It is almost the end of February.  It has been cold.  From around December 21 thru middle of January (30 days or so) the morning temperature each day was below zero; anywhere from -1d to -20d consistently.  Needless to say no construction work was done.  Snow shoveling occurred and there were a couple of fires in the fire pit.

So now we move to the residence.  Planning has begun in earnest.  Cost estimating will begin in earnest next week.  

We are not unlike anyone else.  We have a budget.  A rather tight budget.  So cleverness, re-purposing of materials, efficient use of materials and smart planning are the order of the day.

We are investigating multiple construction options.  We have pursued modular construction and have gotten some pricing back on it. I need to go through the numbers.  We priced a two-story option of about 1800 SF.  I'll provide an approximate cost / sf in a future post.

We have looked at straw bale construction and have coordinated with a real good group out of Salida, Colorado - Timbo Scursso with Solarwise, LLC.  He has been a wealth of information.  Interestingly enough one of the reference books I reviewed was co-authored by David Eisenberg whom I had the good fortune of meeting during the development of the International Green Construction Code. David heads the Development Center for Appropriate Technology in Tucson, Arizona.

I am also looking at SIPS panels and will be pricing those out soon.

In developing the design of the residence I have constructed a model and we are now investigating different massing options and roof lines.  The design has progressed from a two story option to a single story option that is approximately 1630 SF in its current form.  We like the single story option and are counting on the guest room concept in the detached existing cabin to help out.  We are getting closer.

So now we get to cost estimating.  This is a challenging aspect.  As an architect I rely a lot on contractors to get all the elements of the pricing of a project into pricing.  In this case I get to draw on my over 30 years experience to make this happen.  So there is a lot of thinking, a lot of lists, a lot of conversations and now we will get to some specific line item pricing to determine where we will be.

Spring is season is coming...I'm getting ready to develop the project further. 

In warmer weather.

Chris Green