Your roller coaster creeps slowly, slowly toward the top of the track, and for a moment, you pause before plummeting. It’s a moment in which you are eager for the thrilling plunge and yet, you may also be asking yourself whatever possessed you to get on this ride.
It’s a good analogy because a chain and motor has exerted force on the train to lift it to the top of that very tall hill. At the top of the hill, that car possesses a large quantity of potential energy that will drive you on it’s trajectory to a completed home.
That potential energy = your planning time.
The more planning time – the better the ride.
You have a lot to learn, and a lot to decide, and you need to take a few years to think it all through.
If you want to build it green.
If you want to build it to last.
If you want to build it to fit you like a glove
Don’t rush. Don’t get in a situation where you have to get it done rather than get it right.
Doug and I were dreaming about land in Wisconsin for years. Finally we found a place that feels right. We thought we would be building in a couple of years.
I am so glad we didn’t.
We didn’t know it then, but we weren’t really ready to build. Not even close. We had a lot to learn. We had a lot to digest. We had a lot to decide.
We have whittled away rooms. We have turned more and more to local materials. Just this summer we decided to go with a sod roof. Just this fall we found a local miller who can turn the pines blocking our southern exposure into roofing boards, and talked to a local quarry for some exterior stone facing only to realize how easy and green it will be to make about half of our floors out of Mineral Point flagstone on sand rather than pour concrete.
Just this Thanksgiving weekend we sat down to study the drawings again with our daughter/architect and realized that eliminating one window on the south wall opens up exciting possibilities and makes everything fit together even better.
We’ve been living with our land for 8 years now and working on our house plans for at least three years.
In early December a crew will start felling the trees we selected last summer and they will start prepping the timbers. By March, we will dig into the hill and pour the foundation.
It’s going to be a wild ride.
What ratio of planning to building have you experienced in your projects?