First things first. Land. We bought a 9.4 acre piece of land in an acreage development just 5 minutes outside of Battleford, SK. I am very excited about the proximity to the Battlefords. 5 minutes, on a grid. Not even a highway! This will make it easy for me and Athena to run into town for groceries and library pick ups and even Girl Guides. I really hope to get her into GG as I loved that when I was a young girl. The parcel we bought is the triangular shaped wedge that you see in the picture. Our property line runs from the road back to that Groomed trail that you see curving on the south side. All of those trees are all ours. Most of them are aspens Paul thinks, one of my favorite trees.
After that was settled and Paul signed the necessary papers we set out to look for a house. Ready to Move homes, if commissioned, take about 6 months to build. Being impatient for these things as we are, we were lucky enough to find one that had been started already. We first wanted to get an A-frame built. We like the openness of the floor plan and all the windows. When a quote came in at $211,000 just for the house (no basement, no furnace/water heater/ air conditioner) we easily opted for the house Paul found as he was driving home from a Hutterite colony. It was already started and was only $160,000. As much as I would have loved the A-frame I love having $51,000 less in mortgage.
This is not a good picture and you can't even see the whole house but you can see there are many windows and it has a very open floor plan as well. Lots of natural light will flood through the windows all year long. It is 1593 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (excessive, I know). The plans can be seen here as I am unable to upload them.
The house is really nice. Not as fancy as some others we have seen. We are NOT fancy people. Some of my sisters are fancy but I didn't get the fancy gene.
The house did not have the kitchen done, nor any flooring of any kind. The main bathtub is a one piece acrylic, just like I have now and I am glad for it as they are so easy to clean. The master bath has a double shower. Why a double shower you might ask? I prefer to shower by myself, thank you very much. My Mom said maybe for when we are old we can put a chair in it. Maybe. Anyway, we were to go to the cabinet store and then the flooring store and pick out what we wanted.
As luck would have it, the builder had picked out some maple cabinets and counter top to match and we liked it so we decided that we would go with it. He dropped off some samples to us so we could take them to the flooring store. I should add here that picking out little details like this is totally not my thing so I was a little intimidated. After consulting my adult daughter and getting their thoughts and opinions, we headed out. When I walked into the store I am pretty sure I let out an audible gasp. There was so much flooring. A huge overload, really. The man who is responsible for the flooring in the house asked us what we were looking for. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted non-toxic. He chuckled and led us to the cork. Cork, he said, had some toxins even though it was a natural product. The only thing was it needed to be resealed every 3 years. We moved along to the hardwood. He said engineered hardwood is good but only the top layer is hardwood and the rest is compressed particle board. Then he sent us to the solid hardwood. Nice. Our cabinets are maple so the man advised us to go with maple for the flooring. Now to pick a color. We were looking at the walls and walls of colors and he pulled out a piece of a new color, Sahara, and we loved it immediately.
We decided to go with hardwood in the whole main area, including the bedrooms. In the bathrooms, I already knew I wanted linoleum. Linoleum, not vinyl. The sales guy said that linoleum was the most natural product they had and he added that not many people choose it because it is expensive. Since we needed only small areas done, it didn't seem expensive at all. He was actually glad we chose it because he does it so little. Linoleum is mostly used for commercial applications and they don't do it themselves as it requires special installation. The color we picked matched so well it was a no brainer. So what I thought was going to be a daunting experience turned out alright after all. Deep sigh.
The pictures didn't turn out so well but you can kind of get an idea. The dark is the cabinets for kitchen and bathrooms, and of course the counter top is the speckled piece. And yes, I know, that granite is more natural but at 10x the cost, not worth it to me.
The house has a front porch on it that is made of composite materials. Even though we would never have to stain it I was unimpressed. It was a $4000 adder. I asked Paul if we could build one out of cedar and then out the back garden door off of the kitchen for less money than that and he assured me we could. There we go, extra savings there and how can anyone resist the smell of cedar after a warm summer rain?
And in case you missed it on facebook, this guy stopped by for a visit on Saturday afternoon. After looking for owls in my spruce trees every single day for 7 years one finally showed up. I know, bad omen but I don't believe in such things. I walk under ladders on a regular basis. :)