Date   

Heartwood Cohousing in SW Colorado

David Oesper
 

As a point of reference, here is a very successful rural cohousing community in SW Colorado that has been around for over 20 years: Heartwood Cohousing.

https://www.heartwoodcohousing.com/

They are currently full up, but are beginning Phase 2 of their development. Here is how they are going about it (useful for us, too, if we can ever get an astronomy village off the ground):

https://www.heartwoodcohousing.com/phase-2-associate-membership.html

https://www.heartwoodcohousing.com/vital-info-for-p2-homebuyers.html

The key is they have two membership categories: an Associate Member pays a $1000 fully refundable deposit (essentially identical to our current membership in Mirador Astronomy Village LLC), and Homebuyer, which requires a $12,000 non-refundable deposit.

Wanted to also share this information that Mac Thomson posted on Cohousing-L recently. He is the Phase 2 project manager for Heartwood Cohousing:

"Back in 1999 when we developed Phase 1 of Heartwood Cohousing, we had planned to partner with Jim Leach so that banks would recognize Jim as a successful developer with a strong balance sheet and therefore offer us a construction loan. As it turned out, we were 100% pre-sold before obtaining our construction loan. That was good enough for the bank so we no longer needed to partner with Jim. Jim very graciously agreed to be our development consultant, but not our partner. That meant we paid him an hourly rate for his help, but didn't end up sharing the risk or splitting the profits with him. The net result was that the community ended up with an extra $100K."

"Banks get very excited about a project being 100% pre-sold. Get there if you can. But of course that means that the pre-buyers need to have entered a legal agreement to buy a home and put enough money into the project to demonstrate they're not going to walk away."

Heartwood is certainly astronomy-friendly, though it is not a focus.

Wanted to share this to show what needs to happen for Mirador or any other astronomy community to get off the ground. I certainly hope we can do something more affordable. Personally, I couldn't even consider a real estate investment that isn't in the $200K - $300K price range, which is far short of what Heartwood requires. Others that have shown interest in the Mirador project probably couldn't afford even that. This is where we are today.

Dave


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

David Oesper
 

Thanks, Sharon, your contributions to this group are uplifting and always informative. When I talked with Chuck Durrett on the phone just before the pandemic, he was very helpful but did caution that our biggest challenge would be getting enough people that would like to live in an astronomy-friendly rural cohousing community.

I do like the idea of self-governed and self-managed as opposed to living in a community where residents have little or no say in how the community operates.

Personally, I'm at a point in my life that if I am going to live outside of a town or city, I don't want to live alone on an acreage, but with others. Clearly, carving up ranches into, say, 10-acre parcels is the worst thing you can do to encourage any sense of community, but I'm sure it does maximize profits for the land owner / developer, and may minimize financial risk as well. Obviously, a lot of people buy into this dream. I'm not one of them, especially as I transition to my retirement years.

The RV/Van/Mobile Home approach to starting the community is a good idea, especially in the desert southwest, but I can't be the driver for that part of the project because my future is living in a traditional home with 1,500 - 2,500 square feet (2 BR, 2 BA, office, music room, and hobby room) as I do now.

I agree, we have to make clear distinctions between projects. I think the Mirador project as currently envisioned is so big and multifaceted it scares a lot of people away, or into inaction (wait and see).

I'd be interested in hearing what others in this group would like to see. Regardless of the direction(s) we go, we won't be able to go beyond the theoretical until we have a parcel of land.

Dave


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

Sharon Villines
 

On Jul 23, 2021, at 3:06 AM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
I've actually become quite despondent of late of ever finding a group of people who have interest enough in astronomy and the necessary lighting restrictions that they would be willing to move from wherever they currently live to a new "astronomy friendly" location, even just a little ways out of town—especially if they have to finance the development, and not just their individual residences. We need a developer who has the financial resources and experience to create an astronomy-friendly subdivision somewhere that both local and more distant people will want to move to.
This whole process is very difficult and filled with pools of despondency—it’s not a personal weakness. In spite of that people have been building cohousing communities for 30+ years and it is becoming easier and easier. It no longer takes 5+ and even 10 years to develop a community. Now that developers and banks trust the process, it is being done cleanly in 2 years, start to finish.

