I think I’ve received so many questions because so many of you are either in the middle of building, about to start building or considering building…so I let you ask me the questions and I’m sharing how it all worked out for us.
We never thought we wanted to build until we gutted our master bath…and then we decided we were not fit for remodeling.
Andrew and I are very much long-term planners. We make long-term goals, we schedule everything out, we commit to a direction and we stick to it. We decided about four years ago that although we weren’t ready to build right then, we were ready to invest in property and start preparing to build in the future. We bought our land in November 2010. It looked like this…
That’s us…over an acre, wooded and with a little creek running behind it. It’s super to crazy for me to look at this picture because for three solid years, I would drive by and just see this piece of land…and right this second, I’m sitting in a house built on that land typing this post to you :).
My entire goal when designing this house was to make it super functional for my family. I knew what rooms we enjoyed the most (one big area for hanging out and watching TV, a big kitchen suitable for a food blogger, bookshelves for my books, a space for me to work that felt out of the way, and things like that). I didn’t try to get creative and unique because I really just wanted it functional. I found a lot of ideas off of Pinterest but most of my ideas came from walking through open houses and model homes…I found specific things that I liked and even more things that I didn’t like (which was really helpful!).
Thank you Lord for subs. Sub-contractors became my best friends. Phillip, Juan and Victor were my three favorites subs and let me tell you, they were genius. I think one of the most important lessons I learned during this building process is that your builder is only as good as his sub-contractors. Those subs are the ones who are experts in their fields and they had the BEST ideas! I knew I wanted spice cabinets and cabinets for my pots and pans and baking sheets and such…but I didn’t know how to maximize the space and make it all functional and perfect…but Phillip sure did! So many of the little details came from their experience…I totally listened and valued what they had to say.
I thought this question was unusual and yet perfect at the same time! Yes, I put outlets on the tops of my mantles for Christmas garland :).
We cried like babies. Totally. And we’re not emotional people!
We moved out of our home of 8 years back in February 2013 and then rented for 15 months while the new house was being built. We were totally emotional leaving our old house because that’s where we brought babies home, that’s where we really became a family. Yes, we were emotional. But just like most things, you move on and get over it.
This was a biggie for me. My color palette had always been gold tones but with the new house, I wanted to change it to greyish/blue tones instead. Again, I found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest…what did we do before Pinterest?!?!
I wrote everything down. When we would buy something for the new house (like a piece of furniture or bedding), I would take a picture of it and then also write it down. Whenever I would agree to a stone, carpet, wood or such, I would also keep a piece of that material too.
Some of you will think this is crazy and some of you will think this is genius…but it was something I always wanted and now that I have it, I’m thrilled to pieces…I put two dishwashers in my kitchen. My mom told me the other day that she runs her dishwasher like once a week (what???)…we run ours twice a day! So, having two dishwashers (although completely not necessary) has been something that I absolutely love!
The question before leads us to this question. I totally splurged on my kitchen. I would say that our house was built around the kitchen. Every family has their “most important room” and for our family, it’s the kitchen. We live in there, I work in there, we entertain in there…it’s the central part of our house and so, you could say it’s what we splurged on. I will be doing a Shade of Shay on my kitchen later this month :).
Hmmm…good question. We knew how big our current house was, we knew what rooms we needed to add and we knew our budget…the square footage number we had in our head matched what the architect drew and our budget, so it kind of all just came together.
Here’s the deal, as long as you let Andrew Shull put TVs where he wants them, he doesn’t care about the rest of the house. He’ll give you an honest opinion if you ask…but he really lets me do what I want (as long as I leave him alone about his TVs).
You make so many decisions when building that at the beginning I worried and really fretted over some of them and by the end, I was like “whatever, I don’t care”.
One day toward the end, Erika was over at the house with me and they were asking me a question about the concrete work for our driveway and I was like “sure, whatever” and walked off. Erika stopped me and was like “this concrete will be there forever, shouldn’t you think about it?”. Ha! Yes, I should (and I went back and did)…but that’s the problem…when you have people asking you questions all day long and you’re constantly making decisions, at the end, you just want everyone to shut up and finish…and you’re over making decisions!
At the beginning I was probably worried about leaving something out but by the end, I realized that it was going to all work out and I didn’t fret.
I wanted a commercial range for my kitchen. I picked out my range before I picked out anything else and when we first sat down with our builder and architect, we asked them to pretty much build a house around our range :).
I typically don’t do complete house tours until the fall and again at Christmas (when I’m showing my fall decor and Christmas stuff). I am going to make my kitchen a Shade of Shay, I am going to show you my pantry and I am going to show you Smith’s room (I had a major “yes mom” moment with that child and his room) this summer. You can click here to see my laundry room/office area and here to see my closet.
Oh I’m sure I would change a thing or two…but honestly, it turned out just how we wanted it to.
We had the huge luxury of living one mile from our construction site. At the beginning, we would go check on the process once a day but by the end, we were over there 6 or 8 times a day. Being so close to the construction allowed us to see things as they were happening and tweak things along the way.
There were only two times that I walked in and really disliked something and had them stop what they were doing and do it differently (once was a support column that I just hated and we ended up taking out and the other time was my kitchen back splash…I hated everything about it, so that was fixed too). Being able to see the process daily helped us make more solid decisions.
Whew. So there you have it. Thank you for all of your questions! We’re very excited to close this chapter in our lives and open another.
And listen, a fabulous reader named Missy emailed me yesterday to let me know that this jacket I love so much…
…is now 40% off! Woohoo! All 3 colors are on sale!
And one more thing…
…I have my yummy Avocado and Shrimp Salad on the foodie blog today!
It’s the perfect little lunch or light supper!