Archive for August 19th, 2008

House Stats

Quick version

Bedrooms – 4
Bathrooms – 2.5
Loft – 1
Den – 1
Garage – huge
Current Progress – none due to a technicality with the city. Hopefully that will be taken care of today. And to think – I said things were moving along nicely. Guess I didn’t knock on any of this wood as I said that!!!!

Long Version:

Yes, we are building it. No, we are not out there with hammers and nails, but we don’t have a builder and we are not buying a house that is being built in a planned community. This is huge for my husband. I can understand. He is the one putting in hours and hours of work. There are a lot of people that buy a house that is being built, and he gets really annoyed when they say “We’re building a house.” He wants to ask questions like, “So what was your lumber bid? Who are you using for insulation?” He is generally well behaved, however, and doesn’t point out the differences.

So what do we do ourselves? Well, we’re smart enough to use professionals when professionals should be used. That is why we have hired people to do the important work. Plus, if we tried to do it all ourselves – it would take FOREVER – and we’d kinda like to live in the house.  There is really so much stuff, it’s hard to give you an accurate idea.  In addition to my hubby getting all the bids and workers arranged (and dealing with engineers, city planners, etc) , we will also do the “make it look pretty” work ourselves. That means painting, flooring, closets, etc. All the finishing work. It also means we get to do fun things, like spend 3 hours in the hot hot sun, peeling stickers off all the windows and cleaning them so the sticky stuff doesn’t bake on. ( And better news yet, we’ll get to do it again after the house is painted and we want the windows to be ‘for real’ clean. :-) ) Hubby has already had his share of construction projects – the most recent of which include installing our tankless water heater, wiring for surround sound, etc.   It’s kinda fun, because we get to pick out EVERYTHING – and that kinda makes it a little overwhelming at times as well.  Why do we do all of this ourselves?  So we can afford the mortgage.

How did we decide what house to build? Well, we had always planned to build this house. We had plans made up for this lot to take advantage of the ‘positives’ and to minimize the ‘negatives’. A little curve ball was thrown at us, however, when the market plummeted. Should we build the bigger house we had planned, build a smaller house, should we not build at all, etc. etc.? Well, to help make the decision, we got several bids on major work for 3 houses. This one, the one we build last time and one that a friend thought might fit our family well.

Our last house was one story – which I liked. The layout of the house was not ideal for our family, but being familiar with the floor plan, we had some changes in mind that could have helped. It would have fit onto the lot but the backyard would have been very small. Small yards are quite common here in Tucson, so many people wouldn’t have even noticed. This is a picture of our last house. It was a nice home and we learned a lot while we built it! Of course, had we decided to do this floor plan, we could have fixed our mistakes. Only to make new ones, I’m sure!

The other two story didn’t make it far into a process. It was similar in a lot of ways to the one that we are building, but the plans were over a decade old. This means we’d have to update all of the codes and probably get them re-engineered. After getting back a few bids, we felt that it was a good idea to take it out of the running since we already had current plans that were similar, up to code, and engineered!

The house we are building is obviously a two story. The lot is a ‘typical city lot’, so the size of the backyard was a concern, especially since we have 3 young children. As bids were returned to us, we found that building “up” was cheaper than building “out.” So this house isn’t costing much more than our one story smaller house would have cost to build, and it is quite a bit bigger! Plus it has a smaller “footprint” than the one story house – which means a bigger backyard!

I see that I have practically written a novel as it is. So as time goes on, and we work on all the pretty stuff for each area of the house, I’ll take pictures and post them here. The quick stats: 4 bedrooms and a loft upstairs, a den downstairs.  The garage is 3 car – and is much bigger in life than it looked on paper.   We shouldn’t out-grow this house any time soon. We did things like add a porch to take advantage of the mountain views, add a little patio off of the master bedroom, etc. It’s very customized and should be great for us!

Have a great one!


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