Time to Knock some buildings down

Well this Thursday we finally get to knock down some buildings.  We have a demolition permit so we are going to start.  We will be going to watch it start and take some photos.  Steve is hoping to get to take the first whack at the buildings.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that there is no rain that morning so we can watch comfortably from a distance.  I plan to sit in my Adirondack chair with my tea and watch them fall.  Steve is also setting a camera up that will take pictures at intervals so we can track the progress of the house.  At the end of the process he can make a high speed video showing it all come together.

This time next year we should be at the finishing stages.  We are now 2 months behind when we thought our start date would be so finish has gone from January 2016 to probably March 2016.  We will have to have a big house warming when we get in.  Zoe will likely be 11 and Ainsley will be 6 when we move in.  It seems like it is so far away right now.  I am thinking once we start going it will at times seem like it is moving super fast.  Especially when we have to make final decisions on things like flooring, cabinets, doors, and everything else.

Also sorry to all that will likely see lots of posts about my house progress this year but it will be the huge thing going on for us.  That and Zoe with horse shows. Oh also our niece Danielle getting married.  Weill be a busy and fun year.

There has been a person out sick for two weeks so things have been slowed down while people took up slack at the office.  Hopefully they are well soon.

I have hoping that by the time we are back from AZ all the permits are in place and the excavation can start or has started.

2015 the Year we start building

Our architects met in person with the final person who needs to approve our permits.  We have not heard back about how it went.  Maybe it was so bad they are waiting to tell us so we can enjoy the last day of 2014.  Or perhaps they required a human sacrifice and the Dave will never be heard from again.  We have a demolition permit now but are waiting because we can not demo the foundations just the buildings.  Fingers crossed everything is set to go next month before we leave for Arizona.  Steve would be very disappointed not to be able to take a whack at the building.

We will start our site meetings on Tuesdays in the New Year as well.  Hopefully things will start moving along without too many problems once the final approval is given.  After tomorrow night we can say our house will be ready next year.  I am guessing maybe May 2016.  Maybe we should start a pool and people can guess when they think it will be done.

We have been going to the property to check on it.  The pond has almost overflowed and Steve has been unclogging the out pipe.  Our trees have fared very in all the wind.  There has been hardly and branches down and most have not been that big.  The pond is crystal clear right now but all the fish are hunkered down in the mud at the bottom.

So in the New Year there should be more updates and some photos of all the fun of building our home.

Landscaping draft plans

We have a first set of draft landscaping plans based on the great work of Mark at Project Ground Work. We started working with Mark about a month ago and he will be helping with landscape design and project management.

As Chris mentioned in the last post we are planning on phasing the landscape execution. Phase one will include all of the work to rebuild the pond and to landscape the driveway and front of the house. Phase two will be to put in the formal & kitchen gardens as part of building out the extension building for Chris’ craft cabin and my office/work shop. The final phase will be to bring the outer edge of the property back to its original natural state.

landscaping

Mark Graff – Project Groundwork
http://www.projectgroundwork.com/

Waiting Again

Well the permits have now been submitted and we are once again waiting for approval, edits, or rejection.  We have met with a landscape architect to discuss the gardens and pond.  We are going to completely change the look of the pond.  The current broken concrete slab wall around it is not pretty and is starting to collapse.  We may not have to completely drain it, which is good news for all of the catfish living in the pond.  It is going to be a big project and I am really nervous about the cost that will be involved.  Maybe Steve will have to sell a kidney I would but I am already down one. lol

I also told the architect of the house and the landscape guy which tree was my favourite on the property.  I am quite concerned about the huge maple tree that will be very close to the house.  I think I may lose it.  Good news the small Japanese Maple in front of the house currently on the property can be relocated easily.  I am trying to save as many of the trees on the property as possible.  Most of the large trees will be staying a few of the small ones will be relocated.  We have a few that are not looking good or were planted way too close together so they will be coming out.  I think we will be able to use the wood for our fire pit and maybe use some for mulch for the other garden areas.  I will be less upset about them coming down if we can use the tree for something else and don’t just huck it.  it will also save us some money on materials.

