Dream House

I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford to build myself a new house (well...perhaps myself and the bank). Having been to several 3rd world countries and knowing that there are lots of people in the world who don't even have housing, I felt a few pangs of guilt about this. I had a decision to make: rehab the old or build new. The cost to rehab my old house was going to be substantial. It was October of 2009. My husband had passed away in August from liver cancer. I was in the depths of grief and sorrow. I needed a project. I decided that if I had to plunk down a lot of money anyway, it was better to build new. I also decided that if I was going to build new, I was going to build green. My new house will be both beautiful and "green". I will share the journey and the adventure with you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

OMG! Its Huge!

    Gallery homes is making fast progress now even as I am slowing down. It has felt great not to have a deadline for completion looming in the near future. The second floor walls are now up and it looks like a real house--a HUGE house. When the first floor walls were up, I blogged that it felt cozy, It still does, on the downstairs. With the addition of the second floor, and the large roof, it is feeling huge--not so much from the inside but from the outside on the lakeside. I met my sister and my niece and nephew out there this afternoon. They had come out there a little earlier and were out on the ice with the dog. I caught up with them. We then turned around and started heading towards the house. It was then that the full realization of the enormity of the house hit me. From the lakeside, its evident that there are  3 stories (with the partially exposed basement) to the house, creating more height than usual. Also, the roofs they use nowadays are a lot larger than the handframed roofs that were used in the past. As a result of all of these factors, my house  now towers over my neighbor's house. I will have no problem with getting sunlight for solar power when I decide to get that. I must admit, that I did not fully appreciate the fact that the house would be so much taller than my previous house. In the course of my interviewing 4 different builders and the architect, they all seemed to think that exposing the basement was a good idea, and in fact, suggested it, but no one mentioned how tall it would make my house. Its too late, obviously, to change it now, so I will have to adjust to the way it is (and pray my neighbors forgive me).  My neighbor from 2 doors down, Katie, came and visited me at the house on Saturday (this was before I had viewed the back of the house from the lake). She gave me lots of encouragement and is proud of me as single woman to handle the house building project on my own.  Thanks, Katie! I have had lots of helpers along the way!
    My middle school aged niece and nephew got me laughing to the point of tears as the joked about Aunt Kristin's huge house. Comments such as, "Wow, its like going from Baltic Place to Park Place in monopoly!" or "We'll have to change the story line in Little Red Riding Hood, to: My! What a Big House You Have!"   Alena is my greatest supporter. She loves large houses. I knew I had hit it big with her when she said, "Your house is bigger than any in Mahler Farms"(an upscale neighborhood of large houses that she has always wished her parents lived in).
     Other events of the week included a trip to Eco Friendly Flooring in Madison. They have bamboo, reclaimed, and FSC certified floors that they sell as well as recycled glass tiles, back splashes, etc. They have  large sections of their floor covered in the different styles of bamboo. There is natural, and stranded, and carbonized versions. The nice thing about bamboo is that it grows fast and in fact, requires cutting for the plant to continue to grow Its also very hard--about 2x harder than oak. This makes it an ecofriendly choice.  I have been planning on having a bamboo floor in my kitchen and dining room all along. However, after seeing a large expanse of it, I am not sure that I like it. Instead, I am considering a wide planked oak floor. Oak is a native species to our area, so it might be a good choice.  I also ended up going to the Feng Shui lady, Jackie Patricia in Madison. She helps me to think outside of the box, and charges me a lot for it! Here are some pictures to enjoy!
     P.S. Jamey says my house will be a lighthouse on the lake. That's a good thought! For all the future Rory's of the world who need to find their way home in the dark. (try finding your way on a boat in the dark. The bays all begin to look the same. Rory had a few stories to tell of being lost or stranded on the lake).
First floor walls up

Neighbor, Katie, and her dog, Grady, and me

Jamey, the  builder, looking out second floor window.
Cynthia, my sister, and her son, Daniel

The biggest fan of my large house, Alena

House viewed from the road

Now the tallest house in the neighborhood (trust me, it was not something I was striving for!)


  1. I think it's beautiful! I can't believe how much progress they have made on it! So long as it comfortable and cozy on the inside, I would not worry about it being taller than the neighbors. When someone remodels the basement one day they will be grateful to have good windows down there.

  2. Here is a comment from an old friend of mine on facebook I wanted to pass on to you:

    Chris Miller: "I love what your family is doing...I have been reading these since you first started posting them!!"

  3. Wow---it is huge but I like the lighthouse comment and I think it looks beautiful. Your blog is actually motivating my friends in Syracuse to want to come visit!

  4. Hey Sis!
    Been a few weeks since i've read your blog and seen the photos and WOW!
    What progress! and yes, it's big! and BEAUTIFUL. All the better to have family and friends come visit, right? (:
    loved the insight into your speeding habits & prowess at avoiding the tickets, accruing only warnings too...i laughed out loud, Leadfoot. :D

    Looks like you had a great time with Caroline in NY; thanks so much for posting.
    Kudos and huzzahs to you for all that you are, all that you do, all that you share.
    sending love & hugs,