It’s been almost a month since the last post, so this is a (rather long) catch-up post.
Got new floor plan with elevations from the architect. It’s bigger than we initially wanted, but there’s a home theater! Met with a builder, seems like a good guy. We’re hard at work trying to specify all of the important details about the house so we can get bids and the bank can get an appraisal. While all of this is going on we sold our current house in six days. Also found a rental close to where we’re building. The rent market in NWA is crazy! Stuff goes fast. We also bough some Eames side chairs destined to be dining chairs in the new house.
The floor plan has really taken shape, some things have been refined, and at my request a home theater room has been added. I sort of kept that back in the beginning thinking that it would get squashed by the budget at some point. It was sort of prompted by a visit to a friend’s house who has one. We were a little envious, at least I was anyway; dealing with something as technical as a theater room lets me get my geek on. Who knows, maybe it will be a reality. At the very least, we’re letting the architect do his job and design it in so that if it does get cut and years down the road we want to add it on, it’s a straightforward affair. We also got elevations!- - - - - -
We’ve been concerned about the square footage of the plan. The architect totaled everything up (including the recent 280 square foot theater addition) and we’re sitting at 3,260 square feet or 760 more than our initial target of 2,500, and about 1,460 more than our current house. Yikes! Going over your initial target square footage is kind of a given. “When the plan was done, it was smaller than we thought we wanted” said nobody ever. The budget will have to dictate whether or not we have to cut anything and the budget, of course, will depend on an appraisal.
Along those lines we did meet with our bank recently, just to do some preliminary work on the construction loan. We really, really like our bank. It’s a local Arkansas bank that still has a small-bank feel. The people know us, trust us, and work with us. We’re still a little while off from having the detail ready for an appraisal.
That detail is also necessary for getting bids from builders. I met with one Memorial Day week. Someone we first talked with at the Home Show several months ago. If the decision rested solely with personality, this guy would get the job. He’s just an incredibly nice guy. Over some mighty fine Kennedy Coffee (the best in NWA nay anywhere) we went through the plans and elevations. Good news is that it seems build-able and our rough budget seems sane. Before we can get a real bid, he needs some more specs. Things like window and door schedules. The think that struck me the most about this guy is that he seems to be able to think outside the box and can solve problems. I place an extremely high value on those traits not only because that’s what we’re going to need to build a modern house in Arkansas, but they’re also traits that have served me well in my line of work.
Specifying stuff four your house can be a lot of fun, it can also be exhausting. After the meeting with the builder we kicked this into high gear. We’ve spent nearly every evening searching for options and prices for stuff from flooring to lighting. Houzz has been a good resource to keep things organized. If you don’t have an account, sign up and start building idea books (just be sure to keep the “Modern” style filter on). We’ve had more than one sleepless night due to brains that are unwilling to shut down. Another thing that’s helping keep everything organized is a document, Keynote to be exact, of each space’s theme. Each room or space has a slide where we paste in images of products and finishes along with a narrative of details. I’ll be sure to share that soon.
Also of note are the Eames fiberglass side chairs we’ve been buying up on eBay. So far we’ve bought 5 of the 8 we need for dining chairs. The plan is to use our current, rather large, dining table and the side chairs with dowel bases in multiple colors in the new house. This is our first purchase for the new house! In case you’re wondering, the going rate on eBay for these little icons of modern design by the famous Charles and Ray Eames is just over $200 without a base. A couple of them need some refinishing and the mounts relocated; I’ll be sure to post about that when it happens.
On the subject of buying and selling, we sold our current house. It took only six days from listing to contract! We actually had two competing offers. Then it was time to look for a rental. After about a week or so, we signed a 1 year lease on a house in a really good neighborhood close to where we’re building. Things just got more real. We now have a very real driver for a time frame. Until now we’ve had a really laissez-faire attitude towards the whole thing, just going with the flow, not on any time table. The builder I met with guesstimated about a 10 month construction time which leaves us only 2 months to get started. Not a lot of time.