Marching...get it? Because it is March? Oh boy. I met my handyman out at my property on Saturday morning. He was very enthusiastic about my plan and had ideas to do things better and easier. I've had people come out to give me bids and most of them either don't get back to me or make the bid so high that it was obvious that they didn't want the job.
My mother has offered to lend me the money to build a guest house. She doesn't want me to put a lot of money in to the old mobile home. My first thought was how much longer would I have to work to pay her back? I figured it would add 1 year to my plan. Building something has always been an option but I figured I would wait until after the house was paid off and then see how I felt about working longer in order to upgrade my living arrangements. I was thinking along the lines of a 10'x20' shed that I would turn in to a tiny house but with my nephew returning (I'm 80% sure he will return in July) I need something a little bigger so now I am looking at a 24'x24' guest house. It would be 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, with an open kitchen/living room. I helped my dad build a garage/shop back in 1994. My parents made an apartment out of the garage and lived there while they built the main house.
My first thought was to call the shed/garage builders since their website said they could build a 24'x24' garage for $23,000. Unfortunately, they said they were booked for the next 6 months and weren't taking any garage orders. I told this to my handyman and he said that if I got the permits, he could build it for me. Getting permits has always been a scary and mysterious thing to me. I guess if I really want this, I need to face my fears and figure out the process. I mean, I'm a drafter, after all. It shouldn't be too hard for me to make a site plan. I already looked up the zoning, 20' from the property line and 30' from other structures. I might buy the garage plans off the internet but we will see. I need to do more research. If I do this right, I think I will be able to finish the guest house cheaper than hiring the shed company to just build the shell. Of course, I will make lots of mistakes. I read that if you want to build a house, build a garage first so that you learn from your mistakes. Well, I only need one guest house so I'll just have to try to learn from other people's mistakes.
While I am working on the permits, the handyman will be doing a few improvements to the mobile home like adding a door on the north side for easier access, covering the floor with plywood, and replacing the skirting (the first step for snake prevention). The next project is to make a secure yard for the dogs. I'm thinking about a 3' block wall with chain link on top of that. Coincidentally, my co-worker just messaged me and asked if I knew anyone who needed 50' of chain link. I do, I do! Although rattlesnakes can climb a 3 foot wall if motivated, I am hoping that blocking the pack rats with the new skirting will eliminate any motivation. Diamondback rattlesnakes are quite lazy. They tend to go under things rather than over in my experience. I also need to keep out coyotes, javelina, and roaming neighbor dogs. I hope to surround a large portion of my property in field fence some day.
And another thing, the excavator guy called me on Saturday and wants to meet at the property on Thursday afternoon to see what needs to be done. I'm hoping he can level off a building site for me as well as fix my driveway. I fear I will need some time off work for all of these projects which means I need to slow down the dog fostering because vet appointments interfere with work too. My handyman can't get started until I meet him at Home Depot to buy the door, plywood and skirting material. I just took 2 days off last week and I don't want to fall behind at work. I'll make it all work though. It's going to take some juggling but progress is being made, finally!
Living in your guest house in warm, sunny, snow-free Arizona sounds really good compared to coming off our coldest February....EVER?....with 4-6 inches of snow here in NY. I'd book a flight out but there are heavy airport delays!
Definitely Marching forwards. It all sounds very exciting. I love the idea of a little house out at the property, what a lovely mum you have.
Well, Dave, the guest house is still imaginary so you will just have to imagine yourself on a warm beach somewhere. I can't say I miss snow at all.
Lizzie, I do hope it works out. Borrowing from family isn't the best scenario but the banks just have too many demands. They would make me build a 3 bed, 2 bath and drill a well. I don't want to work another 10 years to pay off more house than I need.
Hi Daizy - when I was researching downsizing options for my parents, I came across a LOT of great carriage house plans. Two-car garage below, living space above. Didn't know if you'd considered that option, but I like the idea of being further away from the snakes!
There are plans with washer/dryer up or down, stairs internal or external, elevators, with or without decks - you name it. You pay a little more for the second story, but not much considering you double your space!
-Lee in Texas
Hi Lee, those carriage houses are great. I've been drooling over those for years. Unfortunately, my county has a rule that a guest house can't be more than 45% of the square footage of the main house. I think I am pushing my luck with 24'x24' although I don't know if the garage would count in the square footage.
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