Once we finally reached a point to where we felt like we knew what we wanted with our house, we started to have contractors come over to help us make sure that what we wanted to do was in our budget range.
We really like the work of both DeMattei and Browne Custom Homes, who recently built a beautiful custom home two doors down from us, so we had them come over to walk through our place and tell us what they think. It was a painful reality check as both people told us that we would need 1.5 to 2 times what we had originally budgeted. Gulp.
This was a set back for us as it meant that we had to do some pretty serious re-jiggering of the numbers to see if we could still afford to do this project. To make matters worse, both contractors, who are very good at spending our money, felt that for another 20 or 25% more, we could bulldoze the whole house and build from scratch and get our dream home. I was starting to get the feeling that we aren't the typical client that these guys deal with and I don't mean that in 'good for me' kind of way.
Aside: When you start doing any type of project like this, we are finding that the term 'dream' gets thrown around a lot. As in, you could get a really nice kitchen for $50,000, but for another $50,000 you could get your dream kitchen. At some point, the dream needs to end and it is usually when Moose and Rocco from the bank come knocking on your door. We have a number in mind and we really need to stick with it.
Holly and I discussed all of our options at length and we decided that we can't afford to tear down the whole house and start from scratch. We would love to do this, but there is just no way, so where do go from here?
We decided that we would try to keep about 40% of the house. We like the layout of the one half of our house, but need to expand the other side of it. We got a copy of 3D architect and started playing around with what could be done. I made up some drawings of the existing house and then we took some red pens to it and started to lay some things out that we would like.