Sunday, June 19, 2011

One more revision on the Floor Plan

Jari and I got the latest version of the floor plan from the designer about a week ago and we have been reviewing it. The latest revision was not what we were interested in, so we have used some of the newest features, but reverted back to the previous draft for the basic concept. We did, however, gain some good insight into exactly what it was we were looking for, and have begun to quantify some basic rules. Sometimes a design you are not happy with can teach you more than one that is very close.

The problem we are running into is that each time we realize what it is we don't like about the design proposed to us, we "fix" it by increasing the size of the house. I call this design bloat. We figure that if we have a big enough house that we can get all the features we want. While this is an approximately true statement, it is not a budget friendly solution. So now we are revising the floor plan and trying to not increase the net size of the house. Actually, with the next revision, I hope we will try to shrink the house. Right now we are certainly not empty nesters (we still have 2 little ones at home and another 2 or 3 who visit frequently) but one of these days (God willing) we will be, so designing a 10,000 square foot house is a bit of overkill (no, we are not that big, but you get the idea).

The big rules we have come up with so far are:
  • The Master Bedroom must be on the first floor
  • There must be a bathtub somewhere in the house (yes, one version had nothing but showers)
  • We really want a water feature under the stairs in the living room
  • Symmetry is very important
  • The library should have a window seat
  • The sewing/craft room should be on the first floor (along with the laundry room)
  • We have minimum sizes for the various rooms
  • We want a kitchen island
  • We want higher ceilings, probably 10', with copious ceiling fans

With these rules in hand, I think we can continue to hone in on the design we want and keep with the time table outlined in the previous post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We have the land

We have officially purchased 1.93 acres of land on Bird Pond road in College Station. The land is a mixture of trees and open grass, with a few very nice oak trees. There are a few piles of trash on it, which have to be cleared up and there is a lot of scrub brush type of stuff which needs to be cleaned up as well.

Now that we have the land, we just need to finalize a house plan and then locate it on the property. I hope we'll get that done within the next month, give or take. We just got the third iteration back from the designer today and will be going over it in the near future.

From there it will take another month to get final construction documents ready for us to go out for bids on the construction. While this is happening, we can have Monolithic Domes start making the balloon to create the outer shell. The process takes about 6 weeks to fabricate the balloon and then we get put in the queue for construction. So starting from today an approximate timeline would be:

  • Close on the land: June 1
  • Finalize design concepts: July 1
  • Generate Construction Documents: August 1
  • Acquire bids for the interior work: August 1-September 1
  • Construct the Balloon for the domes: September 15
  • Get in the queue for building the dome: November 1
  • Complete the Dome structure: November 21st
  • Complete the interior work: March 1st
  • Move in over spring break 2012!

This is probably a bit optimal, but it give you an idea of the time required to complete the dome home.

Here is a picture of the land:  photo MMW_Land_1.jpg