Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Building with an Architect: Back On!

We first met with our architect, John, back in June.  He and I had been corresponding over email for several months and I already felt comfortable with him.  We had an exciting meeting where I shared every house dream I'd ever had and then told him I wanted him to build it for pennies.  He handled it very professionally.  In other words, he didn't do what I would have done: burst out laughing and recommend buying doll house plans online.

The day after our meeting, he sent us a cost proposal.  There was nothing on there that was a surprise because he'd basically outlined the cost of things to me via email months before.  However, we then had a few financial surprises (car troubles, medical bills, too much McDonald's) and had to put the project on hold.

For a few weeks, we kicked around other options.  Should we add a big library onto the trailer to make it work for another few years?  It would be a cheap alternative and we could pay our student loans down tremendously.  Should we just go buy an already done house?  It would automatically have enough bedrooms and we could move in right away.  The problem is that to be reasonable with money, we would have to move into a neighborhood again.  We both felt that we would rather live in a trailer and get to have our gorgeous land than have a nice house, but a small yard again.  Third option was to replace our current single-wide with a newer, larger double-wide.  If we did that, though, we would probably end up staying in it for a long time to try to recover some of the investment.  The same amount of money that would land us a nice-ish manufactured home could get a mega head start on our house.

The fourth option is to bite the bullet and get moving on building the house.

Every other day we were sure that one of the different options was the perfect solution.  Then we would change our minds and be sure of the next option.

One day last week, I hollered, "I hate this house!" for the fourth time within twenty minutes.  The house is made of cardboard so if you close a bedroom door with a little too much vigor, something breaks.  We are crammed in here like sardines.  I went to the twelve hour sale at my grocery store last week and my kitchen is full--and I didn't buy a truck-load of cereal, either!  The temperature of the house is pretty much the temperature of the outside.  We are grateful for shelter, but enough is enough.  I am ready to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to get my family into a house and since we don't want to forsake our little lot, we need to make the house here.

I contacted John and told him to get drawing!  The thing about a good, quiet man is that they know how to listen!  He wasn't so busy proposing ideas he's wanted to try that he couldn't hear what we want and need in a home.  I can't wait to see what he designs!

At one point, I told my eight year old, pointing at John, "This is the man who will be drawing our house.  Do you have any specific requests?"

"Yes," she said.  "Can you make it out of marshmallows?"

I suppose if I can request the Seven Dwarfs Cottage, she can request marshmallows.  We all have a dream!

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