HEADING TO HEATH: OUR SHARED ADDICTION
Some people have boats and others enjoy ballroom dancing. Bill and I seem addicted to architecture and interior design.
Bill, The Design Guy
While the rest of the male population swaps sports statistics, Bill watches HGTV. That’s not the only thing he watches. He enjoys manly shows like Highway Thru Hell and Gold Rush too, but home design shows take up a lot of space on our digital recorder. Recently, we watched the final episode of NBC’s American Dream Builder and can explain in detail why the wrong guy won. Yeah – we’re that into home design.
So, it’s not surprising that before we’d even been to the title company to close on the lot, Bill started designing our new home. Armed with a drawing of the build-able footprint and a three-sided architect’s ruler, he started roughing out what would fit in the space we bought. Untrained on CAD (computer-aided design), he did it the old-fashioned way, moving tissue paper rooms across the drawing of the foundation.
Model Home Madness
But we needed more than tissue paper rooms to visualize our new home. We’d been in some model homes during our recent real estate endeavors, but now we needed to understand some specific details. Armed with our smartphones for pictures and Bill’s steel tape measure, we headed out to gather up ideas and floor plans.
These visits were completely different from our previous visits to the models. We weren’t trying to figure out if we wanted to live there. We wanted to measure windows, ceiling heights and doorways. We asked about products and craftsmen. I was actually quite amazed at the amount of floor plans and literature that the builders were willing to give away. Perhaps it was just their way of getting rid of us, but they gave us great ideas.
We found plenty to like inside the model homes, but nothing about them grabbed us in the exterior department. Everything was a combo of brick with stone. Sure, that’s all the rage right now, but in ten years it won’t be. People who paid tons to have a stone veneer put on, will be paying another fortune to take it off. So, we don’t want to go there.
What we love is Mediterranean stucco, but we’ve been warned it doesn’t sell as well here as brick homes. So we drove neighborhood after neighborhood, trying to find existing homes with exteriors we liked. When we found an area with possibilities, we’d drive around and around snapping pictures of our favorites. I kept expecting the police to show up and escort us away, because someone thought we might be casing the homes for robberies.
And Then There Was Houzz
There was one more place we looked for ideas and that was Houzz. I’m not sure how Bill discovered the site, but we studied it extensively. It’s like an online architect at your beck and call. You can find all kinds of design ideas and almost a zillion exteriors.
On to the Architect’s Office
Armed to the gills with all our research, we headed off to the architect’s office. Come back next week and I’ll tell you all about it.