Monday, May 21, 2012

Dwelling in Possibility Update: Meeting with the Architect

This morning, I suddenly re-remembered my mantra for the year: Make Dreams Happen

That's what I'm trying to do, one step at a time. With the school, we already have almost 200 families interested in enrolling their children in 2014. 

On the community front, we had to compromise our plan a little bit, but we are still forging ahead with building a house and connecting with and creating community. I put a hold request on Superbia: 31 Ways to Create Sustainable Neighborhoods. I also joined the neighborhood list-serv of our new neighborhood, and I proposed that we apply for a Keep Austin Beautiful grant to implement a community-building project in our neighborhood. I also got the e-mail address from one of the neighbors on our cul-de-sac (there are only four houses total, including our future house). The neighbor I met is a pianist, and his partner is a professor of music at UT. 

Matt and I met with the architect on Friday to talk about the modifications we want to make to the Luna plan. We are going to widen the living room/kitchen/bedroom mod by three feet. We need to hurry and find a sectional we want to buy, so we can give him the dimensions and we can make sure to design the house in a way that fits the furniture we want.

We picked out the color of the bamboo floor (it's light), the color of our kitchen cabinets (birch), and the color of our countertops (gray). We still have to pick out the color and size of the tile on the backsplash. We're also going to enlarge the master bedroom/third bedroom mod by three feet, which will allow us to fit a king-sized bed. We are lengthening the closets in every room, so we have plenty of storage, and we are adding a built-in bookshelf in the corner I was talking about last week. The exterior of the house will look like the Ford model, although we are debating between stucco and hardi-plank. We're trying to figure out how to position the pool so we still have a nice large deck (with a trellis type cover for shade). The deck will probably have large, wide steps leading into a grassy play area and the pool. The orientation of our house on the lot will be perfect for solar panels. Woo-hoo! We want to get as close to net-zero as possible.

The architect is saying it will take two months to get through the design phase and nine months to build, so it doesn't look like we'll be able to move in before the baby is due, but that's okay. We'll still be able to drive by our rental house and say, "That's the house you were born in." I'm still hoping we can expedite the process a little (e.g., I don't really think it will take two months to modify the plans because we are pretty clear about what we want). But we'll see. I'm expecting this process to take longer and cost more than we think.

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Ktina said...

I just looked over the entire ma website - I really love it. I can't wait to see how yours turns out!

Sarah said...

Sara, the house will be gorgeous! Let me ask you - is there any possibility of planting a tree in the house you're renting now? My parents planted a live oak in the house we moved into when I was three, and it's still amazing for me to drive by it or look at it on google street maps and think, "My parents planted that for me when I was 3." It's a really cool feeling, even though I haven't lived there since I was 8!

Julie R. said...

What an amazing blank canvas to add your personal style into. Living vicariously, as we are completely priced out of the mulitimillion dollar market here in the BVI. Regardless, I am more than happy to rent what will probably be one of the most memorable places we ever live!

Maureen said...

Sara - Go with hardi plank! It
s such a great resiliant product and I wish our house was sided with it instead of stucco. I'm so excited for you guys! Your home is going to be so cool. :-)

Rebecca said...

Sara - thanks for replying with the floorplan information last week. Those changes sounds really similar to what we would do. We generally prefer 2-story houses, but I really like this floor plan for a single story. Just out of curiosity, why do you guys plan to use one of the bedrooms in the second mod as the master versus the bedroom with the kitchen/living mod?

redfrizzz said...

So exciting. I feel excited just to KNOW someone who is following through on such exciting life-long dreamy things.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Rebecca! We thought about a two-story for a while (I love this plan from Ma Modular:

but I just couldn't get around the impracticality of having to build another half bathroom downstairs and the pain of going up and down stairs all the time. I'm curious to hear what you think the benefits of are a two-story, in case I'm not thinking of something.

As for the placement of our bedroom, we want our bedroom to be open to the woods on both sides (versus opening to the front of the house). That's why we're taking the bedroom at the back of the bedroom/bathroom/bedroom mod as opposed to the bedroom in the bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/dining room/living room mod.

Rachel said...

So exciting! That is a gorgeous website!

Have you done the financial stuff yet? I would think you would have to get a loan for a manufactured home, not a construction loan, right?

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Rachel! Modular is not the same as manufactured. You can read about the difference here:

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