Our 1200 sq ft rebuild is underway!

gryaneAugust 22, 2010

We lost our home nearly 3 years ago to a wildfire and are finally in the process of rebuilding. It's been quite a long road just to get to this place. The house will have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, just like we had before but is a more contemporary design with more windows and glass. My husband is the GC and is doing a great job! Here's a picture of where we're at. Windows and doors are going in. Roof and stucco should happen in the next couple of weeks. We hope to be done by Christmas. Just wanted to share with all of you!

this was our house after the fire:

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What a heartbreaking loss. Did you do all the cleanup yourselves? Your rebuild looks good and what a view! Are you doing the labor also?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Aw Darn I am so sorry you lost your house in a fire. Devastating. What you have done so far looks great. Nice your Husband can be the GC Hoping all continue to go well. Please keep up updated. Speaking for all. We love pictures.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:32PM
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Sorry to hear of your loss, but it looks like a Phoenix springing from the ashes! Your new home has a roofline that I've long coveted. I want THAT for my old garage roof, which died in hurricanes some time in the past.

I am very glad that you are coming to the Smaller Homes forum to share your new beginnings. We have lots of good folks here and I know you will feel right at home.....of course, you may already know that from days gone by, and you might be the one welcoming ME?

Let's see your plans for this Phoenix, or Firebird, or what ever name you choose to give it. Hope springs eternal.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:24PM
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how sad to lose your home like that! what a struggle back to this point it must have been.

what is showing in the pic is beautiful - and what a view! where are you located? is the house on the edge of a cliff? (I'm afraid of heights)

I don't think I'd get much done, i'd be sitting there looking at the view.

we love pics.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:42PM
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Thanks for all the replies, guys! It's great to have interest and support from you all.

marti8a - yes, my DH and friends did all the cleanup. They even found our wedding rings amongst all the ashes - incredible, huh? We've hired lots of subs (framers, electrician, plumber, etc), but DH is always helping them move the job along.

shades of idaho - it really is great that DH can be the GC. It means it's all up to us, but at least we are more in control of what happens. I am lucky that he is so skilled in these areas!

moccasinlanding - So glad you like the roofline too! It's funny because we have these clerestory windows on the side facing the view, but the way the house is positioned on the lot it's hard to see them from the outside! I know what you mean about days gone by too - we had just finished a major remodel/gut of the entire house before the fire so I have a lot of dejavu feelings going on.

desertsteph - we are up a canyon in the coastal mountains of southern california. We lived away from the property for the first 8 months after the fire and missed it up here so much!

Here's the floorplan for those of you who are interested. There have been a couple of changes - the most significant of which is the ONLY place for the washer/dryer ended up being in bedroom #3. Not ideal, but at least it's inside the house :)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 2:39AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wow! What a breathtaking view! It looks as if you're the only one around for miles. Are you 'on the grid' for power and water? I know desertsteph has to have her water delivered.

Best of luck with your rebuild--I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 7:08AM
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Love the plan. I saw the clerestory windows photo from the inside, they look similar to mine. Only ours are fixed Lexan panes.

But what a view! Nothing like that around here. :)
It is symbolic to me that of all the things returned to you from the ashes, should be your wedding rings. Tested by fire and bonded together even more strongly. You are literally rising from the ashes. A Phoenix house.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I like your plan. My inlaws had a similar kitchen/den plan and it was great.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:56PM
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wow. that's awesome. a place it's hard to leave I'm sure. like a tree house.

are those steps going out the side of your LR? to where? in the pic it looks like land ends at the exterior wall of the LR.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:56AM
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We are on the grid with water and power but have a propane tank for our gas. We do have neighbors but we are at the end of the road and they're not right up against us. There are horses in the neighborhood too. We also have a creek at the edge of the property.

There's a walkway outside going the full length of the house where you see the two sets of steps on the plans. Below that is the second level of our property which is pretty much all garden. We have lots of mature fruit trees (peach, plum, cherry, fig, apricot, pomegranate, citrus) down there and when things are finished with the house we'll get a bunch of veggies going too.

moccasinlanding - love what you said about the symbolism of finding the rings. I totally agree! It is very true. When you go through something so major like that with someone it can deepen your relationship. It's also really interesting to see how people deal with an intense situation like that and all the emotions it can bring up.

We got the garage door in yesterday and the roofers come Monday to do their preliminary work. Then the stucco goes on. I went to the tile store yesterday to figure out what to use in the bathrooms and am closer to having that decided.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 5:11PM
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Wow, what a place! It must have been so difficult for your family when you lost your home...I hope that this place will be comforting and only let you remember the happy times before! Your view is astounding, what a sweet "lemonade" dream house :) I can't imagine ever wanting to leave an oasis like this, and imagine the feeling of accomplishment when it's all done!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Gryane, when you can take a break from the construction zone, come back to chat with us about how it's going.

We'll have a VIRTUAL HOUSEWARMING. Everybody bring something.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:30AM
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Sorry to hear you lost your home to a fire. That's got to be heart breaking. Bless your hearts for starting over and rebuilding. I love your plans and the windows and the VIEW. What a view! I'll look forward to seeing more pictures.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 2:33PM
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Hi guys! Thought I'd check in and show you the latest renderings for our kitchen.

