Our House? Part One…

6 04 2011

Our house is a very, very fine house…

Judy and I have been discussing, for some time now, how we might make our home more livable.  After being together for four and a half years (wow, 4.5 phenomenal years), we are starting to see a pattern of living that doesn’t fit the existing layout of our home…hhhmmmmm…did I say pattern of living?  Many times, it seems, families forget this basic, first step and dive into additions, remodels, etc. as a function of what’s in vogue in the home magazines or television shows (yes, the media controls this aspect of our lives also).  So, as Judy and I continue this quest for the perfect solution, I will chronicle some of the critical thought processes as a multi-part blog entry.

Of course some of you might be wondering, why make it more livable?  Why not just sell it and buy something new?  As I’ve argued previously, and sadly, selling and buying new is the American way.

You may also be asking, why not build? After all, a talented architect (such as myself) could certainly design the perfect home that would satisfy all of our needs.  Honestly, we have discussed this and, a year or so ago, even picked out a piece of property; though this solution is fraught with it’s own set of issues , as I’ve stated in previous blogs.

Aaaahhh, very good questions and also a part of the dilemma that should be addressed as we proceed…all too often the two scenarios, above, are the only options that we Americans consider; additions and remodeling are often too daunting for many of us and we’ve heard too many horror stories of creating money pits or out-valuing our neighborhood (also very legitimate concerns).  So, without further adieu, the dilemma at hand…(drum roll please)…to stay put and remodel or, to sell and buy/build???

Our first task was simple, let’s look at the macro-picture and discuss our neighborhood.   We are located in a rather large, phased rural development with the homes situated on 1+ acre lots.  The streets are well laid out and wind through a former wooded area with the two phases  connected via one common lane.  Many of the homes in the neighborhood are custom,though ours is the product of a builder using a standard floor plan with a few modifications to give the half dozen or so homes he built some semi-custom individuality (varying styles landscaping have given more variety to the properties); even so, the area still has an charming upscale feel to it.  As regards our pattern of living, we love walking our brood (adopted King Charles Spaniels) through the neighborhood; the traffic is scant and the streets weave through the wooded properties, up and down the gentle hills celebrating each of the seasonal changes in the landscape.

OK, one vote for figuring out a way to stay put!

As we peeled away the onion, our next task was to explore the property that our home sits on.  The property is situated on a rectangular corner lot of approximately 1 acre.  Our home is faces toward the intersection and is surrounded by a large grassed front and side yards sporting a mature collection on deciduous and evergreen trees. Our rear yard has a nice swimming pool with a great informal garden of roses, flowers, and shrubs (though a machete wielding landscaper almost destroyed it a couple of years back) crowned with a nice koi pond complete with waterfall.  We’ve also enhanced our yard with a wonderful deck, for outdoor entertaining, as well as a new pergola.  We certainly enjoy our time in the yard puttering in the garden, playing with the brood, and scheming on way to create more outdoor living opportunities; which are definitely important components in our pattern of living.

Another vote for figuring out a way to stay put!

Now that’s progress and is the beginnings of an intelligent thought process about what is important in creating home.  But, the onion still has several layers; we still have many issue to consider and haven’t even begun to talk about the structure we call home.  Who knows, we may even go out into left field, a few times, before we determine what makes the most sense.  But, at least, we’ve started to stray from the knee-jerk decisions that has such an important bearing on the quality of our lives.  In the next installment I’ll talk a bit about interior spaces and their impact on our pattern of living.

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