Monday, September 27, 2010

Ongoing progress #3

We received word while we were out of town last week that the building permits have been approved and issued. Great news! Forms are being built for the foundation and the concrete will be poured in a week. The truss company has been contacted to bring the roof out in 30 days. We took a trip out to the construction site today. A number of our soon to be neighbors came by to say hello and tell us how impressed they are with our builder and his crew. They like the way he keeps the site organized and clean. It is exciting to see the house coming to life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ongoing progress #2

Things are going to start happening quickly now. The water is connected. The sewer/septic system is connected. Seasonal streams have been redirected and lined with "riprap" to stop erosion. We've been busy for weeks now picking our appliances, sinks, toilets, doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, paint colors and everything else you could think of that is in a house. We picked the tile, wood flooring and granite a while back and are coordinating everything with that.

View from back of lot.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ongoing progress #1

Plans have been redrawn a couple of times now - keep thinking of things we want. Approvals from the association have been obtained. The engineering has been completed ( structural, environmental and truss). Now the plans are with the county to approve and issue our building permits. In the meantime trees have been cleared for the home site.

Trees removed for home site.
Viewed from inside the lot.
Trees removed for home site.
Viewed from street.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The beginning

Way back in 1999 when life was simpler and stock options were more valuable we went in search of a second house we could use for vacationing and eventually retire in. We looked in a few places and could never find the one we really liked. We finally found a piece of property in a gated community and planned to build a home we liked. We were excited and started looking for a builder - then the dot com bust happened.
So we said let's wait until things get back to normal to build...
All the years since we've maintained the lot and paid the taxes and fees. We've driven through the development many times over the years dreaming of the day we could actually put a house there.
Flash forward to 2010. The opportunity has arrived for us to pursue dream.

Another view before construction

This is the land before construction
I semi-retired in September 2009 with the idea I would take the rest of the year off and look for work in January 2010. Well work is scarce and we moved on to plan B. I am still available to work if the opportunity presents itself but in the meantime its Plan B: We've sold our house, put all our stuff in storage and are living in our motor home - while our new home is being built. We found a good builder after many months of talking to other builders we didn't click with.
Before we located a builder we had to have a plan of the house we wanted to have built. We looked at a lot of model homes over the years to see what we liked and didn't like in a home. We looked through books and magazines. We found a book of country homes where you could buy the plans and bring them to your builder. We bought a set of plans (not cheap) and this is what we shared with all the builders we were talking to. Turns out the plans had to be redrawn to adhere to California rules and regulations. We also found out along the way that you need to have the plans looked at by a civil engineer and Title 24 engineer (environmental). We found that building permits are a ton of dollars and the roof is designed by a truss engineering company. The builder we have signed with handles all of this. It's a lot to think about but exciting just the same.