Architect and His Own Home

A couple of months ago, we moved in to our new house. This blog was going to chronicle that process…but like most best laid plans, it didn’t happen. It did get chronicled at a different site, the Mäkilehto site. The construction occurred over the winter and into spring. We learned a few things. First, the contractors and subcontracts that are selected are most important. I was the general contractor for our project and I probably wouldn’t do it again for the first time (let’s see if I can explain that a bit better. I’d never do it if it were my first or second time general contracting my own project. I might do it if I have done it before. But, since you can’t have experience until after you’ve had the experience, I’d not do it again).

When designing a home, there are things you can plan for…like specific views, functionality and flow. The hope is that these things actually work as designed. I think most of these things worked out pretty well. One regret is the garage isn’t any bigger, but that was more a funcition of site limitations and budget than a design problem. There are few other things, too…like the window at the master bath tub needs to have an 8″ lower sill and if we’d had the money, the living room would have had another bank of windows looking west (essentially, the entire wall would be windows). The last thing is that I’d have put communications wiring conduit everywhere.

But the things I’ve been pleasantly surprised about is just how much the outdoors is part of the house. There are great views of the woods from each window. And each level has a different view of the woods. From the lower level walk-out we have views of the forest floor. From the main level, we look through the canopy…a view that I’ve found to be rare. It’s a great view, too. We have a wood pecker that visits a tree outside our dining room window, we see the squirrels in the trees. We also have a view above the canopy and above the trees (can see about 20-25 miles out). Where I grew up, I was used to seeing sunsets. It’s been a long time since the sunset was a daily part of life. In this house, they are again. The last view which I don’t think I expected, is of the stars from the living room. On a clear night, we can look out at the stars from our living room sofa. That, I do think, is rather uncommon.

We’re looking forward to seeing how winter looks…