drive on. The snow coming will help, as it will enable things to settle and lock together. At least that is what we have been told. Time will tell.

As the video shows long days in a tractor can drive you a bit stir crazy. Enjoy!!

Permit me please?!?!?!

As we move along we are learning there are a lot of permits to obtain in the process of building our new home. When looking to build your home it is good to have these all generally in mind for your budget. If you don’t it can cost you quite a bit more than you would expect. So far we have obtained the following, the fire mitigation was one we learned about today at the county building office (fortunately its only $150). Each have one year to complete.

– Driveway $100
– Well $100
– Septic System. $523
– Excavation $100
– Power Lines (no permits but easements and approval from power company)

To be obtained in the future

– Fire Mitigation $150
– Building (depends on sq footage)
– Electric, Plumbing
– Not sure what I am missing here

Many feel that Building Permits and building codes are a hinderance and make it difficult to build. While at times these codes may seem over the top, in reality they are there to protect us and help make sure a structure that is built that will be correct, safe, efficient and affordable for years to come. Following them creates a better home and less headaches in the future. Communication with the county, city and inspectors can save you time, effort and problems through out the project.