Thursday, April 30, 2009

Change of plans (literally)

So this is the new information I referenced in my last post. Did you like the tease? And no, mom, I'm not pregnant. Sorry :)

So after a lot of thought and deliberation, Ryan and I have made the radical decision to ditch our original house plans. It was hard because we spent the better part of last year developing them (with the incredibly talented Lori Buxton, a local draftsperson). Lori did a great job and produced exactly what we requested. But we've come to realize that the house is too big and too expensive.

We originally developed the plans when the economy wasn't in the toilet and when we were living large. (Well, not really. We've never lived large. But we certainly had more job security.) In addition, over the past few months, we have spent an unfortunate amount of money on trying to meet the requirments of the DRB including hiring a civil engineer, a hydrogeologist, and an attorney. Let's just say that the process has not been cheap. And the bids we received for materials like siding, roofing, windows, etc. were higher than we could really afford. It became clear that the best thing to do was reduce the size of the house.

The more we thought about the prospect, the more excited we got. We are all about going green and yet we missed the most obvious strategy of all...reduce the building's footprint. In addition to cutting the materials needed for construction and thus saving resources, a smaller house means lower energy usage. It also means disrupting a smaller part of the site.

So we are excited to share our new house plans. We think they retain the farmhouse aesthetic we like but in a smaller package (1568 sq. feet). This represents a 27 percent reduction from our original house plans (2160 sq. feet)and is 40 percent smaller than the average house size in the Northeast (2601 sq. feet). Not bad, eh?

And the plans still meet our primary design objective: open, communal living/dining/kitchen area with smaller private spaces. The addition of the wraparound front porch is lovely. It will be like a second living room in the summer months. As for exterior colors, they will remain the same: white Hardieplank siding with a silver standing seam metal roof.

And the best part about these new plans? By dropping our window count from 30 to 20, we think we will be able to afford the Marvin Integrity fiberglass windows we so desperately wanted.

Let us know what you think...