Thursday, January 13, 2005

A Recap of What We Have Accomplished So Far with Our House

It's a new year - 2005. We started working on our house in 2003. Without the money to hire professionals to make the plan, and work on everything from construction (including foundation up to roofing), to electricals and plumbing, as well as the minor construction work like insulation and walling with sheetrock, we try to make do with what skills we have. I myself have no prior knowledge with building, especially a house built in this kind of climate. With my hubby's explanations, I'm beginning to learn the why's (I used to wonder why in foreign movies, the walls were very easily destroyed by hurtling a man's body onto it. Now I know that it is not made of cement and that it is hollow. And now I also know that wood is a better insulation than cement and is less expensive.) I began to understand more about the dynamics of air (hot vs. cold) and water (good thing I have a very good understanding of the basics of fluid and air dynamics from physics lessons from high school to college; if not, I would be gaping at my hubby everytime he explains something).

So, before we actually start doing something this year, here's a recap of what we have done so far:

All below can be archived from first part of Our Tahanan blog.

2003

april - cleaning the site, water pipe

may to june - foundation done

june - laid the radiant heating system, cement floors and erected the first wall

july - proceeded with the skeleton of the house (walls and joists and rafters)

august - finished roofing, added doors and windows


From this point on, the plan for the interior is pretty much flexible. WE try to arrive at a final plan inside as we get the feel of living in it. We also install electrical wires as we feel necessary. (Well, we usually make it a point to have an outlet every 2 ft along the wall, enough for working with the vacuum cleaner anywhere in the house without needing an extension cord. But we keep in mind not to overload the lines.)

september - I and my boys arrived; worked on temporary shower/bathroom/toilet and sink and countertop
installed major appliances (washer/dryer, oven, dishwasher, fridge); bought dining set
later purchased and installed fiberglass shower/jacuzzi and toilet; phone line activated again; computers set up
I worked on fiberglass insulation in preparation for the cold weather
Gary started working on the main furnace in a room within the garage.
october

november- jacuzzi installed

december - furnace and chimney in living room installed; chimney
stairways made

2004

january - insulation and plastic sheeting of living room finished
- enclosed the washer/dryer in the washroom adjacent to the mud room
- started working on the 2nd floor rooms (insulation/plastic sheeting/sheetrockin)
- I made temporary shelves in the kitchen

From this point on, the details of our incremental work on our house can be viewed on the archives of this blog.

april - further work on 2nd floor (mudding/sanding)

may - painting the kids' bedrooms; beds made; wirings for power/telephones/computer network installed

june - worked on powerline (transferred main line)


july - gary transferred his office location to second floor contiguous with Ben's room; worked on garage doors and trims; started on sidings

november - finished sidings; made stairs in the garage door to convert second floor into storage room

Some friends (both old and new) find it amazing that we are building our house almost without the help of people outside of our family, but believe me, if we had the money, we would hire someone else. Although we would probably not spend more for a larger, more lavish housing. We planned this house so that we have enough space to move and for everything to have its place, without being estranged from each other by mere distance and space. Also, as part of our foresight that in our empty nest stage, we will not have a big empty house to see us through until we reach our sunset. Our master bedroom was located at the first floor in preparation for weak arthritic knees...Hubby and I have long decided to live together forever, here and for eternity and beyond, if there is.

On the other hand, building it by ourselves is not so bad...we get satisfaction, we can't blame anyone else if something goes wrong, we learn from our mistakes, and yes...we can rightfully say that this lovenest (which may not be a dreamhouse to other people's standards) is truly one we built with our blood and sweat, and therefore, our hearts will always reside in this house.

Plans for this year:

work on the living room

work on the kitchen

I already have an idea of what I would like to do with my kitchen. One thing definite: I will not have granite on my countertop save probably for a small space where it can take the trauma of hot pots and also serve as my kneading area when baking. That is, if we will have the money for it.If not, laminated countertop will suffice.

I am practical and I abhor lavish and extravagant practices for the purposes of showing off and maintaining image. That's also probably one reason why I created my blogs. A lot of people show off what they have on the internet, and you can very well see the reasons why they are such show offs---they have the money obviously! My blogs reflect the life of a simple family, one that is probably the average (at least in this area), that despite a frugal lifestyle find happiness that is deep, mainly because of meaningful relationships that are not based on money or economic status, but one that is based on love and a sincere desire to help one another...These blogs are no Cinderella type of story. It's more of reality, but very unlike the so-called reality TV shows which really annoy me.

33 Comments:

Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Hello Lory,

I checked out your blogsite today and really like it. I too have always wanted to build my own house someday and it is great to see the progress of someone else doing the same. I think my Loree shares the same feelings so hopefully it will get done. I noticed you had it drawn 3-D using Punch software. Did you do the entire design yourself or did you just draw it off blueprints that you purchased somewhere else? I have Punch software too and have several models of houses but not one that I have absolutely fallen in love with yet.

January 24, 2005 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Manang said...

Hi Ed,

Thanks for visiting our blogs.

It was Gary who designed it from scratch, but then, his idea of what he wanted with it was based on his previous house that got burnt. With his experiences living in that house, he got more insight as to how to make the most out of the breeze and the sunlight, and how not to have any problems with shoveling snow from the roof. (With the slope of out tin roof now, and possibly because of the material it is made of, the snow/melted ice just slides off.)

We were already engaged and processing our visa papers when he started working on the plan (around February to March 2003). He sent me a copy of the program itself so I could "tour" the house (as he planned it) on the virtual 3-D image. I had several changes/suggestions; we discussed those before we arrived at a final decision. However, the main difference with the professionally made plans was that we only really came so far as to the basic skeleton of the house and the "wheres" of the rooms. As for the interior, we left it hanging, and just make progress as we go along living in it. We take the time see how we would want the wirings before we put up the sheetrock. For the kids' rooms and bathrooms, these are not so complicated, but not for the living room, kitchen and our master bedroom, where we want to install some dimming lights and track (?) lights...

Having spent quite a lot of time now in my kitchen, I am planning on having an island with the stove there. Now Gary has to create a trench inthe middle of our kitchen floor for the outlet for the stove.

Slowly building....

January 25, 2005 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Slow building.....but a labor of love. Keep up the web site and I'll check back later to see how things are going. Thanks.

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