Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bid Set

We have the plans far enough long to get a rough bid from the builders. I'm very curious to find out just how much this thing is going to be. With our previous design and we had quotes ranging from mid 400s to mid 700s. Madness!

We've picked a rather classic palette of materials: A metal roof, shingled upper reaches, stucco for the midsection and stone near the ground. And one nod to the contemporary: corrugated metal accents. Which, in all reality, isn't that big of a deal out in the country. The stuff is damn near everywhere you look.

Oooh, you might notice on the plans a very exciting addition: a tunnel. Tasha's parents have one and I've always loved the thing. Tasha's been rather blase about the tunnel probably because she grew up with one. Anyway, we're thinking it would work as an excellent root cellar and secret escape hatch. Some little hobbit door disguised as a rock in the retaining wall would be just the thing.

Prairie Seeding

After spending many hours collecting an odd assortment of prairie grass and flower seed this fall we finally had a suitable snowfall on which to sow our seed. After mixing in some sawdust to thin the seed mixture we went to work and quickly realized we had nowhere near enough seed. We had hoped to cover the triangular area to the west of the driveway with our five 5 gallon buckets full of seed, but we didn't even come close. Ah well. The kids went sledding and crashed into the blackberry brambles and we might have some neat grass and flowers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rear Rendering

Heres a new rendering of the rear with the smaller mid living room / dining room porch and stairs down. It also has a gable over the side porch vs the other style, whatever style that was.

I prefer the look of the gable over the other style roof. It's keeping more with the rest of the exterior. The spiral staircase was an effort to minimize the stairs from blocking light and views from the basement, but it appears that a regular set of stairs wouldn't block anything anyway. I still think I might like to continue that thin catwalk from the mid porch to the corner and then west towards the other porch. Just a little skinny thing though.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Driveway work and Prairie Musings

Work on the driveway has begun. It didn't take too long for problems to arise. It turned out that we were making huge cuts over the top of the hill. I think we would have had a small river valley rather than a road. After some frantic calls to the engineer, excavator, and architect, everything was resolved and now have a very nice, albeit huge looking, driveway. One of the excavators that quoted the project warned me that it was going to look like a super highway until the gravel was down and the area around it was seeded. He was right, take a look at these pictures. Keep in mind this is for a 12' wide driveway.

My mother-in-law was spreading some prairie seeds along the Ice Age Trail this past weekend and with all the work going on with the driveway I got excited about trying to seed the hill with prairie grasses. I ran out and collected 5 gallons of prairie seed from one of Tasha's colleagues and we're going out tomorrow to collect more. Some cooler heads warned me to slow down with the seeding until we had a nice seed mix selected. Well, it seems nice seed mixes run about $1500 per acre so I'm going ahead with this haphazard seeding plan. We should have enough for the area bounded by the driveway, our property line and the trees on the western edge of the property.

More plans and renderings

In no particular order I present to you more plans and renderings!

We're going to try a smaller porch off the back. Mirroring what's off of the master bedroom. Something needs to be done to the sleeping porch. To me it doesn't look like it belongs. A friend commented that the full width porch looked like a nun's habit, now that's all can see when I look at it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tour of homes

We went with our builders today to see some homes they had done. It was very interesting and we don't have time to go over it all here. We will try and post some pictures if they say it is okay later this week.

Here are the things we liked most on our tour today:
  • timber framed main living spaces.
  • wood living room ceiling
  • "Zen house" and "euro" houses were our favorites (?photos)
  • combinations of wood
  • slate like floor tile and how this went right out to deck
  • In floor heating
  • waxed concrete floor with 4X4 squares in basement
  • board and batten (joe)
  • not so much stucco (tasha) :.), maybe just a little like on the euro house.
  • more natural and lived in look
  • kitchen with several different design themes/wood colors
  • Joe wants a Japanese gong
  • large but opening windows.
  • arches on portico (Joe not tasha)
  • wire railings on straw bale house
  • unfinished natural timbers on the outside of the straw house (looked like trees).
  • plaster inside house.

More later. We are tired but not as tired as Tasha's mom who watched the kids all day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here are our most recent floor plans and renderings from Jon and Kandy. There are, as always, some tweaks to be made, but it's coming together. This weekend we're meeting with the builders for a tour of some of the homes they've built.

Oh yeah, the materials, colors, furniture, etc should be ignored.