Is now a good time?

The team wanted to dig for the garage on April 15th. Dave and I, in the mode of saving costs wherever possible, wanted to wait until the frost cleared. Well – on April 15th, we got two feet of snow – so the stars aligned and we waited. After a 14-day delay, we finally dug. Good news? No frost.

Is now a good time to tell you about the two 500 gallon fuel tanks we dug up in our backyard?

Twin tanks & an excavator

Here’s the thing – we knew stuff was likely buried in the yard. We met a guy in our neighborhood at a Gala last year who was building a pool house in his backyard. When they dug for the footings, he unearthed an entire building complex. Turns out there used to be a two-level garage on his property and when they demolished, they just capped off the basement. You could still see the elevator mechanisms to lower cars and it had one of those spinning platforms to show off the Model T. Fancy pants.

So we knew it was a possibility – but the neighbors got through their dig, and we got through our house dig with no surprises. As soon as we got complacent… we got a surprise.

So now what?

You can just remove them… a lot of people do. But our goal is to be super green and good to the earth in this process — we’re going to follow the rules and do this right. So here’s what we’ve learned:

  • There is a state-wide program to remove abandoned tanks. You must prove the tanks were abandoned before 1988 and that you did not know about them when you purchased the property – we were able to meet both criteria through sharing our selling disclosures and purchasing aerial photos that showed the tanks were buried sometime before 1977.
  • The state does a proper removal of the tanks and tests the soil. They pay 100% of the costs for tank removal. (What’s in it for the state? Safe removal = safe drinking water), and up to 90% of soil restoration. Our guess is that one of the tanks was leaking, so we may have some soil work. (the other tank still had 7 inches of fuel in it!)
  • Another 3-4 week delay will be realized for this work

We’ve talked to the builder, the city, the bank… Everyone is good with us moving into the house on June 27th as planned, even though the garage will not be completed at that time. This will allow us to hire an au pair for child care (more on this in a future post) and get our two littles outside and to the park more this summer – huge priorities for us.

— An aside re: house —

The house is coming along – they are in the midst of finishes now – almost all of the cabinets are in, tile is 100% down (although – ack! – two different grout colors in a lot of rooms… what a mess to fix that!). They are working on trim now. They also got the rock delivered for around the outside foundation base. I hope it looks as good on the house as it does in my head!

Stairs, railings, countertops, light installation, paint… all in the coming weeks!

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