Friday, December 3, 2010

House Design

My Gal Friday and I are planning on building a new home and have contracted with a residential design/builder for this project.  This gentleman and his wife, who is also an intricate part of the business, are sincerely trying to help us design a truly wheelchair accessible home.  This is not an easy task and especially when strapped with our meager budget.

Gal Friday and I, in a state of grandiose confusion, decided to live out our remaining years in a small bungalow at the water's edge in some warm climate where we could sit holding hands blissfully staring out at an idyllic sunset like a couple in an ad for erectile dysfunction.  This decision probably reflects some degree of dimentia onset.  

So we began our search for the building lot.  We looked at waterfront  property in Tenneesee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida before settling on a spot in North Carolina on the Albemarle Sound.   The lot is not that big, but gigantic in price.  I opted for a larger lot, which was much cheaper, but Gal Friday refused to live in the nearby Great Dismal Swamp.  I tried to convince her the mosquitos aren't that big, but she was more concerned about snakes and alligators. 

Have you checked out the prices people are asking for waterfront property lately?  We paid more for this postal stamp size lot than three generations of my family's combined earnings.  This didn't leave us enough money for a double wide, much less a house.  But undeterred, we plodded on.

We are very involved in the design phase of our "dream house."  At the way the costs are escalating, it will be just that--a dream.  Shock is my reaction to what I'm learning about how much this wheelchair accessibility adds to the cost of a home.  Hallways and doors have to be wider.  Threshholds have to be lower which means longer eaves to protect the interior from water damage.  Bathrooms require space for turning and the addition of grab bars, higher toilets and other special equipment drives up the cost dramatically.  To incorporate all these specialties, the square footage keeps rising and the cost per square foot climbs right along with it.  And how about insurance?  It's a frantic race to see who can set the highest price among the agents selling builders's insurance,  flood insurance and homeowner's insurance.  By the time we're finished I figure we will spend more on our bungalow than Citizen Kane spent on Xanadu.

So now we're looking to cut back.  There goes my endless pool for exercising.  Goodbye elevator-I really don't need to go upstairs to read to my grandchildren.  I'm having a hard time erasing the bonus room over the garage, where I envisioned a game room, off the printed plan.  The boat dock is sinking, much less the boat.  Hmm...can we give up our vehicles?   Gal Friday could ride on my lap in my wheelchair.  I can't seem to muster up enough courage to discuss this with her.  Soon we'll be entertaing the thought of eliminating the whole second floor.  Our guests can tent on the grass, but then, who really needs grass?  I wonder if the Architectual Review Committee allows trailers.  That double wide is looking better each day.

1 comment:

  1. We, in CT got hit with the white stuff - about 6-8 " tho' - but we lucked out last year with little snow the whole season; only one time did we need the snow blower! Luckily this year we have a reliable snow plowing outfit - they came late Sunday and then 2 or 3 times after to keep us open to the road, even tho' we didn't really need it. My wife also shuns cold feet - got them frost bitten a couple of years after we married, hence our first kitten was aptly named 'Frosty' Charlier421