Rhico & David,
I am in the same boat re: building at retirement. My target is 2012. Given the list of considerations, I already feel somewhat behind the proverbial "power curve". I will send an email to you from my AOL account. I would love to share some thoughts & such. We were also toying with the idea of extending the second floor ceiling from the loft to cover the "great room". I was thinking of doing a step-up from the loft to the new area so that I could still have a taller ceiling in the great room. Thanks, Terry.