getting specific

not much progress on our house stuff.  i've been working as much as i can stand physically and mentally at the bone house because it will be finished soon and then who knows when i will have a chance to make money.  (so far i've not had any cleaning jobs for a few weeks with none in sight)  tod is working on the basic site plan and i need to work on the floor plan so he can 'translate' it to graph paper and trot over to the bank to see what the max loan will be that he can get.  assuming he gets approved, we then make the nitty gritty plans (i think there are 4 or 5 different kinds of plans you have to submit, things like electric/plumbing, real specific stuff about where doors/windows are and how many feet are used up here and there.)

the yellow page is just some scribblings i made when talking to josh.  josh is a 22 year old guy who has been working under dan's wing for the last two years give or take.  few people have that much shit together at that age.  josh has just purchased his own lot and will be building his own house as well as his own business.  it's time for him to go do and be his own man in the world of home building.  he will be our building mentor if tod gets a loan.  included in the loan will be money to pay josh per square footage of our house.  anyhow...the bone house has a half second floor, meaning the roof is very much in your way in the upstairs bedroom.  i would have a never ending panic attack if i lived with such a slanted ceiling/room and was asking josh possibilities for roofs.  he started spewing all kinds of info and i was just writing as much as i could down to remember for later.  tod and i decided to go for the full 2nd floor.  i can't see wasting so much personal space and needing to be bent over most of the time when you want to access an entire wall area so hopefully we can have a 'normal' 2nd floor. josh said that building a full 2nd floor means we'd build with long reclaimed beams [which they have available], lay it all out on the ground first and then according to josh 'have the whole neighborhood' raise the beams.  i'm already wondering how you do that...didn't occur to me to ask what if there isn't enough room on the ground to lay it all out first.  the lot isn't that big and surely we'd not be able to lay it out on all four sides of the house.  i don't understand why you would'nt just build one story and then another.  i dont want to know right now.

so.  my goal is to finish up a rough draft of how we want the house.  we are dividing the lot up into two sections with the idea being in the future we can get another loan and build an art studio that would roughly take up the same footprint as the house.  that means for now our first floor will be a kitchen and what would have been the living room will instead be my studio.  after the real studio gets built we would remove most of the wall and have the downstairs as open as possible save for the staircase; since this is a small house the more open it is the better. until the living room becomes a reality we will use whatever space is on the kitchen side for hanging out.  as for the upstairs, we will divide it in half and each have our own bedrooms/office area. until you sit down and think about where you want everything to be you have no idea how challenging it is.  knowing how we live and our likes/dislikes means we know what we want but it is surprisingly difficult to put it on paper.  i think it's a good opportunity to learn something.  dan has always said building a house isn't hard, its the decisions that will get you.  i get it. 


Kim Hambric said...

I guess even with building a simple house, those decisions will wear you down. Glad you're going with a full second story. I've spent a lot of my life in cape cod houses and now with an attic studio. I'm always walking around with my head cocked to the side. Except when I don't -- then I have bruises on my forehead.

I spent some time on the Flickr site the other day looking at all of those incredible homes. I'm sending some positive thoughts your way that you might soon be living in your own someday soon.

Cynthia said...

This is exciting Paula! It's a slow process but seemingly everything is moving along. It makes me happy to think of you eventually in your own space and out of the Huntsville urban jungle! ;-D

paula said...

thanks kim (glad to know its a good decision to have a normal 2nd floor!) appreciate your good thoughts for us.
you too cynthia, can't wait to actually have a home and invite YOU over for dinner :)

collage whirl said...

I'm thrilled for you Paula! I applaud your decision to have a full second story. I can understand why they call them "one and a half" stories otherwise. It's also hotter upstairs if you have sloping eaves...we are needing to install a more powerful AC upstairs in our Cape Cod style house.

So, here's to the first of many smart decisions! I can't wait to hear how you make use of green materials as well as energy saving strategies.

Kendra Zvonik said...

i get it too. it is an exhausting process making all these decisions.but it does sound like progress is being made and progress is good even when its difficult/painful.
i def. agree with this statement "since this is a small house the more open it is the better".
i have gone through a similar building experience and lived in the building during construction. it was tough! no reAL kitchen for months was $. some things you just can't live without... that helps set priorities and make decisions. seeing the overall plan and drawing it out seems like something you would excel at since you have such a keen sense of spatial relationships and materials.
take care paula! hope i can come visit too :)
xo kz

gikarector said...

Ever read Pattern Language? I think the author is Christopher Alexander. It's expensive, but the library might have it. Lots of info about ways to think about designing rooms, buildings, communities... It helped us tremendously in designing our house. And, by the way, we have "knee walls" on our second floor, and I really wish we could have made them higher - more like arm-pit walls, at least. :-)

andrea said...

I am still living vicariously through you. I love this. I hope you keep telling us all about the process/progress.

paula said...

yeah deborah it should also be cooler although we wont make an attic. nor will we probably be able to afford central ac running through pipes etc.
thanks kendra...sure doesn't feel like progress is getting made...honestly i'm NOT that good at the paperwork stuff. i'm balking....maybe i just dont have much oomph right now. but you are spurring me on in your own way :)
gikarector, nope haven't heard of that book.thanks for passing it on. never heard of knee walls...sounds super short! i keep thinking our place is going to be dull and simple. very minimal. this isn't my 'dream home', its a place we hope to build to stop paying rent and have some privacy. it wont be big enough nor is the budget anywheres close to what i would like to really do this up 'right' with solar panels and tankless toilets and on and on. this isn't exactly going to be a sustainable home :( sure wish i had michael reynolds skills!
andrea..i'm glad you are finding this interesting. i'm sure i'll keep posting stuff. wish i knew how to prosper from sharing my life. do i really have to write a book?...mmmmm

ArtPropelled said...

I had butterflies there for a minute .... remembering the excitement of building our first house..... and yes you really ought to think about writing that book.

paula said...

i shoulda known robyn...you've already done that :) HELP!!!

Patricia said...

I am an occasional viewer of your blog (caught you through your fabulous clocks). We are building a house in Magnolia TX, just down the road from you. My husband has done a lot of research on building houses and we are having a cross vent roof from atlas roofing (http://www.atlasroofing.com/general2.php?section_url=50) which has the insulation between the parts of the roof. My studio will be in the "attic" which will have beams and a sort of peak ceiling which will be insulated but won't need the fiberglass insulation.

Best wishes


paula said...

hey patricia, thanks for commenting and I appreciate the link too! i checked that site and am thinking that might be way out of our budget but i'll have tod check it out. seeing as we will have to do this ourselves.. i'm not even sure if its something we can buy and install ourselves. we were also looking into other types of insulation. i know josh is looking into using blown in insulation made out of denim or cotton fibers. hows that for different!