The House Tour

A whirlwind adventure this weekend … from Plattsburgh to beyond Massena, and back via Potsdam and Malone. The farmland was gorgeous! Fortuitous, because the reason for a jaunt was two-fold – a good old-fashioned roadtrip combined with a tour of potential housing stock.

We headed out about 10am, stopping after noon at an awesome parking area for the mother of all picnics – big fat onion rolls, maple ham, smoked turkey, pepperoni, muenster cheese, mustard, nutmeg apple bread, and a leaf lettuce mix with parsley and basil (all grown by me). Our only misadventure was the car battery dying … again. (Remember July 4?) Said battery is already out and the new one is being delivered this morning. Here’s hoping it’s not the alternator. Meanwhile …

On the housing front, we toured modular (wood frame) homes, manufactured (mobile) homes, and pre-built camps/cabins. What’s that thing that Lady O says? It was a serious a-ha moment. Several a-ha moments. You see, evidently, we don’t like what everyone else likes. At all.

000_1368I was asking the nice lady at one of the lots about customizing options and asked to see the swatch books. And then I wanted to see more swatch books. She wondered why I was so interested in the finishes this early. I explained that “details really matter to me.” She said, “No, no. You can tell me.” And so, I explained, “They all look like the inside of an envelope tried to mate with a condo in Aspen.” To her credit, she remained cordial.

To be fair, I’m not writing them off totally. I still need to go back to see my awesome friend Michelle in Plattsburgh.

000_1373All the same, I’ve never been much into new-fangled luxury, and I’ve always known that faux touches are not my thing. The Greco-Roman detail at the top of the archway in this pic, for instance … it absolutely drives me crazy. Pretty, I know, but not my thing. And these homes were enormous! Way, way too much house for us. We want a 500 or 600 square-foot footprint at most. And the only way I would consider a second floor is if it were a short Cape-style loft room – not a full floor. The lady out Massena-way thought I was nuts.

000_1385Then, as we headed back Route 11, we stopped at a few cabin & camp builders. And it was here friends, in between Potsdam and Malone, that I fell madly and deeply in love. Cabins, friends, cabins. Gorgeous cabins that arrive on your soon-to-be-doorstep fully insulated, completely wired, and as finished as you like. Log siding. Little porches. Cedar walls if that’s your thing! And it comes to you on a big truck. Plunk! And they’re really pretty large. (To us). The 476 square-footer pictured is perfect. I’d eschew the T-111 siding for shakes or log or something more natural. I like the log-sided one to the left, actualy. $18k for the 476er, completely kitted out with the fancy cedar finishing, electrical, and insulation.

000_1380Now, how to get the thing permitted? Stands to reason, they must give you a building permit for them under some guise, even though we’re not talking about a conventional build. And out of the heavens, my supposition was confirmed. As we crossed our town line – no kidding – I noticed the things all over the place … exactly the same model as on the lot. Awesome. Precedent.

Now, what’s that Town Building Inspector’s number? Oh, wait. I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I have a house to tear down first. We’ll get there.

000_1384

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The House Tour

  1. Although delivery may be a bit of a snag, you need to google New Orleans, shotgun, modular, manufactured, housing, etc. The little cottages that they are delivering to the post-Katrina Gulf South area are absolutely precious!
    http://www.louisianamodular.com/floorplans.asp

  2. Can one of those be put over a full basement?

    Have you looked at stick built? I really like the design of the Lakeside Cabin at http://www.sheldondesigns.com/

  3. Neat stuff, but I’m really finding that I want something very Adirondaky and rustic. The whole drywall and arches thing isn’t doing it for me. I’ve had great luck find local builders who both prefab and site-build rustic cabins and small houses. Awesome.

  4. I really enjoy your blog, a nice shot of reality! I come from a very small village in New Brunswick Canada and almost all my relatives there have small cabins, or camps as we call them in which they live year round. I love them! It feels so cozy and just right! I don’t know if I will ever convince my husband of the value in living like this, but the people who live in them are usually debt free and happy!
    I remember Mother earth News did an article a few years back about building these smaller camps. They did a lot of research on it, I will try and find it for you.
    Are you talking about Massena, NY state? If so, I go there quite often, I am in eastern Ontario, across the border, less than an hour from Massena.
    http://thewattlefence.blogspot.com/

  5. I’m absolutely in love with your cabin idea. Perhaps just the thing for me in the future. I’ll be watching! 🙂

  6. Christina – We’re sort of near Massena – maybe 90 minutes. I’m in the Northern Adirondacks, about 30 minutes south of Malone. Love it here!

  7. I was in that very cabin on that very lot two weeks ago! (My mother was looking at their picnic tables.) So, of course, I needed to go in all of the cabins and gazebos ….. and now I’m bugging The Husband to plop a big fancy screened-in gazebo down in the woods behind our half-finished house!

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