Saturday, August 20, 2011

The wishlist, part one (meaning it will keep on growing!!)

Shannon and I make a pretty good team.  We are rarely disagreeing on things to go in the house. Minor things here and there, but nothing big yet at all. Our wish lists are pretty easy, and neither one of us require an extravagant house.  Just comfy with a few small splurges here and there.

So here is the start of our wish lists:

Shannon-  Hers is pretty simple.
-8' main entry door with a big canopy roof over it.  "grand entry" I suppose she would call it.
-sliding glass doors with blinds in the glass going out to the deck.  She likes the privacy of blinds, but hates externally mounted blinds on doors. Thus, this is the option. Few brands make a good one, so we are limited to Eagle or Pella Designer series basically.  Both can be had from my reps, so no big deal :)
-Master bath with a soaker tub- while I do not really think this is needed, I suppose it would be pretty dumb to build a new house and not have both a shower and a tub in the master bath.
-Separate "formal" dining room.  I would be fine if it were an open space with the kitchen, as it is more efficient use of square footage...but, I can see her point and will be a nice feature for family gatherings.

-Super insulated, super efficient house- pretty self explanatory. I have done pushing 2 years of research on energy efficient construction, costs, life costs, and various other areas of home efficiency.  It is quite obvious going just a few steps more in the building process (and in most cases at minimal extra cost in the whole scheme of things) can make a HUGE difference on your utilities bills, energy consumption, and comfort within the home. More on all of this fun fun stuff later.
-geothermal heating and cooling- it "feels" right given my green attempts, my professional and practicing what I attempt to preach.  There are many other benefits as well, more on that later.
-in wall speakers- this is sort of both of our areas, but me especially.  Anyone who knows me (and us) know how important music is to listen and play. An integrated home audio system is clean, simple, and will be a nice "splurge".
-movie/gaming/pool table area- walkout basement will be the location for this. I want a pool table, and then a nice large family area to gather for movies. Complete with a ceiling mounted projector and screen!
-large shower in the master- I hate cramped small showers, so I want a large shower in our bathroom. Shan will agree here as well.
-a nice shop space that can be separate from the garage and be devoted to drum building and other projects.
-soap stone counters in the kitchen- this I may or may not win.  Why? because it looks so sleek and modern and very "natural".
-some sort of different or "wow" design to the house mass- hey, its what I do!

Combined wish lists- what we both really want-
-large kitchen with an open feel and large island with seating.  Most cases people congregate in the kitchen, so we are taking all of the "zones" into consideration. More on this with kitchen layout.
-main living room with large fireplace area. Just to give it a nice, cozy relaxed atmosphere and a separate space for girls and boys (boys being downstairs :) )
-min. 2 car garage- self explanatory
-outdoor patio/fire pit/entertaining area off the basement.
-bamboo wood floors- they are green, very durable, a good price, and look sleak and modern.
-Main floor laundry
-mud room- I would be fine if the mudroom and laundry shared the same space, however Shannon would like them separate, so as my dad always says..."happy wife, happy life"....

This list will be a living list I am sure, growing as we progress.  But the main items above are for sure coordinated into the final design.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The hopeful site

Located just north west of Denver, IA sits a nice development called Rose Hills.  A member of our church owns the development, and we have discussed this lot location shown above for the site.  It is an undeveloped portion of the site, however the plan is to acquire approximately one acre.  The house would have a southern facing front elevation on relatively flat terrain. 

The site then slopes down to the north allowing a walkout basement opening up to a backdrop of nothing but mother nature.  Hitting the tree line, it drops rather rapidly to a small revean with an often dry stream at the bottom.  With the clearing to the south, this allows the house to be placed to take advantage of winter solar heat gains.  With the thicker trees to the north (a good portion of them being evergreen), this should also allow for decent north prevailing wind blockage as well.

Here are some additional photos of the site.

The hopeful dream

After well over a year in the making, we THINK we are solidifying the plan and construction type. As I work through the more "final" details of the plan, I can get some loaded up here for everyone to see.  More details will come later as plans and designs are uploaded.  I will be able to get into the nitty gritty of the project and reasons behind the design and selections later.