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Posted by Cara in Orlando, FL on 6/24/2005

Things are moving right along!

Wetlands: Called Steve, who met with the county wetland guy. They agree on the wetland line and site location for the house. However, the county believes that the Department of Environmental Protection may want us to build on the FRONT of the lot (destroying the front cypress stand and leaving the majority of the lot swampy), rather than the logical location midway back in the already-disturbed wetlands. Steve thinks we'll eventually get them to see our side, but it may take a while. No problem. I also asked him about the alleged water problems in Wedgefield. His feelings are that:
a) The media blew it out proportion
b) Wedgefield Utilities regularly tests their water and in reality the levels are fine
c) Since we will be on our own well water we are in a different situation. It will be pumped from a much shallower aquifer than what the city water pumps from. Also, we will use different methods of treating our water, and the experts believe it is the chlorination that causes the production of the harmful agents in the water.

So A-OK there.

Designer: Dave called yesterday, he has come up with several plans but they don't match the elevation he had in mind. So he's going to work on it a bit more. Then he'll provide us with the draft, as well as each iteration prior, what he changed in each one, and why. Awesome! We will have it before Alaska.

I went to see a few house models last week and plan to go to a few more possibly next weekend. Saw a 4br model around 2500 sf. This reaffirmed our decision to go w/ a 3br... We will be able to make the secondary bedrooms bigger, and add space to the great room by doing so. A few things I wanted to make mental note of:
Don't forget about soffitt lighting when it comes time to do electric plans
Recessed lighting in the shower stall looks pretty darn cool
Stucco finishing on covered patio- how much, say, to do arches between support columns, etc.
Plant shelves in bathroom or other?
17x20 absolute minimum size for great room
Think about walls and furniture placement too... Where will everything be situated in the great room?
Definitely still like the concept of a pool bath adjoining a secondary BR (acts as a guest suite too!)
Will there be enough room somewhere to eat inside? If we have a larger living room type area, this could potentially work. Otherwise, maybe an eat-in area of the kitchen that adjoins the great room? Somewhere there needs to be room to feed 12 people easily.
I heart mitered glass eat-in nooks, but I think it would be too expensive.
Half-walls could be an option for the "living room" area. It might make the place seem bigger. We'd be sacrificing soundproofing, but it could potentially be nice. Good for entertaining, too, I think.
13x18 is plenty for a Mbr
Hallways are an utter waste of space!!!!!
Kitchen layout is important- it has to be just right, otherwise I will feel "crooked" while I am in it.

To-do list:
Research construction management software and pick one
Research window costs and standard sizes
Get up to date on owner-builder message board, get a login and introduce myself
Begin to find out how to get a street address assigned (please god don't let there be any fees for this...)
Get Orange-specific critical path, permitting, and inspection list to begin project management chart
Look into taking a construction class at Valencia beginning in September

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