We are also now having to think more about the materials we want for the house.  I am considering reclaimed wood for the floors.  The outside I am thinking about maybe metal or something that will be easy to maintain.  We will have mostly hard surface floors in the house with carpet only likely in areas above the garage.

I am looking forward to Spring 2016 which is the likely finish date for this home.  The craft cabin/man cave and quiet garden will be phased in after.  We are also considering a play set, sports court, and trampoline to go in the yard but they are not high on the list at the moment.  I think after the house and the pond it will be awhile for us to get the other stuff done.

The landscape architect found this critter in the trees.

image

Craft Cabin/Man Cave

We have finished the design and gotten the estimated budget for this out building. After meeting with architect and the builder and seeing the cost I think they have a different vision than I do.

My vision is of a a space that is very utilitarian with durable but inexpensive storage and work surfaces. I was picturing storage like you see in schools and an Ikea type kitchen. They were thinking custom cabinets and kitchen similar but a bit lower in quality than the main house. I went online to research the type of cabinetry I would like and found exactly what I was thinking online. It is a site that sells school furniture and they seem to sell to the public as well so that is awesome. I also went to the Ikea website and saw kitchen stuff I liked. I found science tables that could be pushed together to make the size of work surface I wanted for an island type thing. This would also be handy because I could move and reconfigure them if I wanted too. They would also be heat resistant and durable. All of the stuff I wanted came out to about %20 of their estimated cost maybe a bit less for cabinetry.

I am not sure they will be happy with my thoughts or wants but I am the person who this space is for so I think I should get the most input as to what and how it is configured.

The cost of this undertaking with the house and this building is higher than we were expecting and will stretch our budget greatly. We would not want to build a great house and put lower finishes in it so it will be harder to cut corners and save money on the house but I definitely think I have some ideas that will work to cut a good chunk out of the other building. Now I just have to get everyone else on board with me.

Wish me luck on this. We are getting close to the permitting stage and are now working on when and what to start building. We may start with the outbuilding then move to the house. Then we will be able to enjoy our property sooner as there will be a bathroom and Steve and I will be able to use our areas for meetings, fun, and work.

The building process

We seem to have finally settled on a plan for the new house.  Now we just have to get the fine details sorted then submit them for permitting.  At the last meeting we were told that by the end of the year we should have the plans in for permitting.  Then we will be waiting again for 8-12 weeks for the plans to be approved.  Hopefully they are approved without any problems or that time will be even longer.  We are now thinking that we will be in the new house around Summer of 2015.

One of our first celebrations will probably be Ainsley’s 6th birthday. Depending on finish date we may have an open house before then so everyone can come join us and see what we have been talking about and what choices we have made.

Soon we will be working more on the finishes such as exterior, flooring, cabinets, counters, fixtures, and many other things.  We were kind of on a roll there but as the time has dragged our minds keep changing.  We recently discussed concrete floors.  We did decide against them but we have talked about many floors.  I think in the end we will end up with wood in most areas.  The cabinets started as likely a medium wood colour but I am now leaning towards a grey or black cabinet.  I think the over all colour scheme will be kind of a natural grey and blue.  Although I have to say I have also considered making the kitchen kind of green to match my kitchen aide mixer.  I am not sure that would be the best idea.

We have told the kids they can have whatever colour room they want and Ainsley wants pink and purple and Zoe wants orange and aquamarine.  We will see what they think closer to the move in date.  Zoe will be 10 by the time we move in and Ainsley will be almost 6.

