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But I think it would *complicate* a lot of things for your family, and what they would have to sacrifice for it would not create happiness.
We have a loose plan to buy this plot and build on it (like i said, awesome view! ), and I probably wouldn't go above 1000-1200 sq ft. It might just be two bedrooms, you know? I don't think we need much more -- if we even need that. And the only reason to build? The cottage needs a lot of work. It would cost more to reno up to standard than to just start from scratch and get the modern, efficient, off-grid home that we want (and seriously, we have priced it). And maybe that would be 600-800 sq ft again. Or maybe it would be 1000. I don't know. I haven't built it yet.
But it's always an interesting exploration.
Sorry for the chop-snip thing, but I don't yet know how to do the multiple-quote-thingy...
You got the "complicate" part exactamundo right. This is the first house where we have been relaxed and happy. Everybody has their space for their thing and it all can go on simultaneously, and as long as most of the household members follow my house rule of not dragging one room's stuff into another room (as all the rooms are dedicated to a particular kind of activity), house does very well. We even have a wrap-around porch for sitting and stuff (we have a grill in one corner) even if the weather isn't that great. Hubby and I love thunderstorms - I learned to love them in TX and he in flat-old IN.
My aunt renovated an old house - and spent almost twice what she would have had she torn it down and started over. She wanted to preserve a bit of history, be green and recycle/reuse, and all that jazz, but the house needed an incredible amount of renovation to bring it up to code, and just to fix stuff in general, so she didn't really have a choice but to spend the dough once she got started. You are smart for pricing it out.
I went to the link. Very cool! I didn't catch the beachy thing at first going on at your place - I can now see the draw. Being American, I think you know that kind of soulless suburban every-house-looks-like-another development sprawl I mean. I could totally dig a neighborhood where each house had individual character, but coming from NJ, that isn't what you mostly find there nowadays (or in suburban OH, either), and I wanted out of that.
Yes, we moved from what went from being a rural (farms and then our neighborhood and a little farm town) area to suburban sprawl (farms sold!), and it was really disheartening. We actually didn't' really like our neighborhood that much -- because it was suburban and we called it "the barracks" because of how the place looked.
I love older homes, and if they are in decent condition, a good reno can do a lot.
This cottage is a bit of a monster -- things added on in the cheapest fashion, things not quite done properly, no insulation (except in the ceiling) and so on. Honestly, there's no way to make this a 'comfortable' place -- and honestly, it's not worth it. The land value is quite high, the house value? extremely low. If we bought it and were lucky, the floorboards may be remu or kauri (native timbers) which we could rescue to recycle into kitchen counter tops, shelves, or what have you. THat's what most people do when they tear-down here. Also, windows and doors tend to be recycled (architectural salvage), and kitchen cabinets if they are salvageable (these would be, they are solid wood). for homes that had actual chimneys, people tend to keep their original terra cotta chimney pots and put them in the gardens. I love those darn things. One can often pick them up on "craigs list" as well for $50-80. People who are renovating might buy one to put into their old home, and then a gas or wood burning stove is dropped into the inside of it.
My sister is renovating an 1910 mansion in pittsburgh. They've done a lot of labor themselves, and luckily the plumbing and electrical had been done before them. Their next big project is saving up to refinish and repair the hardwood floors throughout. It's three floors and quite large. They have replaced the doors, stained glass windows, and mantels (which were lost/sold/stolen over the years) from architectural salvage. It was no small feat! After the floors, they're going to put in two more bathrooms (currently there's 1.5 baths, but there are two spaces that would make good baths to serve the other rooms).
There are three bedrooms and a family room on the second floor, and two bedrooms on the third floor. The main bathroom is on that second floor, but the second bedroom has a space in it that was a kitchen when the house was divided into apartments, and so it's plumbed to be a bathroom. Once it's done, that will be the "master" bedroom, and then the other room (where they are currently) will be a second bedroom. Upstairs are the remaining two rooms, and there's a perfect space for a small, but simple bath, to meet the needs of those two rooms.
She tends to have a fair number of house guests on a regular basis (each side of the family once a month), and on the remaining two weekends per month, she's typically entertaining guests (friends, typically with children). Right now, they all use one bathroom, which can get pretty tough. So, it works for her. She's a 'stuff' person though. No way she's consider herself a minimalist, though she does declutter and organize fairly regularly. She also has a cleaning person and a part-time nanny -- and she works from home herself. So, she likes her space comfortable.
people just live differently.
I love tumbleweed houses.
I know that if I lived alone, I'd likely live in a small, studio apartment somewhere -- so long as it had a balcony and a good view, I'd be set. I don't do well with roommates.
That 1910 mansion in Pittsburgh sounds a-w-e-s-o-m-e! Pittsburgh is one of the cities I sometimes visit - it is within easy striking distance of here. If sis gets the chance, she should catch a monthly theater program called "The Moth" down at the Rex Theater - google this youself - you both won't be disappointed; the program is available as a podcast, I believe, but going to live theater is the best.
A Tumbleweed house is going to be my next RV, if I ever get another one (we used to have a Coachman Leprechaun)!
"The Barracks" is perfect. I just may steal this!
I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC
One of the rules we have had for a very long time is to give away anything we don't use within a year. Gramma gave you a sweater that in a year you have not worn. Give it away. Kitchen gadgets that never get used? Give them away. Kids have stopped playing with certain toys. Give them away. Also teaching your children, If you have them, the difference between want and need is really important. It all helps.
Female, age 51, 5' 9"
SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.
Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
2013 goals are to get fit and strong!
I realised we only have 5 dinner plates the other day, not 5 every day ones, and the best ones kept away for 'special' meals, just 5 plates, and there are 5 people in the family (OK only 4 of them eat off plates at the moment, and one will have a little plate)
Does this make me a minimalist, or just poor
You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................
My house is only about 800sf and had no outbuildings when we bought it. We got rid of all kinds of things, and as much as we like our 'stuff', it has to be the pick of the litter to get a permanent space here. Adding a shed & garage gave us some elbow room, but we still triage things at regular intervals.
we have two large 'dinner' plates and 3 'salad' plates and 3 bowls. We have three people in the household. The "dinner" plates are serving dishes. The salad plates and bowls are for eating. We have three mugs, three drinking glasses, and three sets of silverware.
this is what we use/need.
my friend (a potter) will be trading yoga for dishes. She's going to make: 2 serving dishes (one platter, one bowl), 6 salad plates and 6 bowls (we often have guests and they have to bring their own dishes), and 6 cups/mugs (so we can get rid of having glasses and mugs -- though I use the glasses as vases, so. . . lol). And, then my mother's sending my 6 settings of "silverware" -- so psyched to get those.
then my kitchen will be normal. Old dishes, mugs, etc will be moved to the office for office use (as we are thin on the plates and what not at the office).
*minimalism!* though, could be poverty if you want more, but can't afford it.
I recommend making friends with a potter and trading.