Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daydreaming about Porches

When I am stuck in my 10' x 10' living room on a beautiful day as Little Man is taking a nap, I start to imagine what I would be doing in our new house - curling up with a good book and a glass of wine on the porch. 

I think we are going to do a wrap around, which will lead to a screened-in portion in the back, which will lead to an outdoor patio, with partial trellace (more on that later).  For the Love of a House has recently inspired me to not limit my porch envy to just the first floor.

This one is from Haven Homes.  They are the modular company we were considering.

Love, love, love this one.  Looks like a screened-in porch with french doors leading to the regular porch, which is wide enough to dine. (not sure where I found these next few.  I started collecting a long time ago, way before I ever imagined writing a blog about this whole experience...sorry for not referencing).

Love the white wrought iron detail on the porch here.  This is what I think we are really going for. 

I like how wide this porch is and also how the porch roof is angled, adding to the private feel.

I can just imagine reading a good book here.

This is the upstairs porch from the blog, For the Love of a House.  Ella is checking out the great views.

What a great screened-in porch below.  I can just imagine sitting here with a bottle of wine and a friend.

What do you like best about a porch?

Monday, July 19, 2010

We are hiring!

(Photo courtesy of Looney Ricks Kiss Architects)

an architect, that is.  If anyone has ever interviewed or hired an architects to build a house, your advice would be much appreciated! I am a big believer in using other people's lessons learned.

We developed a list of local candidates based on recommendations and internet research, set up interviews and I found this excellent list of questions for interviewing architects.  After the interviews, most of the architects sent me proposals.  Each architect charged differently - fixed fee, estimated fees and percentage fee (based on construction costs), so I found it difficult to compare apples to apples.

I actually flirted with using a fourth architect, Looney Ricks Kiss, because I loved their designs so (see Tucker Bayou house above).  But they are in Memphis and we are in the Northeast, so the long distance scared us away.  However, if you are in the South, I recommend checking them out.  Carson Looney obviously knows what he is doing on the design side of things.

I am developing a wish list so that all architects can bid on the same scope.  It's also a great document to write down all my dreams and hopes for the house.  The blogosphere has been a great source of inspiration.  What would you include in your dream house?  What is your absolute favorite thing about your house? What is your least favorite thing?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Should we build with stock plans?

I recently got excited when I found Southern Living's stock of plans.  I found them when we were considering building modularly.  Haven Homes builds some of their designs.  I think the best ones are designed by Looney Ricks Kiss.  They have some really charming and efficient homes.  They are a bit more expensive than the Lowe's plans but have a lot more style and simple beauty.  Check out the house at the beginning of this post.  I want this to be our home!  Apparently they designed it for Southern Homes as an "idea" house.  Check out the link:

Has anyone ever built from stock plans before? 

I'm nervous about not having an architect take into account where you place the property on the site as well as customizing the house to the features of the property as well as our needs.