Saturday, December 2, 2017

this new house

Jumping back in with the story of home-building...

We found the perfect spot to build a house, and then we had to pick out a floor plan and have it drawn up pretty quickly in order to get things going. You have to have a floor plan and estimate before getting a building loan started, so there are several steps to building a house that go unseen.

We didn't have a clue about what kind of floor plan we desired. We never really thought we would be building a house (not that I hadn't DREAMED about it). So when this sort of dreaminess all came about I got sucked into the vortex that is Pinterest and then into house planning magazines and then my brain got completely overwhelmed. There was no time for being sucked into vortexes; we still had a lot of packing to do and a temporary housing plan to make and 4 kids and jobs.

So I made a list.

Needs:
3+ bedrooms with room for expansion later on as kids grow
2+ bathrooms with plenty of sinks for teeth brushing
plenty of storage
biggish kitchen for welcoming guests
opportunity to build an extra bedroom/space for guests (I was once a "random guest" to a sweet family in Kentucky who took in myself and my brand new baby when we were adopting, and I want the chance to offer that sort of hospitality and warmth to someone else in the future. We also might want to offer a place to a college kid or two.)

Wants:
views to the backyard/land
outdoor entertaining opportunities
laundry on the same level/side of the house as all bedrooms
mudroom
pantry (big family!)
open floor plan--again for welcoming people into our home
space for kids to go crazy


So we looked around and suddenly saw that our good friends have the very floor plan that would work well for us. Um, everything about it would work. And we needed a floor plan asap in order to get going on paperwork and contracts and everything else. We just didn't have much time to spend perusing.

So I rather awkwardly asked if we could use their floor plan as a basis for ours. We didn't need ours to be as big or as awesome, but we needed it to be as efficient and well-organized as theirs. (And theirs is beautiful, because my friend is an amazing interior designer, so that helped.) They were very gracious to allow us to use theirs as a guide, and we took it in for some adjustments in size and minor features and we were ready to go with this:

(This is not the first time we have jumped on the backs of people who are paving a path. We did this in adoption, too, when we found out friends who were adopting had done all of the research and settled on an agency, we just jumped on board with them. When you see wise people doing something you're going to do anyway, doesn't it make sense to jump in line behind them?)

Unfortunately, we failed to really think through the exterior of the house, which has/had some rather wonky roof ankles and some boring design elements. Our drafting company was good but rather "1990s" so we just didn't really think about the exterior being set in stone, so to speak. Fortunately, we have had some great help and input from a friend who happens to know awesomeness in masonry like the back of his hand, and I think we will eventually end up with a house exterior that says "yummy" not "crummy."