Design Update & Our New Backyard!!

Sorry it has taken me this long to get you an update on our new house.  We are 2 months into the design process with our architect and it is going really well.  We had our latest meeting last week and have finalized the floor plans and the roof lines/shape of the house.  Here is a quick sneak preview of the house for you (this is a very rough draft, but I think you get the idea of where we are going with this!)

We have also decided to try to sell the current house that is on the lot rather than just demolish it.  We think this is a good decision for a few different reasons.  First, it is a much better way to recycle a whole lot more of the house (ie, the WHOLE house), than if we took bits and pieces of it and tried to sell or give it away to various organizations (Habitat for Humanity, Architectural Clearing House, etc...).  And secondly, it is a way for us to make some money off the sale of the house AND save even more money on the demolitions costs (which can be upwards of $50-60,000 for a two story house).  And believe it or not there are companies that exist who do just this.  They come in, find buyers for your house and arrange all the moving/deconstruction of said house.  The logistics of moving a two-storey house are a bit more complicated, but we are confident that we can get this done.

And the bonus of doing this (we hope) is that it puts us in the good, or at least better, graces with our new neighbors.

You all know how much I love this property (and really pushed for the deal to go through) and this point was really driven home to all of us this fall when we went to spend some family time over in our 'new' backyard.  The trees are simply AMAZING at this time of the year and then the HUMONGOUS piles of leaves were so much fun for everyone!  Granted, it took us three weekends to go over there and rake them all up (and there is still more to do), but I think the FUN and future family time in that yard is going to more than make up for it!!  Here are just a few pictures for you to get an idea of what my fall seasons are going to be like from now on.

Things are really going to start moving along now that we have the floor plans all figured out and it is becoming more and more REAL to us every time we see the newest drawings.
That's were we are so far.  Thanks for following along on our journey and as we get closer to some actual deconstruction and then construction, I'll start posting more and more!!

Let the Designing begin!!

We got possession of the new house and lot on August 14th.  And as of this week, we have hired an architect to start the design process.  This is the fun part for me.  I get to rip out picture after picture from magazines and books, send our architect links to all of my favourite design websites, etc.... And I really think I am going to like working with this guy.  His name is Michael Sczesny and he is a partner in a new firm with 2 other architects.  He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has some pretty cool projects under his belt (The Selkirk Hotel at Fort Edmonton Park for one!).  He is super keen on incorporating as much green technology and sustainable materials as possible and also staying within our budget (a big selling point for Ben).

We are hoping for a spring 2011 ground breaking and to be in the house by late 2011 or early 2012.  Mike has a great contractor that he works with exclusively and he too is very keen and excited about our Green Home project.

In the mean time, I think that we are going to try to rent the house for the next 6 months.  The previous owners replaced the hardwood and carpet throughout the house and outside of an abundance of floral wallpaper it is in quite decent shape.  It is a big house and would be great for someone looking for a short term lease, is rebuilding their own house or someone on a sabbatical here in Edmonton.  If you know of anyone who fits that bill--let me know!

My next few posts will be about some of the technologies we are going to incorporate in the house, so bear with me as I do my research into ICF, radiant floor heating, passive solar energy and on-demand hot water heaters!


Cheers all, Natasha~