Monday, September 9, 2013

Building our House

Stephanie and I have begun the process of building a home here in College Station Texas. We are excited about the process and want to share it with our family and friends. For as long as I can remember, I have had the desire to build a house. In high school I can remember sketching out floor plans for possible houses and dreaming about my future house. As an adult, I love to watch home shows, look at cool architecture, and I even follow a number of home building and design blogs. This is why I am so excited that I finally have the opportunity to build a house. When I accepted the job at Texas A&M one of the things that was very appealing to me about the location was the fact that it seemed very feasible for us to build here.

Stephanie does most of the posts about our family stuff, but during the next year, I am going to try and post regularly about the house. I will try to post at least once a month with an update and relevant pictures. I have followed a number of home building blogs throughout the years, and so I am going to try and be pretty open about our choices and what we are doing. If you have questions feel free to ask them in the comments or send us an email.

When Stephanie and I came out to find a place to rent, we also looked around at some of the neighborhoods where there was land for sale. We were hoping that we would be able to rent a home in a similar area to where we planned to build. After we got here we started looking for lots in earnest. We thought we had found the right lot, but before we made an offer we showed the architectural committee some drawings of the house, and they told us that it was too radical for their neighborhood and so we moved on.

Eventually we decided on a lot in a neighborhood called Sweetwater Forest. The lot is just over one acre and is heavily wooded. It is nice and flat and will be pretty close to lots of our friends from church, our kids’ schools and a grocery store. Here are some pictures.

Initial Design
Our architect is Wes Christensen. Wes is a friend of ours that we met in Tucson, but he now lives in Utah. Wes helped us when we remodeled our house in Tucson, and he is a great architect, and so we immediately thought it would be awesome to work with him on this project. When he put together the initial floor plan and renderings these were our priorities:

1)    We needed to have space for my parents. My parents are retired and they decided to move to College Station. We had always told them that when we were going to build, if they wanted we would be willing to build a home that included space for them. So we needed separate space for them. (The cool phrase for what we are doing is that we are building a multi-generational home).
2)    We wanted our master bedroom on the main floor. We hope this is a house we live in forever, and so we wanted all the main components on the main floor (kitchen, master bedroom, laundry).
3)    We wanted a big family room separate from the living room for the kids to play, make noise, watch TV, etc. Stephanie and I both grew up in areas where you had a basement for this. It is very difficult to build a basement here, so we decided on an upstairs family room.
4)    We wanted the home to have a fairly simple shape to make it easy to build.
5)    We wanted a home that fit our style. We like modern/contemporary homes, and if we were going to the effort and expense of building a custom home we wanted something we would love.

So here were our early-stage floor plans and renderings.
Main Floor

Second Floor

Most Recent Design
After a number of iterations and changes to the floor plan (a lot of them were to reduce the overall size), here are the most recent floor plans and renderings of the exterior.

Main Floor

Second Floor


That is probably enough for now. I will be posting more in the future.


Doug Pitcher said...

How big is it? You doing anything related to efficiency etc.? How long does your builder say it will take to build. I'm interested in others home designs as well. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Kent said...

Looks fun, good luck with the adventure!

Kirsten said...

That's so exciting! Can't wait to follow along via pictures, with your adventure of building a home!

Steve said...

The house will be about 4000 square feet. About 1000 of that is for my parents. We are still working out the energy stuff. My hope is that we will have a very tight house, and maybe even have solar panels. The builder estimates 8-9 months of build time. We hope to be in the house next June.

Jet said...

I finally bookmarked your blog, so now I will check back often. I LOVE the modern architecture. What a great floor plan. Will be checking back often to watch the progress....! (This is Juliet btw.)