Monday, November 7, 2011

Second meeting with the architect

Stacy and I had our second meeting with our architect this morning.  He had a few rough sketches he wanted to bounce off us before he worked up more detailed plans.  I'm feeling very poor and uncreative right now, and it sucks.

Our previous meeting had basically been a brain dump to him just to get him headed in the general direction we wanted.  He took a couple weeks to play with some ideas, and wanted to see what we thought before he spent too much time going down the wrong path.

For better or worse, his design wasn't too terribly different than what we'd come up with on our own before first contacting him.  We had intentionally not shown him that plan, although I did voice several of its features in our first meeting.  That might mean that I don't completely suck at floorplan design, or it might mean that our wishlist and budget are so restrictive that they can only be combined in a limited number of ways.  Either way, he did come up with a few innovations that we liked, plus a few things that were counter to our wishes & needed to change.

The biggest problem is that his floorplan was nearly 4200 square feet on the first & second levels.  Considering the approximate price per foot that our builder gave us, this plan is about 50% more expensive than we probably want.  That's a Bad Thing(tm).  I'm not sure where we can give up 1/3 of the footage and still have a plan I can tolerate.  I suppose this is why we're paying a professional instead of doing it ourselves.  We'll see if he earns his keep.  He's going to make the corrections we discussed today and then send us a PDF of his working sketch so that we can chew on it along with our turkey during Thanksgiving week.

My gut reaction driving away was that meeting our budget was going to suck the soul out of our dream house.  Of course, Stacy saw this coming months ago, but I didn't want to hear it.  For ten years, we've been filling our heads with cool ideas that we wanted to incorporate.  To our detriment, we never bothered considering how these features would fit together into a single, cohesive building.  Even the 4200-foot design seemed very utilitarian to me.  Hearing that we need to drop another third off that feels like somebody drug my dreams through the street and ground them into the dust with their heel.  I'm glad we've got all winter to work through these plans; hopefully God will bless us with inspiration before things are set in stone.

The architect did request that we have our builder measure some elevations on our lot so that we knew what sort of grades we were working with for the walk-out basement.  Specifically we needed the elevation at each corner and a cross section cut down the middle of the lot from front to back at one-foot intervals.  Guessing at this sort of thing can make a big difference for basement windows, garage/driveway elevations, and the like.

We're meeting again late next week.  See you then.  As always, feel free to leave any comments below.  We'd love to hear from you.

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