There reason I say “cohousing” is because the concept of self-governed and self-managed is inherent in that label. It means people recognize that they are responsible. This is theirs if they work together. The focus is on each other and what each one needs to make the project work. You can’t be all things to all people but the central focus needs to be there. How much commitment to what is required?

It is uphill all the way, but I would prefer a cluster of homes using a shared water supply, septic system, etc., instead of homes spread out over all over the place as is usually/always? done in rural developments. Can/would any developer take that on?
Clustered housing around a centralized infrastructure would seem to be the best way to start a development. One of the early ideas was having a community of RVs, Vans, Mobile Homes, etc. Some permanent and some spaces for part time people who might stay for a month or six months. This allows you to start something without a construction company having to build homes. That gets tricky. If people come with their homes, things get interesting.

And interesting article picked up by Bloomberg News in the Vail Daily about a company building vans intended to be used as affordable homes. Vail is so expensive now that they can’t find workers who can afford to live there. Dave & Matt Vans is working out rental and ownership plans with employers. The employer can provide parking space for the vans and either rent or lease them to their employees.

https://www.vaildaily.com/news/eagle-valley/could-van-life-be-one-solution-to-eagle-countys-affordable-housing-crisis/

The more focused your goal is, the wider the net you need to extend to catch the fish. It seems limiting to focus on RVs or vans but trying to do everything is also limiting. Harder to sell and you look less promising. And nothing gets finished. Have to have success to build on.

I can suggest some things that other communities have done over the years, particularly those that have been teased out on Cohousing-L.

1. Make clear distinctions between projects.
Are you doing cohousing or resort rentals for Vans and RVs? Or both. School or observatory. Name them and develop separate development plans for them. Most people will only fund one kind of project or the other.

2. Define ownership and governance. Who benefits from money donated or invested in each project?
While some people do use the crowd funding platforms to finance personal vacations and the purchase of items for personal use, it isn’t the most attractive for donors. They want to donate to the public good, not private enrichment — as they see it. Yes, the projects all benefit each other and some are required for others to exist but clarity will help in planning. Swiss cheese it.

3. Contact local and state governments, banks, etc.
If you have chosen an area this becomes less time consuming but it can be incredibly helpful. These are the people who have the information you need and who are already invested in the development of that specific area. I can’t see anything about this development that would be a turnoff for current residents and governments. It can only attract interesting people, create resources for the whole state/nation, build the economy, provide education and discover new information.

I am super interested in the educational part, but I need a decent place to live first—and I want to live in a community where I will never need to worry about neighbors trashing the night sky or the nighttime environment with light pollution as I do now (and have all my life). Hierarchy of needs, you might say.
For me, it seems the residential community would have to come first if you are in a remote area. People have to people the land and keep things warm, or cool. And protect each other. Cohousing communities that have acquired land that already has a building on it are really lucky. It not only allows the group a place to begin feeling like a community, it allows them to have an office to organize from and meet with officials, contractors, etc.

As in cohousing, it is impossible to guarantee that everyone who is interested will follow through on the Dark Sky initiatives. People will come and go. Over time, more committed people will appear. If the rules prohibit physical changes that ruin the vision, the land is protected. People will move in and then go on their way if it isn’t what they expected.

I think it would be really cool to do regular astronomy programs (and not just me—I'm not looking for another full-time+ job but a place to retire) for visitors, guests, and our residents—on site.
Target this demographic. Think how many people in their 60s are looking for such a place. Or dreamed of it when they were 12 and then forgot about it. Senior cohousing is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s a time of life when people are looking for new things—the something else. They are going to move, they want less house responsibility, and they need new friends now that they are not connected to their jobs. They usually don’t need new jobs but welcome a purposeful activity and some income.

Chuck Durrett is the person who has been championing Senior Cohousing the most. This page on his website explains his history and experience.

https://www.cohousingco.com/firm-profile

A tangent — but also important — use the vocabulary that your target understands. Cohousing made the mistake for years of trying to talk to banks about their meal program, playgrounds, work requirements, no hired staff, etc. Totally turned off banks. All banks wanted to hear was the likelihood of success based on the choice of architects, contractors, management companies, and resale value. Any other information just confused those issues and were negatives.

(Please don’t be overwhelmed at the length of this — I write easily when I have a lot of information to write.)

