I know it's hard to believe (at least it is hard for ME to believe), but it is actually time to begin real-time planning for our Someday House. Life gives us unexpected paths, so there is always a chance that this plan will never come to pass. If I want to move out of our single-wide anytime soon after Justin's graduation, however, I have to start planning now.
I have wondered about hiring an engineer or a drafter or an architect. Obviously, the last is the most expensive. I did a ton of asking around, looking online, and devouring library books on the subject. The area in which we live has a lot of large lots whereon people have built custom homes. One of the worst mistakes I see is when people have designed the homes themselves and didn't quite pull it off. The dormers are too big or the windows are too small or they are dealing with problems an architect would have spotted during the planning phase. I can come up with a floor plan. I can specify features or a color palette, but I would be sick if we spent all of the time and money it takes to build a dream home and always be mad when I drove up to the house because it was . . . wrong. In twenty years, I won't miss the money and I won't have spent twenty years cursing a poorly planned house.
After consulting the American Institute of Architects website, I found several licensed and reputable architects in our area. I looked at their websites, references, gallery and other telling information and narrowed it down to one guy. We haven't met in person, but we have corresponded by email several times. I like that he is matter-of-fact, responds quickly and has a family (he will understand when I want a garbage center in the kitchen, for instance. His blog has pictures of houses and buildings he saw on vacation. If you are taking pictures of architecture on your vacation, you love architecture! Then, I saw this:
He has designed a series of whimsical cabins. That was when I knew he was the guy for us! Can you believe how darling this is? I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with for the Sanders Fleet!
One other thing: since I have to have a good outline of what I want, I'm going to use this forum to air my ideas. I'll do one area per post ("Green" house? Kitchen layout? Laundry location? Flooring?) for a several piece series. Believe me, I will be relying on your feedback, so stay tuned.