It’s been a while since I posted, but that doesn’t mean things are stagnant. Sue and I now know that we can’t afford a full custom home.

Here’s a picture of the lot covered in winter rye. The city, rightfully so, made us seed it to prevent runoff. It’s really a beautiful piece of land, and we hope to have our home on it one day.

We have a full set of plans and are exploring all options, but I don’t expect much to happen with the holiday season upon us.

We are optimistic about a few things in the works, and we’ll share more in 2016.

Happy Christmas.




The lot has been seeded and covered with hay, a city requirement. In the meantime, we are still working with Lemongrass and had a very productive meeting two weeks ago. The biggest change we made, and a huge cost saver, was attaching the garage. Here’s all the changes and the latest site plan.

·         Move earth from the back of the lot forward, (take down Cedar) to lower the foundation slope

·         Reverse the floor plan so Garage is on North side of lot.

·         6/12 roof pitch

·         Add window in Dining area

·         Garage moving forward so it’s even with kitchen window wall

·         All brick, lapboard Hardi only on the front

·         Reduce depth of back porch to 9 feet, and move house onto rear setback

·         Remove wall between office and laundry creating one doorway.

·         Put Door and Window in rear of garage, opening onto back yard with the door closer to the house.

·         Let’s take one window out of the middle bedroom, keeping the one that aligns with the entry door.



We did not have to compromise our floor plan and we love the changes. We are cautiously optimistic that these changes will get us closer to our price range.



We designed our dream home! The plans have been engineered and we have an initial estimate from our builder. Hold on, wait for it…We can’t afford it! As it stands today the estimate is $70,000 over budget. Part of that additional cost is the foundation for our sloped lot, but that’s just one cost in a list of expenses that have added up to blow up our initial budget.

We are tweaking the plan, and trying to attach the garage off the kitchen. Delia (Lemongrass) is tightening up the numbers and will be getting back with us next week.

Quite frankly, we’re about to tell Delia, ‘It’s not you, it’s us!’ We don’t want to take such an expensive leap. If this next round doesn’t work out, we’ll start looking for another builder.

During all this, Sue and I are rethinking the entire project. Building a new home was supposed to be our 25th wedding anniversary gift to each other. What really has us thinking is, “why do we want to spend all that money on a place to live?’ We have a lovely home right now.

If we can’t build, believe it or not, we are okay with the decision. We have invested in a piece of land and had it cleared. The land purchase is simply an investment regardless of whether we sell it or hold onto it a while. The creative process was great and we have the plans for our dream home, if and when we choose to build it.


Land Cleared!

We are no longer Lot 4. We have our new street address!


The Land Clearing Permit was issued and the work was completed last week.

This is the view from our construction entrance. We have now met all our immediate neighbors, including the owner of the home under construction next to our lot.

This view is looking toward Mershon from where the garage will be. As I write this, our house plans are being engineered (City of Fairhope requirement, but a must for us anyway, given the slope of our lot). They should be complete next week.


Doorways to Building a House

We had the final set of plans, six sheets, to deliver to the engineer. We walked the lot, getting an idea where the house and garage would sit on the lot. The next morning I realized that our screen room had a view of the side of our garage, instead of the tree line. Plans are being redrawn with the garage at the end of the driveway, leaving us a nice wide view of a mostly private back yard.
In the meantime, these are the old doors we bought. The solid one is from the Dauphin Island Officers Club and will go in the front bedroom/office. The second door, with the glass, will go on the garage exit.