Now that we had dirt, what to do? We spent many hours online searching for small house plans, and found a number of attractive options, but none seemed to have the small space distributed as we’d hoped for. Here’s where we found the value of really knowing how we live and what sort and amount of stuff we owned that we were willing to pay to house. When we applied this to the cost of building some of those plans, plus the likely expense of paying an architect to redraw to meet local code, we knew it would be more cost effective to go straight to the architect. Except that is wasn’t straight to the architect; there was a bit of a learning curve in just hiring one. After a couple of failed attempts at finding a good fit, we found a wonderful architect builder team that would allow us the freedom of procuring many of our own materials. As I have a number of remodeling projects behind me, I was willing and able to do this. https://buildingasmallhouse.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/first-blog-post/
Small dwellings do not necessarily equate to small cost. With a tight budget we knew we needed a most simple design, and that meant a two story box with a shed roof. If you’re not familiar with such design, here you’ll find some great descriptions and drawings, all far more grand than our humble but thoughtfully designed building http://blog.buildllc.com/2014/07/modernism-beyond-the-shed-roof/.
When the idea gelling, collaborative process with our architect was nearly finished, we had to turn our attention to the infrastructure and permitting process. This months-long process was tedious and expensive before a shovel ever hit the dirt. The higher-than-anticipated costs associated with these things shrunk our already small design, but finally we could go forward. Hooray!
The ground floor of the building would consist of a small shop, a single open carport with a washer/dryer closet, a small entry, powder bath, and stairs. The stair landing would have to serve three functions: an office, a music room, and a sewing room (yeah, I know-do stay tuned to see how I hope to pull this off in a future post…) and then on up to a single bedroom apartment. We were excited to see it go up and be done with living out of our suitcases, but it would be awhile before anyone showed up to the job site with a hammer or nails.