23 October 2007
Exactly a month after I moved into the house, Katrina hit. In Nashville, we had some heavy rains, whereby I discovered one roof leak and the fortune of a superior and reasonable roofer. By late October, I'd heard that because of the pending rebuilding efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi, the cost of building supplies was about to skyrocket and much of the labor force around Nashville was either already working down south or on their way. It seemed I'd have to act immediately to build the studio at the rock-bottomest price. No matter that I had not nearly recovered from the move to a new city and state (let alone settled in), had no social or general support system developed, and NO IDEA what I was doing or getting myself into (which is just as well, really). In any case, I needed a place to work. It seemed simple enough; design something, buy stuff, hire some people and put the thing together. Right?
In a heart beat, I became an architect-, builder-, contractor- and construction worker-in-training. I took out a home-equity loan. Then I took a meeting with the manager of the building materials department at the Home Depot seven minutes down the road. He agreed to freeze all prices the day I brought in my materials list and give a ten percent discount across the board (which, in this town, basically knocks off the cost of taxation), if I would commit to buy most of my materials at their store. We shook hands.
I needed a materials list and researching garage plans for something relatively simple and easy to alter, I found a nice one at coolhouseplans.com