carri's net zero, healthy, resilient, passive house adventures: "you had me at 'tread lightly'"

April 18, 2014

So with grading permit in hand, we begin readying the land for our little house.  First step in Anne Arundel County is to install the silt fence along the documented Limits of Disturbance and build a construction entrance.  Now was the time to bring our first contractor on board.  Having been through several horrific experiences on client projects, seeing the land stripped of its ecology by diggers and scrapers, hiring the Excavator / Grader has been perhaps one of my biggest anxieties.  When I search for products/companies/services, I lean toward the smaller, local guy.  Perhaps because that is the world I operate in at Brennan+Company.  My searches led me to Carroll Brothers Contracting, who was not the big guy everybody said everybody uses. (perhaps it's my inner rebel as well)  Despite my looney intro email confessing our desire to preserve the ecology, the ferns and the mosses, Tom Carroll agreed to meet Michael and I at the site on a late Saturday morning.  We explained to Tom how we wanted to preserve the little patches of moss and not scrape the 1 acre Limits of Disturbance of every tree and stump to plant a huge grassy lawn.  His response was, "so you want me to tread lightly."  I thought I was going to cry. We went back a few days later to see progress.  It was minimal, but to be able to pull the car into a "driveway" was just what I needed.  Second step, prepare for tree removal.