Mod House Design – Canning NS.17

Here’s something everyone should know about building an “outside the box”  home that is smaller than the average 1250 square feet per person and environmentally friendly – a home that damages the land as little as possible.  Once you’ve found a builder that sees the vision and has the skills to make it a reality… … you’ve got to convince the permit people at the county and the bank that it won’t: A. fall over,           B. sink into the earth, and/or             C. be carried off by pelicans     …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.11

Perhaps you’re wondering what’s been happening with our project.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  During this time, we’ve been sourcing building bids and investigating prefab versus site-built options.  To enable this information gathering comparison of apples to apples, we’ve needed to play our cards close to our chests.  This is still the case, but, while we wait, I do want to share an informative Remodelista blog post from Justine Hand about designing small spaces: Expert Advice: 11 Tips for Making a Room Look Bigger by Justine Hand As a former New Yorker and current owner of a wee …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.7

On this snow-stormy Sunday, I turn my attention to the ‘B’ word – no, not blizzard… budget.  Michael and I are still in a daze after Wednesday’s budget meeting with Architect Vincent and Builder Nick.   Last night was our first opportunity to talk openly with friends about our budget, plans, goals and compromises to our dream home to-date.  It was truly helpful to discuss it all openly.  Everyone was supportive and ideas were helpful and will be considered. I’ve realized over these past few days that it’s all well and good to share goals and plans, but rarely, it seems, do people talk about the real dollars …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.5

Design touches are what make a home your built-for-you home.  In this post, I’ll introduce our lower level house plans with a walk through of a few of the design features.  Let’s start with the exterior:  We dream of achieving minimal outdoor maintenance and maximum outdoor living and here are a few design elements to take us there: Planting low, drought resistant ground cover on a small lot with a gravel perimeter around the house – no watering, minimal weeding and no mowing!   Creating a driveway of gravel which is less costly and more environmental friendly than asphalt. Providing streamline, no fuss outdoor storage – easy to access items …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.4

With only 3 to 4 months to go before building starts, we’re beginning to feel a little pressure to get all our choices made and quotes in so we can finalize our budget.  I’ve completed the lighting plan, including budget, and received two thumbs up from both Michael and Architect Vincent. We’ve made our decisions on plumbing fixtures, built-ins, heat sources and the hot water system.  Architect Vincent has finalize our plans and now he will submit them to Al Stewart at Efficiency Nova Scotia (Efficiency Al) for his thoughts on heat loads and losses. We’ve decided on propane for domestic hot water, …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.3

We’ve felt like there’s a chorus of circus poodles dancing around in our heads as we tapdance our way through the options on how to heat and power our home. We would LOVE to be off-grid –  meaning our home would not be connected to any utilities and we would generate our own power and heat and not rely on municipal sewer and water. It turns out that living off-grid is VERY expensive.  But throwing oodles of money into a project will not guarantee a comfortable life-style in a fully autonomous home.  There are trade offs – many trade offs. We really want to keep things simple …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.2

So far, we’ve been working on the concept development with Vincent, our architect.  This is the stage where Vincent takes our ideas for our perfect home and morphs them into a house plan that will meet building codes and be logical – with stairs that lead to landings and not bathtubs… well, I’m sure you get the idea. I’ve finally let go of my desire to have the staircase in the center of our home.  I’ve always had ordinary stairs that go up along the exterior wall starting at the front door.  Now I understand why – when a house is small, this is an ideal …

Mod House Design – Canning NS.1

The plan was to collect photos right from the start, but it’s easy to forget to snap pictures during initial meetings when there’s so much that’s new and exciting!  So, I’ll start with yesterday and backtrack just a little. The purpose of this blog is to document the planning, design and building of our perfect home. Those who are planning to build their own small footprint, small budget, super-insulated, energy-efficient home or are simply curious may enjoy following along. Yesterday, we had our third meeting with architect, Vincent denHartog, at our building lot.  The purpose: to look at exactly how and where our house …