Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Feeding Frenzy


We say over a million bats the other night!


They were everywhere! We we so close to the smarming vermin.


Just another normal summer night at the Congress Avenue Bat Bridge, the largest urban bat colony.

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House Plans Finalized

After almost a year of collaboration with our architect, our plans are finalized. I had no idea it would take so long. We had an unusually long development phase. 28 versions of the floor plan to be exact, more if you count the changes we made after we started construction documents. We were prepared when we started. We had detailed specifications and a few floor plans developed, but it still took forever to finalize the plan. I cannot imagine being any less detailed. This is our dream house that we are building after all. If it takes a little longer than usual, so be it. I would rather spend a little extra time at the beginning than build something that I decide later that I do not like. I love this house. I am totally stoked that we developed the plan for this house from scratch.

Until I figure out an acceptable way to post the floor plan, I will give you a brief description. The thirty foot tower in the front has the front entrance coat closet and a staircase. One wall of the tower is open to the great room. This twenty foot high space has the kitchen, dining and living room. One wall of the great room has a widows walk all along one side that provides passage from the stairs to the office. The two sides of the great room that border the canyon have a twelve foot wide patio, half of which is covered. The master bedroom is at one end of the house with a spacious bath that has two separate closets and a laundry room. There is an office directly above the master, a peaceful place to work from home. Both the office and the master have a covered porch where you can enjoy the long distance view. The opposite end of the house has two bedrooms each with its own bath and walk in closet. There is also a small mudroom with a porch where the dogs can reside during the day.

I had some 3D images built from our plans. I was so amazed the first time I walked through the inside of my house digitally. It really gave me a sense of the volume in the great room. I cannot wait to see it in real life.











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Our slice of Heaven in Texas Hill Country

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog devoted to our custom home build. We bought four acres in beautiful Texas Hill Country in July 2006. We are a few miles from beautiful Hamilton Pool yet we are still a short 30 minute drive to work and downtown Austin.

When we first bought the property it was totally covered in Mountain Cedar. We could see glimpses through the trees that suggested that we had a view. The property backs up to a canyon, so we knew we would have a canyon view but the cedars were so thick you could not see through them until you were half way down the canyon. My first purchase after we bought the land was my trusty Husqvarna 353. Being Swedish myself I just had to have a Swedish chainsaw. My ancestors owned a wood mill in Sweden, it made me feel good that a Berlin would once again be a lumberjack, at least for a little while. I waged my war against the Cedar with gusto. Their dead lower branches would scratch and poke your arms and face as you nestled into the center near the trunk to make your cuts. For those that are not familiar the infamous Central Texas Mountain Cedar I will give you a short description. Most of these trees have multiple trunks that radiate out from a central point near the ground. Usually they are under 15 feet tall, and grow so close together all of the lower branches die off leaving wicked little dried branches. You can’t even walk between them because they are so nasty. Occasionally you can find an ancient specimen that has grown to have a more tree like shape after all of the lower branches have fallen off, but these trees are rare. I left all of the large Cedars, but all of the pesky little ones died. I felt bad about cutting them down at first, but the more they scratched me, the more I like it. I left all of the cedars near the perimeter for privacy and already they are trying to invade. Now that the cedars are gone the rest of the native plants are thriving. The oaks have grown much thicker with leaves and new branches. The native grasses have grown lush. Everything else has much more water to grow healthy. The oaks are so happy now, they thank me every time I see them.

Berlin Ranch.jpg

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