Featured Image (soclose-LMS)We had never been so close to actually doing it. Selling our comfy, cozy, happy home and moving out to the wilderness… of rural Parkland County. We talked to a realtor. We started madly doing all the projects that needed to be done before we listed. We even met with the bank and were relieved to find out that financially – this could actually happen. But then we told them we’re planning on building a garage apartment, not an actual house, and that was kind of that, my friends.

We knew that the county would potentially balk at the garage apartment.

We had heard rumblings they were finicky about these things. But, honestly, I didn’t think the bank would care much. I mean – a house is a house is a house… right?

Not so much. I’ll spare you all the gobbledy-gooky details and just say that if you build a garage apartment or any sort of secondary detached living space before you build the primary residence it kind of screws you over in the end as far as the dolla’ dolla’ bills go.

The hardest part of all this for me is that I now have to go back to the drawing board (aka AutoCAD) with the house design. I worked really, really hard getting the garage apartment plans ready and they were just so very pretty by the time they were done. And I’m not talking about the garage apartment itself – I’m talking about the actual drawings. The notes and the dimensions and the details. The details!

This one I did draw by hand. Nearly two years ago while on vacation in Panorama. Now I’m trying to recreate it in AutoCAD as the possible front elevation of our home to be.

Now here I am staring, once again, at a blank screen. I draw a line. I delete it. I draw two lines. I delete them both. I’m currently so far away from where I was with the garage apartment and yes  of course the garage apartment began exactly the same way. And, before that, there were other house plans I started and then abandoned at different stages and for different reasons.

Beginnings can be difficult. The unknowns. The what-ifs. The not-sures. But they’re also exciting. When everything is just a fuzzy idea and the reality of life has yet to make it all real and sharp and stuff.

Draw a line. Delete it. Repeat.

What sort of house related setbacks have you experienced? An offer on a 1920s farmhouse fall through? Someone snatch up your dream land before you could buy it and build a replica of Versailles? Let’s all commiserate on the so-close-and-yet-so-fars that come with life as a homeowner.

Don’t forget to subscribe to have new posts delivered directly to your inbox!

Posted on May 8, 2015

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.


Plant a tree with Click a Tree. It really is that easy!

Like what you’re seeing? If so, please consider supporting Of Houses and Trees on Patreon – and get a few perks for yourself!

Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I’ll send you my FREE list of “The 8 Best Places to Buy Eco-Conscious Decor Online.”

Here are a just a few eco-conscious items I own and love.  Visit the Sustainable Products page for more!

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

So Close and Yet… (House Design Woes)

5 thoughts on “So Close and Yet… (House Design Woes)

  • May 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about this setback. As people are fond of telling me, “When one door closes, another one opens!” or “Everything happens for a reason.” The thing is though…I actually believe these things to be true.

    The lines will transform into a dream once again.

    • July 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Ginny! It’s not so bad really. I’m excited that we’re going to actually build a “real” house. I totally believe in those sayings too. And in this case the whole “another door opens” will actually be a literal door!

  • May 8, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you for the posts Larissa, reading you is almost hearing you and i love it 🙂 Yes i understand the immense pleasure you get when your drawings are so pretty, it sounds like a good opportunity to consider whatever you didn’t in the previous option now that you have all that info from all those meetings and such. I’m sure that if you evoke the muses they will come to the rescue!!! Just enjoy the ride.

  • May 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Drawings don’t go away. They can always help influence the next project. The experience that comes from something that you pour your heart into is resounding and invaluable. Besides the next one will be better:)

  • May 9, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Fortunately we have one big advantage. We don’t need the bank to payroll us. We just build it and then hide our money in the deep freeze. You are welcome to come enjoy our metal shop/condo when we build it. It might make you glad the idea was kiboshed! ??

Comments are closed.