Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A place of my own


I never thought I'd do it, but I have a blog.  As some of you may know, I'm building a house of my own.  Probably won't be done by the time I turn 30 but oh well.

The lot is on Waynesville Ave, Asheville, NC.  I got a smoking deal because the lot is literally the smallest possible lot you can legally build a house on, which works perfectly for my vision of building a small house.  The current plans are for a one bedroom, 700 square foot piece of paradise.

Many of you are probably asking why I would waste my time building something so small.  Well, it just so happens that I ran into a website that put my thoughts in numbered order, so here goes:

1.  Go Independent.  Avoid buying homes by big developers and large production builders.  They are designed for profit not people.  Work with independent designers and building contractors instead

2.  Go Local.  Avoid home finishing products from big box retailers.  The standardized solutions they provide cannot fit the unique conditions of your home.  Use local retailers, craftspeople, and manufacturers to get a locally appropriate response and support your community.

3. Go Green. Stop the conversion of nature into sprawl.  Don't buy in a new suburb.  The environmental cost can no longer be justified.  Reinvest in existing communities and use sustainable materials and technologies to reduce your environmental impact.

4. Go Near. Reduce your commute.  Driving is a waste of time and the new roads and services required to support low density development is a big contributor to climate change.  Live close to where you work and play.

5. Go Small. Avoid the real estate game of bigger is always better.  A properly designed smaller home can feel larger and work better than a poorly designed big one.  Spend your money on quality instead of quantity.

6. Go Open. Stop living in houses filled with little rooms.  They are dark, inefficient, and don't fit the complexity of our daily lives.  Live in a flexible and adaptive open plan living space with great light and a connection to outdoors.

7. Go Simple. Don't buy a home that has space you won't use and things you don't need.  Good design can reduce the clutter and confusion in your life.  Create a home that fits the way you really want to live.

8. Go Modern. Avoid fake materials and the re-creation of false historical styles.  They are like advertising images and have little real depth.  Create a home in which character comes from the quality of space, natural light and the careful use of good, sustainable materials.

9. Go Healthy. Avoid living in a public health concern.  Houses built with cheap materials give off noxious chemicals.  Suburbs promote obesity because driving is the only option.  Use natural, healthy home materials and building techniques.  Live where you can walk to shop, work, and play.

10. Go For It!


jordan said...

YES! What a great list...and here you are, living the dream. I am absolutely making a trek this summer to help you drink beer and maybe we can find some time to build a house too. I'm proud of you.

gonzomama said...

I have a few resources to suggest. Most of them deal with small spaces/storage solutions and also the quality of living space over the quantity of space. I'll work on getting a list together if you are interested. Let me know.
You have no idea how I wish I could help drink beer and build. No idea.

Manda said...

I'm with Jordan. I am defintiely down with the beer drinkin. And I am almost positive there is a hammer around here somewhere. I am so excited for your new endeavor!

Kyle said...

Chris - Kyle here....Sara S's Roommate / Jack's friend. Get this... I'm in the middle of the same exact process you are, with an almost identical goal in mind... The lot i bought is literally right around the corner from yours too!! It's on Deaver Street, one over from Waynesville. I'm clearing it, or thinning it out really, right now. I've got a design for 512 sf. We should get together sometime. I'd like to hear more of your thoughts... Or, i'll just read your blog. here is my e-mail kyle.austin.brown@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

this is such a cool thing. i am so impressed.