As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm a planner. I like to know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there. Planner Matt is a perfectionist, and deviations from the plan are rarely suffered or enjoyed. It is not uncommon for Planner Matt to make a plan and then not share it with others. Taking the time to share my plans with others seems like a good way for people to know where I'm going, so I think it's a good idea.
Tianna and I are going to build a lake house up near Coldspring, TX on Lake Livingston.
Tianna's grandfather Papa Ned owned a few lots near the water in Coldspring, and he decided to give them to his grandkids. Tianna's lot belonged to a friend of the family who passed a few years ago. The lot has a foundation already on it, but no house. The house burned down. That's another story, and one that I've heard at least three versions of (so you know it's good!).
We want to build a house that is comfortable for our family when we visit, but also something that is big enough to accommodate guests. In all, it will be a general retreat from our lives here in Houston which, at times, can be just a tad bit stressful ;) The idea of having a place to go to on a Friday night and spend the whole weekend somewhere out of reach of all of the stresses of life makes for a very appealing proposal for us.
So what would this house of lake be like?
Well, our lot is not on the water, so that keeps things a bit simple. We have a fair bit of space, but we're not talking acres here, just enough to build a comfortable house and some outdoor areas. My own aspirations for the structure are these. I would love to build the house to generate some of its own electricity. Depending on the local laws around Coldspring, we may or may not be able to sell excess power back to the utility company, but being able to offset our power usage while we're there would be great. I've only been to the lot once, so I'm not sure how viable this will be since the lot is in a forested area. If there's not enough direct sunlight, solar is pretty much out.
I'd also like to have an outdoor area like a pavilion outside where we can relax by a fire, eat, read or what have you. Something made of wood and stone, I think, maybe with a pre-built fire pit so that we can easily control where the fire is. Joe, if you're reading, something along the lines of what you guys have at Ventana would be ideal.
I've gone back and forth about how much of the construction I would want to do and how much I would want a builder to do. I certainly don't know everything about building a house, and I certainly wouldn't try on my own. Building custom with a builder makes great sense, too, since we would really get exactly what we want.
As with any plan, things change. We've super early in this process. We haven't even reached the "draw something on a napkin" phase. However, I promise that when that napkin makes it's appearance I'll furnish it to my reading public. Also, if you're reading this far, congrats! You're my reading public!
Timeframe? Oh, not tomorrow, but sometime while Lex can still enjoy it. It all depends. We still have a lot of work to do on getting out of consumer debt, but we have a plan. And that's what I do. I plan. I'm Planner Matt.