When I wrote the last post, we were in the middle of an unseasonably warm March, and all I could think about (other than the upcoming debut of our son) was that it was nice out and I wanted to be building! In fact, we originally intended to break ground mid-March. It was disheartening, but certainly for the best; we needed this time to find our footing as parents.
In the meantime, we haven’t been sitting idly by. We’ve been back at the drawing board, rethinking the house.
My first reaction to our blown budget was to simply lop off the 2nd floor, but Melissa pointed out that the kids’ rooms (moved to the basement) would look out into window wells, no matter how well we dressed those window wells up. And we would lose all of the storage and bonus unfinished space we want in the basement. The idea could still produce a lovely house, but not the one we want.
The current design is still just schematic, but we’re eager to show off some progress. It still requires some trimming, even though we have already cut a significant chunk off the gross area. The footprint is more efficiently stacked to minimize foundation and roofing, and a good deal of hallway space was eliminated. We’ve lost our double height living space, as well as the loft, and the master suite has gone to the 2nd story (and gained a balcony!), but a good portion of the character remains intact.
If we apply the raw cost per square foot from our previous estimate to this current design area, we’re still over budget. So there is still prioritizing and trimming to do. We’re going to whittle area away here and there, and this next go around with estimating will account for our own labor, where applicable. We are also looking at alternate and salvage materials and hope to negotiate some gains.
I’ll wait to sing the praises of this design once it’s more final (and if you look long enough you’ll see plenty of issues that aren’t resolved). But in the mean time, take a look around and let us know what you think!