Cindy and I are finding it very difficult to balance what we want in our cabin with what we feel we can realistically afford. It would be easy if we were getting some of those AIG bonuses for ruining the economy, but we're not so we have to work within both our current budget and our projected budget in the foreseeable future.
There are some things that are "have-to's" for us such as a metal roof, a real, wood-burning fireplace, safe, non-toxic materials, a basement with room for Cindy's candle-making workshop, and either have 3 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and a den or 2 bedrooms and a loft with the 3rd bedroom, den or loft serving as my office for writing. I'd prefer a den or 3rd bedroom, but would settle for the loft if it came down to a money issue.
We'd like to keep the actual cabin down to 1100 square feet or so, since it just be the two of us in it most of the time, either in a single-story or a 2-story layout. Plus the basement addition will provide ample room for the workshop and vehicle, thus leaving us plenty of living space in the cabin itself. We'd prefer the 2-story since it will allow us to have a smaller area footprint on the property, but if it's 2-story we need the second bedroom to be on the ground floor since it will more frequently serve as the bedroom for when Cindy's parents come to visit and we don't want them having to climb stairs any more than necessary. Same for when the grandkids come to visit, at least for the next few years while they're small.
If we choose a 2-story model, we'd like to have a wall of windows to enjoy the view from the comfort of our living room, however we're told more windows equals more cost. But then the metal roof and wood-burning fireplace also cost more, though at least they eventually pay for themselves. I guess you could say the windows would pay for themselves in terms of enjoyment and happiness, so we'll see.
I'm sure we're driving our contractor crazy, but as I shared with him, this will be the last place we live and we'd like to get it right. And be able to afford it. Other things we want to do like solar panels, gray water recycling and such can come later as we're able, but the cabin structure itself needs to be the way we want it from the start.
Anyway, that has been on our minds quite a bit lately as we have to start in May if we're going to stay on the schedule we have. It isn't always easy coordinating our schedules when I'm at home and it's even more problematic when I'm traveling. We were going to have a conference call with our builder today but he's out of town traveling, so we re-scheduled for next Saturday afternoon when I'll be back home and hopefully he will too.
If you click on the pictures it will take you to a link showing the floor plans for each of them, if you're interested in seeing what we're considering.