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Home Sweet Home
Clothes Make the Man 
8th-Jul-2007 03:31 pm

And walls make the house

All through the construction process, there's been this odd perspective thing going on for both of us.  When Eric first marked off the ground to be cleared, he thought he had the right dimensions.  Husband and I went to look, and it seemed small to me.  Turns out I was right.  Eric corrected, and construction commenced.

Once the foundation was in place, the dimensions seemed too small, again.  But once the basement walls went in, it seemed huge.  Then the first floor joists went up, and everything shrank down again.  Then they framed the first floor walls, and things shrank even more.  Then the trusses went up, and the roof skin (plywood) was put in place, and everything seemed huge -- how could we possibly have built this much house? 

Now, the walls are roughed in.  Just the studs, mind you.  But the door frames provide enough definition that we can actually move "through" the house.  I can walk from the bedroom to the master bath to the closets.  I can pace the kitchen, and imagine working there.  I can stand in the foyer and see what my guests will see when they come in.   Glory be, it's just as I dreamed -- only better!

It was no surprise that I had problems with perspective; my spatial eye has always been weak, and I've had to gain skill in that area throughout the planning process.  But Husband was having problems, too.  And anyone who has had Husband stuff a storage unit for them  knows that Husband has excellent spatial perception. 

We finally figured out what gives:  It's the fact that we're building literally in the middle of a woods, with climax forest all around us.  The trees  tower so high over the house, that anything we see with an open sky looks tiny in comparison.  The "up" has to end somewhere in order for our eyes to estimate the "across" view. 

The things you learn when you build a house!
9th-Jul-2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
This is an interesting theory, but we saw the same thing with our house being built and without a lot of large trees surrounding it. (Ok, there are some large trees in the backyards one street over, but that's not quite the same as you're describing.)

The builders had poured the foundation, put in the basement supports and had built the first floor as a flat layer on top of it with all of the walls drawn onto the plywood so that they'd know where to build them. And the house looked tiny! Now, once the studs went in, the rooms in the house started to look more like the size that they are instead of tiny little things, just as you observed.

So I think that the problem is that our eye is calibrated to measure spaces differently when we're outdoors and indoors.

But I could be wrong!
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