Carving out the Perfect Spot

M E E T  T H E  M I L L E R S  continues…

It didn’t take long for us to fine tune the design of the Hemlock to meet the needs of Matt & Tricia.  We were looking for a way to trim some square footage, while maintaining a great entertaining space in the kitchen and a master suite with a HUGE walk-in shower!  We also took the standard three-car garage down to a two stall since a separate shop was also being erected on the property.  This helped a lot with the flexiblity of the home on the lot.  When building on a beautiful wooded lot like theirs, it is hard to say goodbye to any of the trees, but a neccessity if you are going to carve out a spot for your dream home.

MTM lot

Some preliminary work had been done to the lot the day that we showed up to stake out the footprint of the home for excavation.  Snow had been cleared and trees cut, a few brush piles remained.

jon and brush

We started with cones to mark the corners of the home so Matt & Tricia could get a good visual of how the home would sit on the lot.

MTM cones

In order to get the best curb appeal from the road, we decided to angle the front of the house.  This required us to tweak and turn the footprint as we measured until we found the best spot.

MTM lot planning

Here Trisha helps measure as Matt images the placement for his equally important work shop on the property.  In the end a few more trees needed to be removed to allow for light in the back windows of the house and a patio for a hot tub.

Here are some tips when placing your house on a lot!


Start with a plot map of your property to make sure the well, septic and any outbuilding you might need will fit on the lot.

Turkey Trail plot map

Check your covenants and setbacks from the road.  An engineer firm like McMahon or Mau can help locate any utility or drainage easements on the property.

digger MTM

It is always better to lay the house out like Matt & Trisha did and go back to remove a few more trees than take out too many all at once.  It was just a little extra cutting and brush burning, right Matt & Tricia? 🙂

digger2 MTM

Consider any slopes on the property as you lay out the garage and any windows in the lower level.  On a property like this, adding an angle to the home will help create an aesthetically pleasing curve to the driveway.  Embrace your trees but make sure you remove any that might hang too far over the house, or make it difficult for construction vehicles to maneuver around on your site.

excavation at Millers with trisha

Even though the frost went deep this winter, we were still able to proceed with excavation.  Winter is actually a great time to start a house!  With the ground frozen there is less mess and delays from rain and mud.  We have encountered “weight limits,” which is common in northeast Wisconsin from March 15th-April 15th.  It is the time when heavy vehicles are prohibited from driving on roads that might be damaged while the frost is coming out.

Luckily we have poured the footings and concrete walls and are on to framing!  More on that next week!  We’ll also review our trip to Showcase cabinets from January!

MTM cabinets

 Stay tuned!

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