Two… months… later…
Well, that time disappeared in a snap! I think the biggest thing we’ve learned so far is that regardless of how well developed your plans are when you walk in to meet with a builder, you will still go through six months of revisions before really starting. For efficiency’s sake, we scaled back to working with the two builders we liked the best and were making the most progress with. We had met with a 5th builder as well during this time, but it was becoming clear that it was becoming counterproductive to work through plan revisions with more than two. We would get a set of plans back and revised with one builder, but then the plans from the other would come in without the items we already revised with the first builder.
We also already had to make some cuts based on the early cost estimates. While we originally thought some elements wouldn’t be that significant of an additional cost, they were turning out to be. We couldn’t justify paying $35,000 for a breezeway/hot tub room or $15,000 for a loft in the garage. It’s very easy to make the price of the house go up, and I’d still like to be able to retire some day, so the time to trim some unnecessary things was early in the process.
We also have been meeting with kitchen & bath designers, windows and siding suppliers, looking at tile and flooring, etc. to get more accurate costs for based on what we actually want to use in the house. That’s when you learn tidbits like… those pretty Craftsman-style red trimmed windows cost double what the white version costs. That’s a lot of money for a color. Maybe tweaking our color scheme makes a bit more sense. Amanda has also already been buying lighting fixtures we like from places like LampsPlusOpenBox.com for good prices now, rather than scrambling and paying full price later.
This week we’ve been meeting again with both builders to review [hopefully] the last of the plan revisions and see more accurate cost estimates. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… but the estimates are coming in higher than we expected and were told initially. That will likely lead to some more cuts, figuring out what we can do ourselves, and maybe Amanda getting a third job.
In the meantime, we’ve been scoping out the flora and fauna on the property. We almost stepped on a fawn this past weekend while hiking around.
Was hoping we’d find ramps, but didn’t see any. Need to work on transplanting some in the future as we have great terrain for growing them.