Thursday, August 28, 2008

Driveway and feng shui..

Lots has happened. We met with our builder and took them to my mom's house and our property. It was helpful and we are going to see some homes far west of Madison to get some exterior ideas. We are going to arrange this after we work on our plans a bit more and try and pick our driveway/excavator company.

So driveways. Wow! Can I say that again, WOW! We decided we would coordinate this ourselves. We are still awaiting a bid but so far they are all over the place. They have thus far ranged from $20,000 to 40,000! Yikes. I normally don't like to put in the $$ but this was so crazy I just had to share. We are waiting for the last bid to come in and then pick someone to put it in this fall. Admittedly the driveway is long... 960 feet. However, it is really hard to get psyched up about paying so much for gravel. Of note, this does not include the fees for the engineering plans we had to have drawn up to get it approved by the town. Thankfully it was approved without any problems. Joe did go to our future town's meeting and met many of our future neighbors.

Finally we met with my family friend who is a feng shui expert and does home design (this was news to me!). Anyway, he had some good suggestions. He agreed we should flip flop the location of the dining room and living room, a south west corner wrap around porch is a good idea, the entrance needs to be its own defined space with presence and it should lead you into the common area and not equally into the bedroom/mudroom/office wing, he also thought there should be both an outdoor and indoor closet by the main entrance if possible, he agreed we should turn the garage north so you don't look at the doors when you drive in, he suggested having multiple outdoor living areas to suit the sun and weather, some sort of visual division of the kitchen from the living space, and several other things I cannot quite recall because I was chasing my naked children around my Mom's house at the same time. He did have some good exterior and interior finish ideas as well. Maybe Joe will return to the blog world and elaborate.

That is it. Hopefully we will have a driveway before the end of 9/08 and our friends and family can come drive up the gold plated path to our future home site.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Plans and Drawings

Flow and concept 5

Well, we made multiple small changes to concept 5 (see uploaded pictures). Then, I have not been sleeping well do misgivings about the flow of the main area of house and us getting away from our original goals. I think I got so wrapped up in the "new making it compact concept" I did not stop to again think about how I wanted things to flow and how we were going to use the spaces.

I feel like I am one of the crazy people who is constantly wanting to make changes. Hey, guess what I AM CRAZY. Crazy loosing my mind anyway. For those of you who know me I like a decision, a well laid out plan, and a goal. I am not good with all this constant indecision and changes. That may sound a little rigid but it is just the truth. We keep going because I honestly believe this will completely be worth it in the end and I hope I am going to enjoy the building process more than the design process.

Well, here is what we are working on: getting the kitchen so it shares on axis with the dining room. As it is currently it feels more isolated and formal which is not what we were looking for in our main dining area. We are still not a huge fan of where the screen porch is (taking up some of the south wall) but cannot figure out where else to put it so it does not block the east view and is not on the hot western wall but still has access from the kitchen/dining area. We think perhaps sliding it more west along the east wall. I have decided that perhaps I can indeed live with the living room in the north east corner of the main living space/square if I could see out big windows to the east and be able to see out over the table to the south. This might also make it feel more sheltered/cozy with a wall to the back of a couch. Finally, this would probably place the fireplace in the middle of the big room and it turns out Joe was not a fan of where it was in the last concept anyway.

On my part, this largely hinges on trying to maximize and enjoy the beautiful view off to the east/south-east which looks down into what we think is the best part of property. The goal is to not build or have the house near this spot but rather preserve it for what it is but still be able to see it.

We are going to put up some drawings we made of this concept and wait to hear from one of my dear family friends who is feng shui expert and who perhaps can guide us in our "flow" problem before making another set of changes. After we rearrange our rooms this time I think we are going to stop with design, tweaking the windows, roof etc.. until we meet again with the builders we have tentatively picked. Hopefully they can also help us decide the best way to make it feel more like we are living outside and a little funky. As it has gotten more square and we gave up the one room thick concept it has also gotten a little less unique. More to follow on the potential builders after we meet again!

Good night! See the pictures. Comments and ideas welcome as always.