|Here's another one I like.|
We have some pretty tight requirements, so the builder we decide upon using must be able to embrace flexibility. The main area of flexibility is for the contractor to be willing and capable of installing the windows and doors that we will select. Since the windows and doors are of paramount importance to our home, we will definitely be going outside of the contractor's usual selection and we will need the contractor to install everything as we instruct.
A big bonus that comes with building in the country is that construction a country home means you get to avoid the usual "city" route, meaning the taxing entities will not recognize the structure as a residence, unless you take the steps to declare it as such. So we could avoid all of the taxes and such that go along with building a standard home.
|One of my favorites.|
|I could even make this work, yes I could.|
|Now, this will probably be more of what our actual country|
cabin will look like...as far as cedar siding goes, etc.
As for our country home, looks as if the house will be built on a Pier and Beam foundation. We definitely want to use massive timbers that are not available in the standard lumber yard for certain areas of the house, such as the front porch, I want the porch beams to be massive rough-cut timbers.
|Nice, but not enough porch space.|
This week, I found a company that sells barn kits and country home kits that are assembled in the factory, then disassembled and sent to your property. They had some beautiful structures. If you want to take a look, go to http://www.sandcreekpostandbeam.com/ to see some of their structures. My favorite is the red house. The only drawback that I can find that irks me is that there is too much roof on many of these structures. As a former Real Estate Broker in Texas, I once had a client who owned a barn-structure kind of home that was very large, about 5,000 square feet of living space and the roof replacement cost approximately $26,000 simply because there was SO MUCH OF IT. Shudder. And this company did not even want to broach the topic of average price per square foot, so I began to think that they are probably mighty proud of their product. So proud that I'll be priced FAR away from considering it as an option. But, I'm expecting their catalog in the mail and a follow-up call from a company representative, so we'll see.
As for over-kill on the roofing...I want metal anyway, so we can't do a barn-type of wrap down roof. Since I like the look of a country style home, that's exactly what I am going to shoot for.
|One day, I hope to have a bunk house with the downstairs|
large with a commercial style kitchen for gatherings.
We might also design some cool privacy screens with country
themes to put in between the beds.
|I love this bathroom with the stone wall and the old-style tub.|
So, I want it clearly written on paper, in detail, as to what we will be paying for and if there is a line item that we'd rather do ourselves, it can be removed from the list and we will handle it. Also, this will protect the contractor so that he gets paid accordingly because those contractors can get customers who want much more completed than was the original agreement...without the extra payment to cover their expenditures. So, I'm wanting to be fair for both sides.
|Now, I REALLY am digging this galvanized sheathing combined|
with the natural woods in the kitchen. I love this look.
This is a definite contender for our kitchen.
As for the sheetrock, cabinetry, trim-work, painting, flooring, light fixtures and such...Deputy Dave and I will handle as much of it as possible. This will not be a quick project. We want to take our time, enjoy being in the country and making sure we do everything exactly as we dreamed it would be...on a budget, with our own blood, sweat and tears on the line.
|This is still one of my favorite country kitchens. Very practical, but Deputy Dave|
will definitely need more counterspace.
Here's a kicker...Deputy Dave and I are determined to build our country home without financing. This will not be an easy feat. First, this means that the shell home itself must be low in the square footage costs. This means that the house might not start out with as much square footage overall as we eventually would like to have...we're taking it one manageable step at a time.
|And, I still like the natural raw cut of the timber for these cabinet facings.|
Since we are paying a company to ONLY put up a shell, I expect the cost to reflect the far-from-turn-key stage. There is one company in Livingston that builds Shell Homes and they state that their shell homes begin at $22. per square foot. Not bad. However, we will be shopping around and checking out the quality of their work.
|In Texas, we've gotta eventually get that screened-in patio space |
that will let us enjoy sitting outside in the evening, even in
There's no doubt that we will be tough clients on site every day to make sure construction is done properly. Deputy Dave usually gets along fabulously with our contractors, as long as they have the mentality that they WILL get the job done right, even if we must have a discussion over something being "off" and needing to be corrected. Good communication is key.