My craft cabin has now become half craft cabin half man cave.  Basically a building with one side mine and one side Steve’s.  The sides will be separate but will share a bathroom.  Maybe a small kitchen too.  I want a little oven and maybe a fridge so I can make chocolates there if I want.  My side will be full of craft stuff and Steve’s full of electronic gizmos and gaming stuff.  I am not sure that the kids will ever see us lol.  That will probably be opening in 2016.  Should be pretty simple to make and not too complicated of a plan.  Of course Steve could come up with a crazy plan.

We are also hoping to find a way to keep the levels in the pond even because it is currently very low in the summer.  I am thinking Bubba (our big catfish) and his friends will be happy to have more water to swim in.  We also are going to put a little duck house out so the duck that did live in our condemned ferry can come back and enjoy the pond.

I think in the new year my interest and excitement will pick up again about this project.  I am sure it will have times of crazy activity then times of very slow progress.  I know that I have two more Christmases before I can get a big tree for our living room.  I am looking forward to that.  Maybe next year I will convince Steve to go to Hawaii for Christmas again.  One relaxing beach Christmas before our many at home ones.

Ok enough for now.  Maybe Steve will put our new plans up on the site for everyone to look at.

Good Luck Dave

Well we have finished deciding what the inside of our home should contain and now the architect has the job of drawing out what it will look like.  The exterior of the home has proved to be a challenge.  Steve likes the more modern look of glass walls and flat sloped roofs.  I like the more traditional look of peaked roofs and while I do like windows I prefer not to live in a glass box.  As these two styles are so far off from each other the challenge becomes finding a compromise.  I also think the way I envision the inside of the house reflects the way I see the outside.  I can’t imagine the visual I have for the inside having the outside Steve likes.

We have spent hours searching through photos trying to find things we agree on and have each picked three that the other is ok with.  There are 5 in total.  We overlapped on one.  We are hoping that with that Dave will be able to come up with something preliminary before we go to Hawaii.

I have found this whole process a bit overwhelming.  As it is a custom home you have many decisions to make.  We have not even gotten to the finishes which I am trying to get Steve to start thinking about now.  He said at the beginning I could pick whatever I wanted but he did not mean that.  I am sure that Dave will give suggestions based on his experience and that will further confuse the issue.  I could have everything set in my mind then he will have a suggestion and gives us the reason why which usually makes sense and then our plans are out the window.

The square footage is quite large on the home.  Originally Steve had said the guest room would be in my craft cabin.  I did not think this was the best solution because when the people who visit most frequently his parents come they want to see the kids.  I thought it would be nice to have it be in the house not isolated.  In the end he agreed.  There will still be a little living space in the craft cabin.  (Although we have not started that yet)  So now we have 5 bedrooms.  Our room, the girls each have a room, au pair room, and guest room.  I have considered having the girls share a room but I remember sharing with my sister and it was such a hassle.  I also think then they can have their rooms as their private space to go when they need quiet time.  I think Zoe is starting to be like me and is much happier when she gets some down time.

We have also decided to get small walk-in closets for the girls rooms.  Zoe really wanted one and I think it will be better as we don’t want dressers in the room.  Also I hate the folding doors and would rather have pocket doors so this works.  They will be small but you will be able to step into them.

Our Architect Dave asked us to think about long term in the house when we designed it.  This came up when we had 5 bedrooms because at some point that will be too many.  But once the girls move out we could sell and move somewhere so I didn’t see the problem.  I suggested we put less built ins in the rooms so that they can be re purposed as we don’t need them.  Such as the Au Pair room.  At some point the kids will be too old and Zoe could move to that room if she wanted more privacy, it could be an extra guest room, office, or hobby room if one of the girls needs it.  Maybe we will fill it with horse related items. 🙂

Steve and I have been together almost 25 years now and have been through good and bad times but I think this may be one of the hardest things we have done together.  I am sure it will make us closer and stronger in the end but right now I think we both want to strangle the other sometimes.  I know he often looks at me like I am totally nuts when I say something and I do the same to him.  And hey if it makes us need space I will just go live in my craft cabin for a bit lol