For almost twenty years we have dreamed of building our dream house. We've bought properties, drawn plans, applied for permits and then for a wide variety of reasons things had to put things on hold time after time. We took on large projects, changed our ideas and even relocated our home and business hundreds of miles to our current location. The properties were sold and we moved on to other, more pressing dreams and projects. Almost ten years ago we bought our current property and began to draw new plans for a house that would perfectly suit this location. The new shop was built first, with the dream house once again pushed to the back burner until the time was right. The shop would provide us with income and also test some of our some ideas. We've lived in the old, decrepid farm house on the property, patching and repairing when necessary, making do until the right time came.
While we were waiting, Janis & I would draw endless versions of the dream house. At times the plans were very grandiose, at other times, small and humble, but mostly somewhere in between. We tried out endless combinations and layouts searching for the perfect plan. We wanted to build the right house for our needs and do it without breaking the bank. This new house would reflect our personal tastes and style, hopefully serving us into our old age. As you can probably imagine, this would not be an ordinary house.
The house will be green. With the exception of a small loft (for Phoebe's use) there will be no stairs. We will employ the same proven construction methods as our shop, using styrofoam blocks infilled with concrete for the walls, providing more than twice the insulation of conventional construction. This will make the house quiet and super efficient. The house will be passively solar, oriented towards the fabulous views to the south. In the winter months it will gather the heat and light provided by the sunshine and with large overhangs, planned airflow and ventilation and a large thermal mass, keep us cool us in the summer. Super efficient, infloor radiant heating systems will keep us warm and toasty. We'll use the latest LED lighting and other modern technologies throughout. The house is designed to be both practical and beautiful.
The house will also be a showcase of the very best and most imaginative theme work we can muster, drawing on more than forty years of experience and practice. This theme work will go through the house to every detail, both inside and out. Impossible to describe with words, it will follow no trends I am aware of. This will be imaginative and pure fun from end to end, and top to bottom.
We are hoping, at last, that the time has come to make this long held dream a reality. We are busy drawing up the final version of the plans. As per usual (for us) the plans will undoubtably be modified significantly as we build, especially the theme work. It will be built to a visual standard, adjusted as we go, until everything looks right and works extremely well.
As a teaser I include a front elevation drawing done more than three years ago. Many things have changed since that version of the plans but this old drawing still captures the spirit of the current plan. (This is the side that faces the street - the plain side)
In the next weeks and months we'll finish the final plans and start on the engineering and permitting process. Hopefully, in early summer we will break ground and start the heavy construction, concentrating on the outside of the house. Through next winter we begin work on the countless details the inside.
This will undoubtably be a wonderful adventure which we will hopefully get to enjoy for many, many years...