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Northfield, page 1
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Introduction
9/2/99 - 12/22/99
This is the story about building my house in Northfield, Massachusetts.  The main focus will be on the masonry stove which
my dear friend, Brian Smith built.  As you will see, it's a remarkable story and the stove a work of art.  To put it in context,
I'm also including a little bit about the house in which it resides.  I designed the house to be as energy efficient as I could
make it without going completely overboard.  There were many basic and simple ways to do this:  facing the house south
toward the sun, maximizing the windows in the south side of the house and minimizing the windows on the north side.  The
house was framed at 24" o.c. with 2x6 walls and 1/2" solid insulation over the inside before putting up the sheetrock.  Every
seam was taped and every joint was caulked (wall plates to deck, deck to wall, etc.).  The house was pressure tested to
ensure that there was no leakage.  A ground-source heat pump was installed to both heat and cool the house in addition to
the masonry stove to be used for heat...
9/2/99
which will curve off to the right down
there...
9/15/99
Looking from the southwest at the
house site.  We're cutting into the right
side of that little mound there...
9/15/99
Firewood from clearing.  That's nice
straight-grained oak...
9/15/99
Robin sitting in front of more firewood...
9/20/99
In order to get a building permit, you
have to show you have potable water
so the well gets drilled first
9/25/99
The well...  440 feet deep...
10/1/99
Looking east from the well to the
house site...
10/13/99
Looking from the southwest.  Robin
standing on the mound that will be
behind the house.
10/15/99
Standing in the road looking at the
bottom of the driveway...
11/5/99
Looking west.  Excavator on the hump,
cutting down in front for the house.
11/5/99
Standing in the road looking at the
bottom of the driveway...
11/5/99
Looking back down the driveway to the
road
11/5/99
Looking up the driveway from about
the same spot as previous
11/5/99
Looking up the driveway from the
previous curve toward the house
clearing
11/6/99
Excavating for the house.
11/6/99
Taking it from one side and dumping it on the other.  Notice the "dirt" he's
digging - it's all just broken rock!
11/6/99
Doug Edson, the boss, checking things
while Marlowe chews at the ledge with
the excavator.
11/6/99
Scratching at the ledge with the
excavator, crunching out pieces of
rock...
11/6/99
Ledge.  The excavator breaks it up
and the bulldozer pushes the pieces
around.  Hard digging...
11/6/99
Looking from the east.
11/6/99
Looking from the west
11/6/99
Ledge...
11/8/99
Robin holding the front loader down...
11/8/99
Digging the trench for the foundation
wall.
11/8/99
The trench in ledge...
11/8/99
More trench.  That's me walking toward
the camera
11/8/99
More trench.  Smoke from chewing at
the ledge with the excavator
11/8/99
Doug checking progress...
11/8/99
Chris & Doug checking progress...
"Everything OK, Doug?"  "Yup."
11/9/99
Forming for the footings
11/9/99
Pouring the footings.  That's the south
wall looking west...
11/9/99
West wall looking north
11/9/99
South wall looking east
11/9/99
North wall looking east
11/9/99
Deer tracks...
11/10/99
Pouring foundation walls, the north wall
We're doing a walk-out basement
11/10/99
In order to get the cement truck high enough to pour down into the forms for the
north wall, we had to fill behind the house more
11/10/99
This is the north side of the hump
behind the house...
11/10/99
<-- 11/15/99
All done.  The big concrete pad in the
middle is the footing for the fireplace.  
The house is oriented directly south,
the north wall being the tall wall in back.

12/9/99 -->
This is our stockpile of bricks that we
will be using for the fireplace...
12/9/99
Utility trench beside the driveway.  
Electrical and 6 phone lines in conduit
12/9/99
Building the leach field for the septic
system...
12/14/99
overgrown with weeds soon...
12/14/99
A retaining wall off the northeast corner of the house
12/16/99
Backfilling the foundation.  Septic tank
in foreground.  Basement slab poured
12/22/99
Robin modeling the retaining wall.  She looks chilly...
12/22/99
Everything covered up and backfilled
I really liked that bumper sticker.  I'll
have to try and find another one.
"I used to care, but things have changed"
(Bob Dylan)