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines, Editor & Publisher
Affordable Housing means 30% of household income
Cohousing means self-developed, self-governed, self-managed
http://affordablecohousing.com

To subscribe to the discussion list send a blank message to:
affordablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

David Oesper
 

Totally agree that's a good idea, Lissa. Networking is a key activity for us right now, and will hopefully open the door to a partnership opportunity.

So, here's the "elevator speech" to share with those contacts. Any changes needed?

https://miradorastrovillage.org/Mirador_Astronomy_Village_Project_Summary.pdf

Thanks much,

Dave


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

Lissa Bengtson
 

I wasn’t really considering asking the Big Bend donors for money—but for information. Like, “here’s what we want to do—what are your thoughts?”  Because these folks are like-minded to the point of donating money, and are players in their communities.   Networking, finding opportunities for partnerships. 

Lissa

On Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 2:06 AM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Lissa,

I had a chance to meet with Bennett Jones, Leslie Hopper, and Bill Wren during my family visit to Alpine earlier this month. All good conversations.

I have some leads that we can discuss in our next Mirador Zoom meeting.

How to approach potential donors...

First of all, we either need to form a non-profit, or partner with an existing one, which would be easier. Anyone have any ideas?

There are really two basic parts to Mirador, at least as I envision it. The first is primarily educational (and that's where the non-profit comes in), and the second is residential (and our existing Mirador Astronomy Village LLC is the starting point for that).

Let me address the latter first. I've actually become quite despondent of late of ever finding a group of people who have interest enough in astronomy and the necessary lighting restrictions that they would be willing to move from wherever they currently live to a new "astronomy friendly" location, even just a little ways out of town—especially if they have to finance the development, and not just their individual residences. We need a developer who has the financial resources and experience to create an astronomy-friendly subdivision somewhere that both local and more distant people will want to move to.

It is uphill all the way, but I would prefer a cluster of homes using a shared water supply, septic system, etc., instead of homes spread out over all over the place as is usually/always? done in rural developments. Can/would any developer take that on?

To my way of thinking (and if someone else has a better idea or more resources, feel free to run with it as it is not going to hurt my feelings not being the main driver for this project), the residential community needs to come first before the educational part, and much more than two of the folks need to be living there full-time. Personally, I am super interested in the educational part, but I need a decent place to live first—and I want to live in a community where I will never need to worry about neighbors trashing the night sky or the nighttime environment with light pollution as I do now (and have all my life). Hierarchy of needs, you might say.

I think it would be really cool to do regular astronomy programs (and not just me—I'm not looking for another full-time+ job but a place to retire) for visitors, guests, and our residents—on site. So much more could be included depending on residents' interest, but my focus will be primarily on the astronomy piece.

The thing that makes Mirador unique is the combination of residential and educational outreach. That, in a nutshell, is my "vision".

Dave


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

David Oesper
 
Edited

Hi Lissa,

I had a chance to meet with Bennett Jones, Leslie Hopper, and Bill Wren during my family visit to Alpine earlier this month. All good conversations.

I have some leads that we can discuss in our next Mirador Zoom meeting.

How to approach potential donors...

First of all, we either need to form a non-profit, or partner with an existing one, which would be easier. Anyone have any ideas?

There are really two basic parts to Mirador, at least as I envision it. The first is primarily educational (and that's where the non-profit comes in), and the second is residential (and our existing Mirador Astronomy Village LLC is the starting point for that).

Let me address the latter first. I've actually become quite despondent of late of ever finding a group of people who have interest enough in astronomy and the necessary lighting restrictions that they would be willing to move from wherever they currently live to a new "astronomy friendly" location, even just a little ways out of town—especially if they have to finance the development, and not just their individual residences. We need a developer who has the financial resources and experience to create an astronomy-friendly subdivision somewhere that both local and more distant people will want to move to.

It is uphill all the way, but I would prefer a cluster of homes using a shared water supply, septic system, etc., instead of homes spread out all over the place as is usually/always? done in rural developments. Can/would any developer take that on?

To my way of thinking (and if someone else has a better idea or more resources, feel free to run with it as it is not going to hurt my feelings not being the main driver for this project), the residential community needs to come first before the educational part, and much more than two of the folks need to be living there full-time. Personally, I am super interested in the educational part, but I need a decent place to live first—and I want to live in a community where I will never need to worry about neighbors trashing the night sky or the nighttime environment with light pollution as I do now (and have all my life). Hierarchy of needs, you might say.

