The Shape of Things
We are in the process of doing a complete site analysis of our property with the guidance of our architect, Jeff Harper. We have had a several long phone conversations about the property with him and his girlfriend, Melissa Clark, who is also an architect. With the use of topographical maps, boundaries, and wind patterns we are starting to narrow down exactly where we will want to build our home.
Topographical maps have been very helpful because they give us an idea of grade of the land as well as shape of the grading. Beau has overlapped an aerial image of the land with the topographical map, which has given us a lot of insight about potential placement of our home as well as the fruit orchard and duck pond. I think every good farm needs a duck pond, don’t you?
I think every good farm needs a duck pond, don’t you?
The boundaries around our property are comprised of the following: a pecan farm to the south, a main road to the west, a nursery and salvage yard to the north and from what we can tell an unoccupied property to the east. The property to the east has the best view, but since it is in the back of the property it would prove very difficult and expensive to get utilities on that portion of the acreage. Not knowing what the future holds for this land we’ve opted out of putting our home on the east end of the property. We’d hate to build our home there with the idea of having a great view and then that view change into something much less enjoyable.
Wind patterns posed the most difficult to track down, but after a call into the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma we were on the right track. The windrose plots were available on a website provided by Iowa State University’s Science and Technology Department. We were able to confirm what we already predicted to be the case by studying a tutorial on how to properly decipher a windrose plot. The winds primarily come from the South during the late spring, summer and early fall and as late fall and winter arrives the cold northerly winds start to bring a nice artic blast.
We also took soil samples before purchasing the land. We were set on testing for toxicity in the soil in the event that the land had been used as a dumping ground or something of that sort. When we contacted the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to inquire about testing they wanted to know what exactly we wanted to test for, but not knowing the history of the land it was hard for us to figure out where to start. The land is very forested and from what we gather no one has done anything to the property for quite some time. So we passed on the soil toxicity tests.
All of this site analysis stuff is a lot to contend with, and as much as we would like to dive in and start building our home, there is too much to take into account…most of which we can’t predict. We will try our best to do so, but want to keep the concept as organic as we can. No matter how much we plan we will always look back and wish we had done at least a few things differently.