Now that we’ve sold our beloved but impractical old house, it’s time to think about what’s coming next. We’ve decided to build a house instead of buying one for a few different reasons. Matt may have different ones, but for me, these are the big ones: accessibility, sustainability, versatility, individuality.
Accessibility: One of the frustrating things about multiple sclerosis is that there’s no way to predict what my experience with this disease will be. So far, I’m in great shape. No problems with mobility or anything like that. But since we don’t know what’s coming, we want to plan a house with some basic accommodations: first floor master bedroom, wider doorways, wall-mounted sink, etc. It will be great to settle into a place that we know we can stay, no matter what comes next.
Sustainability: We’ve been in a big and somewhat drafty house for a decade, and we’re ready to tighten things up. The plan is to build a very small, very tight, very efficient house. It’ll be pleasant to live in, more affordable to maintain, which is nice for us. And I think it will be a better architectural citizen of the world. I like the idea of living in only the amount of space we really need. Nothing extra.
Versatility: Following that train of thought, we’re looking for a space that will work in many different ways. I feel like we don’t need a big room for each purpose: big office, big bedrooms, big kitchen, etc. I’d like a house that will work in many different ways, depending on our evolving needs as a family. I’d like a house like a swiss army knife. Compact, changeable, handy.
Individuality: One of the things I like about old houses is that they’re surprising. They’re quirky. They’re not just a series of boxes stacked up next to one another. You’re not completely sure what will be behind each door. Even in our house, where we’ve lived all this time, I like the idea that things are slightly unexpected. I hope we can have something like that again.
Moving is definitely not something we would have imagined doing a year ago. Building a house is not something we would have imagined doing ever. But building seems to be the best way to get everything that we’re looking for. Now that we’re here, I’m excited. Feels like the start of a great adventure.