The home is accessed via a 700'+ long x 18' wide gravel drive. The width was increased to 18' to accommodate two-way traffic. At the terminus of the gravel driveway (carriage garage location) it transitions into concrete panels that connect the driveway, house entry, attached garage, and detached garage via an approximate 70' diameter “courtyard”. Drainage from the concrete pitches to a catch basin located on the western edge. There is ample room for snow removal and snow storage along the easterly side of the courtyard.
The full perimeter of the home is accessible via a (minimum) 12' wide gravel access drive with a maximum 10 degree slope, which is suitable for winter travel by front wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles. The adjacent pond is accessed by a 6' wide gravel trail suitable for walking and also accessible by an ATV or garden tractor. There is a 10'x10' wooden platform at the shore of the pond with a dock connected to it in the summer. The pond is accessible for recreational use all 12 months of the year.
The large outside deck area and three season porch offers great three season entertainment and relaxation space (“outdoor living space”) with excellent views of the pond and preserved forested areas. The outdoor spa is used year round.
The lower level provides an indoor multi-purpose space of approximately 20'x25' that has a kitchen and storage closet/pantry along the earth berm wall. It is used as the home gym, lower level entertainment center, guest kitchen & dining area, and mini office space…..and can later be converted into a two-family living space if required.
The upper and lower lawns offer green recreational space areas, as does the open pasture land that is preserved on the site.
The adjacent pond and dock offers both summer (boating/fishing/wildlife viewing) and winter (skating/ice fishing/fire pit) recreational opportunities.
It is a high priority to create a design that is low maintenance and offers a low life cycle cost. The exterior skin material of all the structures, including doors; windows; and decks; require near zero (0) periodic painting or staining. Only the large timber frames and trusses use an exterior wood treatment.
Hardscape areas are capable of being maintained with a simple periodic water wash. Snow clearing and storage is done with minimum hand work (steps), and all other areas are easily accessible to a snow plow or snow blower. Roof systems are designed for maximum snow conditions to avoid any snow removal. Vehicular snow melt in the primary (attached) garage is collected and retained (disposed of if req’d) with an internal grated trench/sump system without creating an icing condition outside the garage.
Landscaping allows for fall clean-up to be performed by power leaf blowing with almost no hand work (i.e. - all leaves are to be blown somewhere and left in place). Roof gutters are covered with permanent metal leaf/debris screens and all downspouts are connected to direct day-lighted disposal pipes before entering a stone recharge area. Commercial sized gutters and downspouts are used where required. Landscaped areas are designed for periodic ground cover replenishment (i.e. - woodchips or bark mulch with minimal weeding by), and where applicable, to be left to return to a natural state requiring only periodic brush cutting to eliminate woody species.
Lawn areas are capable of being cut and maintained with one mower, with very little supplemental hand cutting, trimming, or weeding.