With the land purchased, the driveway installed, and the site cleared, I could finally start the design process. To have started planning any earlier would have been a wasted effort.
I took measurements of the house site, which was very small due to the steep grade. I knew that a walk-out basement would be needed, as well as the construction of two massive stone retaining walls.
I spent days on the site, observing the sun rising and setting. I paid attention to wind direction patterns. I took into consideration the direction of the views that I would want to enjoy in the future (and the views I might want to avoid).
I learned which side of the house I would approach daily in the coming years… I wanted to make sure I had a view of this future home upon my daily arrival that I would cherish each of those days.
I thought through vehicle parking issues and the potential locations of future outbuildings. I researched utility lines and how they would approach the house. I also located the septic tank and drain fields.
I spent time reflecting on all the old homesteads that I had visited over the years and how they had handled site challenges similar to what I was facing.
I drove up and down the county roads close by and paid attention to all the homes that had been part of the landscape for many years. I wanted my home to blend in with them… I not only wanted my home to compliment the land it would set upon, I wanted this house to be appreciated by it’s neighbors.
My wife and I decided to build a T-shaped farmhouse which is common in our area. They have beautiful, but simple, lines. There is a proud, but gentle, spirit about them.
Everyone should live in a farmhouse at some point in their lives. Make sure and put it on your bucket list of things to do before you leave.
Now my wife, bless her heart, was not particularly keen on having me build us a log home so no log cabin section was drawn into the plans… I had put her through some pretty rustic years in our past and she was ready for a little refinement in her next home. If I was going to have a log section on this house I would have to sneak that feature in once construction was underway.
Originally posted 2015-03-24 17:44:37.