Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Building a House

So, how do you go about building a house in the middle of "nowhere"? Very carefully, I suppose.

Frank and I both have ideas of what we want the house to be -- how big, what sort of rooms, what to avoid that we've lived with before. For instance, Frank is over six feet tall and hates having to stoop and bend to take a shower. So a showerhead positioned high enough to allow him to stand upright in the shower is a must.

Here are some of our other requirements:

  • very low maintenance and care (We don't want to spend all of our time taking care of the house!)

  • energy efficient (We are in South Carolina where the summers are hot and humid, and the winters can be cold)

  • a studio for me (I'm a quilter as well as a quilt designer and quilt teacher. I need to be able to spread out to do my work.)

  • hard floors (Neither of us likes carpets. We both prefer wood, tile, and other surfaces that are easy to clean.)

  • a library (I have lots of books, and they need a home that includes a comfortable chair and a good reading light.)

  • a guest room (There is no nearby hotel, so we need a place to make friends and family welcome and comfortable when they come to visit.)

  • a veranda (The property is so beautiful. We need a place to sit outdoors and enjoy it.)

  • a single level (We know from friends and family who live in multi-level homes that climbing stairs gets more tiresome as one gets older.)

  • a way to isolate the noise of a TV or stereo from the other person

Size is an issue. Too large and the house will be both too expensive and too much trouble to maintain. Too small and we won't have the rooms we want. So there are lots of things to think about as we make our plans.

This photo shows the approximate site we have chosen for the house -- near the tree that is leafless right now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

South Carolina Dreams

When Frank and I were in South Carolina for Thanksgiving in 2003 we happened upon a piece of property for sale in Newberry County, and we fell in love with it. It's in the middle of the Sumter National Forest. One boundary is the county road, and the other three boundaries are public lands that we don't expect to be developed. The surrounding area is wooded, but our property is clear excepting for a few trees scattered around, and trees around the edges.

The property is almost 29 acres, and it's where we plan to build our new home. It's truly out in the country, but it's only about 5 miles from a small town with a supermarket, and about 9 miles from the county seat.

Over the next few months I'll be sharing our plans and progress as we build our home.