|I love this cabin, The porch and side deck are dreamy.|
Without the environmental shading, we have days like we experienced this past week --- news reported the temperature to be 104 degrees, but in the sun, especially at our air-conditioning units on the side of the house, the temperature was 113. This meant that the inside temperature was 83 degrees and the units could not cool down the house further. It was HOT. During these moments, I do wish we had a swimming pool or a misting patio where I could sit and soak.
I've been afraid that I'll walk into the backyard and find that my chickens are no longer running around...I might find a-la-Texas-roasted chicken.
But back to concrete foundations...nearly everyone we know, who has a home that is ten years old or older, has foundation issues. Shockingly, a few with brand new homes have severe foundation issues. Of course, these builders go out of business before you can go after them to honor their warranties. No doubt, foundation companies make a pretty penny here in Texas.
For years, I was in real estate. In fact, I owned and operated a Real Estate Brokerage with associates working for my company. Thank God I am finished with that chaotic lifestyle. Deputy Dave and I are in retirement-mode. But, my chosen profession did expose me to see a huge amount of terrible home inspections revealing foundation problems.
The kicker with this sort of house ailment is that a buyer cannot get a loan for a house with a cracked slab, unless it is remedied by the seller presenting a foundation company certificate of repair...a certificate proving it has been addressed and that the warranty is transferable. This can create huge problems for a seller because they must repair the foundation before the loan provider will release funds, so this must be done BEFORE the closing takes place on the house. If a seller doesn't repair the damaged slab, they might be stuck with a house that has a willy-wonka foundation and would have to find a cash buyer willing to overlook the foundation problem.
What does this translate to? Big Price Reduction. Investment Special. Or...a person duped into buying a home with a major foundation issue is stuck with big problems, unless they get them fixed. And the so-called "Lifetime Warranties" on these slab repairs are misleading...they ONLY warranty the particular area that is repaired.
What does this mean, for the most part? "Oh Mr. Home-Owner, this problem you are having with your slab is not covered under the warranty you have with us because the area of OUR repair is actually strong and holding...but sadly (handkerchief shook out and touched to technician's eye for dramatic effect) the new area of damage is not in the area of OUR superb previous repair, so your new tragic slab woes are NOT covered under this worthless warranty in your possession. (Handkerchief is put away) Oh...here is your estimate. Have a great day! I'll see myself to the door so you can have a quiet moment to regain control and stop hyperventilating."
A lot of homes in Texas with major foundation issues end up as a ball and chain. Many owners find they cannot sell the house, so they are forced to keep them as rent houses or they let them go back to the bank. It can be devastating.
|This is beautiful. I am really digging the|
entry steps. This is a definite design element
that we will incorporate.
|Whoa Mama! This is macho house!|
It's also beautiful. Great mix.
If you've had foundation problems...you know what I'm talking about.
And man oh man, I have seen some real disasters with people whose pipes burst beneath the concrete. Talk about high repair costs and daily life interruptions!
So, I am leaning toward the pier and beam foundation. I'll even take blocks. Blocks work.
Some friends will say, "How can you consider a house that isn't on a concrete foundation? What about tornadoes?"
Duh...take a look at the historic part of downtown Houston or the historic part of Galveston with the hundreds and hundreds of homes on blocks or pier and beam that have survived numerous natural disasters as entire homes on concrete foundations were blown or washed completely away...the old-style foundations often stood their ground, literally.
Having concrete beneath your sticks and bricks does not guarantee that you won't blow away with Dorothy to the Land of Oz. And, they may not make red shoes in our size.
|I love the substantial and natural front porch|
tree beams - rustic, yet unique and gorgeous.
How about the other critics of pier and beam foundations who say, "Well, critters will find a home under your floorboards if there isn't concrete to block their way!"
My reply is, "Your foundation only makes for a better foothold for some critters, don't be fooled by the illusion. Critters under the house can be tackled, like any other problem." Just don't ask me how.
Another bonus with a house on pier and beam is the air flow can circulate around the house. Our foundation home had big warnings for installing hardwood flooring on the bottom floor because humidity causes the concrete to sweat; this can cause improperly installed wood flooring to buckle and warp. I've seen far too many houses with this terrible problem. And, wood floors are not cheap. This is a huge reason we installed Italian porcelain flooring all throughout our first floor. Upstairs, we have a floating hardwood (tongue and grove) floor that required custom cutting and careful laying, but it is beautiful and it moves with the house.
In the country, our cabin will be on pier and beam, but we will build a skirt facade of natural stone to help cover the blank opening around the house. We'll leave a few openings, as required, for proper access to do future work beneath the house, but the access points will be closed up during normal daily living to prevent critters from making a home beneath our home. Perhaps we'll have a few bells hanging beneath the house so that an exploring critter will hit the jingle bell and go scampering in a panic. I'd love to hear of solutions by other people for these types of homes.
How long will it take us to complete all of this? Hmmm...I'm not sure, check back when I am near 90.
Today, I looked online at many different kinds of cabins. I found shell kits that I thought would work, for under $30,000. ---- that price is appealing. However, we'd still have everything to finish on the inside.
Since my husband wants to be in control of everything, this is a viable option. We will likely hire contractors to do certain parts of the finishing, but Deputy Dave can do a lot on his own, well, with a bit of help from this old gal. I am his "Sous Chef" of home renovations. Need painting, caulking, sanding, nailing (little nails), clean-up crew, or a handy dandy mobile tool holder? Then, I am your woman. Well, I am Deputy Dave's woman. He has a certificate stating this fact. Two certificates...eloping version and church version. Therefore, I am his permanent, low-budget Sous Construction Worker. (Note to Deputy Dave...no snide comments!)
As for shell kits and beyond, I found sites offering to build luxurious cabins on your property, but I knew that these homes were WAY beyond our price range. However, I am determined to find the cabin solution that is JUST RIGHT for our taste and budget. Nothing is for free...it's going to cost some heart-thumping dollars, but we'll also be rid of this house that has high taxes and high insurance rates that go with living by the bay along with other high priced city living costs. I can't wait!
The cabin in the picture below will probably be our new cabin in the woods. I just need to contact these people to tell them to get it shipped to our acreage ASAP! And, P.S., the decorations on the house and front porch rocking chair can stay...