Plasma cutting steel staircase Tung oil applied on trim woodwwork Floors milled from site grown trees Septic field restoration Reflecting afternoon sun Birth of a barn on Bragg Hill Radiant floors Solar panel installation Capping off the chimney Proud shape emerges on the hilltop Pumping concrete into the three gables Forming 12x12 Gables Delivering concrete from the sky Parallam beam positioning Flying flitch beam ICF window framing Precision concrete placement Lower level ICF fabrication Newly excavated driveway Finishing garage deck concrete Pouring concrete footers Rebar safety caps Surveying the construction site Checking out the excavation equipment Rapid soil stabilization Testing the soils for drainage Taking Solar Pathfinder measurements Milling downed trees onsite View to the Southeast over the Benzel Family Trust Future meadow to be cultivated Taking a stroll on Bragg Hill Road

Where’s the first floor?

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Building on a hillside can be deceiving.  So much so that it sometimes requires advanced technology to tell you that your eyes are lying to you.  On paper, it appeared that we should establish the main floor at an elevation of 336 MSL (Mean Sea Level).  When you are standing on the hill, what does 336 look like?  In our case, we had engineer’s survey stakes that indicated exact elevations.  We didn’t believe these flags.  To be sure, this past spring, Mark Thompson built a temporary platform set to 336’ elevation.  To the eye, the platform looked way too high relative to the nearby topography.  To settle the issue, Mark brought out his laser level.

In this photo, Mark Thompson is discussing the visual discrepancy with Matthew Moger, our architect.  Mike Thompson on top of the platform with the a measurement staff.  Sure enough, the elevations were spot on.  The optical illusion issue resolved, we settled on a first floor level of 334 feet based on the scale and proportion of the home relative to the geographical surroundings.