All the lower cabinets will be a natural color walnut and all the uppers will be opaque white glass. We have a giant mango wood dining table that will go in the middle of the kitchen where you might normally put an island. The cupboards on the refrigerator wall will open up to reveal more countertop space. We will also keep our toaster and other small appliances tucked away in there.

We wanted a larger refrigerator but the 48" models were not in our budget so we're getting two smaller size ones and putting them next to each other. There's a pantry around the corner from the refrigerator.

Luckily for me, my brother in law is an amazing kitchen cabinet designer/maker and he is helping us with this! It's somewhat similar to the kitchen we had before but with improvements.

All the windows and doors are in now and we are about to start to stucco. I'll post some new pictures this coming week.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 10:59AM
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This is GORGEOUS. Having the dark lower cabs, then the opaque white glass doors above, just lifts the eye up to give the effect of spaciousness. Expansive! How neat that you have a family member who can contribute to the design. And the cabs beside the fridge which open up to give countertop access to small appliances are a neat innovation. I notice at the opposite end of the kitchen there are open shelves beneath the higher up overhead cabs, and apparently a long single shelf that spans the entire wall on either side of the picture window.
It is interesting that you can buy TWO separate fridges for less than ONE 48 wide. I think the two are better because if the motor failed, you'd still have the second fridge.

Basically, I'd call your kitchen a galley style, which is super looking and very impressive.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:33AM
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OH Gorgeous kitchen plan. Love the two fridge idea.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Am I out of it on kitchen design. What type of stove is that with two side by side options?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 7:49AM
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Thanks for the feedback, guys! I am actually now thinking of moving the sink and dishwasher over to the right so that there is more room in between the stove and the sink. Some people in the kitchen forum have suggested actually eliminating the counter return at the right side, putting the stove on the right side of the window and then moving the sink and DW over towards the left. I am not sure about that because we planned to use that little return as our message center (with a small house there's no office space!). Definitely something to think about, though.

I better hurry up because drywall is happening soon!

emagineer - the stove is a 48" capital precision. one oven is larger than the other. we are getting it with all burners.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 2:29PM
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Aha! Gryane, I thought that stove was a 48 inch model!
I expected that because you said you did a LOT of cooking and canning too. You can tell I do not have much volume at all, because a 24" range with one oven is fine for me. And I want the gas version so I can do wok cooking.

It seems to me that keeping the range between the fridge and the sink is the better option. Moving the sink/dish washer over a little will get the clean up station out of the way of the food prep and cooking. Someone could be at the stove, and if anyone needs to get something out of the fridge to wash and prep, they could not disturb the cook as they opened the fridge--especially the LEFT fridge.

What the kitchen forum seems to be suggesting is putting the sink/dish washer where the stove is presently in your plan. And sticking the stove off to the right. I'd like to have the setup in a kitchen such as yours, with the stove as the pivotal appliance.

I am speaking as a person who does not do that much heavy cooking. You do, and you know how pivotal the stove location is with your style of food prep.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:28PM
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moccasinlanding - thanks for your input. I actually think I agree with you. Here are a couple mockups with the sink and the dishwasher moved down to the right a little. I know it's a bit unconventional to not have the sink centered under the window, but it's not really bothering me (I guess I'm just an unconventional kind of gal!). Plus, I think I'll really appreciate that added prep space.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 3:13PM
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Dual "Doo-Wop" roofs "in dialogue" with each other, floor-to-ceiling windows PLUS clerestories, and killer views! Very IMo/MiMo style--*LOVE* it! Must find Android app for suppressing house-lust and envy... quickly, quickly... lol.

Just think... if you accept my offer BEFORE you move in, there will be no fond memories or emotional attachments to leave behind... KIDDING!... I'm a kidder. Seriously, I now know what my future summer home in ?? will be like. Thanks for sharing.

Very sorry about your fire loss. Have friends outside Boulder, CO that suffered the same fate. But the lure of the Western mountains remains, strong as ever.

OTOH, enjoying our first real "open windows" weather of the season here on the beach in So-Fla, so the summer home fantasy is losing its valence... for now. Soon German tourists will be offering me insane Euro-sums just to pitch a tent in my backyard. ;')

PS: Being a huge fan of concrete, I'm a bit wary of the wooden/OSB construction... what measures is DH the GC taking to FIREPROOF the walls and roof? You know Ma Nature is already fueling up for the next blaze... =:O

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 9:35PM
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@moccasin:Your new home has a roofline that I've long coveted. I want THAT for my old garage roof, which died in hurricanes some time in the past.

Moc, you should contact the OP's hubby... his roof might work well for you. It looks relatively lightwt/sq. ft., and might even be made of pre-fab sections. It is certainly going to drain quickly, and in your zone, that lack of ponding is the biggest factor in flat-roof lifespans.

As I noted in your garage thread, wood frame can be made to HVHZ codes... with enough steel strapping and connectors. Don't let concrete bigots like moi create false obstacles to building your tea house. ;') Once inside enjoying cozy Zen moments, you'll care little about construction details.

Apologies for thread hijack... we now return to your regular program.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 12:05PM
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