- our original "henge" home ideas were mutating rather uncontrollably into a timber-frame behemoth
- we don't have near enough joinery experience or enough of the right tools for all these complicated joints
- we need some serious heavy equipment and a good portable saw mill to make building timbers
- our trees are pitifully small when you start designing for heavy timber framing
- there is no flippin' way the two of us are going to be able to get this house built in our measly 3 month building window
- the SketchUp UI is totally frustrating when you're used to other graphic & 3D programs and you're working with a laptop touchpad instead of a cool multi-button scrolly mouse
So, in addition to me fighting SketchUp working on the main house plans, I'm now designing our "shack" that we can throw together with bought lumber quickly (2 versions - 1 gable & 1 shed roof to see which is easier and gives us more loft space). All that on top of researching logging/farming equipment and portable saw mills (looks like Granberg Alaskan Mill wins out in the end afterall), and helping G-man with the firewood so we don't freeze to death! Oh yeah, and helping build Rooster's website in exchange for him helping me with the house plans, which means learning a new scripting language since we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto (i.e. the land of Microsoft IIS and ASP).
One thing I've learned from all of this -- don't second guess yourself in the middle of things! 99% of the designs and ideas and decisions we made in our initial planning phases were way more thought out and feasible than the ones we've been grasping at lately. Things spiral out of control for a bit when you're in the thick of things, and then we shake off the panic and come to the same logical conclusions -- which was why we decided to do it that way in the first place! You suddenly find yourself saying "OMG! We have these gizmos and need those widgets, and that means we have to do something entirely different because Plan A absolutely won't work". Which is wrong. The parameters haven't changed. The requirements haven't changed. The resources haven't changed. All that's changed is that we have some new information. We just need to evaluate the existing plans against the new data and make some small adjustments if necessary -- not discard the original plans and thought process altogether! Sometimes we just forget that we discovered and mitigated most of all this poop in our original planning phase, which was over a year of dedicated research and solid solution-building.
This whole ordeal - from house plans to website reprogramming (just the "must work on Apache with PHP" part!) is pretty much summed up by this cartoon by The Oatmeal.
Now, back to modeling! I'll try to post some renders here soon so you all can see the design progression and visualize our "dream home" with us;)