First off, now that I’m “back”, I want to thank you all for hanging in there. (Although truthfully most of the emails I got are questions about our Katrina Cottage – a/k/a The Crab Shack.) It’s been a while, I know – but I just didn’t feel like writing. And here’s why…..
As you may remember, we moved down to Maryland a year ago – and we were moving along nicely for a while with our house plans. Then our draftsman got sick, and we didn’t hear from him for months (and months and months)! It was very
annoying discouraging. When we did finally get them back, of course, there was another change or two we wanted done, and that took another few weeks.
Finally the day came! The plans were all done and we were going to give them out to three builders. Two local regular builders and one modular. Believe it or not, that process took much longer than we anticipated also! The two local builders had to come to the property a few times to check out the road, or measure something, and the modular builder (who I dealt with only online) hardly ever wrote and didn’t even acknowledge receiving our plans for two weeks!
I’d say it took at least another month before we were able to make an appointment with each of the builders to go over their proposals. When we met with the first builder, we went over each and every page, with them practically reading each page in its entirety. When we got to the last page, our jaws dropped – over a million dollars!! Yep, you read that right. I mean, how stupid were we? We never thought it would have been that much!
Now yes, this was the highest bid, and we knew it would be. The other local builder was somewhat less, coming in around the $840,000 range. (Between us friends – this was the one we secretly figured we’d be going with.) And as expected, the modular builder’s bid was the least – however, they did not have a lot of things included in their price that would still have to be added in, like wood floors throughout, and granite counter tops – among many other things.
After waiting ALL THAT TIME I was so disheartened. And I’m not even just talking about waiting for the plans to be finished and the bids to come in. I had been working on these plans for years! I scoured probably a hundred house plan books in libraries and bookstores, I bought at least 10 of them, and looked at thousands of plans online to draw up what we wanted in our dream house. Then we had the draftsman draw them up, and we changed them many, many times making these some of the most expensive plans you’ll ever see. If we only knew then what we know now! I was done. I just couldn’t muster any enthusiasm to continue talking about house plans. We told the builders the bad news, we were just going to shelf everything for a while and then see what we wanted to do. John at first thought we’d start planning right away. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t have the enthusiasm for it. It was our first full-time summer down here and I wanted to enjoy it, not only getting a break from all the house plan talk, but I also didn’t want people coming down to the property all the time checking on wetlands, and height requirements, and setbacks or anything else.
By the way, here is the best piece of advice I can give you…..if you are planning to build a house – buy plans that are already made up. You can always find a draftsman or house designer or even an architect to change them. But drawing up plans from scratch, and then making all the changes that will be necessary is unbelievably expensive. Trust me on this one. And by the way, we have a full set of house plans for sale.
So we took a break. And enjoyed the summer. We fished, we went out in the kayak, we took sunset cruises, we toured around the area a little, we barbecued, we had company, and we relaxed. It was heaven! And then we decided to get back to business.
Come back next time to see what we’ve been up to.