Monday, July 23, 2007


Well, our landlord called last night and told me what a great location we had, how much he likes us, and that he's getting old.

He didn't say he'd sell the place for less, however.

Our challenges:

1. Buy the lot for as little as possible.
2. Design a duplex that maximizes space (interior and exterior) up to the limit the Board of Variances imposes.
3. Build the duplex quickly and efficiently.

Personally, I think we can get this lot for a reasonable price. The big question is still how much will it cost to tear down the current place and build a new one? If we can build a modern, open, bright three- or four-storey duplex (with rooftop garden) for under $300,000, we win.

Am I dreaming?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What I've Been Up To

Clearly, I'm becoming the one that doesn't post. Well, I better change that.

First of all, I called our landlord and he was in the middle of dinner with relatives from out of town. Oops. I'll call him Wednesday morning and tell him I have the day off if he'd care to chat.

I've been reading Dwell Magazine and our book on modern pre-fabricated housing, shipping container and steel-frame construction, and inexpensive sustainable design. (I'll post the title and author when I can check on it.) Any other interesting findings, y'all?

My thoughts are currently leaning toward a designer/architect who can modify a pre-existing design to be a duplex that fits our lot and neighbourhood. Rumour has it that the current board of variants (variances?) is amenable to eco-friendly design. Just say the magic words "eco-density" and we're in. I hope.

I'll let you know how Wednesday turns out.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Before We Actually Buy...

... your landlord's lot.

Maybe we should take the measurements of the lot to a developer or architect and see if a duplex is even plausible. If yes, then onward and upward. If not, then further discussions with your landlord are moot.

You two may have already done this, I don't know. It just seems like a good idea to find out now before engaging in negotiations we might not need to.