Construction Begins on Our Little Farmhouse
Despite the Great February 2015 Blizzard, construction on our little farm cottage is underway. All of the weather hype ended with a bit of ice and a few snow flurries, which is enough to have everyone in Georgia running to the Wal-Mart to buy bread and milk, but pretty uneventful in the end.
I have decided that keeping an account of the building process here on the blog will serve as a reference for others and a diary for us. I hope that we can provide some insight (maybe entertainment) into the process of building your own home. The project started with having the perfect place to build and coming up with a plan.
The Plan: Country Farm cottage
When I started looking through house plans, I couldn't find anything that was pleasing to my eye, attainable to my budget, and practical for my family of four. I must have looked at a million potential plans, but nothing was exactly what I envisioned for my forever home.
My wishlist was as follows: Farmhouse and cottage styles mixed together, 2,000 square feet, Hardie siding, tin roof, tumbled brick, double front doors, gourmet kitchen with at 40" range, walk-in pantry, large porches, an invisible garage, a watercloset in the master bath, pocket doors, and basement storage. My husbands wish list was pretty basic. He wanted a vaulted ceiling large enough to hang a mounted elk head (no, we do not own a mounted elk head) and a symmetrical exterior. The stock plans just weren't hitting the mark. I can't imagine why!
In the end, I phoned a friend and made a connection in a nearby town who could draw the house that I had in mind. I provided him with photos, specs, and our budget and he drew my dream house on paper. It was magical! As a person who is deeply affected by the aesthetics of my surroundings, who married a man obsessed with symmetry, it was well worth the investment to get the house plan right. I was also able to think about things like the sunlight during different times, the placement of furniture, and how many people I would be able to seat for a meal. Minor details, I know, but we are talking for-ev-er. As in, the next time I move will be in a pine box. Forever. So here is a peek at what we're working with.
Down the road, I'm sure we will find things that we wish we had done differently. We tried to take into account the logistics of aging, our family growing, becoming empty-nesters, and the like. For now, we couldn't be happier with the design of the home. I look forward to sharing the process and the design as we move forward.
Week 1: Moving Dirt and Making Mud
Construction commenced on February 10, my sweet Husbeast's birthday. The grading process was fast and uneventful. Our driveway was put in and our basement was dug in only 4 days. In our home's design, the driveway will turn and go under the house, into a garage that is a part of the basement. This made the grading job a bit more involved, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The kids have been entertained to no end with the tractors, mud, and workers on-site. There are a few hay bales near the corner of the property that make excellent seating for watching the construction goings on. Toward the end of the first week, the foundation work was getting started and on day five, my sweet Valentine had several loads of concrete delivered and the footings to our home were poured.
Week 2: Pouring Basement Walls
The weather started trying to spoil our party on the second week of construction. Snow flurries, rain, sleet...basically any precipitation possible in Georgia was in the forecast last week. We saw a bit of each, but nothing that completely halted the foundation process. By day 12, the basement walls had been poured. On day 13 our temporary power pole was installed and on day 14, more rain.
Week three is shaping up to be another wintry weather mess, so progress is questionable. I'm praying for pleasant weather in the near future so we can complete the foundation and move on. I am really looking forward to framing and seeing the house truly take shape.