What started the whole process of building this year, was my husband went to a local home building type show. There were all kinds of information booths there, including an architect. For the last three years we have been going to realtor open houses, tearing out magazine pages, looking through library books, buying books, making notes of everything we liked to get ideas of what we would want if we ever built on our land. We kept all of those ideas, took them to the architect that we found at the show, and he put our plans that we sort of drew up on his 'building program' on the computer. When we met with the architect again, and he gave us what we drew, it looked awful!
This is my husband sitting outside with our plans. I know - it's still cold outside. My husband is the kind of guy that HAS to be outside.
We met with the architect several times, then we'd come home, re-do, and take it back. In April we went on vacation to Charleston, SC. Even took our plans on vacation with us. Before we left our architect said, "oh, so you like Charleston, how about we add a Charleston flair to the home?" When we got back from vacay, we had our plans. Now, we are still making small changes as we go, and apparently, "that's what everyone does." Our house looks different for our area, but we like it.
After our final meeting with the architect, we spent hours calling contractors for the basement, the framing, the roof. We got several proposals for each job. The plan is this.... have the basement built, have the framing done, have it under roof before winter. This winter, we plan on finishing part of the basement ourselves. Then we plan on moving in to the basement and putting our house up for sale by next spring/summer. We'll finish the rest of the house while we live in the basement. That was the plan, but do we have what it takes to do it?
We talked about it an entire weekend. Then on Sunday evening, we went here....to the hilltop....
and looked at our view and made our final decision. Monday morning I got an e-mail from my husband..."are you still in?" I'm in.
First things first.......
I am the Coordinator, Secretary, Runner, Messenger, you name it - for the job. So, I spent an entire week running downtown to get permits. Septic permit, MS4 permit, driveway permit, building permit.......we were exempt from some permits, thankfully, because they aren't free!
The septic guy had to clear out part of our woods to put the septic where it would work the best. We spent two entire evenings last week cutting and hauling those trees away. We didn't want the wood to be wasted.
We met our basement guy on our land Sunday night on Labor Day weekend, and laid out the house with tape measures and a can of spray paint! The next thing I know, this machine shows up and starts digging!
Construction started last week.
This is a monster of a machine. One thing that I have found out. Once construction begins you
- are on the phone or e-mail constantly (we are being the main contractors on the job)
- are always running to the house site for something
- are always meeting with someone or planning a meeting with someone
- wake up with a list on your mind a mile long and you don't stop until you drop
- you wake up and start all over again
It consumes your life. And decisions have to be made now. Those guys do not waste time.
This is a picture of the truck hauling off the dirt from the big hole in our ground. The back-hoe? (what's this machine called) would dig up and dump dirt in the truck, they'd haul it across the road, and they'd come back. Both trucks were running constantly.
This was the site where we sat when we made our decision.
My husband inspecting the hole in the ground. There is no turning back now. That first night I woke up at 12:30 a.m. and he woke up about the same time. I couldn't believe the size of that hole and I thought for sure we over built. I'm not good at dimensions, but during the whole planning process, when the architect would put down a size for a room, I'd come home and measure the rooms in our house, so I could get a feel for room sizes. They didn't look this big. I took my cousin Vickie out there, and I told her, "now don't say OH MY GAWD THAT IS HUGE because I feel bad enough already." She said something else just as bad, then she said, "naaah, it doesn't look that big." When we met with the basement/concrete guy, he said, "well we have to over-dig three feet all the way around so we will have room for the walls." Now you tell me! So then I said, "is it going to be too small?" I'm tellin' ya, there is no rest!