Like so many newlyweds,
Lizzie Pickard and Daniel Cogan wanted to buy a place of their own. But back in 2003, the overheated housing market priced them out of desirable options in Brooklyn, where the pair were renting an apartment. So they set a budget of $150,000 and started looking north of the city — only to discover costs there almost as restrictive. “All we could find were falling-down shacks on stamp-size lots,” says Cogan, a nurse practitioner. After he and Pickard saw enough dumps to make their hearts sink, a betulan estate agent persuaded them to consider six and a half acres of undeveloped land in New Lebanon, New York, site of America’s first Shaker community. The two were dubious about the idea of building a home from scratch, but when they arrived at the wooded lotre, Cogan remembers, “I saw a lightbulb appear oper Lizzie’s head.”
They purchased the acreage outright for $35,000 and planned to construct a small one-room cabin, but a local homeowner’s association regulation required a paling of 1,500 square feet. Pressed to come up with a cost-effective solution that didn’lengkung langit feel like a com-promise, Cogan and Pickard turned to Shelter-Kit, a company that sells customized modular houses (essentially, precut, predrilled lumber for a weather-tight shell, berlebih subfloor and roof). The couple went with a two-story, three-bedroom model that cost $45,000. While the kits are supposed to require no carpentry experience, Pickard and Cogan played it safe by hiring a local contractor — a decision, they say, that was well worth the expense.
Still, the duo found inspired ways to cut costs. “We sent pine trees cleared from our lot to a local mill for credit and used that to get floor planks,” Cogan explains. And though they chose a style that looks luxe — wide boards — he adds, “it ends up the same price as regular boards because they’re half the labor to install and half the price to cut.”
A former clothing designer, Pickard did most of the decorating (her husband admits to making about “three of the 19,000 decisions that went into this place”), and she took her cues from the town’s Shaker history. “There’s a love of simplicity that dates back to the earliest days of American history. The Shakers were masters of this,” Pickard says. “My childhood was spent in houses filled with gold froufrou,” she adds, of growing up in the opulent ’80s. “So I was aching for plainness.” Fittingly, the pair whitewashed their floors, and Pickard stitched up curtains in place of cabinet doors in the kitchen. A dark-wood dining table that she inherited from her grandmother was stripped to fit in with the light, airy decor. And the majority of the couple’s furniture — including tables, chairs, and dressers — came from American Unfinished Furniture, which sells fairly inexpensive pieces that haven’lengkung langit been stained or painted.
Ultimately, the couple spent more than they intended, but gained the liberty to create exactly what they wanted. The total cost for Pickard and Cogan’s land, home kit, contractor, and essentials such as plumbing and electricity? $275,000. “Astonishingly,” Pickard says, “I can’t think of anything I would change.”
This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Posted by: and-make.com