Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I failed to mention that my plan was to have him on a rope run in the backyard during the day, but have since thought better of it after seeing a neighbor dog on one at a job today. She just kept getting tangled up and got her rope all looped around her bed inside her house and ended up pulling it into the yard. And that would make him a little too visible from the street behind us for my comfort. Damned thieves anyway...
For me and my dog, crating during the day isn't really an option. I liked the comment above about collies being free-spirits. He's got so much energy even with walks in the morning, bike rides at night and plenty of room to play with himself (which is incredibly entertaining to watch ) during the day that I can't imagine putting him in a box all day. He's in it all night, that's enough.
So I'm thinking that I'll take an area of the yard between one shed and the hot tub with a gazebo around it that's next to a 6 foot fence bordering our good friend/neighbor's yard (an area that's not visible from the street) and put a fence around it. I think I'll mostly bury some cinderblocks along the edge of the fence to curb him from digging under the fence. The rest of that part of the yard he can go to town on.
As far as the house goes, I like building things and my time isn't worth as much as my money at this point in my life. So I'll lay it out with the 30 x 36 x 30 and see how it looks like that. Any ideas on the door? I built a play thing for the cat a while ago and had to recut the door twice cause the kitty couldn't get into the thing So I guess I'm not that good at judging that kind of thing. I suppose I'll just start building and as long as I make it so I can enlarge it every once in a while as he grows, I'll be all right.
Sorry if this post was long winded, I've been sitting here watching a movie and writing it for about an hour or so Thanks for the welcome everybody, looks like a nice forum you've got going on here. I like all the pictures off your pooches in your sigs