I think it would be really cool to do regular astronomy programs (and not just me—I'm not looking for another full-time+ job but a place to retire) for visitors, guests, and our residents—on site. So much more could be included depending on residents' interests, but my focus will be primarily on the astronomy piece because that is what I know the most about.

The thing that makes Mirador unique is the combination of residential and educational outreach. That, in a nutshell, is my "vision".

Dave


Re: GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

Lissa Bengtson
 

I haven't donated yet...things are kinda tight right now.  But I looked at the list of donors.  There are some donors we could probably follow up with--businesses and a foundation or two.  Good excuse for an introductory letter "Hey I was donating to this and I saw your name.  I'm part of Mirador...etc etc."  Or a phone call if you've researched them and have a list of bullet points in front of you...

I have ideas like this but little time to execute them.  I might have time to make a list of donors, though.  And then there is Blue Origin...

David how was your most recent trip to Alpine?

Lissa
Cooler today in San Antonio...going to more RV training next week--this time it's about Air Conditioning.




On Tue, Jul 20, 2021 at 10:31 PM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

A worthy cause and possible partnership opportunities for Mirador Astronomy Village if we end up locating in West Texas.

Thanks,

Dave


Hi David,

Just alerting you to this fundraiser we are running:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/serious-starlight

We are getting pretty close to our goal - any chance you can spread word on this?

Thanks so much,

Shelley

Shelley Bernstein
Executive Director
Big Bend Conservation Alliance


GoFundMe for Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve

David Oesper
 

A worthy cause and possible partnership opportunities for Mirador Astronomy Village if we end up locating in West Texas.

Thanks,

Dave


Hi David,

Just alerting you to this fundraiser we are running:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/serious-starlight

We are getting pretty close to our goal - any chance you can spread word on this?

Thanks so much,

Shelley

Shelley Bernstein
Executive Director
Big Bend Conservation Alliance


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

maxeem
 

Cool! I have also heard of good eco friendly ways of insulating below such a roof so that so the sound of heavy rain is muffled instead of cacophonous. Just in case we wanted to do any variation that results in loud drumming noise from rain impacts.


On 5/26/21 9:40 AM, Steve Taylor wrote:
Interesting idea. A "Safari roof" for a building. I like the additional functions you get too.

On Wed, 26 May 2021 at 12:42, Bennett Jones via groups.io <byl_liberty=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Steve,
One of the big advantages of a steel building is that clear span of open space inside, possible with other types of construction, but a given with a steel building.
While it may be easy, like all other types of construction, there are additional construction challenges when building in remote sites in the desert southwest.
I suggest the main factor for determining the material selected for construction is the balancing of budget vs desired durability.
Next in consideration is the ongoing cost over time, which would include maintenance, repairs, and especially energy costs.
Also of possible concern, is the ability of the building to survive possible extreme weather events and the desired level of security against the unwanted intrusion of human and other biological pests.

We have found what may be the best use of a steel "building" within the desert southwest being the use of the structure (without most of the wall metal) to create an over-roof "umbrella" over a highly insulated living space.
This structure provides: wrap around shading, a larger surface for rain water harvesting, and a mount for a solar PV array.

Attached is a photo of a remote Biological Field Station under construction in the Big Bend of southwest Texas,to illustrate the concept.
The facility is to provide housing for up 14 students and instructors while they are performing studies on-site,

The long axis of the building is oriented true east/west, so we have a true south face (to the right in the photo).
South facing windows will provide some desired heat gain during the cold winter months.

Bennett J.


--
 


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Steve Taylor
 

Interesting idea. A "Safari roof" for a building. I like the additional functions you get too.

On Wed, 26 May 2021 at 12:42, Bennett Jones via groups.io <byl_liberty=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Steve,
One of the big advantages of a steel building is that clear span of open space inside, possible with other types of construction, but a given with a steel building.
While it may be easy, like all other types of construction, there are additional construction challenges when building in remote sites in the desert southwest.
I suggest the main factor for determining the material selected for construction is the balancing of budget vs desired durability.
Next in consideration is the ongoing cost over time, which would include maintenance, repairs, and especially energy costs.
Also of possible concern, is the ability of the building to survive possible extreme weather events and the desired level of security against the unwanted intrusion of human and other biological pests.

