Saturday, June 25, 2005

Week One

This week has been full of questions. Hans at Real People Homes is finalizing our plans and in order to make sure that the foundation is poured correctly, we have been in discussion about the locations of the bathtub, water heaters, shower, toilets and sinks. There are many details to attend to in order to insure that everything is located in the right place in the foundation.

The decisions have not been terribly difficult. But, it has proved important to recognize that for some things a spirit of compromise is necessary. For instance, the bathtub which I have chosen is a drop in. Originally, I had chosen a clawfoot tub. After thinking it through, I realized that space in the guest bath will be at a premium which means it will be difficult or impossible to have enough space to make cleaning behind a claw foot tub practical. So, I went in search of a tub which would give us an old fashioned appearance but still allow us to be practical. I found a drop in tub made by Kohler which has a beatiful rounded edge. The faucet will have to be deck or wall mounted--I have chosen deck mounted. But this means there will have to be a deck which will require just a few more inches of space and that creates a problem with the location of the water heater. In talking with Hans, however, we recalled that we had made the hall closet larger when making adjustments to the bathroom and bedrooms. In fact, it is just large enough to accommodate a half height 30 gallon water heater without compromising much on storage space. Since it is located adjacent to the guest bath, he can easily locate the water heater in that closet.

I am also concerned about making the master bath handicap accessible. I think this would be an excellent feature for resale should we ever need it. But then the question of space came up again. Where did we want to lose the few inches in order to alot enough space for the toilet to be legally labeled handicap accessible? I certainly do not want to make the shower stall smaller. The one place we do have room to spare is with the vanity. Originally, it was meant to be an 8 ft. vanity. Now that is vanity, don't you think? I authorized shortening the vanity over loosing shower stall size. Makes more sense.

And then the question of the front door came up. The original plans called for a double front door which I really did not care for. But with the addition of the wall to define the entry way/dining room, I began to feel that sidelights were more important than just something that "I would like to have" so I included them in the last update to our plans. Of course, Hans needed the rough in size. Phil and I went to Home Depot on Wednesday to select a door with sidelights. But getting someone to help us at Home Depot turned into a pain. It was no fun being ignored. So we went to Lowe's. They were busy and it quickly became apparent that the person helping us was not rude, just overwhelmed. Finally, an older gentleman came to help us. We started with the selection which is considered the very best in quality (and consequently quite unaffordable). We worked our way down to a manufacturer, quality, style, and price which we like really well and can afford. We have chosen a Reliabilt steel door with 3/4 light in a Craftsman style. Both sidelights are also 3/4 light in the same style. I had originally thought that I would not want the 3/4 light on the front door but decided with the defined entryway it will work quite nicely. Plus the 3/4 light on the door and sidelights will let in a great deal of light in an otherwise small space. I think it will be very attractive.

It has been a busy first week with many phone calls back and forth between us and Real People Homes almost every day. I feel good about the level of communication so far. I do not want to be a control freak but I do want us to be involved enough to ensure the house is built as we would like. So far, that feels like it is happening in the right way. &:)

Phil stopped by the building site on Friday and took more pictures. More staking had been completed in preparation for the actual framing for the foundation.
staking for foundation
staking for foundation
staking for foundation
staking for foundation
Phil is also making a scrapbook for us which will be our permanent record of the building process. We are still excited.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Closing

We officially closed on the loan on Wednesday, June 15. It seems to have taken us forever to get to this point. We know there are still details which remain, as yet, undetermined, but these will be finalized once the house is complete. It is just a relief to finally have closed so that we can now begin construction.

Phil and I went over to the property on Wilderness Drive and walked around the place which is all staked out for the house. The loaction is surrounded by trees. It is going to be in a very pretty spot set back a bit from the road. It is set back a bit more than the other houses on the street and this gives it more of sense of privacy.

We are very excited. &:)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Getting Closer

We are finally getting closer to actually building. We have been paperworked to death. I am not sure if the mortgage companies actually believe that all this paperwork will increase the likelikhood that we are serious or a good risk. Whatever. We have done it all.

We actually dumped Home Loan Company because it turned out that they were NOT doing a one time close on the loan for us...they only wanted the permanent loan so that they could broker our permanent loan out as soon as the house was completed. That is not exactly what we wanted. We were going to have to find other financing for the building loan. We are now going with USAA mortgage for both building and permanent loan with a one time close.

I met with Danny and Curtis @ Real People Homes yesterday to go over all the details...one more time. And there are a lot of details involved in building a house. Lots of decisions to make. Fortunately, I have been doing some of that work already so there is not quite as much left to do. Made a list and sent it back to Danny and Curtis this morning so that they can check and make sure I heard everything correctly.

Javier mowed for us last week so the property is looking great. Will looke even better when we have a house. &:)