Wednesday, August 10, 2005

FirstDay Cottages

Above are some example Pictures of FirstDay homes.
Knowing I want to build my own home, but not knowing how I would do it, I started DVR recording some homebuilding show series on DIY network. One show was on Post and Beam homes. These are houses that are framed out with beautiful large timbers, and then the walls are in-filled with SIPs or some other insulated wall method, like straw bale. They can have an interior look of log homes (which I have always thought of as gorgeous), but are much more energy efficent and have less maintenance issues. So I started looking into Post and Beam homes, but found all the kits available to be very expensive. While cruising the OwnerBuilderBook forums, I saw some posts about FirstDay cottages. These are kit homes designed by David Howard, an architect that originally designed multi-million dollar residences, but wanted to create a system for owner builders to create an affordable, quality home that is possible to build themselves. These are Post and Beam-like, energy-efficient, all wood (no sheetrock or plywood) kits that are designed specifically for the owner-builder. They have a Saltbox style kits that can be as big as 1680 square feet and built on top of a basement for a total of 2720 square feet of living space! And for only $47,000! (I have since determined that to completely build a FirstDay you would need to figure about double the price of the kit to complete it, since you need a foundation, appliances, electrical, plumbing, fixtures and countertops. But even so- a 2720 sq. foot home for less than $100000!) After looking at the web site and the several FirstDay blogs by successful owner-builders, I was impressed. I quickly ordered their information kit. After reading all this, my mind still was full of questions. I called over and talked with David Howard. What a friendly and knowledgeable guy! We talked for almost an hour about FirstDay. I was amazed that he, probably a very busy professional and president of the company, would spend so much time talking with me. Talk about customer service! Try getting that kind of response at other places! I told him I wanted to be able to see a FirstDay before I attempt to figure out how to build one. There were only a few FirstDays out on the west coast, and none close to a major airport, so he suggested I fly out to FirstDay, and they would put me up and give me a tour! I told him I would have to check with my wife, but I was certainly interested. So now I've got to figure out when I can can take a little flight to New England....

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