We have found what may be the best use of a steel "building" within the desert southwest being the use of the structure (without most of the wall metal) to create an over-roof "umbrella" over a highly insulated living space.
This structure provides: wrap around shading, a larger surface for rain water harvesting, and a mount for a solar PV array.

Attached is a photo of a remote Biological Field Station under construction in the Big Bend of southwest Texas,to illustrate the concept.
The facility is to provide housing for up 14 students and instructors while they are performing studies on-site,

The long axis of the building is oriented true east/west, so we have a true south face (to the right in the photo).
South facing windows will provide some desired heat gain during the cold winter months.

Bennett J.



--
 


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Bennett Jones
 

Steve,
One of the big advantages of a steel building is that clear span of open space inside, possible with other types of construction, but a given with a steel building.
While it may be easy, like all other types of construction, there are additional construction challenges when building in remote sites in the desert southwest.
I suggest the main factor for determining the material selected for construction is the balancing of budget vs desired durability.
Next in consideration is the ongoing cost over time, which would include maintenance, repairs, and especially energy costs.
Also of possible concern, is the ability of the building to survive possible extreme weather events and the desired level of security against the unwanted intrusion of human and other biological pests.

We have found what may be the best use of a steel "building" within the desert southwest being the use of the structure (without most of the wall metal) to create an over-roof "umbrella" over a highly insulated living space.
This structure provides: wrap around shading, a larger surface for rain water harvesting, and a mount for a solar PV array.

Attached is a photo of a remote Biological Field Station under construction in the Big Bend of southwest Texas,to illustrate the concept.
The facility is to provide housing for up 14 students and instructors while they are performing studies on-site,

The long axis of the building is oriented true east/west, so we have a true south face (to the right in the photo).
South facing windows will provide some desired heat gain during the cold winter months.

Bennett J.


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center [Insulation]

Bennett Jones
 

Lissa,
By insulation type I was asking about the kind of material used for insulation against unwanted heat loss and heat gain.
A partial list includes:


The anticipated location for Mirador is the desert southwest of the US.
A metal box in this environment is exposed to extremes of heat and cold, sometimes both in one day.
Without sufficient insulation, metal buildings reach dangerous temperature for human occupation.


"R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value the better the thermal performance of the insulation."


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Lissa Bengtson
 

Thanks Sharon and Steve.  Sharon--you can distribute the quote...it's just a snapshot in time.  And Steve, Mueller has an excellent reputation around Texas.  Every year they give away a metal building to a non-profit.  They are one of the sponsors of Texas Country Reporter (and Capital Farm Credit is also a sponsor.)

Kicking the tires,
Lissa

On Mon, May 24, 2021 at 12:08 PM Steve Taylor <steveastrouk@...> wrote:
Here's a company I got a material quote from last week, who coincidentally also do complete kit homes - prices are included in the website



On Mon, 24 May 2021 at 11:37, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon=sharonvillines.com@groups.io> wrote:
> From: Lissa Bengtson <gneissgoods@...>
>
> We had time yesterday to get a quote on an all-metal duplex with RV carport in the center. The concrete pad would be an additional $18k, not including plumbing, and then each living area would need to be finished out on the inside.  Didn’t want to waste the salesman’s time with details like more windows, or maybe not having concrete under the RV but gravel instead. But it’s a start.

I find quotes like this to be extremely helpful. The people on the Affordable Cohousing list are still trying to grasp numbers and approaches to building. We have two experienced  contractors on the list who are very good at answering questions and offering information but the conversation is still in the how do we get started, where to start phase.

If I could distribute this quote to them, it would be very helpful. Is that possible? I could take off the identifying information and publish it as a dated quote to be used as an example.

People need to see what costs what — windows do add up! Seeing a list like this with total prices and pictures brings everyone down to earth. Last week I said “We need boots on the ground.” And estimates like  this are boots on the ground. They help you start talking from minutia which is what construction is. A business plan has to have this level of detail.

