Our New Dream Home Progress 

While the remodel effort was being completed, we picked out a location on my son's property and began preparing for the move. The first thing we did was to begin to clear out 20 years of "clutter". Items we really wanted to keep were then moved into a "storage trailer" purchased in 2005 when we realized the sale was unavoidable. 

Our original dream home was listed with a local realtor on May 3, 2007.  Closing was accomplished on August 17, 2007. We were totally shocked at the speed of the sale as well as being unprepared for the move.

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Improvement Direct

July 2007 - Our excavation contractor (Jim McCoy of Tri-County Dozer in Greenville, TX) completed the work he had started in 2005 when our site was first selected (we had decided to hold off completing his work until after the house was sold).  He installed a bridge across the dry creek bed and dug a landscape pond on the SE corner of the yard.  He also raised the house pad to avoid drainage problems.


Click on the picture above for a video.

A fence contractor was hired to enclose some pasture area for our horses.  As soon as he completed the project, our horses were moved to their new location.

August 2007- The month of August was a mad rush to get temporary housing set up.  This required the construction of a 12x20 portable building including interior finish, insulation, electricity, etc.  The building will be used to house my computer, a supplemental cold box for food, a freezer, washing machine and dryer, shelving for pantry items, my husband's treadmill and exercise space including a TV. A local contractor was hired to put the building up and my son and I completed the wiring, plumbing, and installed laminate flooring for comfort.  My son and I also installed a 10x20 ft deck on the front and arranged our kennel panels to secure our 3 Pomeranians that live with us.

We purchased a 28ft travel trailer to cover the other living area needs.

A temporary power pole was installed by my son, the water company installed a water meter and our plumber took care of installing the 250 ft. of 2" water line back to the "living accommodations".  We also had an aerobic septic system installed with a special drop for the travel trailer.

While the above items were being taken care of, my husband spent his days packing everything he could.  He could only work for a few hours a day because of his health issues but he succeeded in packing everything in the kitchen.

The house was turned over to the new owner on August 31.

September 2007 - The first two weeks of September were spent correcting problems that came up.  A portable air conditioner had to be purchased for the travel trailer because the roof air couldn't keep up with the heat being generated by my husband's oxygen concentrator which runs 24/7.  We had to install a roof over our deck because the awning for the travel trailer could not be left down and the sun made it difficult for my husband to move between the two structures.  My son and I completed the roof in about 12 hours which saved us about $600 (the bid from a local contractor for the labor). 

I made a trip to Longview to meet with Jeff McKinney, our Satterwhite Log Homes representative and requested a preliminary design on our new home. 

I requested bids from contractors for concrete, geothermal heat pump systems, and for our barn/shop which was needed as quickly as possible.

The plans arrived and my husband and I began actually putting together a materials list for completing the interior. We worked on establishing our budget for each phase and quickly found out that we may be short on our funding. 

We did not want to finance any of the construction so that meant a reduction in the size of the house was necessary.  We sat down together and came up with a design that would make us both happy.

October 2007 - A trip to Longview to meet with Jeremy Cammack, Designer for Satterwhite Log Homes was made on October 3rd.  Also discussed some of our options for interior finishing.  Instead of making our own log stair rails, we will have them made by a carpenter in Longview. 

We are still waiting for bids from one of the geothermal contractors and the barn builder.  Our bid for the concrete work will have to be adjusted once the new plans arrive.  Hopefully, it can be reduced since the house has been resized.  With our new design, the living area was reduced by 400 sq. ft.

Update for October 2007 - Completed the final design of the house and picked up copies of the plans. Paid the initial payment and signed to get the project started. Our new design will reduce not only the cost for the shell portion of the house but also cost for the foundation, HVAC, and interior completion.  The images below have been reduced for the web, click on them for a larger view.

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We also requested a couple of upgrades and changes to be incorporated by the SatterWhite crew.  They will be using a special decking for the roof that has a foil thermal layer on one side.  Upgrade cost was less than $300 and eliminates our need to apply insulation under the metal roof.  Our stairs will be open half-log instead of the standard closed stairs. Click on the image at right for a larger view.

The front and back porch posts and railings were deleted as we plan to use natural cedar posts cut down on our previous property.  I will build a log railing out of round cedar stock and hopefully twigs and small limbs for a more rustic look.

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November 2007 - Layout for the pole barn is complete.  First holes were drilled on 3 November.  Once the poles are square and plumb, we will pour cement for the shop, tack room, and center aisle.  

Our cement contractor will be out on the 5th to pick up a copy of the house plans and go over our plans for the foundation.  Any changes will be reflected on our Building Your Dream Home Foundation page. 

Because of the cost of geothermal heat pump systems in our area, we may decide to go with a high SEER rated air-to-air system.  I'm still waiting on our last bid for geothermal and that will be the deciding factor as we have a fixed budget.  24 Nov: Just talked to the geothermal contractor and there is no way we can afford one at $21,000. 

The week before Thanksgiving, our barn slab was poured (see image to right). Most of the 2x6 and 2x4 ribbons have been attached around the poles. The trusses will be delivered next week and hopefully erected quickly so we can order the metal for the sides and roof.  We are also hoping the weather will improve so work can begin again.

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Our foundation is scheduled to be done the week after Thanksgiving but as I am sitting here typing today (Sat., 24 Nov.) it is raining outside and is expected to continue all day. The contractor will have to decide on Monday if the ground is dry enough to start the trenching for the footing and drilling of the piers.

JANUARY - 2008  Well, as usual, nothing ever works as planned.  You must always have a Plan "B", "C", and maybe even "D"!  To begin, our foundation could not be constructed as planned due to excessive cost by the one contractor we were comfortable could complete the project.  The other contractors that bid on the job were not able to convince us of their ability to complete the project as well as a total lack of communication.  You should not have to call a contractor several times without a return call.  It is not a good "omen". 

We anticipate a slab foundation will  be completed sometime during the week of 14 January, with our SatterWhite Log Home construction crew onsite by the 21st of January.  Click here for an update on our foundation. The house should be in the dry by the 1st of February or close thereafter - depending on the weather of course.

Our barn is basically completed.  It is in the dry and we can now store material for completing the inside of the house without weather damage. It is not fancy but will serve the purpose.  The shop area is 20x34. We have a center aisle in the back with tack room, hay storage, and two horse stalls.  

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Click Here for a quick update on the interior completion of our home.

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Last updated: Monday, 11 May 2009
Site Owner: Ellen Mayo
URL: Building Your Dream Home
E-mail: webmaster@buildingyourdreamhome.us
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