It is now April 1st – and much has happened these past 6 months!
September – December ’12: We built & finished our Carriage House portion of the Maple Forest Cottage. This was not in the original house plans, but quickly became our Plan B in August.
We closed on both our FL houses on the same day in November, 1 hour apart. It made for a very busy packing week, since we had rented them both out furnished. Brian & Debbie (our mountain neighbors) came down to help us pack! Talk about Southern hospitality! (And they’re from Maine). We were packing up to the very last minute – only 5 mins late to closing and then off with the packed Ryder truck & U-Haul trailer for the 15+ hour ride to Black Mountain, NC.
Good-bye Ocean and island life…..
Since the lease on our rental was up on Dec. 21st, we moved into the Carriage House by the skin of our teeth with a temporary C.O. on Dec 20th and left the next day for a road trip up to see the kids & grand kids in the Maine area. Suffice it to say December was one immensely busy month! Daily trips to Lowe’s & Home Depot, sometime 2 & three trips depending on what came up, or rather, what ran out during the day! Do yourselves a favor and get a credit card for each store. And keep a running list of needed supplies. It’s a great way to keep track of those many “little” expenses and helps when you return things when you’ve inevitably lost your receipt! We squeezed every bit of space we could into the 2nd floor apartment in the Carriage House I call “Sunshine” and are living in 685 SF quite comfortably – for temporary living, that is.
I’ll add pages later of this 1st part of the building process. Just want to get up-to-date on building the main house. Life becomes very narrowly focused & consumed by building your dream house – remember to take of your health, your time, your friendships, family, work and each other.
January – March ’13: We took a more leisurely pace in finishing up the Carriage House during the Winter. We were exhausted and were finally living on our piece of the mountain, our lot, in our apartment. Phew! It’s amazing how long it takes to finish the little things at the end of a project like this. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking all can be completed in a flash – there are still hundreds of decisions to make and trips to the hardware store. We weren’t going to start the main house until everything was done in the Carriage House, but……somehow that just hasn’t happened. ; – )
Weather delays have postponed being able to start the main house. (this has been an unusually rainy & cold March in Western North Carolina this year – a hard thing for us way-southern Floridians to handle this first year back on the mainland.) Also, we had over 130 dump truck loads of earth to move before we could even think of construction. We didn’t want to pay the exorbitant fee to move it to an official dump site, so we solicited friends, neighbors, subcontractors to help us find homes for our dirt. It worked, but still cost a few thousands of dollars to transfer. People in the mountains don’t necessarily want fill – unlike flatland property owners. Words to the wise: Mountain home building is a whole ‘nother ball game. Save your dollars for unexpected expenses!