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Jan 09

So basically we are going to have to pull our the efficient water heater that we were so happy with and special order this obscenely huge, energy hogging behemoth of a water heater for our 2 person average household in order to be in accordance with the Idaho plumbing code (Chapter 5 part I). HELP!!! If anyone can shed some light on this situation please let me know. I am at a real road block.


Nov 27

We had our heat turned on the other day and our geothermal open loop heat pump provides the most comfortable heat I have ever felt. I am so excited to have such an efficient unit drawing heat from our ground water and heating our home quietly and economically.

Oct 30

Hear about my experience as a first time tiler.

Sep 21

We have been working on our home non-stop for the last month in addition to our full time jobs. We are both exhausted but it will all be worth it and we are proud to say that we put that siding up, painted it all, built the deck, installed the flooringthe list goes on and on. They dont call it Sweat Equity for nothing. -Also check out my helpful painting tips

Aug 24

Being Flexible through this process can make things move smothly and keep the stress level down for everyone but remember to set your limits, do your homework and only bend so far. You are the one who has to live with it.

Jul 11

 

 

            Wow things are happening really fast. After almost a full year of planning and preparation I am shocked at how fast it is all coming together. We broke ground less than one month ago and we have a fully framed two story home. Soon we will start doing some of the work ourselves to earn some sweat equity. We will be doing all of the siding and some of the roofing and plumbing. We will also be insulating, painting, installing flooring, trim, cabinets, and fixtures with the help of generous friends and family. From here on out the schedule will depend greatly on the pace of our work. So it is go time.

 

            Building our own home and selling our current home have been more of a strain than we had expected and it was wearing us down. We decided to get away from it all and skip town for a week before our part of the work started. I was nervous to leave in the middle of construction but we met with our builder before we left and made sure we were all on the same page and gave him our contact info for the trip. He laid out the next few weeks of construction activities which made us feel comfortable leaving town. We enjoyed a relaxing week on the Oregon coast with our friends and family. We returned refreshed and ready to take on this home project with our renewed energy. I highly recommend scheduling a short getaway during home construction. It will make the whole process more enjoyable and will preserve your sanity and I know we will need it to get through the rest of the construction. Lets Role! JUN07 004.jpg

Jun 18

Since we first broke ground the amount of communication beween Jon and I and our builder has gone from 1-2 times / week to at least 2-3 times / day. All of this communication needs to be managed in order to keep everyone up to speed and moving ahead. I have found a few simple tools to help me do this.

Apr 26

Just a few tips from the "School of Hard Knocks"

Apr 06

Corral (transitive verb): to gather together and take control of people or things.

Tame (adjective): changed from a wild or uncultivated state to one suitable for domestic use or life.

 

At the moment that we decided to build our home I transformed into a sponge for ideas. My growing databank of unmanaged thoughts and ideas quickly led to a total data overload and we hadn't even started building. I knew I needed to step back and establish some way to manage it all, organize it, distill it into useful data. So I decided to start compiling an idea book that I could dump all of these thoughts in and free up a bit of memory, at least enough to maintain those involuntary functions like breathing and blinking.

 

First I bought a nice new 3 ring binder and a box of 100 sheet protectors (great investment if you ask me) and rounded up some copy paper, double sided tape and scissors. Then I combed the house for every flyer, magazine, sticky note, business card and pamphlet that had to do with building, designing or decorating our new home and dumped them in middle of my living room. I spent the next 4 hours franticly cutting out every single thing that appealed to me in any way whether it was a color, a texture, a building material, a design feature, a distributor or a web address. Eventually I was left with cramped hands, a stiff back, a pile of mutilated magazines carcasses and a coffee table camouflaged by a mound of nice neat little cutouts that were screaming to be put into some logical and useful medium. For the time being I scooped them up and dumped them in a box with my binder and sheet protectors set them out of site. I spent a few minutes picking up the last few shreds of evidence lying about and vowed never to speak of that dreadful day that played out like a scene from Edward Scissor Hands.

The next day I woke up refreshed and relaxed and ready to tackle the box of cutouts. I spread them out and started to identify common themes and group them into piles. Before I knew it I had a pile for our home exterior and siding, kitchens, baths, storage, common areas / living room, builder contacts, building materials / green / energy star, septic / well / heat pumps, and info on our parcel. I started taping all my cutouts onto plain paper and sliding them into nice neat sheet protectors. I placed each sheet in my nice new binder and eventually my piles were gone and I had one nice neat organized binder that was bursting with ideas and I could get it out or put it away whenever the mood struck me.  

As I kicked back and admired my idea book I felt my mind at ease. My racing thoughts had slowed to a canter and my wildly overactive imagination was now tame. My little book was just the tool I needed to gather my thoughts, take control and ensure that my mind was once again suitable for domestic use or life.


Mar 22

  So now that we have our finished floor plans in hand, the cost break down sheet and the signed contract with IPH Tony has ordered the appraisal. From what I understand the appraiser looks at the plans, cost breakdown and the site to determine the total value when it is completed. We are eligible to borrow up to 80% of the appraised value so higher is better.  That doesnt necessarily mean we are qualified to borrow that amount.

 

We got word that our appraisal came in at $350K, Wow!!!  80% of that is 280K but we are hoping to keep our building costs under 200K in order to keep our monthly payments reasonable. The total cost breakdown had me concerned at first but some of the estimates are coming in lower than expected and the breakdown includes the market rates for all of the work we are going to do (which should be much less).

 

The following list is some of the work that we have decided to do on our own and with the help of our skilled and generous friends and family:

 

  • Set the walls (Dont worry Jon was a framer, we arent just crazy)
  • Drywall / texture
  • Interior painting (What? I painted a mug in pottery and it looked great)
  • Install flooring, cabinets and shelves
  • Base board, doors, locks and knobs
  • Install outlets, switches, and light fixtures
  • Site cleanup (my swiffer should take care of that)
  • And a few others ( Don't worry, we know what we are getting in to J

Keep checking back to hear how this all pans out.

 

J Sarah

 

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