It's not Pam's fault, as far as we can tell -- just that the scope of the project expanded from the original version. Which we knew would affect costs, but we didn't realize just how much some things cost; we didn't understand that adding a second story to the rear addition would require very expensive concrete foundation, for example. So now we're trying to figure out what we can cut. The pizza oven ($20K) is gone -- that was easy, since we never quite believed we could afford that anyway. The conservatory ($40-50K) is gone, which is harder, since it really would have been lovely. But it's an extra room, one that isn't necessary. My tropical plants will survive in sunny windows, I think. We almost certainly need to cut something else -- unless we want to severely curtail our discretionary spending. If we cut almost all of the following, for the rest of our lives, could we be happy?
- eating out (which we don't do much, but this includes coffees at cafes, lunch on campus, etc.)
- buying books (there are still great libraries)
- watching cable (we'd still have Hulu / Netflix)
- buying craft supplies
- taking craft classes
- buying clothes (beyond the minimum to keep us decently dressed)
- buying toys (they have a lot already, and they have grandparents)
- travelling (aside from conferences)
Alternatively, we can cut part of the house. Probably the easiest cut is the second floor laundry room (have one in the basement instead). That may not be enough, though. So then it gets harder. Various reconfigurations (in rough order of undesirability) might include:
- Kevin and me sharing a home office (we tend to work at different times, but not always)
- Me sharing an office with the guest bedroom (probably can't fit a queen-size bed + desk in small room, then -- so sell ours and get a full-size daybed, which is less fun for couples who stay with us)
- Us giving up a master bath and a lot of closet space (going down to one small closet in our small bedroom, plus maybe a dresser squeezed in; bath would be shared with guests, not kids)
- Me sharing an office with the front parlor (but probably not, since I think the kids would be really unlikely to leave me alone if I was on the same floor with them)
We could, in theory, borrow enough money to go with the original plan, and just expect that in the rest of my writing career, I'll probably sell a few more books, which would let us pay the loan off. But a) that doesn't allow for cost overruns. And b) there is no guarantee that I will ever sell another book. As much as I would like to bet on my abilities as a writer, I don't know if it makes sense to also bet on the publishing industry agreeing with that estimation.