My Home Build Thread

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JediSoth
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My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:07 am

I don't want to clutter up another thread with irrelevant posts, but I want to keep discussing things like this because y'll might have some good input.

Recap for those who missed the "Happy Things Go Here Post":
My wife has finally become sufficiently disgusted with maintenance on our 6 bedroom McMansion* that she's ready to sell it (at an inevitable loss because it was purchased a few months prior to the housing crash). Since she's disabled, buying an existing home always brings with it a laundry list of changes, so we're probably going to build new (as much of a nosebleed as that can be). There's a decent 1/2 acre lot in our subdivision, but there's another one about 2 miles away in a lower tax area that's 10 grand less for twice the space. 1 acre is really too big, but perhaps by landscaping smart, I can make it lower maintenance then we currently have (plus I won't have to sell my brand new Cub Cadet).

It's odd looking for a house where one of your specifications is: I need a room that fits this gaming table. Because, dammit, the Geek Chic table is coming with us and needs space! (And it's not one of the ones that can double as a dining room table, besides, she'll never give up her teak dining room table.)

This is a new experience for me. My parents had three houses built in my lifetime, but I was never involved in the process. I feel like this will be a good opportunity to get spaces in the house that I use built exactly how I want (like the game room and a writing area/office for me; everything else I don't care much about and we pretty much agree on kitchen usability).


* This is the home she and her previous husband built here for his retirement. He died 6 moved after they moved her from New Jersey and there's a whole history why it was too freakin' big even then for the 3 people they were. Now that my step-daughter has moved out, there's two of us in a 2-story 6 bedroom house with a full (unfinished) basement on 3/4 of a high-maintenance landscaped acre. It's WAY too big.

Update from a few days after the above:
We found a better lot that's less expensive than the other two. It's closer to work (though doesn't really shave any time off my commute because it's city streets vs. interstate), but further from the doctor's office (being able to drive herself to her appointments is a MUST-HAVE for my wife and she has max driving range due to medication). It's still not TOO far, the neighborhood seems quiet (and it limited in how much it can expand by what's around it) and the lot is less than 1/4 of an acre (we're on 3/4 now). It's big enough for the house we want, but small enough that I can likely sell the riding mower.

It also happens to be within walking distance (or a short bike ride) to the local orchard I go to (when I remember) for apples. I love apples.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:21 am

So, it'll be a few days while she works out the financing (she has money in trusts and an IRA from her late husband and from when she was working, so it involves a lot of phone calls) for us to buy the lot.

Now we need to figure out how to keep costs down while we're building. Due to her disability, we're going to build first, then move, then put the current house on the market. We're going to enlist the gaming group to help pack/move when the time comes, but one thing she doesn't want to do is try to LIVE in a house when it has to be ready to show at a moment's notice to potential buyers (she just doesn't have enough spoons in the day for that kind of stress).

We've almost settled on a floor plan. We just have to talk with the builder & architect to see if the tweak we want are feasible within our budget (like putting walls in the great room because neither one of us wants a Kitchen/Dining Room/Home Theater).

I'll think I'll take the money I was saving for a 3D printer and use that towards making the gaming room awesome (because we are NOT abandoning the Geek Chic table). I was thinking of something like these interlocking panels for the walls, though it's probably cheaper just to hire someone to paint the wall like look like stone.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby Leoff » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:34 am

The other thing about hiring someone to paint the walls to look like stone is, you can get the walls just the right lightness or darkness, and can choose the stone you want it to look like. And if you go with something compatible with fossils, paint little fossils on the wall and disguise the light switches as fossils...

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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby Ikoma » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:57 am

I sincerely hope my next home is a build and it's my last home. We are just at peak packed at my house. (Me, wife, five kids) Oldest is autistic and will probably always live with us (or one of his siblings) but he could always surprise us. Next oldest graduates high school next year and is looking at schools. Within a decade, all the kids will be out of high school. The older will have jobs and maybe families of their own and the wife and I can downsize into something more cozy. Always looking to file cool ideas away.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:47 pm

Leoff wrote:The other thing about hiring someone to paint the walls to look like stone is, you can get the walls just the right lightness or darkness, and can choose the stone you want it to look like. And if you go with something compatible with fossils, paint little fossils on the wall and disguise the light switches as fossils...


I was thinking more of a castle interior look, since we seem to play Dungeons & Dragons the most. Maybe that's too specific and it'll break our brains to play a sci-fi game in a dungeon.

I could go with 70s-style wood paneling..
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby Leoff » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:24 am

The castle thing is what I'd go for, myself. I just like a lighter, more reflective surface on my walls, and if it's cheaper to hire a painter, well, you can choose the tint you want. They have some really good stone-texture paints and you could get pictures and make it a room from any castle you want.

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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:29 am

Hrm. Well, the house plan we want is slightly too large for the lot we've chosen. We can get it to fit by shaving about 5' off the garage (which is a couple of feet deeper than the garage we currently have anyway, but it's only a 2-car garage instead of a 3-car). Looks like we need to alter the plans a bit to get what we need where we need it.

No problem, since we haven't committed to a house plan yet. Having to move less lawn equipment is going to make dealing with a smaller garage easier. We're going out to the neighborhood on Monday to meet with the builder.

The lot as it is now has an embankment at the back that needs to be shored up with a retaining wall. Several of the houses there have made the retaining wall into a terrace. Maybe I get it set up into a terraced garden for our veggies so I can ditch the containers I've been using. A little multi-level garden with steps going up to the various tiers could be really nice.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:35 am

We found another home plan that will fit on the lot and gives us sufficient room inside without having to completely redesign the interior (though some alterations still need to be made). We've had to put the guest room upstairs, though. Sadly, we cannot meet with the draftswoman to draw up the altered plans until later this month due to her availability.

Now we just have to figure out how to save money on the budget without compromising quality.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:33 am

We met with the draftsperson last night. She's going to be drawing up the modified plans that will be used to create the blueprints. We have an interior layout that we're happy with, will fit on the lot, and will hopefully fit within our budget. She made a few suggestions that were more economical than our initial ideas for modifications that will accomplish the same task for less money*, so I feel we're in good hands. We should have the preliminary plans before Gen Con.

We're still on the fence if we're going to reinforce the walls of an interior room to use as a storm shelter, or have the builder put a safe room under the master closet. It will come down to total cost; a safe room would require a hydraulic door system so my wife can open and close it unassisted (in case I'm not home when a severe storm hits and the tornado sirens go off). My wife is also worried about flooding in anything below grade and doesn't want to deal with sump pumps anymore. Fortunately, we still have time to decide about that.

She gets her craft room and I get a writing room/office upstairs in part of the finish attic space. One of the guest rooms is large enough to use as a gaming room and I can convert the walk-in closet into my games library. Imagine walking into a small room and the walls are shelves containing nothing but RPGs and board games. Yeah, it'll be like that.

* Like replacing a built-in desk in the dinette. We wanted to replace it with a cabinet we could use as a second pantry. She suggested just building out the wall and putting pantry doors on it; same function, less money. Things like that is why we hire professionals.
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Re: My Home Build Thread

Postby JediSoth » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:45 am

We got our preliminary plan last night. Every thing looks good to me, except my writing area/office/man cave is a little larger than I expected. Whether or not it stays that will may depend on how much it costs to build that out rather than make it smaller and the attic area it accesses larger. We also seem to have lost 2nd floor attic access on the left side of the house, so I guess we'll have to ask what happened to that door (probably an oversight, and we get 2 free rounds of changes before we have build plans draw up.
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