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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

May 2, 2023

Spring Rain

Wow, nothing complicates my life like 5 straight days of rain in the spring.  Well, that’s not true, now that I’m reflecting on it.  Having my main wingperson leave with 2 weeks notice, that was pretty complicating.   Having a historic flood hit my 4 home single family community, that was pretty complicated.  Hiring, firing, buying land, spending a year in front of a planning board - that’s pretty complicated.

Delaware River

So let me rephrase - it’s not as if 5 straight days of rain is the worst disruption I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t make my life any easier.  Lots of rain, no sun.

What this does to active job sites is hard to overstate.  And each job site is different, with different levels of access complexity, different types of absorbent soils, better drainage.  Each site is at a different phase of construction - for instance our job on the East of the Hudson in Copake NY we are trying to get the foundation in.  That involves a lot of men, very heavy concrete and concrete form trucks, lots of access needs.  That site has soils that retain water, very heavy with clay.  So today, they are going to up and try and get the foundation in.  We shall see how it goes.

House in North Branch

At Upper Big Sky in North Branch, we are in the final month of construction, with the floors just being finished meaning I want zero mud and dirt in that place and that will be a tall order for everyone to abide and enforce.  With the floors finished, tile in, staircase prepped, the last thing you want is dirt and mud everywhere and ground in.  It’s a priority this week to avoid that.

We have an excavated hole in Narrowsburg that the masons can’t get to and so on and so on.

The problem is you expect rain this time of year, but this was a lot, and a lack of sun meaning it won’t dry out right away and the problems just aren’t inconvenience - there are safety issues, and there are improvement destruction issues - for instance, you can ruin an expensive driveway by running over it when the base is saturated and vulnerable.

We also have a ¼ mile road going in in Olivebridge NY, but while that may seem like the biggest problem, since we have a lot of rock there as existing conditions, it’s less exposed to damage.

The challenge is to accept the conditions, and make plans based on the reality of the situation.  If you can delay something, delay it, even if it’s frustrating.  Spring time brings lots of things, and uncertainty is one of them and sometimes you just can’t power your way through.  

Update - spent the day or at least the morning running around and getting up to speed, and turns out, while the rivers were high, and their was water running everywhere, all was good, and we actually made good progress all around without retreating too much.

As i drove around, it seemed like I was watching a wrestling match between Winter and Spring - neither retreating, engaged in war, with the outcomes of Today's battles still uncertain. Tragically, and unbeknownst to Winter, the die has already been cast and all efforts to remain are futile.

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