“Barndominiums” is misleading because a condominium is a multi-household residential building or building complex. The use here is of barn construction for both human and animal households — half house, half barn. But the pictures include more construction details and actual homes:

https://www.barndominiumlife.com/what-is-a-barndominium/

The Google search on “barn homes” has both luxury and low-cost examples. If  you follow the links you can find a lot of information.

https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=barn+homes&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-6P7TqeLwAhUIU98KHbGSBVwQjJkEegQIBRAB&biw=1146&bih=855

One feature of Groups.io is storage for photos and a database. When cohousing groups start planning the commonhouse they have workshops in which people post pictures of their ideas or even possible ideas for discussion. It helps people focus on what they can live with and what they can’t. It puts boots on the ground — or probably the sand in Mirador’s case. Or clay?

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://affordablecohousing.com
affordablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
affordablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io











--
 


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Steve Taylor
 

Here's a company I got a material quote from last week, who coincidentally also do complete kit homes - prices are included in the website



On Mon, 24 May 2021 at 11:37, Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon=sharonvillines.com@groups.io> wrote:
> From: Lissa Bengtson <gneissgoods@...>
>
> We had time yesterday to get a quote on an all-metal duplex with RV carport in the center. The concrete pad would be an additional $18k, not including plumbing, and then each living area would need to be finished out on the inside.  Didn’t want to waste the salesman’s time with details like more windows, or maybe not having concrete under the RV but gravel instead. But it’s a start.

I find quotes like this to be extremely helpful. The people on the Affordable Cohousing list are still trying to grasp numbers and approaches to building. We have two experienced  contractors on the list who are very good at answering questions and offering information but the conversation is still in the how do we get started, where to start phase.

If I could distribute this quote to them, it would be very helpful. Is that possible? I could take off the identifying information and publish it as a dated quote to be used as an example.

People need to see what costs what — windows do add up! Seeing a list like this with total prices and pictures brings everyone down to earth. Last week I said “We need boots on the ground.” And estimates like  this are boots on the ground. They help you start talking from minutia which is what construction is. A business plan has to have this level of detail.

“Barndominiums” is misleading because a condominium is a multi-household residential building or building complex. The use here is of barn construction for both human and animal households — half house, half barn. But the pictures include more construction details and actual homes:

https://www.barndominiumlife.com/what-is-a-barndominium/

The Google search on “barn homes” has both luxury and low-cost examples. If  you follow the links you can find a lot of information.

https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=barn+homes&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-6P7TqeLwAhUIU98KHbGSBVwQjJkEegQIBRAB&biw=1146&bih=855

One feature of Groups.io is storage for photos and a database. When cohousing groups start planning the commonhouse they have workshops in which people post pictures of their ideas or even possible ideas for discussion. It helps people focus on what they can live with and what they can’t. It puts boots on the ground — or probably the sand in Mirador’s case. Or clay?

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://affordablecohousing.com
affordablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
affordablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io











--
 


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Sharon Villines
 

From: Lissa Bengtson <gneissgoods@gmail.com>

We had time yesterday to get a quote on an all-metal duplex with RV carport in the center. The concrete pad would be an additional $18k, not including plumbing, and then each living area would need to be finished out on the inside. Didn’t want to waste the salesman’s time with details like more windows, or maybe not having concrete under the RV but gravel instead. But it’s a start.
I find quotes like this to be extremely helpful. The people on the Affordable Cohousing list are still trying to grasp numbers and approaches to building. We have two experienced contractors on the list who are very good at answering questions and offering information but the conversation is still in the how do we get started, where to start phase.

If I could distribute this quote to them, it would be very helpful. Is that possible? I could take off the identifying information and publish it as a dated quote to be used as an example.

People need to see what costs what — windows do add up! Seeing a list like this with total prices and pictures brings everyone down to earth. Last week I said “We need boots on the ground.” And estimates like this are boots on the ground. They help you start talking from minutia which is what construction is. A business plan has to have this level of detail.

“Barndominiums” is misleading because a condominium is a multi-household residential building or building complex. The use here is of barn construction for both human and animal households — half house, half barn. But the pictures include more construction details and actual homes:

https://www.barndominiumlife.com/what-is-a-barndominium/

The Google search on “barn homes” has both luxury and low-cost examples. If you follow the links you can find a lot of information.

https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=barn+homes&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-6P7TqeLwAhUIU98KHbGSBVwQjJkEegQIBRAB&biw=1146&bih=855

One feature of Groups.io is storage for photos and a database. When cohousing groups start planning the commonhouse they have workshops in which people post pictures of their ideas or even possible ideas for discussion. It helps people focus on what they can live with and what they can’t. It puts boots on the ground — or probably the sand in Mirador’s case. Or clay?

