Our new house is finally well underway. Two years ago we bought 20 acres next door to where we live now. We spent ages deciding where on the 20 acres we wanted to put the house and then more time settling on a plan. We decided to build a SIP (Structured Insulated Panel) house, but struggled to find a builder. After we did find a builder, and got quotes on building a SIP, we discovered we didn’t have enough money – it was going to cost WAY more than we thought. OK -we scrapped that idea, and started over from scratch.
Then one night we went over to visit some new friends at their home, and were introduced to what Texans around here call a “Bardominium” – basically a large metal barn building, with a “stick frame” house inside. We learned about terrific barn building benefits: They’re sturdy, have low insurance rates, are safer from hurricanes than stick houses, are sustainable, energy efficient, very affordable, and have fairly fast construction times (once the work is started).
But best of all, since the barn/house framing is all metal, there are no load bearing interior walls. That meant that we could put walls, or no walls, anywhere we wanted on the inside. And we wanted big open spaces, high ceilings, and an industrial, modern, minimalist feel. We’re getting it all, and with 30% more floor space for less that the price of the smaller SIP panel or traditional wood frame house would have cost us. A total win in our books.
We’ve only had one problem since choosing to build a bardominium: Our metal barn builder has had so much work that we had to wait, and then wait, and then wait some more. But our number on his list at last came up, and the metal construction started on August 27th. As of today, October 3rd, the barn itself is almost finished! Wall framing materials for the interior were delivered yesterday, and Rudy, our interior contractor, will begin his part starting Monday. Whoopee!
We’ll have a “Studio/Office Wing” with a separate entrance – and are building in other things we didn’t know we’d need or want when we first moved off the sailboat. I’ve posted some pictures of what’s happened so far over on Flickr. Follow the side panel badge link , and let me know what you think!