If any single thing defined 2015, it was the big dig. We broke ground on September 15. Our contractor initially said a house could be built in 3 to 4 months. Somehow I translated that to mean “You’ll be in before Christmas.” Hmmm. Apparently, not our house.
After 3 and a half months, we’re not close enough to call it. They’ve made great progress and we’ve had wonderful weather (until this week) to help them along. The closer we get the more exciting — and real — it becomes.
I have to admit that I never actually thought we’d do this thing.
I’ve been talking about building for a long time. I say “I” only because the Hubs wasn’t completely sold on the idea. I get that. We have decades of wonderful memories here. It’s been a great house for raising a family. There is a lot right and not much wrong with our current home. It has its quirks, sure, but it’s very comfortable. Yet my dream has long been to pass it along in our family. The Hubs has been a bit more attached to this ol’ house than I but eventually agreed.
I’ve been thinking about house designs all of this time. My goal was a single-story home and to age in place. We’ve not moved for 30 years but I still hope this next will be the last. I’d like to avoid awkward retrofitting if mobility challenges crop up. As much as I dislike the idea of either of us living alone, if so we’d need a place easy to maintain and manage. I want all essentials on the ground floor. Large windows and lots of sunny space. An enclosed porch. A large and comfortable master suite but minimal sleeping space otherwise.
No one is more surprised than I that each of our three chids chose to settle in the North Country. Creating comfortable space to be together as a family and fun, safe space to enjoy the grandchids were of the highest priority. We need to maximize open space and create easy traffic flow for our tribe.
We started getting serious last November (2014), when we met with an architect. Eight months later, everything was starting fall into place — but house plans were still incomplete! Finally, we insisted on stamped plans “as is” and trusted the contractor would work out the kinks. So far, no complaints. Bill has been masterful at making it all work. The bonus has been that the Hubs gets his man cave / play space in a basement we had no intention of including at the outset.
As the big dig has progressed, the Hubs has been busy behind the scenes sorting out the sale of our current home, property surveys, and intricate details between farm and personal property and finance agencies. I’ve been working on interior details like flooring and lighting, appliances and fixtures, cabinets and color scheme. Nearly every afternoon as the sun is setting and the workers are packing up, Henry asks, “Can we go to the big dig?” Sometimes he insists on taking his digger along and we take time play. To a two year old, that’s a pretty big sandbox!
Here’s a peek at the progression the past few months. I’ll be back in the New Year with the final results.
~ René Morley