A few things have happened in the last couple of weeks that have brought the building project back on track – and there are some things I want to reflect on.
We have both been really frustrated by the project recently, mainly because of having to start again from scratch – or so it felt. We have been plugging along however, and things have started to move. We went to see some other modular/kitset house designers, and nothing really fitted in our price range, though there are some really cool things happening with prefabs (Wel Haus are particularly interesting). We’ve decided though to use a lot of the work we did with Lockwood, and my brother Mike has offered to guide us through getting plans drawn up.
With these projects you have to start at the bottom and work up – my last post was about the frustration we had with getting an engineer to estimate how much it would cost to come up with a foundation plan. I sent three some more detailed plans asking for a quote for how much the plans would cost. The work will be an initial plan, which will be integrated into the plans by the architect, and then those plans signed off by the engineer. The engineer will have to visit the site twice during construction to make sure that the plans are sound on the ground, as it were, and then produce a certificate saying that its all hunky dory.
- One sent an estimate almost immediately, and quite a detailed description of costs, including the costs for site visits and potentially other variables
- One sent a quote after a reminder email, with a very detailed description of ongoing costs ands site visits, and can start this week, but is twice the price of the first
- The third, after 3 emails and two phone calls sent an estimate (the most expensive) with absolutely no mention of the cost for site visits or any other services they will have to provide.
I’ve committed to a slightly different approach to the project after thinking about it this weekend. The actual house, though it is important to me, is not the goal. The goal is building the house, and enjoying the experience. I was up at the section last week, and man, it is just beautiful. Really stunning. With the kind of impetus the project is gaining, I feel much happier, and if I focus on the now, the daily problem solving that I enjoy, then it will all work out fine, and I’ll be happeri in the interim.