So, now we owned the dreamy waterfront land, but unfortunately we also owned a home on Blueberry Hill in Hanover and a condo in West Lebanon that we needed to sell before we could build. Making a long story short, we sold BB Hill home in 2011 and the condo in August of 2012. Now mortgage free, we moved into a rental home on Mascoma Lake across from our building lot for the duration of the home building process.
While all this had been unfolding, Carol and I had been enjoying the land in our seasonal home we referred to as “camp-in-a-can”. Camp-in-a-can was a pop-up camper that we added an 8’x8′ screen room to along with an 8’x8′ deck. With running lake water, porta potty, gas grill and power we were set up to live comfortably from May to October. With only a camper on the property, Carol and I spent the better part of the last 3 summers living outside. The experience of living outside ultimately was the defining factor that drove the design of the home. When we bought the land, we were thinking traditional lakefront cottage style, but after living outside for 3 summers, our plan evolved to an open contemporary with lots of glass on the lakefront.
To get to a final design, we hired both an architect and an environmental engineering firm to help us determine what we could build and where it could sit on the lot. We worked with Pathways Consulting on the New Hampshire Shoreland Protection permitting requirements and the septic design. Their role in the process was to design the septic system, site the well, survey the lot, provide topographical survey plans, site the home within the setback requirements and develop a water management plan for the lot.
We ended up working with two Architects, the 1st retired midway through the project and Christopher Smith helped us across the finish line. Our home design is based on those of a modular home manufacture by the name of Method Homes we shamelessly used their home designs to develop our own.
We started this process in early April, and by August we had a preliminary design we could submit to the State for Shoreland and septic permitting along with building plans that were complete enough to start talking with building contractors. The State permitting went very smoothly, using well qualified professionals from Pathways Consulting made it an easy, but expensive process.
Working with builders to develop project pricing for the bank was a bit more complicated. We met with 4 builders and reviewed our goals with each of them. Each had their own building style; the styles could be described as a green builder, an artistic builder, a commercial builder and a practical builder. In the end we went with the practical builder, Brown and Barry Construction.
With a general contractor on board we finalized our allowances for the various construction phases and made our application for construction financing with Claremont Savings Bank. Again, the process went very smoothly once we had all the components in place, we closed on our construction financing on September 27, 2012. It took six months for us to get from concept to construction financing. With cash and permits in place, we are ready to build.