While we’re waiting for the estimate (due at the end of the month), we might as well talk about cost. I’ve diligently avoided naming our budget so far, and it’s because budget is relative to income and cost is relative to location. A 1,500 square foot home could cost $120k in Fort Wayne, $180k in Indianapolis, and $800k in San Jose. I want to keep this discussion relevant in all cases.
Most people expect architects to have an expert grasp on construction costs, but there’s also a reputation for blowing budgets with all of our chic finery. Continue reading
After a LOT of deliberation, we decided that we really liked the common living spaces of her plan, with the kitchen tucked to the side but still open to the dining and the loft space above. But the narrow footprint of my plan and ‘walk out’ condition with the garage made more sense with our sloping site and existing trees. I had to promise to carry groceries up (although there is space for a dumb waiter in the thick masonry dividing wall) and our plans were merging together after all!
We did some massaging (for instance, the discussion of resale added a walk in closet in the master suite), and we kept both a library and a separate loft space. The overall finished area totaled about 12.5% more than the 2,400 s.f. we had programmed for.
Since the two of us liked different massing concepts, we developed both to see if they could merge at some point down the pipeline. We started referring to these as mine and yours, but for the sake of clarity here, we’ll say hers and his:
Both designs feature a masonry wall on both the inside and out that divides the common public spaces from the living spaces.
I’m a tree hugger, but I’m leery of the green trend.
For instance, a few years back a green publication named a hybrid SUV the Green Car of the Year. It gets 20/23 mpg. While it’s an improvement for the vehicle class and an introduction to great new technology, 20/23 mpg is pretty pathetic to hail as the best new thing in earth-friendly resource conservation. I hate to think that owners of this vehicle might pat themselves on the back, believing they’re saving the planet.
Similarly, building an 8,000 square foot home for a family of two with bamboo floors and energy star appliances just doesn’t cut it. (Conversely, I’ve picked up books featuring small green homes only to find most of them have 1 bedroom. Yes, there is a market, but let’s be practical.)
Architecture is funny. People make a lot of assumptions about architects; the number one assumption is that we’re filthy rich. Most people are shocked when I tell them that I have consistently made about $20,000 less each year than my colleagues who went into teaching.