Today I had to go to town on business so I stopped by the house to check on the progress. I had hoped to get a picture of the owl that lives in the great room’s rafters, but he had flown the coop. Probably fed up with having his space invaded by the plumbers installing the fire sprinklers and all the banging of hammers by the carpenters sealing up the under-floor spaces.
|A straight-out-of-the-catalog garage by our house builders, but taller|
The garage, the boring, dull garage, is actually quite exciting. I think it looks so huge because the walls are so much higher than normal garages’ walls. It has enough space to easily hold the array of batteries we will need to back up our solar-powered electrical system. It just makes sense to put them in the garage rather than under the house. Less of a ventilation problem too (lead-acid batteries emit hydrogen gas when charging, a fire hazard in a confined space). We can put the backup generator on the far side of the garage, making it even quieter in the house when it’s running. It means the wires from the solar panels down the hill from the house will be quite a bit longer, but the whole thing works out better overall.
This morning’s call from Randy, our project coordinator, was a bummer. The bid from the people who wanted to install our roof tiles came in roughly ten thousand dollars higher than we had planned for. Randy checked around, seeking a lower bid with another contractor, but when he factored in all the materials that would be included in the first bid, the second bid was only a thousand dollars cheaper. And the first bid was from real roofers who had worked with our exact same roofing tiles, not people who would be learning on the job. So $18,200 it is. This wasn’t our first shock price-wise. The roof tiles we had already bought cost more than the installation bid, but only by a few thousand. The well pump and tanks and pipelines came in ten thousand higher than we’d anticipated, and the plumbing is going way over our original estimate by several thousand dollars. When do we get a break?
|Wait till you see how people get from ground level to the entry door in the center of the right half of the house.|
We’re designing it as we speak. It will be beautiful.
We actually already got a break on all the interior doors. They’re solid maple, and oversized: taller than normal doors and wider too. Fifty dollars each! A steal! They had been ordered then never picked up by a homeowner whose house never got built. They hung around for decades, taking up space in a warehouse. I wonder if that homeowner-to-be ran out of money when he/she found out what plumbing, roofing, and water systems actually cost. I can empathize.