We have the temporary power pole up on the property, just behind where we’ll be constructing the house next spring. The box on top is an exterior breaker box. The bottom is the meter base. On the side is an outdoor, waterproof outlet connected to the breaker box via conduit. The power company will connect their wires to the meter box through the schedule 80 conduit you see at the bottom of the meter base. That conduit goes down 18″ into the soil in the direction of the road. The trench behind the pole is 18″ deep and about 10′ long. In it are two 10′ long, 5/8″ wide copper-coated steel ground rods separated from each other by 8′ and connected to each other and the breaker box via #4 bare copper conductor wire. We had to pound those 10′ rods straight down into the soil and to 6″ below grade.

10' ground rod pounded down to 6" below grade.

The meter base sitting below the breaker box.

The service we’re signing up for is 200 amp, though we don’t think we’ll ever actually use all of it. The building inspector just sent us the electrical permit today, meaning that he was out to inspect our work sometime late last week. The next step is to have the power company come out and mark the trench, dig it, and connect us. We’ll most likely pay a nominal fee every month for being connected, but this is one less thing we have to worry about in the spring.
We went out to the land today so I could take pictures of the electrical work and so we could start taking down one of the two bad maples near the building site. The one we’re working on first has a few branches that might interfere with the machinery for the driveway. My husband got to wield the chainsaw while I had a battery operated saws-all for de-branching the limbs he cut. He got all but one crucial limb down, then was able to get the first wedge cut in the trunk. We had just enough time to stack up a brush pile with the smaller branches and cut up the larger pieces of the limbs into firewood, then we had to go pick up the kids from my parents. The next time we go out, we’ll lop off the last offending limb and send the tree down into the clearing to be cut up further. I’m thinking we’ll get at least a cord of wood just from this one tree. It’s a big’un, even missing the whole top. The trunk is approximately 3′ in diameter. The other broken maple on the build site is twice this size with several trunks that meet at the bottom. It’ll give us a great start to our firewood for the next winter!