Monday, March 24, 2008

Builders, Houseplans, Location

Two posts in one month! My loyal two, or is it three, readers will be shocked!

It has been three weeks since the Dachsies and I moved to the country. We all seem to be settling very well. Things happened very quickly.

First off, we parted ways with the architect. He has gotten very busy at work and we have gotten very interested in getting plans and building a couple of houses. He was very understanding so no one's feelings were hurt. We would have loved for him to design our homes because he is very knowledgeable and very talented. He is very active in COTE (Committee on the Environment) so the houses would have been very ecologically friendly. He taught us quite a bit so we hope to be able to incorporate some of his ideas into our final designs.

My sister, Bec, and I talked to a custom home builder a little over a week ago. Bec has been surfing the Internet house plan sites and has a house plan that she likes with a few modifications. The builder has a plan that I really like but it will need a few modifications too. We should get our quotes sometime this week. We are both excited and have a few twinges of apprehension ... this is a big step, big investment and a big change!

We are hoping to talk to another builder over the coming weekend. You never know what you might overlook if you don't talk to a couple of people. Besides, what do we know about the cost of building a custom home? The prices we have heard sound reasonable but it would be a good idea to get the information from more than one source.

This passed weekend Bec and I walked the land and looked for the perfect place to build. Our original location was next to some trees. Well, the trees are there because it is a low area that gets a little "boggy" during rainy times. Maybe not so good for building a house ...

Our second choice we decided was a little close to the southern edge of the property so we decided to move north. That's when we realized we have power lines running the length of our property and they are about in the middle. This makes things a little more interesting since we do not want power lines strung over our yard. We have precious dachsies and live power lines could lead to some bad results. Anyway we did select something where the power lines would run close to but on the outside of the fence line. At least we won't have to bring power to the area! We just need to get attached to existing pole.

We were going to have solar panels but have almost decided it is not worth it since we plan to build with good insulation, double paned windows, tankless water hot water system which will probably run on propane. If we are only going to use electricity for lights and summertime air conditioning, it seems a little extravagant to spend $15,000 on solar panels to avoid a $50 per month electric bill. If we are worried about power interruptions, which are common during stormy weather, we can get a propane powered generator. That's still less expensive than solar panels.

Once we have plans picked out for sure, we can post the basic floor plans for you. Then you can tell us how much you like them!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hello Dachsie's mom
I hope Pippa and I qualify as one of your loyal readers!
I have to say it's a good thing you haven't started building before now - and very good that you have found out the original plot is er...slightly low lying/water attracting etc. And as for the power lines - don't start me on that! We walked from a property we were on the point of completing because we realised it had high transmission cables running right over the top of the house - something at the edge of the ground is one thing - but not right over me all the time.
Solar panels sound pretty pricey over there, but I guess it depends how many you are looking at using. We were going to install it in Spain (good place for solar panels here) but baulked at spending 1500 Euros on the grounds we would not get our money back before we moved, as we usually do. $15000??!!
Anyway Pippa and I look forward to reading more - and you will be pleased you are writing it up too I guess.
Kate & Pippa