Pages Navigation Menu

high desert. small house.

Days 57-63: A Normal Week, a Home Tour and a Productive Sunday

Sorry for the late post – we ran into some issues with our photo upload program so we were delayed a tad.

Monday, 9/26
Due to our missed connection, we landed around 9:40am in Tucson.  We caught a taxi back to the hotel where we had left our car, found a dollar in the road and then drove around town for our ‘big city’ errands.  We got back to Silver around 5:30pm.

Tuesday, 9/27 – Friday, 9/30
Brian went back to ping pong club for the first time since summer 2015 (when we purchased the Arched Cabin).  I’ve started playing flute again and look forward to adding piano back into the mix.  We made a turkey chili for lunch and hope to continue trying new recipes and diversifying our diet.

We received new tankless electric water heaters for both the business and the house.  Although the support for the outgoing units was excellent, we’ve decided to try our luck with another brand.   This will probably be discussed more fully in a future post.  [Featured image at top is the inside of the departing hot water heater.]

A HUGE storm happened overnight on Wednesday – It seemed like the thunder crashed directly over our house.  We all woke up and the dogs got stressed out.  It lasted for an hour or two, quieted down and then came back for round two.  The glassware in the kitchen kept clinking together which was surprisingly unnerving.

The storm "washed" the gravel overnight so the only dirty rocks remaining are those that were under the car.

The storm “washed” the gravel overnight so the only dirty rocks remaining are those that were under the car.

Saturday, 10/1
We had a delightful day at work, followed by an awesome tour of a recently built home out in Wind Canyon.  This was the only other area we had seriously considered as the place to build our home – not only was it the only subdivision that didn’t have a minimum square footage requirement, but the lots were all at least 10 acres.  The views are amazing out that way.

Rich Bigelow, a local contractor who has been building in Grant County since 1983, specializes in “green” building practices.  As stated on his website, “Rich is an advocate for new homes, remodels, and additions that optimize space and energy efficiency and renewable energy.”  We originally met him in the drive-through [and our apartment unit was located a few doors from one of his primary employees].  Rich was quite helpful along the course of our building adventure with recommending local and cost efficient contractors.

Anyway…The house was great.  It was somewhere between 1300-1400 square feet with a HUGE deck facing east, lots of built-into-the-terrain home features (i.e. root cellar, steps built into the hill up to the carport etc), a beautiful retaining wall and lots of other neat, customized features.  We visited with the owner, his family and friends and got a full tour from Rich.  It was a great visit.

Sunday, 10/2
A satisfying day.  We spent some early time lazing about and then took care of some pending tasks –

  • Emptied the coffee grounds from the week and massaged them around a few of the trees
  • Installed the new hot water heater
  • Made two pounds of bacon to have on hand during the week as a snack
  • Vacuumed the house
  • Removed LOTS of things off the bathroom for selling/donating/trashing and moved some objects off the cross beams up to the bathroom
  • Boxed up the outgoing hot water heaters
  • Picked up a pallet from the coffee shack and situated it under the house
  • Moved the plywood and tri-ply from the shed to the new pallet area
  • Moved our zero gravity chairs from the house to the newly spacious shed
  • Went to dinner with friends

Woo-hoo!

2 Comments

  1. I’ve read most of your build blog. My brother owns 2, ten acre lots in Wind canyon. He recently had a local Silver city contractor draw up plans and provide an estimate to build a 1500 sf. home (A frame ). Quote was close to 300 thousand. I’ve forwarded him your blog info and arched cabin info. Although he won’t be able to do much work himself due to health reasons I think he can get more bang for the buck with this type of construction.
    We have visited Silver city several times , have ate at the Buckhorn, and usually stay at Bear Mountain Lodge. We love the area.

    • Thanks for the comment! We love Wind Canyon. We know there are some good contractors in the area, but because we are so far isolated from a big city, it seems that markups and material costs are higher. I wonder what your brother could save if he GC’ed it himself – he could hire out all the contractors but purchase materials himself. That would save something. It would also give him more power in choosing finishing details.

      If our house cost roughly $50k (without land or yard work) and you tripled the square footage to get near 1500 square feet….it would cost a little more than $150k. A quote for $300k makes me wonder how they are valuing labor and what particular materials are being selected.

      An acquaintance of ours also received a build quote from a local contractor. I think it was for something around 1200 square feet. It was nearly $250k. And the itemized list was missing loads of important details (air sealing, covering for soffits, etc). We suggested he take a look at our expense breakdown to understand the cost of each part of the build. He took out an $80,000 loan for a 350 square foot RV (tiny house on wheels) instead. To each their own…More than one way to skin a cat or build a house.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *