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New Urbanism

According to NewUrbanism.org, new urbanism is defined as the creation and restoration of diverse, walkable, compact, vibrant, mixed-use communities composed of the same components as conventional development, but assembled in a more integrated fashion, in the form of complete communities. These contain housing, workplaces, shops, entertainment, schools, parks, and civic facilities essential to the daily lives of the residents, all within easy walking distance of each other. New Urbanism promotes the increased use of trains and light rail, instead of more highways and roads. Urban living is rapidly becoming the new hip and modern way to live for people of all ages. Currently, there are over 4,000 New Urbanist projects planned or under construction in the United States alone, half of which are in historic urban centers.

Bob and I decided to move from our home of 20 years, Jefferson City, in order to move closer to our daughter, Ashley, who is a professor at Indiana University. While looking for a place in the city to live, we came across New Town, a New Urbanist community. We fell in love with the concept, moved to an apartment, and later, decided to build a house and stay. We love New Town and its many diverse opportunities.

Bob and I started building a house in New Town, St. Charles, Missouri, on July 9, 2013. The drawing below shows you what the house will look like, a gray/blue exterior, with a buttercream door, white trim, a wrap-around porch, a gable window, and the traditional columns for a craftsman-style home.

The lot

We spent a lot of time sitting on the lot and dreaming about the house we want to build.  We are a semi-retired couple, still young enough to want a house to care for but certainly not want a lot of yard or upkeep.

Lot 8130 New Town, Canal Street

I recently took a test to help me understand my work habits and the habits of others who work with me.  I am a green, someone who dives in and gets started, and Bob, who took the same test years ago, is a blue.  Blues are organized, and linear, everything has a place and should be in its place kind of guy.  It is good that we have two different personalities working on this project.  When we need to do something, I jump right in and get us started, but Bob usually is the one who looks at the long-term costs/benefits and makes the pros and cons list.  I am glad we have two heads working together on this project!


We chose Andersen 100 windows for their versatility.  The windows are a low E, meaning they keep out the sun's harmful rays and are energy efficient.  Our builder recommended them and after our research, we really liked them, too.   The fibers used around the windows prevent heat loss, too.  These windows qualify for tax breaks, too!

2' by 2' windows on each side of the fireplace

The Low Voltage Guy

Bob and I met with the low voltage guy, the man who gets to tell us about all the new and wonderful technology that is available now in homes.  O.M.Word.  Let's just say Bob is like a kid in a candy store.  A gigantic, expensive, candy store!  Speakers outside?  Sure!!  Heating system that is run by your cell phone?  Sure!  Well, if you have that, how about a security system that is run by your cell phone.  You'd never hand out a key again.  Sure!  (Ok, that was me, but wouldn't you love to let the housekeeper in when you forgot to leave the key under the mat?)  We had a lot of fun and came away with some pretty fun necessary items for our house.

The Construction

The house took approximately 90 days to build.  During that time, there was little to no rain and the weather stayed pretty nice.  There were some hot days in August but the rest of the days went very smoothly.

The builders proceeded with the sodding and the landscaping right before closing. The closing was on October 4, 2013, and we were so excited we could hardly sleep the night before! Moving was stressful, Bob handled most of it himself, only hiring out the big furniture and the heaviest boxes. We had the apartment for over a month after closing, which was very nice!