I have been playing with house plans since forever it seems. Somewhere in a box I still have plans for a house I designed and considered building on an acre of land I once owned in Chapel Hill. It was much larger than this one because I still had several children at home. Once I had the wonderful architectural drawings that showed a house that would be so perfect on the gorgeous plot of land I had bought I wondered at the sinking feeling I had. I sat down to think about the cost of it and realized that all I would be doing forever was paying for and maintaining this truly beautiful thing and decided it wasn’t worth tying myself down to for 20 years. The plans went away into a closet and I eventually sold the plot.
But I still played with ideas for houses. My first idea for the property I’m now building on was for an earth-bermed house, what someone called a daylight basement with a stand-up attic. I still think that’s a great idea. I also was attracted to the idea of a yurt heated with a wood stove until I read an article about coming home in the dead of winter and having to get the fire going before you could take off your coat.
By this time I had owned (and sold) a house that was big enough for the growing children then still at home. The growing had continued till the kids moved out and the house no longer interested me, having been purchased solely because it was big enough for all of us, in a good school district and I could afford it. (I spent years and years living in “good school districts”.) I habitually looked through piles of house plan magazines and books, some of which I still have, drew up pictures of octagonal houses, log cabins, read up on passive solar and green roofs and finally came down to what I thought was a do-able plan for a “room of her own” house that I could build with cash on hand.
Then the economy took a nosedive and the do-able plan was cut in half to what is now a 400 square foot Step One house planned to have a Step Two additional 384 square feet put on if…..when…..? The reason for more square footage is greater dining space, closet space, more room for books…and a room I can close the door to when company comes, always a handy thing. But even without that possible second step I am going to be ecstatic when Step One is finished and I can move in. Who knows what I may dream up next?