Monday, August 23, 2010

Thirty-five years ago, give or take...Recipe for a House

Browsing in my recipe files a few days ago, I found my list of the items we bought to build our house, carefully written on yellow legal paper in my handwriting of my mid-twenties. (how young I was then!)

This was how much it cost to build our house in 1975-76:

$2836.00 for the excavation, foundation and framing materials.

$5,366.00 for the roof, windows, insulation, etc.

Another $2658.00 for plumbing, fittings, the dry well we drilled and then the installation of the spring for water.

Then there were a few additional items, like the milling bill for the oak siding cut by a neighbor, paint, trim, etc that added $361.00.

Total cost: $9,096.00.

This was just for the basic house of course. Over the years we added a bathroom, electricity, a deck and later an even bigger deck, replaced the roof and added new rafters, added the log room and stone fireplace and a few other improvements. But this list is the basic cost of the house when we moved in. The house was 1,092 square feet and we added another 400 with the log room. So cost per square foot was about $8. The log room, added in 2003-2004, cost an additional $5000--prices went up a bit in the intervening 30 years. And the other improvements over the years have added $$$ to the actual cost.

I wish I could describe how it felt to look at this fragile paper all these years later and see my careful tabulations. I wonder if I knew that I would one day share this list with the world at large? I don't remember, but apparently I thought it was worth recording, and worth keeping--as a recipe, perhaps, for how to build a house.

9 comments:

Mountainword said...

That is so neat that you have that. I wish honestly that John and I had kept better records of how much our house renovations have cost. It's been somewhere around $25,000, but it would be nice if there was an actual tabulation somewhere. Not that either of us thought to carry around a piece of paper and pen when there was drywall to be hung, but still. Se la vie...

Country Whispers said...

How neat that you saved it all these years.
Quite interesting to compare the cost of things between then and now.

Granny Sue said...

Isn't it, Jessica? And filed in the recipe box under "H"!

Jason, I didn't really carry around a pice of paper but I did have receipts and at that time an excellent memory. I knew I'd written this but had no idea where it was.

TheresaandJay said...

This is the type of documentation we have lost over the years. How many of our children will see written in their parent's handwriting the tabulation of anything we have done? Email, online banking, shredding old bills for fear of identity theft have I fear robbed us of our historical documentation. I think of the records that used to be kept and used as research, what will future generations use? This is pretty cool Sue, I hope you put it in a safe place. :)

Mountainword said...

I've actually tried to think about how much it all cost us - but its too late really to be truly accurate. I should, I guess, make some sort of list like that one. Of course "labor" is not on that list, or "mental anguish". LOL.

There were many times when it was nothing but cursing followed by "sell it! I'll go back to renting!" LOL

Granny Sue said...

You're right, Theresa. Even though sorting papers after Mom and Dad passed away was wuite a chore (as I'm sure you remember!) it was also a glimpse into their lives and I treasure the written documents we still have with their handwriting.

Granny Sue said...

Jason, you've done a lot for that amount of money! Your house is beautiful now. I bet you could sell for double what you paid.

Nance said...

I love your handwritten lists and the fact you had it filed under "H" for house. Sweet! I gather up and save lists like this that come to me from my folks and my husband's family. I have the in-law's ledger book from their first year of marriage in 1942 . . . ice cream cones . . . 20 cents, rent . . . $7.50, groceries (itemized) . . . $1.73. Come to think of it, I have my husband's account book from our first year of marriage in 1970! I hope my children enjoy it some day.

Brighid said...

Your house list is a treasure. I've managed to keep a few of the calendars from over the years. They have a ton of notes on them, cattle sold, kids milestones, ... I love to go back thru them.

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