Tuesday, May 13, 2014

# 513 - Country House Clarity

The great thing about waiting so long to build the seventh house we've lived in and hopefully the last house we will live in as our main homestead is that we are taking the time to make sure we do it right. Especially since our last home had a great floor-plan.

Location, location, location is everything --- this has been my major hold-up since I have been flip-flopping on the built site of our home on the acreage, until a few months ago, then I went back to our original site. Another full circle.

However, since that aspect of the build is SETTLED, I have been pouring over different floor-plans and house styles. In fact, this past year, I have reviewed no less than 1,000 floor-plans and home designs.

Recently, I came close to deciding upon a beautiful log cabin, but then I got the onslaught of information regarding the added upkeep with the expectation that the cabin will not be plumb, and I know that the lack of straight lines will eventually get to me.

At one point, going through house plans began to be an unpleasant task, so I avoided it. Then, I reminded myself that these frustrations are part of this wonderful process of moving to the country and that I should also embrace those moments too --- this is an American dream I am living. That attitude adjustment led me to a clear mind and to the floor-plan below that is one of my favorites; however, the upstairs will only have two bedrooms and a small loft with ONE bathroom, strictly for guests.

The great part of waiting all this time to build a house in the country is that I have had time to consider this house, full circle. At first, while living in a stylish home in the Greater Houston area, I had thought that I wanted to build a rustic-style home.

But, after living in an RV for nearly a year, I have come full circle, ALMOST, in that I can see that the rustic appearance would probably wear thin on me, but a CLASSIC farm-house style has stuck on me.

The elements I love are the white clapboard, the grey metal roof and painted grey porch floor decking. Of course, I can picture major landscaping around the house to bring the beauty home!

This is the kind of railing I like with the porch beams I prefer.
Also, this roof is my first choice with the grey accent and dark grey
painted porch decking. Any window shutters will be either black
or that same grey color. The house will be built on concrete
piers and wood beams.

One thing that I have changed lately follows severe storms that have been moving through the area. Now, I know that I don't want as many towering trees around the house. We will keep solid, oldies, but we will be removing more trees around the home-site than I originally intended.

That's because this past week, during a terrible storm, lightening struck a tree nearby and it made a deafening crack. I've been around many close lightening strikes in my life, more than is comfortable for me.

Living here for this past year has indeed been critical to this complicated process of moving from the city to the country, especially to acreage that is so raw and rural.

I cannot believe that in a few days it will be have been a year since the day came for us to leave our home in the city...

...and drive away with our RV...

and drive nearly two hours to literally drive up to our acreage, unload the chickens, set up the RV, and not have water connections and no electricity power connections to the land.

All the chickens made it safely to the acreage by riding in their special
cage alongside their coop in the trailer that I pulled as Sgt. Dave
pulled the RV with his truck.
Living with that generator noise for weeks on end was extremely challenging, but I am thankful to have had that generator to provide enough power to give us air-conditioning through the hot weeks of summer.

My dad stopping by to visit, even though he was in the middle
of his chemotherapy treatments, administered through a port in his
chest via a chemo pump attached to him. At this point, he'd lost
all that was left of his hair...along with his mustache. Thank God,
he is doing much better now, under close watch, a difficult battle.

We've come a long way. We have longer to go, but knowing we are narrowing down our home design and floor-plan means we are closer to breaking ground. Since I am figuring out our floor-plan with the perimeter measurements, this means we can go to the actual build site and mark it off, then begin removing the trees that must go. Since that area of our land is densely forested, this is an important and necessary step that we cannot avoid ANY LONGER! Haha.

Oh a hike along a back trail with a boundary marker. You can
see how thick the forest is in the entire area of our construction site.
And there are towering, massive trees there as well, which I am
going to do all I can do to keep. We will also be working carefully
through the area to retain the Oaks, Cypress, Cedars and to
keep the Wild Magnolias.

There are a lot of steps for us to take. I have to get official Floodplain maps and to certify that our build site is not in the 100-year floodplain through the Office of Emergency Management - Flood Planning Management for our area. I have to get a new appraisal of our land with the upgrades. We also have to get a new survey, which stinks because the one we currently have is too old to use, and we have built structures on our land since that survey was completed, which invalidates it.

Our first small barn. I still need to paint the outside of it, Barn Red.

Once all that is completed, then I must have copies of our architectural-construction drawings prepared and ready to submit to various venders for bids. Lots of bids.

This is a view of my favorite design, so far. However, I do prefer
the thinner clapboard that runs horizontal instead of this vertical version.
If the size is available in Hardy Plank, we will use the cement siding
to reduce maintenance on the house. I am hoping it will also
making the building process more affordable.

My head is spinning again. This week, I am simply happy to have gone through hundreds more floor-plans and designs to become more settled upon the direction we are taking. My old love of traditional colonial-time homes and Victorian homes is something that I can't escape. I hope that by honoring the type of home that has most appealed to me throughout my life, that we will indeed find ourselves living in a very beautiful home ready for new memories.

Here is an example of the house we will probably build. It's about
2,500 square feet, with most of the square footage downstairs as is
shown in the above floor-plans. I will be incorporating
pocket-doors into the plan, for sure!

Everything is happening in its right time. It will be worth the wait. Even so, I CANNOT WAIT!


Dar said...

You are doing it the right way, having lived on the land you will build on first. I'm sure by now, you know how it looks to you as the sun rises and sets...etc.
We also had to remove trees to prepare our site for our log cabin. It's a huge undertaking. We found out that removing the stumps was most tedious, but necessary. Living around our site awhile told us where the rain ran off too. I still think the slab should have been higher.
I'll be checking to see your progress. How exilerating!
I love your choice. It reminds me of my daughter's 100 yr. old farmhouse that they are restoring to it's former glory.
Have fun with your exciting venture, even on the stressful days.

Vickie said...

It's a beautiful choice, Lana. Similar to my own choice should we decide to build a bigger home on our farm. I love the old farmhouse look, however, I want a single story home. After having gone through agine parents (my husband's), we've been thinking that we should go ahead and make the house handicap-accessible when we build. Sounds pessimistic, I guess. If it was 40 again, I wouldn't, but we're nearing 60 now, and we have to think down the road a bit... I loved your last comment. "I cannot wait!" remember just a year ago, and you "could not wait!" to even get moved! Time marches on, doesn't it!!!