Daily Archives: April 4, 2011


Ya know, unless you have a rich daddy paying for it, or lots and lots of unlimited laundered money, building a house is an endless stream of compromises.

And since our laundered money is severely restricted to the size of our savings account and because we don’t have a rich daddy we’re finding the endless compromises to be endlessly challenging. Our shifting dreams rarely play nice with our concrete realities.

Take the windows for example.

The house, as originally drawn, had eleven windows, most of which were biggish gliders on the south side of the house overlooking the Sound. I got a couple of quotes on the window package way back when for our budget, and then forgot all about it. It was done, right?

Um, not so fast there, Mr. DumbShitVirginHouseBuilder.

Come to find out, adding that upstairs room shifted things I didn’t realize were being shifted. I had originally planned to build a little 1200 sq. ft. house on stilts. It had everything Miss Carol and me needed or wanted. Great views and two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Then I found out that there’s a 1600 sq. ft. minimum imposed by the silly homeowners association, so I added 400 sq. feet downstairs and just figured I’d do something with it at some point in time.

That’s when Phabulous Phil looked at my crudely drawn plans and suggested moving the downstairs to the upstairs.

Cost about the same, he said.

Just raising the roof in the middle of the house, he said.

Be a killer view, he said.

Hmmm. At least Phabulous Phil was right about the killer view. But. Unfortunately, by going up those additional 14 feet we moved into an entirely different realm window-wise.

Because we live in a coastal area prone to hurricanes our windows have to be rated tougher and stronger than non-coastal areas for insurance and code reasons. (Don’t even get me started on CODE. If I never hear that fucking word again, it’ll be waaaaay too soon) This hurricane-proofness is defined by the design and performance of the window construction, or the DP rating.

*doink*doink*doink* Anyone still awake out there? Hellloooooo.

Anyway. Because the DP rating is a function of building height, adding that upstairs room means we have to install windows rated at DP50 instead of DP35. A DP50 rated window will withstand winds in excess of 130 mph. Which means a coupla things.

One, it means if we EVER have a storm strong enough to generate 130 mph winds, the windows will be the only things left standing, hanging there in mid-air like the Chesire Cat’s smile in Alice in Wonderland.

And two, it means our window package went from $2500 to $8000. Fuck.

So. Yet another compromise.

We’re gonna have to downsize some of the windows and probably install two side-by-side double hung windows instead of the biggish gliders.

I wish I had a rich daddy.

Or maybe some more laundered money.