Saturday, May 18, 2013

Flashback (It’s all starting to come together)
Plan B – Early October 2012

We made the call. We stuck our toes in the water and reached to a Design/Build company to see what we could build while staying within our budget (by the way, budgets, when it comes to home building, are really nebulous creatures).

We decided to pursue the design/build route because we had already spent money with an architect on plans that we couldn’t use. The company that we called had everything in house and we felt that this would help provide better coordination on pricing. There is no doubt that independent architects work well in some cases. But we had already been there and done that.

It ultimately turned out that we were right. Having everything under one roof made it a lot easier and really would help us stay on budget. When we wanted to add something, we knew almost immediately what it would cost. It helped form a lot of our decisions and it helped keep our sanity levels in check.
While waiting to meet we listed out things that we’d like to have in a house:
  • Good Floor plan
  • Energy efficiency
  • South facing kitchen
  • Walk in closet in Master Bedroom
  • Master bath
  • Area for future Family room expansion in cellar
  • Area for my shop in the cellar (most important of course!)
  • Room over garage
  • Two car garage
  • Entertaining area.
  • Nice entry ways
  • Good Closets
  • Laundry room on first floor
  • House that fit on the lot – meaning better located

Our wants were simple, but sometimes you just have to write these things down to provide a guide for yourself.
Sometime before, we had stayed at Abby’s sister’s house in North Carolina where we really liked the floor plan. We wondered if we couldn’t incorporate something similar?

We found the floor plan on the subdivision's website and started to use that as our base layout. We sketched it out on paper and decided that we wanted the bedrooms on the north side, entertaining in the middle of the house and the kitchen and dining areas on the south side. After playing around with different ideas we slid the garage down behind the house so that its entry would now be from the side street (we’re on a corner lot). One advantage to this is that the lot slopes down about six feet from the front to the back. Putting the garage in this location, which was lower than the man house, gave the effect that it was not overwhelming the house.

It was fun doing this. Even with the unknowns of building new, we felt like we were reenergized with new options.
The only question was could we afford it?