When I made the annual journey to Kings Vista to enjoy another summer, I never dreamed what would unfold over the next months. My wife and I had been thinking we wanted to find a more permanent place for our summers, with the idea we are not getting any younger, as they say, and wanting to simplify our lives. We have looked at many places over the past year at locations nearby and some over 200 miles away. We even went far enough to make a couple of offers which didn’t pan out.
So, we decided we would just stay put and, at least, put a nice cover over our deck, since the awning wasn’t in the greatest shape and just didn’t work when we needed it the most. I started making inquiries around to see who might be available to build the deck cover for us. Through the local hardware store I was introduced to the Kelly brothers, Matt and Jesse. The Kelly brothers, along with other family members had decided to start their own company, New Creations Remodeling, a couple of years ago after working for various employers and after settling in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.
After talking with them for a while, they asked if we had considered building something. We said we had, but weren’t sure if we could afford it, at this time. One thing led to another and after some discussion, we decided to have them look seriously at the potential to build something and they gave us a bid we thought was very reasonable and through mutual trust, we pulled the trigger.
We decided to build here.
And, so it begins. I uprooted my nearby ‘camp’ and moved our 5th wheel back up the drive and to our original spot to sit out the summer there during construction.
I hated to take out any trees, but we had to take out some to make room for the septic system and access to install the tank. It was quite a battle with the local county to get them to approve what we were going to do, since there has been quite a political battle happening, but we did finally get them to approve our plans.
So, the ground is broken and it is nearly too late to turn back now! We decided to go with a full, walkout basement topped by one level with a big wraparound deck to enjoy our million dollar view. aka Kings Vista. Here are a few shots of the basement construction.
New Creations recommended the Fox Blocks for constructing the basement. The concrete pouring was a little tricky because access was limited and a pump truck had to be utilized. The end result was wonderful. We just visited this week and the weather was cold with a wind chill less than 20 degrees. We were amazed at how warm it was inside the basement with absolutely no heat.
The partitioning in the basement is in progress, and preparations begin for the main floor. Since there will be no well, we will be using a 1200 gallon basement cistern for our water supply. Below you see it loaded on the trailer and putting it in place before building any walls.
We hope it never has to come out, because it would have to be in pieces!
The floor joists were built across and the main floor is in place. Above LH corner, Chris inspects the work. Above RH Matt Kelly and his lovely wife Kate pose standing on the main floor. On the lower LH and RH pictures, Matt and brother Jesse survey their work. These guys take amazing pride in their work. Wonderful, Christian young men.
Framing has begun for the main floor and the roof trusses are going into place. No crane was used in construction. Just a lot of sweat and effort to get the roof trusses up along with building materials.
Things are beginning to take shape with the main floor enclosed and the roof panels in place. These guys have been fearless and dedicated to every detail.
The deck starts to take shape.
The metal roofing was an extraordinary effort on the part of New Creations Remodeling, but, as with everything else, they did a superb job of designing and covering their custom work.
The deck was built with Douglas Fir and is absolutely beautiful. Note all the intricate finishing touches done by these amazing builders.
We decided on a stucco exterior and New Creations Remodeling did all the exterior stucco work, along with custom designing the gable, gable extension, and front look. Essentially they did everything but the plumbing and electrical, which were subcontracted.
I will elaborate on the solar more, later, but wanted to show the installed panels (we subcontracted the solar, but New Creations installed the panels and built the custom box to house the batteries in the basement.
And, now, some 5 months after we broke ground, things are nearly complete. When Spring gets here, we will have much to do to get things ready, but hopefully we will get it done and get our first summer. Since this blog is dedicated to off grid living, I will add some chapters on that, when we get there. We will need to get an efficient refrigerator, an efficient propane stove, and an efficient clothes washer. We haven’t addressed heat, yet, but are plumbed with the ability to put in an efficient propane heater or two, for those times when it gets chilly in the summer, which can happen. Much to be done, but we couldn’t be happier with the work done by these amazing young men of New Creations Remodeling. Matt, Jesse, Chris, Alex, and Clayton. I will be happy to furnish their contact information if anyone is interested.