Category Archives: Planning

Don’t Do This

I’m not sure if I will put this under SU&SW since it isn’t happening to us, but we’ve heard about it happening to someone that we know, so I figure I’d share and hopefully spare someone some heartache.

If you are interested in an 8 burner La Cornue range and a Sub Zero Pro 48 fridge, tell your contractor this up front.  Don’t let the poor guy quote you a price on appliances only to be upset when you want $75,000 worth of appliances, but a budget of 1/5 that.  It is bad news for everyone.


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We received our Personal On Demand Storage (PODS) unit this weekend. It’s a good thing that my Tetris skillz are tiz-ight cause we gotta jam a bunch of ackward shaped things into this big box. We got picnic benches and rocking chairs and all sorts of things that we want to keep, but don’t want to take to the apartment. So, like most suburbaniites, we are jamming it into a big box for 8 months while our house is being built.

The POD system itself is pretty cool. Well, the POD itself is just a big box, however, the delivery of the system is really cool. They have a huge hydraulic lift on the truck that jacks the box up a few feet off the bed of the truck (~8 feet off the ground) and then the truck pulls out from underneath the box and it is lowered gently (we hope) to the ground.

There are a few more pictures on the Flickr account here.

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Where Are You Going To Live?

When you tell people that you are going to knock down 90% of your house and move out for 7 months, you’d expect them to say something like ‘Wow, that sounds really exciting!’ or ‘Boy, that is going to suck.’  Invariably, the first question that anyone asks is ‘Where are you going to live?’ Like there is a universal 1:1 ratio for housing or something.  I’ve always found this a bit odd and have had fun coming up with pithy answers like ‘Oh, there are some nice boxes under the bridge at the creek’ or ‘We are renting an RV’ or ‘Oh snap, we didn’t think of that!’.

But now, I have an answer!  As of yesterday, we are going to be apartment dwellers for the first time in a long time.  It was actually a bit weird filling out a rental application, but we are going to be residents of Archstone Apartments in Willow Glen.

I’ll put it on the record that I’m not crazy about this place, but for 7 – 8 months, I think that we can live with it.  We have had four sets of friends of have lived or are living here while they do their homes and if they can manage, so can I.  In fact, one of my friends is perhaps the most particular person I know and if he can deal, we can too.

At the end of the day, the place is cheap (compared to our second choice which was going to be Santana Row).  It is clean, there are a bunch of kids.  It is close to parks and they allow dogs.  The stars lined up for us.  I’ve read mixed reviews on the place, but it is short term.  Oddly, the place is bigger than our current home, so we will love the additional space.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, plan ahead.  Had we waited until the last minute to find a place to live, we would have delayed the start of our construction by at least 2 months, probably more as that would have put us in the middle of the rainy season.

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Filed under Apartment Dwelling, Planning

Going to Estimates

Final to Estimate

It's been a while, but I have to say, nothing big has been happening. Rick went on vacation then we went on vacation and next thing you know, 3 weeks have blasted by.

The good news is that after our last meeting on Monday, where we modified the roofline pretty dramatically and finalized all of the windows, we are ready to go to estimates.

My feeling is that it is going to be about 20% more than our budget will allow and we will have to make some significant changes. On the other hand, we've been going into this thinking of a pretty big number so that we will be plesantly surprised. Even still, we are set to find out the damage.

We were trying to keep the roof on the left hand side of the house, but it looked really dumb so we bit the bullet and have no decided to rebuild that too. We are essentially now building an entirely new house. At least we will get what we want, providing we can afford it.

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Magazines Galore

I am convinced that our biggest expense at the end of this project is going to be magazines.  We have a ton of ripped up home design magazines now.  We buy them, tear through them, and rip out the pages of the things that we like for the contractor. 

Like anything, the more you learn about something, the more different your view point on things change.  The range in pricing for ranges is insane from the $300 at Sears to the custom kitchen Viking for $8 or $10 thousand dollars.  I never thought that I would think about transom windows so much, but when you are thinking about 10 foot ceilings, do you want extra large custom windows or two standard windows? 

The good news is that Holly and I make very quick decisions on everything.

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