Mrs. Groovy here with Groovy Ranch Update 4. Mr. Groovy is sitting this one out. I’ve worn him down already and we haven’t even broke ground yet on Groovy Ranch. (It’s been so bad, his brain went on strike when he sat down to compose his Great American Financial Blog Post last week.) Anyway, since I’m at the helm this week, let’s get this party started.
You may recall in Building Groovy Ranch Update 1, Mr. Groovy spoke about our fight over whether we should build a one story home, or a two story home. He said he wanted two but I wanted one, so we were going with one story. And I won that battle.
But let’s back up for a minute. When Mr. Groovy and I first discussed building a home several years ago, we agreed on a simple two bedroom home—app. 1100 to 1400 square feet. Both bedrooms were to be on the first floor and we’d have a second story open loft. The loft would serve as a den and an additional sleeping space for guests.
More recently, as we began sifting through floor plans, we stumbled upon a two story plan we fell in love with. It had a master bedroom downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs—with a white, traditional, farmhouse look that was perfect for our land. However, around the same time we also found a simple one story, two bedroom farmhouse plan with a very similar look and feel as the two story. Since this was more in line with our original idea (sans the loft,) we mutually decided to go with the one story farmhouse. And all was great in Groovy Land!
That is, until a week or so went by and I got to thinking about that two story farmhouse. I couldn’t get it out of my head. And I just knew, that in Mr. Groovy’s heart, he was in love with it, too. So I asked him whether he preferred to build the two story farmhouse. He jumped at the chance and said yes. And all was great in Groovy Land, again!
So by Building Groovy Ranch Update 2, it was settled—we agreed to do the traditional two story farmhouse.
Then, around two weeks ago, I began getting cold feet about that second story. I had doubts about me sleeping downstairs and Mr. Groovy sleeping upstairs (we have a snoring issue and can’t sleep together). I also began feeling stressed about the thought of cleaning two levels. Even though our new home would be at least 25% smaller than our current home, it’s a chore to have two sets of cleaners and cleaning tools, or to lug them from one floor to another.
I admit, too, I was a bit swayed by some of the comments made on the first few Building Groovy Ranch Update posts, especially several points that were made about stairs, aging, etc.
Later that week I was on my computer and Mr. Groovy asked what I was up to. I told him I was back to reviewing one story home plans. At that point, he snapped at me in frustration and said “Pick what you want! We’re going to end up going with what you want anyway!” And I said “No, no, let’s stick to the plan with the two story traditional farmhouse”.
I thought to myself—let the man build the home he wants for crying out loud! Why am I arguing with him? He’s wanted to build his dream home for more than ten years. Does it matter what we build now? We’re not going to live there forever so what’s the big deal? Mr. Groovy gives in to so many of my wants and desires to make me happy. Let him have his win.
And I buried the doubts I had.
Meeting with the Designer
Then last week we met with the designer. He looked over the two story farmhouse plan with us and suggested a few excellent revisions. He also recommended doing entry ways and doorways wide enough for a wheel chair to get through, as Alicia commented on one of our posts. (I think Mr. Groovy and I were both taken aback by this. We tend to believe we don’t look our age, but maybe we’re kidding ourselves.) We liked the designer very much. He was easy to talk with and we felt comfortable with him.
Maybe too comfortable.
Next thing I knew, the designer expressed his surprise at our desire to build a two story home and suggested a one story ranch might be better. Wait—what? Did he just say what I think he said? Well, after several sleepless nights worrying that we were about to make a big mistake, I saw an opening. And I took it.
I threw Mr. Groovy under the bus. Here was another person—a professional designer, doubting our decision and suggesting an alternative. Mind you, in no way did I say or do anything prior to that moment at the meeting to show I was reluctant about building a two story home. I had already come to terms with our decision.
But given the designer’s viewpoint, I saw the opportunity and I jumped on it. And I admitted that—yes, yes I do prefer to live in a one story home. And the relief washed over me.
But of course— Mr. Groovy was stunned! He had no idea I was wavering again, and I picked the absolute wrong time to let him in on my feelings. He felt like he was blindsided. And rightly so.
I should have discussed my fears and doubts with him before we met the designer, rather than springing them on him and making him look and feel foolish. Of course now that he understands my concerns, he’s happy to build a one story home. If you recall, he was happy when we first decided to go with one story. I’m the one who’s full of doubt.
After Mr. Groovy picked his ego up off the floor, we pressed on with the meeting. We discussed alternate options and next steps and ended on a positive note. But we both felt like crap when we left. Mr. Groovy felt like crap because I chose the wrong time and place to tell him what I really wanted. And I felt like crap for behaving badly and for disappointing my husband. I still feel like crap.
And for now, we’re back to square one. And it sounds like we’re back to building a one story house, right? Well—not so fast.
We’re still discussing one story vs. two story. And one major factor is cost. A two story home is much more cost-effective to build than a one story home because the foot print is smaller. Livable square footage stacked on top of livable square footage takes up less space. But what if we were to go with a one story—however this time we return to our original idea of a two bedroom with a loft? Do we really need that third bedroom? Is it imperative to have a separate room with a door for guests? Or for a den, or for resale value?
This still is not an easy decision. We’ve got to let it all marinate another week or two. But Mr. Groovy said something very important last night. He said that whatever we decide, let’s do what WE want to do and not what everyone else thinks we should do. And we need to have a united front at our next meeting with the designer.
In all honesty, we were both swayed by that two story farmhouse because of its exterior look. We’ve lived in a subdivision filled with look-alike homes for ten years. We wanted to build something different with a little architectural interest. And that particular plan, on the outside, looked like a replica of an old classic farmhouse. It had the charm factor.
Then I recalled an important point the designer made during our meeting. He said to concentrate on the interior floor plan for now, and not worry about the outside—because he can make the exterior look however we want it to look.
And so we’re keeping two important factors in mind as we return to the drawing board. Do what we want, and concentrate on the interior floor plan. After all, the interior is where we’ll be spending most of our time.
Well, groovy freedomists, if there’s any winner this week, it’s Mr. Groovy. He’s better at compromising than I am. He’s not as emotional and reactive as I am. Let’s face it—he’s just a nicer person than I am.
But we’re keeping the Fight-O-Meter same as last week, because this whole episode was of a different nature than bickering over whether we want drawers or pull-outs in the kitchen cabinets.
Until Next Week
Mr. Groovy is revising his punch list for getting Groovy House ready to sell. Some of the items seem a little overkill to him and we’re going to wait and see what the realtors advise we do.
Mr. Groovy will be back next week with our fifth Groovy Ranch Update after he’s done licking his wounds.
I’ll leave you with this photo of the trash Mr. Groovy removed from our new property.
….until next week.