Small CottageAre you planning to build a house in which to retire, perhaps in Maine? I bet you have a tight budget. The average new house in the USA at this moment has about 2,200 square feet of finished floor area. Without going crazy purchasing luxurious, high end materials, this will still probably cost between $450,000 and $500,000 to hire a general contractor to build it professionally. Do you really want to spend that much money on your retirement home? Ouch! That would be a substantial burden on your pension, and might get worse if the economic climate in the USA doesn’t turn around any time soon.

The good news is that you don’t have to have 2,200 square feet to be happy and comfortable. I’m not saying that is excessive. By general standards, that is a below average sized home. But it is not necessary to achieve your goals. You might be very surprised at how wonderful a home can be with only 1,500 square feet or less. Here’s the challenge: It takes a lot of experience, talent, hard work and imagination to fit a 2,200 square foot lifestyle into 1,500 square feet of house. The good news is that PencilJazz can do this and has the experience. In fact, it is what I have been doing all over Maine for many years.

So what would you need to pay for a 1,500 square foot home? You can have a nice one for under $260,000, and that includes solar panels for your electricity and clean gas for heat and hot water.

Now, you still need an architect because every parcel of land is different. You front door might need to be on the north or the south. You may prefer the sunrise on your bedroom or your kitchen. You might want a porch on the north or the east. There are a lot of personal desires I can include in your design once you tell me what they are. There are also quite a challenging number of details to include in your plans…components that need to be planned ahead of time into a compact space, or you won’t find room for them later and wish you had.

Keep in mind that if you decide to include very high end materials and lots of custom built interior elements, this price will rise very quickly. But if you are frugal, use reliable but modestly priced materials, this price range is fairly up to date. I can currently help you work within this budget range.

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