Saturday, June 30, 2007

Out with the old, in with the new?

This will be a long, drawn-out saga. I plan to cover our experiences from start to finish in building a new house. Here's the first installment...

Now that we're just about done with the current house, Megan and I decided we want a different challenge. This time, we're building a new house from scratch. My first house was a ranch in Lilburn, GA. I did a little bit of work to it, but most of the work was done by contractors (new roof, new furnace, new windows, new carpet, etc.). The second house was in Lake Zurich, IL. Megan and I did a lot of work on that house: we painted every wall in the house (twice), put in new natural maple floors in the living room, dining room, and family room, built a craftsman-style fence of our own design, finished the basement, and had quite a bit of landscaping done.

The current house, in Waukesha, WI, was more challenging. A 100-year-old shingle-style Victorian on an acre lot on the edge of downtown, this house required quite a bit of work. We immediately started renovating the kitchen (a project that is still in process after 5 years), painted the exterior, did some landscaping, refinished original hardwood and heart-sawn pine floors, stripped about 15 different styles of wallpaper, renovated one bathroom, and added another. We only have a couple rooms left to do, and the house will be completely restored/renovated. Once we're finished, hopefully, I'll get around to an online tour of the end result.

Besides being done with the work on the current house, we decided we wanted to move to a more suburban location for Zeke, our 18-month-old. We want him to be able to run around the neighborhood without worrying about traffic.

So we started looking at lots in the area, and did our research on communities, schools, crime rates, etc. After looking at well over 100 lots, we found a nice 1/2-acre lot in Hartland, WI--in the Four Winds subdivision. The lot is about 200 yards from Swallow Elementary school--a K-8 school in Hartland. Just a little further on is Arrowhead High School. So the new house will be walking distance to elementary, middle, and high school for Zeke. It looks like the neighborhood is packed with kids, so Zeke will have plenty of other kids to play with too.

Next time, I'll talk about the house plan....