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Archive for February, 2011

they’re kind of like those ultrasound photos, if Google made the ultrasound software

February 10th, 2011 by

Here are the latest gestational images of Fred (Click on the images for a larger view).

Barring any unforeseen calamities, we can say with great certainty that this will probably be the general overall shape of the house, give-or-take some moderate changes. How’s that for locking in the design? We’re nothing if not decisive, after all.

Well, at least somewhat decisive, in a flexible sort of fashion. But enough about us…

We really like the way the house is shaping up. It was challenging getting to this point, as a few weeks ago, we found ourselves kind of stuck. There was a previous conceptual design that we were working with, and we kept trying to modify it to overcome some issues we had with it. Some parts just weren’t working, and it wasn’t flowing together. In short, it just didn’t feel right, but we weren’t really sure what was wrong with it. Everyone was getting a little frustrated, so our design team came up with a good exercise that helped break us out of our rut.

Instead of focusing primarily on the form of the house, they did a reset, and mapped out how Laura and I would use the house. One of their primary realizations shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to us, but we kind of missed it previously.

Fred needs to be a 24hr house. The team mapped out our typical daily activities on a timeline, and when we saw it all charted out, it showed that the house really never sleeps. (Note: I’m writing this at 2:21am; this may provide the keen-eyed reader with some insight into which one of us has the slightly atypical schedule.) That revelation became a key driver in the redesign of the house. By positioning the various elements in such a way as to avoid disturbing the currently-sleeping party, the whole floor-plan just kind of fell into place.

The team just hit “reset” and started fresh, and came up with the results you see above. We’re still doing some moderate tweaking, but the overall design now feels right. We can easily envision ourselves living in it, as opposed to just occupying it, as it is designed to fit the way we truly live.

And, of course, we think it looks great too. Who knows, someday I may even see it in daylight!

wait, aren’t we supposed to get serfs with this?

February 9th, 2011 by

It’s official: We’re landed.

OK, that kind of makes us sound like fish, but I think you get the point. As of mid-January, we are the proud owners of 5.19 acres of North Carolina. Ahh, I can feel the liabilities growing even now…

So the uncertainty about where we are going to build Fred is now gone. Or, more accurately, limited to being within a 5.19 acre area minus setbacks, septic field allowance, road easements, ephemeral streams and topographic profile limitations.

Yep, now all we need are plans. Uh, and permits. Oh, and a road survey. And a small list of other things; two to three thousand items, tops.

We’re holding off on scheduling the housewarming party just yet, but all kidding aside, we are very happy and relieved to have acquired this particular plot. It’s perfectly sheltered from major thoroughfares—potential Fred-gawkers will be geographically thwarted; Ha!—while still being conveniently located for shopping. It’s inhabited by old-growth hardwoods, many of which we plan to keep intact. It borders on preservation land, so we don’t have to worry about neighbor encroachment in the future.

In short, it’s wonderful, and it’s a big milestone in our journey to home ownership.

Now, about those property taxes…