Starting The Process
We finally had 2 meetings last week that I’ve been eagerly anticipating for a very long time. I was super nervous about both (for some reason), but they went well. We sat down with the builder for 2 hours last Monday to look over the plans and go over everything. Our conversation was sort of random as we took turns asking questions – crawl space height, a/c, stuff we want to do ourselves, the land, etc. We have talked about roughly where we want the house to go, but I had assumed someone else would decide on the final placement. He pretty much said it’s up to us though. Since we are in the middle of acreage instead of a lot, we don’t have to worry about easements or setbacks. I’m sort of overwhelmed by the fact that it will be us and not someone more qualified that will decide exactly where a very expensive and permanent hole in the ground is going to go :). I’ve spent the past week trying to figure out the best way to decide. We went out to the land and measured the width of the house just to see how it looked. We also marked where the driveway needs to go so that we can see down the road both directions. I went back and forth about how to figure out the house placement and finally printed one of my terrain drawings from my program. I printed it to scale then drew a grid on it so I was able to see the terrain and locate the center of the property more easily. I also printed the house plan to the same scale and cut it out so I could move it around on the terrain drawing. I think I now have a good idea of where I want it, so we may go out this weekend to see how it looks.
The builder gave us a rough estimate which fortunately wasn’t a million dollars like I feared 😛 We will need to get the final plans drawn so he can give us the complete estimate and so we can get the construction loan. I had put off contacting the draftsman until we had met with the builder and talked to the banks because I didn’t want to spend money on a plan we might not be able to build. The builder didn’t see any major issues with the plan so I contacted the draftsman the next day. We met with him last Friday for around an hour. He looked over the plans and asked us various questions about what we want and to clarify how I had some things drawn. My program is a bit different from AutoCAD, but he was able to import my exported CAD file from the disc I gave him. He will have to correct some things that didn’t convert correctly, but he thought he would be able to use my file for at least the first floor and possibly the second. I brought 8x10s of how I want the outside to look and also included them on the disc I gave him. He thought he should be able to get the first and second floor plan drawn/corrected during this past week so he’d then be able to start working on the roof and the elevation (which is what will require the most work). When he is done, we will have everything we need to build the house – floor plans, elevations, foundation plans, wall diagrams, roof drawings and electrical plans. He also gave us some things we need to think about and decide including the master bedroom ceiling. I had wanted it to be vaulted, but that will significantly cut down on our attic storage space and may conflict with where I was planning the attic door to be. I’ve been going through all my inspiration pictures trying to find an alternative to a vault as I don’t want just a flat ceiling. We will probably end up with some sort of tray ceiling. He also mentioned the option of putting a laundry chute between the kid’s closet and the hall bathroom upstairs. I had never really thought about a laundry shoot since you still have to get the clean laundry back upstairs, but I like the idea now that he mentioned it. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that both those rooms are right above the laundry room. It would be nice for the kid to just be able to throw his clothes down that instead of having to find a place for a hamper. A door in the hall bath would also be handy for throwing towels and linens from the rest of the upstairs down to the laundry room.
I can’t believe someone is actually working on our plans now and I’ll finally be able to see every detail down on paper. I haven’t been able to find anything I’d want to change on them for months, but now that it’s all getting finalized, I’m starting to second guess myself. I’m trying to trust my thoughts from the past several months when I felt that it was perfect. The draftsman didn’t give us an estimate on how long the plans would take, but the builder had told us to expect 1-2 months. In the meantime, we need to sit down with the loan officer to go over everything regarding the construction loan. Due to the stricter regulations and requirements for construction loans, we may have to wait until the first of the year to get started. We need to find out all our options though. We’d rather not wait, but we already have a month or 2 before the plans are done, then it will almost be the holidays, so it’s not that far off.