Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Our heating contractor told us that one of the first things people ask about when they are considering geothermal is, "Will the installation make a mess of my yard?"

Take it from me, the resounding answer to that question is, "YES!"  Read on..........

September 23, 2009 was a Wednesday and both Carl and Joel took vacation to be home for the Big Event. Bright and early in the morning Charlie arrived at right around the same time as the heating contractor's crew.  We were ready to go.

The first thing Charlie started with was removing the stumps from the ash, elm and spruce trees.  Charlie is the best excavator operator we have ever seen.  He could brush a fly off your nose with that machine (and yes, you'd still have a nose when he got done!)

We had Joel bring the old dump trailer hooked to the 574 to haul the stumps out to the brush pile.  Charlie shook his head (and I didn't think it would work either) when he gently dropped the great big stumps in the old trailer.  What keeps that trailer from falling apart is beyond any of us. 
 After the stumps were out, Charlie stripped the black dirt from the lawn and piled it up for backfill.
The next step was to dig the hole for the manifold (the lines coming into the house).
Then the first of the four trenches were dug for the geothermal coils, 6' deep, 5' wide, 80' long.
View from the road of the first piles of dirt from trenches
Joel, in the trenches, like usual; over the years, he's been our right-hand man.
Joel and Carl look on as the contractors install the loops in the trench.
Trenches two and three and the coils
Starting the fourth trench; Joel and my mother, Lucille and Carl's mom, Rosemary look on.

The dirt piles are growing!
Picture from the bottom of the trench
Joel removed any sharp rocks while the coils were being backfilled.

Trenches three and four

 Backfilling the final trench
After the trenches were buried, we all took a break.  Carl asked Charlie to make a mound of dirt coming off the house as high as he could.  This would be the start of, you guessed it, the Elephant Burial Mound--(hereafter referred to as the EBM or, ok, the West Berm). 

To think we used to mow this lawn!!

Break was over, and Carl had to go back down in the basement and help the contractors with some wiring.  Charlie continued working on building the mound and spreading the black dirt out again and I was here, there and everywhere.  About the only person we can count on to stay with a job to the end is Joel.   

Just before he left, Charlie asked if there was anything else we wanted done while he was there.  That's when I thought of the big granite rock from Cody and decided to ask Charlie to place it for us.
I didn't know where to put the rock until that day, when I decided it would look nice in the little flower bed on the lawn.  Charlie wanted to know if I was sure about this, because it would destroy the bed if he had to move it.  

After we tried moving the boulder for a few hours a couple days before this, we were amazed how easy the machine could lift it.

Carl isn't shaking his fist here, he's just telling Charlie the placement is perfect!

Then we asked if he could place the biggest limestone rock on the very top of the pile for us and he obliged while Mom looked on.

Oh, if we could have Charlie here to place all the rocks and dirt, we'd really have a garden to brag about (and be done a LOT faster!)

So, around 3PM, Charlie loaded up the excavator and headed off to his next job.  His part of our chaos was over; ours was just beginning.
The work on the West Berm was our next goal.  Stay tuned.


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