The Shop

Some details on The Shop. It is a 30’x40’ cinder block building with a 12’x16’ roll up door, slab floor with a small kitchen and bathroom (tiny living space) just off of the entrance. It is 3 blocks from Main Street in downtown Bozeman. The lot is big by comparison - 50’x196’ with a season ‘creek’ in the back of the property. We also have a railroad spur that delivers to a feed store once a week on Thursday afternoons.

We did a survey with the architect and started to hone in on what we want to build and how we want to live. That was a soul searching process that had actually started many months before. We ultimately decided to keep the existing building and add on to it for our primary residence. The design process begins.

Lori designed a pretty amazing building and with a lot of back and forth over the course of several months the design was agreed upon and the programming of our new house was complete. The house was on the small side - about 2,100 square feet of living space, detached garage, studio for Amy, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath rooms, large open living, kitchen dining area and some special cool treatments of windows and private spaces.

How do we get this built? We selected a builder based on some recommendations and Pete was terrific to work with and we began the process of pricing out this build.

The process was exciting at first but the reality of the new economy in Bozeman quickly became frustrating. We had a budget to stick to and that budget got blown out within the first pass at the build spec. There were a combination of factors - the building boom in Bozeman was driving prices through the roof, the design of the building was expensive to execute (material choices, design details etc), wood and metal nearly doubled in price due to political idiocy. Subcontractors and trades wouldn’t commit to a time or a price for our build but we kept pushing because we REALLY wanted to build this house. Stubbornly and probably against all common sense we kept at it a bit too long.

When the build costs looked like they were double our budget we took a hard look at our purpose and did a reset on the whole project.