Progress at last!
If there is one thing you can count on when it comes to building a house it's that it is always going to take longer and cost more than you planned. When we demo'd our house over 2 months ago we expected to start construction quickly. Unfortunately I hadn't anticipated the construction loan process would take as long as it did.
The good news though is that we have officially made it through all the financial hurdles and the money is in the bank. That means that things are starting to happen, and quickly. As of today the beginnings of our slab are in place, and while there is still a lot of work that needs to happen before they pour concrete it's a beginning.
They craziest thing about designing and building a house is seeing all the discussions and decisions we had during the design phase coming to life in the real world. For example, we had extensive talks about the overall elevation of our slab and how it would relate to the rest of the site. Our lot is about 3' higher in the front than it is in the back. That means if we had the front entrance on grade we would have ended up with the back door about 2' above the ground. So much of our inspiration comes from the Mexican and Moroccan courtyards where the interiors yards feel hidden inside the high walls surrounding them. Having a house so far above the ground would have had the opposite effect, turning 6' fences into 4' fences. To solve this we actually sunk the house into the ground so that the back door would be level with the ground (as seen above) This helps achieve the hunkered down feeling, and by lowering the house below grade we were able to have taller ceilings (9' 6" downstairs and 8' 6" upstairs) without having to deal with height restrictions. Win win.
Hopefully more updates soon!