Thursday, 14 April 2011


A new life has begun!

To start off the ground breaking day we had to transplant one of the trees that my dad had planted. Actually, it was an offspring of one of the trees he planted. The plow had clipped the original but there was a little spruce tree growing right beside it. We decided it would like a nice view so we planted it here.

Lot of loud noise in the quiet town of Crow Head

So, the building project has begun. We hired Derrick Warren to bring his excavator in and level things out for us. We had heard from a lot of locals that he was our man (and we also think he is pretty cute). There is no building inspection here in Newfoundland so when you hire someone you want to make sure that they are dependable. He has been great! Newfoundland is a bit in the stone ages when it comes to equality but Derrick acknowledges both Ted and I. For me, it makes working beside him comfortable. Other potentials we had in here to look at the project were somewhat chauvinistic...not good in our minds. Anyway, he is both personable and good at what he does so it was a win win situation for us. Once he started excavating, we decided we needed to get a "buster" in to take out some of the rock. There has been a bit of discrepency with regards to setbacks here. Johnny, our mayor, says that as long as its behind the line of the house its fine. BUT, the road is "highways" jurisdiction and so others say 30 feet from the centre of the road (all this is hilarious and frustrating for Ted and I as we both worked in surveying and setbacks were not even close to a "grey area"). So, all that said, we decided to try and get the 30 foot setback. We had been trying to get a hold of the department of highways supervisor but to no avail (he still hasn't returned our phone calls). We couldn't wait any longer so we are just going with it.

Another reason why we had to remove a bit of rock was because we're not sure whether we'll get our parking lot in on the other side of the road. Again, its the department of highways that says you need to have 80m site-line. We don't want to put money into something that won't work. We thought it would be better to spend a bit more money on our own property and make enough room for a few cars.

The Great Wall of Crow Head

The stone that we took out of the cliff we used to make a retaining wall (dry laid stone wall) in front of the house. The slope used to erode down to the pavement. We decided that if Derrick cut out the bank a bit and we put a wall in that we would have a place for cars on the shoulder. Derrick brought us the rock and we laid the wall. Our backs were sure feeling it that evening. But look at the finished product!!

I guess the secret is out. I think we are the amusement in Crow Head. The steady traffic and the rubber necking were just a few signs of this. We got mostly smiles and waves though.

Today, Derrick was back and levelled out our building envelope. We then dug our plumbing in and are getting ready to form up our footings and lay our water lines and electrical conduit.

We're happy to say that we have made a big dint (literally). Hopefully next week we will have a warm window so we can pour our concrete. More pics to come of our footings ready for the pour.

Cheers to a successful start (and a beautiful day too)!


  1. Hooray Kates and Ted! It looks awesome - what a lot of work! I can't wait til the day we can come out and visit. Funny about the differences between Ontario and out east eh?

  2. Cheers it is!! and 'Here, here!'
    It looks like an awful lot of fun, although the pics of the cold weather (previous posts)caused a wee bit of a shiver to run down my spine. I expect the coffee is particularly good after all that work.

  3. wow, I feel tired just reading the blog! What a great job, I love dry laid stone walls.

  4. Wow!! I can't believe how much you both have done! So much work, but it's going to look great! The wall is really cool. Can't wait to see the progress as things take place step by step. Looking at all your pictures makes me want to come to Newfoundland again...some day!