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.

6 responses to “Compromise.

  1. –>I’d cut corners somewhere else and get the windows you want. You’ll see them from the inside and outside which can’t be said for your tile/fixtures in the bathrooms. Those you can always change out later too when you have more money.
    Then again, we’re building a pool, new fence, new landscaping, etc. etc. right now and decided to do the fence ourselves to save some money.

    • Maybe you’re right. We’re wrestling with it.
      And it sounds like you know what I’m talkin’ about since you guys are doing a pool and landscaping and etc and etc.
      It just keeps going on and on into craziness.

  2. Kevin Christopher

    It’s no problem to build a 8 bedroom ” hotel ” down there, but they won’t let you build a 1200 sq. ft. cottage. These regulations are BS. They need to be challenged and changed.

    • Thanks for the fist bump, but they’re just as hard on the macdaddy motels as they are on little ole me.
      It’s more a function of the county than the size and money.
      But i DO agree that residential code has gotten WAY out of hand. We need to remind these people that we pay their salaries.
      Thanks dude.

      • Kevin Christopher

        Thanks man, I can’t build a 600 sq. ft one room cabin on a lot in North Swan because it is two small. It would leave a smaller foot print, smaller septic, and in general, just much better for the beach environment. I don’t need a castle for something that I would you as a respite for a few weeks at a time. I haven’t given up thinking of a way. You , keep going. Let me know if you are ever near White Plains, NY. Kevin

  3. I hear ya.
    Where is White Plains, NY? Sounds cold and distant.

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