Saturday, December 1, 2012
Mapping it out
We have been a little quiet on the blog these last few weeks but things have been rolling along behind the scenes. We just hired a surveyor to map out the entire property so that we can start laying out the "Master Plan" and have been talking with our friend Turko Semmes of Semmes & Co. Builders. We met Turko while we were looking at properties when he showed up to ride along with our realtor as sort of an expert witness on what to stay away from with regard to rural properties. In the end, we dumped the realtor and kept Turko and are happy he is helping us. His company specializes in designing custom "green" structures leaning on layout and passive solar systems to aid in efficiency. As many of you know, our ideal is to have this project of ours be entirely self-sufficient.
The Master Plan is to rough out exactly what we want to do with the ranch in such a way that won't have to redo anything later. The first part of that is the survey and the roads. With our best quote and a solid recommendation from Turko, we hired Dakos Land Surveys to map out the property lines and provide a detailed topo map of the entire ranch. With this information we will be able to plan out the best options for layout and access. The survey will show all of the details of the topography including the location and species of every tree on a series of 3' square maps so I am pretty excited to see the results.
Once we have the survey, we can begin to plan out the buildings we need and their locations on the farm. Turko advised that if we can get it all figured out ahead of time we can just pull one permit for the driveway and lay all of the pavement at once instead of having to get the county involved every time we take another step. Smart! Cal Fire will also have to be involved in the road system as they have very specific requirements and we are in a high fire risk area. Plus, I can't get the Harley up the steep dirt driveway so it needs to be addressed asap!
Since we plan to build a dairy early on we will also be sending our ideas to the county dairy inspector. They are rather particular about how things need to be done so it is important to try to work with them instead of against them.
While Christy is bending Turko's ear about how to get a commercial stove into the 1100sf ranch house I have been working on the important stuff... researching critters. I have a couple picked out and will tell you about them soon!