Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let the Blogging Begin

Though our home designing and building project has been underway for a little while already, we've finally decided to put some things down on (virtual) paper to keep friends and family updated on the process.  I can't promise we'll always use the most technical terms or even be quite as prompt with these posts as we'd like, but we hope to provide a little insight for those who can't just pop over and check on our progress. A little background to catch you up...

After almost seven years of owning (and loving) our nearly 100 year-old home in Cleveland, we decided that the current low interest rates might be the kicker to get us to move to a better school district now, rather than waiting until we needed to and then getting stuck with a ridiculous rate down the line.  So, after selling our home relatively quickly by Cleveland standards, we started scrambling for a new place to live.  We knew we wanted great public schools, a safe and walkable neighborhood, close proximity to the lake and Metroparks, and to still be fairly close to the city of Cleveland and all it has to offer.  Within a relatively short time we identified about a one-mile radius in Rocky River, Ohio where we wanted to find a our price range.  

After much searching and very little finding, we kept coming back to one tiny vacant lot in the heart of our search area and our long-held desire to build our own home. We spent much of the winter designing, researching, interviewing builders, pricing... We came up with a plan for a very open, family-oriented house with a green roof, tankless water heaters, and a greywater recycling system. Most builders looked at our budget and told us most of our desired "eco-friendly" features would have to go.  But one didn't even want to see our plans if we were just looking for a "code-built" house.  We met with him and the same night decided to put an offer in on the lot. We had to trim some of our crazier ideas back a bit, but so far we've learned a lot about how to build a home that lives large but treads lightly on the earth, and we can't wait to learn more each step of the way!

We'll fill you in more on design and building features as we progress, but for now, let's catch you up on what's been accomplished so far:

  • Designed the house
  • Found an great builder
  • Bought the lot
  • Got approval for two zoning variances
  • Got approval from the Design Review Board
  • Got our building permit
  • Took down three trees :(
  • Dug for (and found!) utilities and got all connected
  • Dug our foundation
  • Poured footers
  • Set drain tile and gravel 
  • Set foundation form work 

I'll update later with some pictures of all the action...stay tuned!

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