If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know by now that my husband and I are building a house. Ok… our builder is doing all of the work, but still. 🙂 This has been a long time coming. We have each built homes once before… separately. However, neither of those was “our” home. I sold my home back in September. We are now in a temp living situation, and let me just say… we are counting down the days!!! I have a calendar hanging next to my desk. As soon as we get a closing date I will be X’ing off the days.
There is something about living in someone else’s home that makes you realize how much you appreciate your own space. We are pretty much confined to one area of the house. I told my husband if we can make it living in this small space together for 3-4 months, we should be able to make it through just about anything! I know that it will all be worth it in the end. I’m very focused on the prize. But, after living in a large home for 10+ years and having full reign over the place, this is a bit challenging. I cannot wait!
It’s been a couple of weeks since we visited the house. Last we saw it, it was at the studs stage… with no heat! It is downright freezing in Chicago right now and we now live about 50 minutes away from the new house, so we haven’t visited as often as I would like.
However, right about now they are starting drywall after waiting for the local gas company to finish their work so that the heat could be turned on. Yippee!! And from what I’m told we also have running water. Woot!
Of course building or remodeling a home can lead to having loads of blogging material! I will be working on a series of posts that talk about a few things including, but not limited to:
Deciding to Build vs. Deciding to Buy Existing
Some may wonder why we decided to build instead of buying existing, and what factors go into making the same decision yourself. It was a fairly easy decision once we really started to talk about it. However, what you decide will depend your needs, the housing market in your area, the homes available, the prices, whether or not you are looking to take on projects, and the evil property taxes.
Finding a Great Builder
Having an awesome builder that understands that every family is not the same means having one that understands and agrees to small changes, or… sometimes huge changes!
Deciding Where to Spend More Money & Where to Wait
My obsession with HGTV has come into play big time when asking for changes, choosing fixtures, and thinking up ways to maximize space. Everyone knows by now that there are certain places in the home where you should spend money to add more value. The main 2 areas are the kitchen and master bathroom. Sticking with the builder grade basics in your kitchen may leave you wondering “what have I done?” a few months after you move in. Or, in the event that you want to sell your house after a few years, not having sought after upgrades may mean less resell value. And there are some things that will be harder to change after moving in so it just makes sense to have the builder do it. However, if you are handy, other things can be changed or upgraded later. And yes… I have a list even though our home is not ready yet!
Going Beyond the Cookie Cutter Basics
Part of those changes is adding character. No one wants a house that looks exactly like the next door neighbor’s house, or the house down the block! Some production home builders have several plans that you can choose from, different color options for brick, vinyl siding, and paint, but they may all look very similar. However, in my opinion it’s more important to worry about inside the house. And if you have a great builder they will work with you to customize your plan rather than making you stick to their idea of what your home should look like.
And beyond things that the builder can do there are other things that you can do yourself. Part of the changes that I mentioned above have to do with breaking the look and function of our home away from the original model. I have plans to update storage in the kitchen cabinets to incorporate things like spice racks, recycle bins, glass doors, and some other things that we are skipping right now to save money. Again, some things are easy to add or change later, and I don’t mind small projects! I’ve been itching to do some wood building, and fixing up flea market finds.
Incorporating Our List of Wants
Anyone who watches HGTV or has ever thought about buying a home or getting a new apartment has a list of wants. It probably stems from knowing what worked and did not work in your past home, seeing new trends, visiting friend’s homes, and evaluating how you use your space, or even realizing what was not built well in your previous home… the pet peeves… the noises… the areas where you felt as if you had no privacy.
Some of these things may be about the actual structure of the house, others may be about adding character or function. I have many, many ideas! Here’s a teaser…
Of course there will be lots and lots of decorating! My head is overflowing with ideas. And so are my Pinterest boards! I have ideas for backsplash tile, crown molding, accent walls, curb appeal, a patio, a master bedroom closet design, and so much more. Follow my Pinterest boards to see the hundreds and hundreds of awesome home decorating related pins that I’m saving from day to day.
And if you are a brand or PR who has clients that might want to work with us on our design or decorating, please let me know!
Stay tuned for more on this journey!