Friday, January 24, 2014

Permits, inspections and fees (oh, my!)

To get our financing started and contracts complete with HiLine, we needed some information about putting in a new septic (or hooking in to our existing septic). I called the county and DEQ. DEQ said they can tell me nothing without a site visit and evaluation. We must prepare a detailed site map with existing septic, beginning, end, drain field, water source, proposed new home, new septic and drain field. Tank and lines must be uncovered for inspection. All ready by next Thursday or Friday. (The inspector comes every other Thursday and Friday.) In addition, she said we need a zoning authorization letter from the county. I have an application to get started on.

Fees to DEQ and the county are $725 and $125, respectively. (So, it begins!)

Feeling a bit overwhelmed...

I would much rather pick out flooring...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

To upgrade or not to upgrade?

That is the question we are grappling with so that we can get this process rolling.

We are 99% sure we are going with Hi-line Homes plan 2188:

Our options on counters are quartz (+$5500), granite (+$4650) or laminate (included). Upgrade price is only for the kitchen counters, and includes a deeper sink.  I tried to price out Home Depot and came up with a similar price for granite and quartz (installation included). According to the 'estimate calculator' on the Home Depot site, the four 45 degree angles, needed for the island/eating bar, added a hefty fee. We do not want to have to seal granite every year. We are leaning toward the quartz (so it is DONE) or the laminate and replace on our own (someday...).

The only other upgrade we are debating is the molding/door package. There is a hefty price tag-$9950!-for knotty alder doors, moldings and windows throughout the house. They are beautiful. The standard white mdf is nice and wide, hollow doors. Debate: bite the bullet and be done (very appealing) or get standard package and replace only a few doors and the living area moldings (someday) for a fraction of the cost. (If your vote is for the DIY versions, please leave the dates you are available for a work party!) 

We have a flooring allowance that we can "spend" at their flooring vendor and pay the difference. I really like the hand scraped laminates for the living room/kitchen and slate or tile for the entry. Hardwood is beautiful, but means more maintenance. We are doing the standard floors in all other areas. 

Oh, and we still aren't sure EXACTLY where the house will be placed. The living room may have to come off to fit the new house where we want it...

So we need to make these decisions, get the excavation bid and sign papers!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Moving right along!

So, we have chosen Hiline Homes as our builder. 

I would say that it was less about a process of elimination and more that we went with the company we felt most comfortable with.  From my research and contact with Adair and Simplicity, they were both helpful and professional, and had comparable products and service to Hiline.

We toured our friends' Hiline Home and felt very comfortable with the finished product and their experience, as they related it. They have lived in their home for two years and have no major complaints and plenty of praise for the process and the company.  And, ironically, after looking at soooooooooo many floor plans, we continued to come back to the same Hiline plan...that turnsout to be the plan our friends have!

We are pre-preapproved for financing. I have contacted a local excavation/road construction company to schedule an estimate for site prep. We will be scheduling an appointment with Hiline (Jerry has been wonderful!) to go over all the details and really get the ball rolling.

Per my conversation with Jerry, we will be choosing upgrades ala carte and we also have a few structural modifications we will be making to the plan.

I would love input on:

Granite/natural stone vs Livingstone, etc.

Heating systems-what should we consider?

Hardwood/Laminate/Tile/Vinyl/Carpet/Slate-where and why?
Opinions, thoughts, things to consider?

Hope everyone is having a good new year!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Option 2 it is!

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I just got done meeting with Wayne from Adair. He seems like a great guy and good representative for Adair Homes. He gave me lots of information and checklists (and I do enjoy lists!). There are several Adair Homes being built in this area at various stages.  We will have to make several decisions before we build, no matter which builder we go with.

First: WHERE do we want the new house?

Option #1 Closer to the river with a spectacular view:
Pros-VIEW, maybe a little more light?
Cons-Tons more site prep=expense, might have to move the yard, dangerous to be TOO near the cliff?

Option #2 In front of our existing house with a less-than-spectacular river canyon view:
Pros-Much less site/prep=less expense and time, view, more light, no need to move yard.
Cons-Less view, closer to road (noise), might dictate size/layout based on what will fit.

We will gather some information from the county and just sit with these two options to see what fits best. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Baby steps..., Wayne from Adair Homes is coming tomorrow for a site visit. I am anxious to hear what he has to say about placement options. Any questions I should have ready for him?

We have looked over Adair's floor plans and like 2382 and 2318-open, single level plans.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


So, we are embarking on a new adventure in the new year:  HOME BUILDING!  Now where to begin...  It is all so overwhelming.  There are so many decisions to be made even BEFORE we get to the building part.  So far, we have decided to build on our current property and will tear down our existing home after the new build is complete. 

This blog is to document our process and share our experience with family and friends.  Those who are veteran remodelers/home builders, please feel free to jump in with comments and advice. 

As for now, we are sifting through options: 

Where to build on the property?  Closer to the river for a view?  Closer to the road for some sun?

Who will build our home?  HiLine Homes, Adair Homes, Simplicity Homes, or a local contractor?

Floor plan?  So many, many, many options...

Here's to a Fabulous 2014 and a finished home by year's end!