Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blog hits go the way of the market, Polls

I have Google Analytics on this site, just to satisfy my curiosity and to assure myself that more than the few folks that post comments are bothering to view the site. The hits have tanked in the last 5 days, literally dropped to almost half, and stayed down. Don't know why; it could be the economy has put a damper on viewer's castle dreams or maybe Google has simply adjusted how hits are counted. Hope it's just the latter.

On another note, I was looking at the poll results so far. The results so far seem to indicate that would-be builders are interested in 5,000 sq. ft. plus castles that cost over $300K, would be built with a contractor's services and are made of natural materials. I get the first three just fine; but there seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the first three and the final most selected item, the natural materials. To build an expansive, large building from natural stone using a contractor's services will cost more than $300K, a LOT more. Perhaps respondents are not replying to all 3 polls and the ratio is off. At any rate, there are a lot of big, expensive, stone castles wanting to be built out there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another castle building site

Here's a site that looks pretty new and clams that it's purpose is to take you through the steps of building a castle from planning to moving in. Not much there yet, but we'll have to see what happens. The owner is positioning himself in a pretty narrow market (I speak from experience!); but who knows, in this small community any additional information and support has to be a good thing, right?

Here it is: Home Castle Building

Good luck!

Ann Arbor Campus, U of M

Spent a couple of days in Ann Arbor, Michigan to take in a Big Blue game (they lost). There are a lot of fantastic Gothic revival buildings as part of the campus, as on many major university campuses, and in the surrounding area. My time as limited, and it was also snowing and raining out so the photos aren't the best. The water on the lens and filters due to the rain threw the focus off on a few occasions as well.

Despite the dreary day, I wanted the photos for ideas and inspiration plus real "how they did it" details.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The devil is in the details.

No, the blog hasn't died! There are so few castles out there, much less the ones that are on the web, and even less the ones that are owner built. I've "niched" myself out of publication. I guess I could switch blog premises and post all castles being built, heaven knows I see enough palatial homes and, I kid you not, castles being built on Long Island and Westchester County. But alas, that's not what I'm about, and my wallet isn't so fat. Castle dreams and an apartment budget!

At any rate, I'm still working on the most recent Sketchup castle. I've changed quite a bit and added some details. I know I've said it before, but the details are a real pain. Lining up roofs, ensuring there are load bearing walls in the right place, where on earth do I put what room and what to do for windows. All are time consuming, require imagination and more than a few complete "re-dos". I've drifted away from the "stone box" without too many features and headed more towards half-timber and Germanic styles. I've added a pitched roof instead of a plain flat roof, some corbeled windows and just other odds 'n ends. It's still a work in progress; this picture is from the opposite direction of the previous pictures and shows the greenhouse, which is attached directly to the kitchen. I hope to figure some way of capturing the warm air heated by the sun in the greenhouse for circulation around the house during the colder months, plus use the plants as natural air filter for the air in the home. The location off of the kitchen may also allow for use of greywater in the plants, or a specific greywater planter designed to filter and use the water instead of dumping it into a sewer.