Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deciding to build

Around two years ago, I decided that I finally had enough reasons to consider moving from an apartment to a house (I won't bore you with the reasons I had finally come up with).
Off I went searching for a house I could call home. I had looked at quite a few houses at on-line sites when my parents had decided to move to a new house, so I thought I would start there, rather than finding a real estate agent first.
I had very few requirements as this was a house just for me. This left a lot of options open, however when I went searching I just couldn't find a house with the character I was looking for. I spotted some nice houses, but they were in locations that meant I would go from living across the street from work and a 5 minute drive, to having an epic journey every day to get to and from work. I drive to work because the street that must be crossed is a state highway with folks doing 55 and ignoring stop lights on occasion. I also was not finding houses I liked with prices I could accept, except in neighborhoods where I really did not want to be after dark.
So I decided that I was going to look for property where I could build what I wanted.

1 comment:

  1. Our home was ten years in the planning. And while we were considering and discarding every option in the book, we were also looking for some land to build it on. Finally, after years of searching, we found a 15-acre wooded property. Then in hot July, 2008 my daughter and I surveyed the southeast-facing hillside, chopping our way through brush and weeds towering above our heads, and swatting mosquitoes and bees. Our future home would be nestled right there beneath the soil.

    Now that we knew where the house would go, I had to design it to fit into the hillside, orient it to allow solar heating, move it around to avoid a ditch that came down from above, and contort it to allow enough room for a driveway and access to the attached garage. Iteration after iteration we went through and finally we found a layout that we agreed on and would fit. But the house was too big, so back to the computer, cutting and jockeying until the size was about right. Then a search for a building contractor, which eventually turned out to be me. And then we signed a contract with the builder and brought in the excavator who broke ground in September, 2009. What a mess; all the rain and snow and perpetual clay mud over the next two-year span. Never want to see clay again!

    We've been living in our home since May, 2011, and because we are doing much of the work ourselves, the house will likely never be fully completed. For many weeks after we moved in, we literally walked the planks, because we had no driveway or sidewalks or grass, only mud between our car parked at the base of the hill and our front door.