Monday, July 30, 2018

The Truth | Building our home ~ The Good, Bad, & Ugly

Hey Y'all! As it turns out, building our home was not as glorious as one would think. I mean really. I thought the heavens would open and shine upon us. I thought I would hear angels singing. I thought we would be surrounded by rainbows... Here we are 1 year later! 1 year from the time we sat down with an architect with our plans, to now, living in our home. Whew! What an adventure!

The reality is, it sucked! Sorry. {Not sorry}. I want to share with you our story for 2 reasons. 1. Maybe, just maybe, this will help someone who reads this post. And 2. In the future we can look back at our experience and

I have to say, we are so blessed and grateful for being able to build our home. Truly, we are. I'm just keeping it real.

During the construction process there were things I experienced. It was similar to the bolt of lightening that struck one of our trees. HA! :)


Faith? I lost it. I found myself begging God to get me through the construction. Begging for it to be over. Not trusting in Him at all. In the beginning of construction we were so excited. Oh the possibilities were endless! I was so thankful for the opportunity, but when things started taking too long, I lost interest. I was sick of picking out floors, cabinets, faucets, etc. Honestly with all the hang ups towards the end, I thought this land/house must be cursed. Why is this happening to us? I know this is not a life or death situation, but it literally felt as if everything was against us. Shame on me for not keeping the faith. Everything happens in His time. All too often we expect God to deliver, but only on our terms, right? Stay focused and know He is with you wherever you go.


Staying on budget. What budget, right? When you are building your dream home the things you want are quite different from what you can afford. We first had to purchase our land. Once we closed on our land we were able to move forward with a construction loan. We also had to put our house on the market. Turns out it sold in 1 day! We took an offer that would allow us to rent back until our house was ready. Our goal was set for the end of March 2018, but we didn't get into our house until July 13th. Funny that day was a Friday, but we felt lucky. :) I'm getting to the financial part. I promise. I am one of those people who have to tell 5 stories before I get to the main story. HA! It's actually pretty annoying, but bare with me. Before construction even began we were carrying our current mortgage which was on a 10 year (means 2 payments per month), our land payment and now moving into another payment for construction. We then met with a builder or two and did some research. To have a contractor build our home we were going pay at least $100/sq ft at a minimum. We made the easy decision to have Kevin as our contractor. He bought the books. Took a class. Studied and studied. Bam! We have a contractor. (It wasn't that easy, but you get the point). We were able to build a 3,000 sq ft home for $80/sq ft. We saved $60K!!! Crazy! There are lots of other ways we saved during the building process. One of which is our kitchen. I will share those savings with you later. Be sure to sit down with your lender/bank to create your budget. Know what you want and can afford to spend in each line item. Whether it be roofing, lights, floor, appliances, etc. Once you have your budget in hand you are able to shop around and find the most for your money. Being able to make all of these decisions is one of the perks of being your own contractor. We bought everything ourselves.

Our half bath is one of my favorite rooms so far.

Everyone has a different experience. This just happens to be ours.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How we chose our kitchen layout

Hey y'all! 

We are well underway (waist deep) in the building of our country home. In fact we are a little over 2 months out. There is still so much to do and it can be a bit overwhelming especially since we are building a home we have never seen. Yep, picked out the floor plan online and took it to an architect.   
So every Southerner knows the kitchen is the heart of the home, right? I have been thinking and researching for like ever to find the perfect layout for us. We all have an idea of a perfect kitchen, but I had a list of our must haves. Space was number one! Space to move around, counter space, an island with bar space, pantry space. All of these things plus more are important for us. 

Like I mentioned earlier, we have never seen our floor plan in person or even in pictures. So when we received our first quote for the kitchen and it came with pictures I was jumping for joy. Well, until I saw the pictures. The first thing I noticed was our BIG kitchen looked way too small. The refrigerator needed to be moved to the other end of the counter and the wall oven needed to be moved as well. Having two large appliances so close didn't make sense to me as well as the wall oven in the middle of the counter top. 

In the picture below, you can see the door to the pantry which was all the more reason the layout needed to be changed. Luckily we have not installed insulation as of yet. We were able to move the electrical outlets and plumbing fairly easy. 

These pictures are only renditions. Our floors will not be tile. The door to the pantry will be....yes, you guessed it. Another pocket door. The island will be different from the cabinets. We haven't quite decided. We would like to use a mixture of natural woods on the island and vent hood.

Now I am super excited seeing our plan! For me this is the fun part. The design and of course later, the decorating. I am so grateful for all of the hard work everyone has put forth. I am certainly looking forward to cooking and entertaining in this kitchen.