This is where things start to get interesting. The research, the
learning and understand what's best for what we're looking to do. First
things first, I need to determine what I'm going to do with the 1.35 acres.
This is a scan of the lot from our title documents. It's a good place
to start. Everything begain with this scanned image. I cleaned it up
a bit and wanted to see how a structure would fit when scaled down
I spent a lot of time on the Internet looking for cabin plans. I always knew
that I would be using the architect I used on my current home, for this project.
So I spent some time on Ken Reed's web site
go to the same place). He has a lot of great stuff on his web site,
including some log home plans. While I had different ideas than a log
home, those tend to have excellent floor plans in layouts that appeal to our
I grabbed a cabin plan that looked reasonable, just to see how it would fit.
With some math, I scaled the floor plan down in Photoshop to see how it would
This was to understand scale and what I learned was that this lot is much
larger than I had even considered. There's a lot of room on that lot....
The next thought was about toy storage. I have never heard of a
recreational property having too much parking/toy storage. While having
dinner at a neighbors home, they mentioned that a great way to build is to build
two structures. The first is a garage with an apartment above it.
You finish that smaller (thusly less expensive) structure and it creates a 'home
base' where you can sleep and store tools while you build the main (and more
expensive) structure. In the end, it also gives you extra parking stalls.
Don and Bess (the neighbors next door and the owners we bought the lot from)
have several structures on their property. They have a very large
pole-barn type structure with an apartment above it. In speaking with
them, they did exactly what I heard from our neighbors. They built the
garage/apartment, then used that while they took their time and worked on their
Ranch House. It sounds like a great plan, and it's already been done on
the lot next to mine, so no worries, right? Wrong. With this
thinking, I had just set myself up for the first significant scare of the
project. More on that later in the development.