I ended up changing a few things, like roof color, window sizes and placement and was finally able to narrow down all the ideas in my head. For example I wasn't sure of how much of the house, if any, would have cedar shingles, or what color the trim would be, or how large my eves would be. To cut to the chase, this is what I have ended up with.
The next thing I can finally stop obsessing out is the windows; I have finally chosen what kind I am going to get. I am ordering the Milgard Montecito line from a local store. This has been a huge moral boost for me because my original plan was to grab some(crappier) windows off the shelf at Lowe's because I thought this would be the cheapest option, and I'm all about the budget. However I finally found time Friday before class to get a quote for a few different, very nice, windows in Bozeman. I was amazed when the quote came back CHEAPER than the off the shelf windows. AND they had the color and style I wanted. With the Milgard windows I will be saving about $250 over the Lowe's option. The other line I was looking at was the Andersen 100's, which are fiberglass windows with some nice design and color options. This would end up being about the same price as the Lowe's windows, however for MUCH better quality. Talking to the sales rep though I got the impression the Milgards were on par with the Andersens; they both had great glass and very similar design and color options except Milgard vinyl is not as strong as fiberglass. However it does come with a lifetime warranty and is a little more energy efficient than the Andersens, so I've decided to go with the cheaper option. And I can use all the savings I can get, because I revamped my budget spreadsheet this weekend as well.
Along with exterior ideas floating around in my head, I've also been making changes and substitutions to my materials list, but never actually putting them into my spread sheet. The two big ones are my special DryFlush toilet(discussed in the previous post), and sheep's wool insulation.
After reading a bit more about traditional fiberglass insulation versus nontraditional insulation I decided I wanted to give sheep's wool a look because it doesn't off gas, is fire resistant, actually EXPANDS over time and is recyclable, unlike traditional fiberglass which settles, is not recyclable and is not generally healthy to be around. So, I did a few internet searches and found a few different companies that sold wool insulation, however it was going to cost me at least $1,000 to do my small home; this just simply wasn't going to work. Then I found Montana Green Insulation based out of Malta, MT. WHOOO! A local business; I'd LOVE to support a Montana business. So, I contacted them for a quote and they said it would cost $431.25 plus delivery. Now this is a lot more doable than $1,000, plus my family travels around the state a lot; I even have extended family in that area so I can pick it up myself and forgo the delivery fee.
With the change to the bathroom(bathtub, toilet), insulation, windows, roofing and various other small things I am now $308.95 over my $10,000 budget. I'm not panicking though because I expected this and I knew in advance to make these changes I'd have to find deals and savings elsewhere in my budget. This is the next stage I'm working on; I'm going to get real serious about getting things used, or free. And if I can't find any savings, I guess I'll have to go back on some things like getting wool insulation.
My parts list and budget spreadsheet have now been updated under the Budgeting Resources page so anyone can see exactly what I'm working with right now. In the meantime I'm helping my dad finish the garage so we can pull the trailer in there and I can get some physical work done this winter; maybe I'll even build the sub floor.