Below is an abridged letter I sent to my parents recently, along with current plans to our home, which was Goal #1 on this here blog. My intent was to receive feedback concerning the plans and the reasons behind some of what we are looking at changing. Though some basic knowledge of our home is helpful, the two pics below should give you most of what you need to follow along below.
NOTE: If you want to give me feedback as well - please do so in the comments. Many heads, generally, are better than one. Unless you are a 435 member congress! But we will leave the politics out for today. But, seriously, give me feedback.
Mom and Dad,
Attached is what I am shortly going to take to the engineer to draw up final plans for our addition. It shows the old layout as well as the new. I am hoping you can help me before I do.
This has been a fun project - well, the designing. I should have gone into architecture like I thought I wanted to do when I was twelve, I really enjoyed doing this. The next phase will be difficult, painful, and a bit inconvenient. We expect that. We know that. We hope it is better than we expect.
We are kicking out the south of the house and leaving the rest of the house generally in its current state. Basically, we will kick it out to add a 24 x 26 living space plus a covered deck out the back. We will be moving the kitchen from where it is at to where the dining room currently sits. The dining area and a family room are in the new addition, along with a computer/desk space on the north facing wall (for the family, not for my work).
I am sending this to you because I want your opinion to know if adding this makes sense.
We want enough room to enjoy the family as we grow into the teenage years, but I don't want so much house that we can't save for retirement. I don't expect Social Security and will have to come up with my own retirement. A smaller home is just one way to combat this - both in expenses out now, as well as expenses in the future.
We love the house. We like its layout. It's just a little small for our family.
We love the area and the people - and though there are a few places to build, we honestly think our place is perfect if it were a little larger.
We like the city lot (park) behind us, we like the trail in front of us (and the view for what it's worth - we don't have houses right across the street).
Believe it or not, we like living on the busier road. It is not that busy now and though we are sure it will get busier, we don't expect it to get too difficult to pull out of the driveway. We like that it is the first street plowed. We like that we can get on it and go, no neighborhoods to go through. We like the hill, but not the incline on the driveway, something that we have decided to live with as we like so many other elements.
We want the space to be inviting. We want it to be able to hold large groups of whoever, family, teenage friends, and allow us versatility - like bringing in a ping pong table or family gatherings, or neighbor parties or large groups of kids as the kids get older.
We want the space to be small enough that we won't have too much of it in a few short years when the kids begin to leave the house. Nine more years and Dallin will likely be gone. A year or two after that, Emma, and the cascading effect happens with the rest.
Tell me what you think. Sell me a change if you think there is something we should. Before I sink a large amount of money into this, I really want to know from you who want the best for us, what you think. Make your case, explain what you will, and we would like to use that as part of our final consideration and final adjustments. Just don't hold any grudges if we don't use all or any of the suggestions. We are trying to make sure that we think through this before we go forward.
Click on the pics for a larger view.