Long time, no write.
I only have the same excuses. Kids, job, life. I can honestly say that I've spent probably a grand total of 10 hours on my computer in the last 6 weeks. My SketchUp skills have fallen by the wayside, but I can toss a 6 year old across the room onto a beanbag and earn some giggles for that. I can also locate lost toys and listen to a 3 year old's dissertation on his breakfast food choices.
But that's not what the blog is about, even though it has everything to do with my inability to spend any time here.
We had our DEC (the folks who keep an eye on wetlands and protected areas) out to survey and mark off the buildable areas. Momentary panic set in as more and more of the property became marked off as protected. Now, before anyone gets up in arms about the guv'mint getting into our business and keeping the common man down, this was not entirely unexpected. When you buy in a state that has lots of rules, this is what should be expected. If you want to live out in the sticks in the middle of the country you can get away with a lot more. We understand what we are getting in to, we are for protecting land, and we understand that this has a cost in terms of siting and positioning of all construction pertaining to a home. But, that doesn't mean I wasn't worried about our site being completely upended and being forced to build in a completely undesirable location. Luckily, the site we hoped to use happened to be a good spot, away from wetland, just where we wanted it. Whew! Just keep that environmental stuff in mind before setting your heart on a location!
At any rate, the dream isn't dead, but it's certainly shifted and morphed over the intervening time. A reality check regarding affordability needed to be taken into account. Construction costs aren't cheap, and if I want to get this built in my lifetime I think it would be dishonest to say I'm going to build it all myself. We finally stopped waffling and have decided to stick with Fran Beauregard (Built4ever on DeviantArt), his designs and ability to think outside the design norms of the day is unlikely to be matched anywhere else, or at least not without a raised eyebrow and a premium charge.
The grand, large designs are being supplanted by a more modest design, leaning towards Tudor, and will certainly feature a great hall and some castle affectations. As time passes, I hope we can add outbuildings such as the gatehouse, stable (garage), courtyard and a folly of a ruin on the land. When we get a final elevation, I'll share it. I'll also post pics of any progress on the land we make.