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://affordablecohousing.com
affordablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
affordablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Steve Taylor
 

If I hadn't bought a house at Animas already, we would be going for steel construction, it's just so easy to do. The shell is completely structural, so what you do inside is entirely up to you. 

Steve

On Sun, 23 May 2021, 19:17 Lissa Bengtson, <lissabengtson@...> wrote:
To answer Bennet J's questions,  

This duplex design because it affords privacy for both sides.
The labor cost for erecting the building is included in the pricing.  The concrete slab and "flinish-out" is not.
I have no idea what you are referring to in regards to type r-value.  
The installation pricing was for within 100 miles of Athens, Texas.

We have never gotten a price quote before, which is why I submitted this idea.  Now I'm sorry I did.

Lissa


Re: All metal duplex with RV carport in the center

Lissa Bengtson
 

To answer Bennet J's questions,  

This duplex design because it affords privacy for both sides.
The labor cost for erecting the building is included in the pricing.  The concrete slab and "flinish-out" is not.
I have no idea what you are referring to in regards to type r-value.  
The installation pricing was for within 100 miles of Athens, Texas.

We have never gotten a price quote before, which is why I submitted this idea.  Now I'm sorry I did.

Lissa


Re: Spectrum that is "cohousing"

Sharon Villines
 

What is fundamental to cohousing is consent decision-making, or self-governance by consent. What this produces, if purposely done, is create and maintain engagement.

People will engage in different aspects of the community according to their interests. In this variety is important. If no one is interested in meals, there will be no meals or sort of forced feeling meals. "We have to do this or we aren’t cohousing.” I don’t care about meals on a regular basis — some communities do 3-4 times a week, regularly. I’m happy with special meals occasionally — chili cook offs, Pesto Festo, Julia Child, Cinco de Mayo, etc.

But the kitchen is kept clean and functioning by the regular meals. And it’s fun to listen to chatter about baking on Saturday morning or making peanut butter Wednesday night.

Some communities sing together. Some have regular Trivial Pursuit games. Some are devoted to organic gardening. What make a strong community is engaged members. People who care enough to take responsibility for organization and enjoy it enough to make it fun and not an imposed obligation.

Professional management used to be bad word in cohousing. I think where it causes problems is when the management company begins making decisions. Then the community degrades to your typical condo where some people know each other but there is no commitment to the community. They could move just as easily. And condo commandos rule the community autocratically using the management company to enforce their rules.

Now more communities do hire management companies for some tasks but they don’t “manage the community”. They do tasks as they are requested to do, and they advise but don’t make decisions.

In the case of Mirador if you plan on having multiple programs and financial structures, then each group or program needs a clearly defined “domain.” What does each one have the freedom to control by their own consensus process? When is consensus between two groups or with a main coordinating group required?

At bottom, it is engagement, and the best way to get that is participation by consent.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines
http://affordablecohousing.com
affordablecohousing@groups.io
To subscribe:
affordablecohousing+subscribe@groups.io


Re: Spectrum that is "cohousing"

David Oesper
 

Thanks, Leslie, and welcome to the "team"! I like the idea of a professionally-managed community, though the challenge is how to make it more affordable. Also, I would much prefer to live in a multigenerational community rather than a 55-plus community (though I must admit there is some appeal now that I'm in that age group). One way to have the best of both worlds would be a 55-plus sub-community within a larger community that includes all ages.

Dave


Re: Spectrum that is "cohousing"

David Oesper
 

Max, I am so glad you are on this list, and that you're involved with the Mirador Astronomy Village project. Very well said and, like you, community meals (right now) feel a little outside of my comfort zone. But if we never push our boundaries we stagnate instead of grow. The evidence is strong that community meals are a cornerstone of any successful intentional community, astronomy included!

I would also like to emphasize how important it is that a neighborhood/rural subdivision be purposefully and physically designed to actually encourage community. You can't just throw up a bunch of houses the way development is usually done and expect that a strong sense of community will develop when people move in. Sure, it may start out that way with the right group of passionate and dedicated founders, but if the structure & design isn't there to support it in the first place, whatever community exists will eventually revert back to more or less the status quo—which is not much community.

Dave

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