Getting REALLY Serious About Building the House

Where the Planning Meets Reality

Dress-Rehearsal for Construction

Can you build it? Really!?! How much will it cost? How long will it take?

From plans to reality in perhaps four or six years and at maybe $120,000 total. I think I can. I think I can. I sure as hell hope so.

Photo of an artwork by Escher.

I filed the application for the building permit in December of 2010, just a day before I left to come to our Russian home for the holiday season. Liza and our family celebrated this major step in the process. There were many questions now about, "How much will it all cost?". I could now begin to accurately create a spreadsheet on the computer to approach the answer to that question.

As I set out to gather information from the supplier websites, especially from Lowes and Home Depot, I realized I did not have enough information yet. I needed to accurately estimate the number of 'this's and that's', before I could get an accurate estimate.

I decided to create that data by making a computer-aided simulated build of the house. I would 'build' it on screen, 'stick by stick'.

The screen-build had important side benefits. I discovered errors in the drawings from Brad; some minor, others major. We carried on an e-mail dialogue to resolve the issues. In some cases Brad had to write letters to the Building Department to explain and authorize the changes. In other cases he simply said, "It's minor and no one will object, or even question it. If you build it the correct way and someone does ask about it, just call me and I'll do the necessary letter(s)."


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