So it was hard to try and get before photos, but below kind of gives you an idea of how thick the brush was. There were a few large trees that had to come down as well, but we tried to save what we could that wouldn't interfere with our septic. The grading and septic of our lot has been a major stress factor. Our lot came with a septic easement attached to the neighbors property. There has been several items that caused issues but the main one was just that dealing with the neighbor has been very awkward and hard. He was upset that we had to cut down many of his trees to be able to install the septic field in the future and there seems to always be hidden costs that keep popping up. For instance we most recently just discovered a gas line that will need to be moved and of course these things just keep adding up.
We finally got the lot cleared and had a silt fence installed this past week. We were about to begin the basement excavation when another huge hurdle was made aware. There is a current old abandoned foundation that was built on the property and will need to be demolished (more $ of course) We knew about that, but what we didn't realize was that due to setbacks and being restricted by the septic field of the house and the drop off in the back of the lot, we are forced to put the house in the existing cavity of the old foundation. That is fine for the basement portion of the house, but unfortunately the garage needs to be raised up to the first floor level and it is going to cost close to $12,000 extra what we were planning for the excavation portion of the build. So there goes a huge portion of our budget. Basically our entire contingency that we will need to try and save in other places. Not that we can ever make up that much but at least try and save a few thousand or so in other places. We are meeting our graders out there again this weekend to try and come up with the most affordable solution, but unfortunately none of the options are very cheap.
Our main hope is to make it through the foundation and framing stage and then the worst part will be behind us and we really feel we can manage well from that point on. The foundation will probably be the most stressful of all since it is the most important that it is done right. We do really like our graders though and trust them to do a good job. We found a good reputable concrete company to pour the basement walls and concrete footers as well. Hopefully we can make it through this without too many issues and will have our forever home. And pray that our inspections will go well!
Below is a picture of the lot before it was cleared. I will take pictures of the cleared portion this weekend: