Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unveiling "The Montgomery Residence".....

The night Jason and Michael came over, plugged in their computer and unveiled "The Montgomery Residence", I had tears in my eyes. They had designed two separate with my bedroom and bath, kitchen-living-dining room, pantry and utility room and desk space in one structure......corrugated metal siding with a wooden "rain screen", concrete floors, a deck over-looking the river with an outdoor fireplace, storefront windows, high ceilings, fireplace, bedroom deck.....and the other structure for Morgan a few steps away had a bedroom and bath, desk space connected to a storage/shelter area and carport. It was an absolutely perfect design. Everything I had always wanted and much, much more. They nailed it.

I started "living" in that house the minute I had it on paper. Sitting on that deck, stocking that pantry, eating supper in front of the fireplace, taking showers, reading on the couch, building fires outside and watching the moon.

The difficulty came when I couldn't IMMEDIATELY transpose that house on paper to the ground where it was supposed to be. There was plenty of action, but there was also plenty of inaction. I had to keep remembering that I was closer to what-I-had-wanted-all-of-my-life than I had ever been. And getting even closer.

I got an email from Ian and Courtney from Chicago, before they moved to Springfield with thoughts they had about the approach to the house and how the space in the house could be compatible with my use and needs.......MODOT came out and selected the best place for the driveway according to visibility.....Jason and I staked out the driveway (keeping Ian's ideas in mind)......the soil scientist came and found the best place for the septic system....we had a meeting to hire Keyway Construction to be the builders of the house....two days later, Nathan and Todd came out and supervised the beginning of the driveway with Garrett moving the earth and me standing beside the road with tears in my eyes (again) at the thought that this was REALLY happening.....I started reading Natalie's blog (still the only blog I've ever read) about the process of adopting Stella......transferred ownership of a pink kayak to theworkshop 308.......had Webster Electric come out and talk about where to put the power......listed the remaining 40 acres on the river with Bob and Katy McCroskey to be sold in three tracts for potential "green" building sites.....Brian Viele came and staked out the house site for the excavation......had a combination site visit and grapevine swing when Courtney and Ian came to town......was invited to a celebration picnic when Stella finally arrived......had an amazing trip to the land and the river during The Flood of '08.....and waited and waited for the builders to get the pricing compiled so we could take the figures to the bank and get the construction loan.

Things could have turned ugly right then and there.........I would suggest reading an essay by Dan Maginn that appeared in DWELL magazine in February 2007 entitled "Your House, Your Sandwich: an architectural drama in five parts". That says it all.

CLICK HERE for Dan Maginn's article.


Betty said...

I am so touched by the wonderfully kind things you have to say about Michael, Jason and the whole workshop308 gang. Your house has become an extended family project and much more than just a house; it is a home in which they all take pride and ownership and offer their love to you through their talents, creativity, energy, and care of details. I am so excited for you that this dream is coming true and that my son and his amazing workshop308 family are getting to be a part of that dream.
I look forward daily to new blog entries from you. Have a blessed day. Betty

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm a little late finding your blog, but I am so happy I did. We are building a container house and we're just at the about to begin construction part (check it out: Nice to see that others have been there.
What are your floors? Original container floors? They are gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

And I just put the wrong link to my's actually

Duh, I had just sent the other site to my husband to read.