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Posted by Cheryl in Ft. Collins, CO on 10/11/2009

Still waiting for the quotes to come back from the three designers I've contacted. Is it customary for a designer to take weeks to put a quote together for what is certainly less than a week's worth of work? It's just a rectangle garage with a small one-bedroom apartment above. I'll have to re-read The O-B Book, maybe I need to present my project differently. Should I have given them a due date for the quote?

While I am waiting I went ahead and bought Punch Home Design AS 3000 as it was on clearance for 74 bucks at OfficeMax. It is so cool! I loaded my topo map in and traced it and laid out the pad and foundation and walls and threw a roof on it. And now I can fly around it and visualize it better on the land. I haven't figured out how to do a dormer yet though, and haven't tried to do the plumbing or electrical. There are wizards for most of it, though. I actually went to OfficeMax to buy a  portable file folder so I could organize all my O-B and property papers. They were  already starting to get out of hand. Now it is sooo organized!

I have been researching polished concrete as a finished green flooring choice. Concrete functions as a large thermal mass and is ideal for radiant-heat tubing. But I can't find much DIY and actual cost info on polishing it. I like the idea, as it fits with my goal of keeping things simple and minimizing unnecessary inputs to the process, but there is the cost of polishing to consider. There are all sorts of cool colors, minerals, glass, shells, etc. that you add to the top when it is wet and then it gets exposed as you polish using finer and finer grinders and polishers. Anyone know how much it costs per sq. ft. to get polished concrete or better yet anyone polish their own concrete? Lots of nice countertops too, but sealing against stains and durability is hard to overcome and would probably not justify the cost of a concrete countertop contractor or attempted DIY project. Well, maybe a DIY basement or garage work bench for my pottery or seed sorting.


This is a similar design for the exterior. Mine will have reinforced concrete walls with a rock face, though.
Here is the Carraige House I designed with Punch Home design AS 3000.

Posted by RogerC in Phoenix, AZ on 10/16/2009

RogerC's Forum Posts: 53
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That's a pretty impressive 3D rendering. Have you been able to do such detailed drawings with Punch yourself? I've been considering Chief Architect, but... maybe I need to look into Punch...  hmm...

I'm hoping you'll get a response or two regarding your polished concrete questions. It's at the top of my list right now for my future home. I'll have large south-facing windows, so I want to take advantage of the flooring's passive heating effect in the winter months. I saw a model home in Tubac, Arizona with polished concrete... at first glance, I thought it was covered in a cocoa-colored leather... it was just beautiful!

Good luck with your designer quotes!

Posted by Cheryl in Ft. Collins, CO on 10/18/2009

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Image from Cheryl's blog
I can't take credit for the first photo. It was done by a professional designer and the plans are available from several house plan sites on the Internet. I used it as my inspiration though, as it matches the Craftsman style Carriage house I have in mind. Mine still needs so much work, it doesn't even look like a Craftsman yet, but I'm through my initial learning curve and enjoying the designing process. I feel confident now that I can fine-tune my plan pretty well all by myself and save a lot of back and forth work with a draftsman.

My interior is laid out differently than the internet plan and the overall dimensions are a little larger to account for the thicker walls of a concrete structure with a rock face. I've been working on the floor layout this weekend and it is giving me a lot to think about. I like the "live views", as you can walk through the house and see how it flows. I have tried quite a few ideas in arranging the kitchen appliances and cabinets. It really is a good reality check when designing a small home. 

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