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Journal Entries

Building our new home: from finding the location, creating the design, choosing the builder, to the building process. This journal chronicles our process, from end to end.

Why We Included Our Landscape Contractor Early On

We felt it wise to bring a landscaper in at the earliest stages of our project. A good one will have ideas about how to integrate the building structure with the terrain and existing plants. The area to be cleared for our house includes some huge mountain laurels (some 20-feet tall with 8-inch diameter trunks, robust rhododendrons, some lovely transplantable hardwoods, and healthy hemlock saplings. A good landscape designer will stage the removal and transplanting of these larger specimens to other areas of the lot, before the first dozer comes in to clear for the building.

Of all the resources we have to date, April Carder, owner of In-Site Out Design, is the only one we’ve known before starting this process. She's done a few projects for Merri and me over the past several years.

April is unique: she's a skilled designer of both landscaping and kitchens. Not only that, but she gets her hands dirty on her jobs, supervising her crews, digging holes, moving topsoil—you name it. Contact her by email or phone: 828-777-1627.

April has a great sense of the balance between beauty and practicality. She can can the most out of her resources (and our budget). She designs and installs for the long haul—like not spacing plants and saplings so close that they only look nice in the beginning, but expand into a wild thicket as they mature.