Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest house, in-law, starter house

Ok, this one's officially complete. Not much more I could add to it, maybe some changes to the colors and design (I think the windows should be a little lower) but this is a good layout.  Interior space is small but open, the double doors will allow the outside in and the patio allows outdoor living area. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mother in Law

Done.  Not too bad looking.  A stone border around the planted area is needed, plus a walk-out flagstone patio with French doors on the back or end facing the camera would add some attractive and useful living area to make the place feel a little larger.  Have to check code and see how 3 season covered areas are viewed as far as square footage goes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mother in Law

I think this one would be just dandy as a starter house for the property and it could easily double as a "mother in law" or guest house once the main building is completed.  Only 750 sq.ft., simply designed, with an open floor plan and potential for a loft area this one could be built quickly and get us into a home on the property to start with.  Inspiration for this cottage was drawn from Google image searches of Black Forest vacation homes, Schwarzwald Ferienhaus if you'd like to see some too.

EDIT:  Updated the photo.  Don't mind the mangy grass, I'm still working on getting the software figured out!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Architectural services selected, balancing act

We're getting our foot in the door of this project and the balancing act must begin.  Budget with desires, our crazy designs with resale-ability, ideas with time.  Luckily our designs have shrank steadily over time (thanks to not winning the lottery, dangit! ;) ) so we have more reasonable ideas space-wise, so that helps a lot in moving this project toward an affordable outcome.  The one item other than finances that I think we'll struggle a bit with is how this place will look in the end.  We're not going to live forever.  We don't expect our offspring to want to continue to keep the house.  That means someone else will buy it.  Frankly, there's a limited pool of people that would be interested in buying something far out there, and even more limited bunch that could actually afford it; that means the more wild and crazy a project is the harder it will be to find someone that's willing to pay us for what it's worth.  If we were able to build something amazing by ourselves for less than $150,000 we probably would go that route, but alas it will likely cost more than that and we'll need to get a return on the investment.  I'd also like to stay married and get the house built in this lifetime!

Creating this idea using a more conventional route to homebuilding will likely mean dream/design sacrifices.  If we did it totally DIY, the only ones to tell us that we can't do something would be the engineer or local codes so there would be no limits other than time and money.  That's not how things are working out, but hopefully we'll be able to get some parts of it done just right - tastefully - and folks will think, "Castle!" or, "Schloss!" when they see it.  A suggestion of a turret.  A bit of crenellation, perhaps?  Steep roof somewhere?  Some half-timbering here, a lot of stone there.  Yep.  No reason it can't be done, we've got books full of great houses pictured with those details and they are very desireable homes.  Of course, many were built 75+ years and more ago by millionaires; but hey, who's counting?

Anyway, first thing's first; we'll get a survey done and get the septic in.  We are considering a super-small house on the property (perhaps it will remain as a "mother-in-law") to get out of our current house and out from under the mortgage.  It wasn't too bad before, but with the little'un here and the other half not working as much in order to be home and take care of her (Day care/Baby sitters are expensive!) it would help more to get out of this place and into something with a much, much lower overhead.  But that's all on the drawing table.

Will keep the blog updated, and we'll post that first shovel of dirt getting displaced for the future "castle".