The day our house burned down I was 2 hours away in Las Vegas Christmas shopping with my oldest daughter. When I heard about the house, we were having lunch with my sisters and mom, thankfully. I actually never got to one store that day and my sister drove us home.
When I first got there I thought my house looked pretty good from the outside and had no idea what to except throughout the remainder of the day. Our house was insulated with straw bales and it burned very slow - about 12 hours. The firefighters finally knocked down the exterior walls because they said it would have smoldered for weeks. Basically, the entire roof burned off the house and all the exterior walls were knocked down. There was also an enormous amount of water damage. The wind had also been blowing terribly bad that day from the north and the south side of the house was burnt very badly.
My neighbor took lots of pictures that day and now I'm really glad he did. He waited until our new house was finished before he gave them to us and again I'm really glad he waited. By the way, our house burned down December 10, 2007.
The blue room above was our school room :(
If you look closely at the pic above you will see a large book case just to the left of the palm tree. This is where we housed all the books we had collected throughout the years. It was 9 feet tall and 16 feet long and busting at the seams with books. The next day when I saw the books I thought some looked okay, but they were swollen with water and others were melted to the selves. Oh.... I really miss all our books! That was by far the biggest lose for me. I still cry when I think about it too much. So, of course I try not to :)
Okay, now for the good part! :) Our new house was completed enough for us to move in on November 8, 2008. We were the general contractors so we were very involved each and every day. It was a ton of work but we were afraid if we weren't in charge it would not have been completed in a timely manner. Our last house took 14 months to build and this house, which is slightly bigger took about 6 months from start date to finish.
We built our new house on the same foundation, however we redesigned the house and had to put in new footings and move the plumbing around. We are absolutely thrilled with the house and look forward to making lots of wonderful memories here with our children and future grandchildren.
The house was completely framed with windows in in about 5 weeks.
I'll have to add some pics of the inside another time. I've got a little cleaning to do first :) My daughter just moved out of her dorm for the summer and everything she owns is spread out throughout our house :)