And, I will definitely have to implement a few WOW factors into the country home. I learned a long time ago that a home can indeed be a fun place if you incorporate WOW elements here and there. In our current home, we put a WOW jacuzzi tub upstairs in the secondary bathroom. Downstairs, we added a nice ceiling fan to the large master closet and a beautiful ceiling fan in the master bathroom that has a vintage feel to it. Deputy Dave put in custom built-in shelving in the office. We have hardwood flooring throughout a majority of the house and Italian Porcelain flooring through all living areas downstairs, the half bath, and master bathroom. Deputy Dave designed and laid a gorgeous mosaic tile rug at the entryway and that is a big WOW element waiting to greet everyone who walks through the front door.
Anyway, in every home we've owned, we have always incorporated WOW elements and our houses do sell rapidly. Every time we put a house up for sale I dread the listing time-frame that could potentially be in front of us, but we've never had to endure through much time at all. The last house we sold was out of our hands in less than 30 days from the time the sign went in the yard. Now, THAT was much faster than I had anticipated. I have a feeling that this house will be the same thing. Truly, I think the flooring will hook buyers. As a Real Estate Broker for years, I always could tell which houses would sell the fastest and those were usually the homes with the updated flooring...probably because it's such a large expense for the new buyer to confront. If the color is neutral, the house will likely be given a BIG boost to be sold quickly.
I guess time will tell. Once we put the sign in the yard, we will start the countdown. I wonder how long it will take to get a solid contract on this house?
Once the shell is built on our property, Deputy Dave and I will hustle to get the house livable. Our furnishings will likely be stored in a nice storage building we are expecting to build on the property which will later be used as Deputy Dave's workshop. We'll hook up some plumbing and electrical lines, then put in a window unit so the shop can have some climate control and Deputy Dave can later reap the rewards of having this shop ready for him to use for his wood-working space. Unlike the main house, this workshop will have a concrete foundation. We might see if we can get our future son-in-law, Henry, to help us out with his expertise in this area as we pour that foundation. He's a good kid and is running a concrete business that his father had started years ago. Henry has worked with concrete for most of his life...it's been his bread and butter. And, the wonderful part is that...Henry is GOOD at it. So, we will be ready to listen to his expertise when we are preparing to pour our workshop foundation. Then, hopefully he'll have a LONG marriage to our daughter and he'll be able to visit through the years and see the foundation holding up strong and being enjoyed to the max.
So, the simplified version of our plan so far is to...
1) Prep the land and design a master plan for the land with structures --- prep the sites for both the workshop site and the house site (after reviewing elevations and getting soil sample results in our hands). This will require a LOT of work...clearing forested areas, etc.
2) Get the slab for the workshop poured, with Henry's advice and guidance.
3) Build the workshop and get it ready to start holding our household items, I also prefer to have at least one side of the building with an overhead door so that we can easily take large equipment/furniture in and out of the workshop. This will require an extended outdoor concrete zone that can also double as outdoor workspace on pretty days in the country.
4) Find the contractor who will build our shell home and get the timing lined up.
5) Figure out how Deputy Dave and I can be on the land while we are building...maybe we can stay in the workshop in a room sectioned off from the other part of the workshop? Maybe an RV? We just sold our RV this past year, and I don't think we'll have the funds to buy an RV, build a workshop AND a shell home, so I think the workshop will have to pull double temporary duty as storage and tight housing.
6) Install a more than adequate septic tank system for the workshop and house
7) Figure out if we are going to dig a well or have water ran from the city lines we paid TWO ARMS AND TWO LEGS to have run to the front of our property a few years back. We had to pay for it to run through several acres to reach our land. I think I kind of like the idea of having SOME city water available. Running those lines to the construction sites might be cheaper and less of a hassle than digging a well.
|Something is drawing me to this kitchen, probably the huge|
kitchen window over the sink, the ceiling design and open concept with the
usable island that's large enough to use for extra counter space.
And, I'm sure glad that I like the raw country style that doesn't require a high-dollar budget. With creative design, we can find ourselves sitting in a country house that is full of rich character, style and durability.
Bring on the challenges!