I realize I’ve been quiet about building our new home, and it wasn’t because I’m trying to keep secrets but rather because it happened so. darn. fast. Feels like just yesterday we were checking out our new lot when it was simply full of hopes and dreams:
and :::blink::: it now looks like this!
I’m going to try to catch back up to more ‘real time’ updates, because quite frankly, I’m ready for the fun part. The dreaming, the decorating, painting, DIYing– and even the moving! We are very ready to leave our apartment, though I keep telling myself it’s a good life lesson for the kids to live more simply. And by ‘simply’, I mean totally on top of each other. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON I keep repeating to myself through gritted teeth as I climb the stairs to our third floor walk-up. WE ARE GETTING VERY GOOD EXERCISE I huff and puff. WE ARE BUILDING CHARACTER as I beg my energetic 6-year-old son to walk with ‘quiet feet’ so we don’t disturb the downstairs neighbors for the 3,589th time.
Back to the house. We’d been stalking this neighborhood (back then, it was literally a trailer in the woods) since we first realized we might be moving. The builder happened to be constructing a new neighborhood around the corner from us in Pennsylvania, and on dreary, cold days I’d stop in to gawk at the model. The staircase alone made me all kinds of happy. When we found out the move to NC was a ‘go’, we realized this builder had a new neighborhood going up here and knew we had to check it out. It was a gamble since we’re one of the first homes in this community (and I’ll tell you, that fact made decision making a challenge), but be honest– aren’t you a little bit seduced by these curves too?
Different builders have varying schedules, ours was very upfront that this process would take 10-12 months because they’re a quality builder and also the neighborhood is so new (plus, they are at the mercy of a very overwhelmed permitting office). I have to say, the waiting to get started was the hardest part. Now that things are trucking along it’s exciting! Here’s the timeline of how things went down:
February: Put down initial deposit on the lot to hold our spot, finalized floor plan and structural changes on the home, plus put down deposit on the house and the lot premium.
March: Choose every single detail at the design center (flooring, tile, hardware, lighting, wiring, security, granite, cabinets, exterior paint, EVERYTHING) in a series of 5 meetings in the span of 4 days. With my kids tagging along. It was… interesting.
April/May: Finalized design choices, paid deposit on those design choices and the permit was submitted.
July: Permit accepted and construction began with digging the trenches:
August: Foundation and garage floor poured!
We had some concerns about the size of the yard (we promised the kids they’d have room to play soccer or get a playset, and they deserve it after how well they’re handling this huge life transition). The builder went ahead and cleared the yard ahead of schedule so we could better see what it would look like. It was a balancing act, because I adore nature and those trees were a selling point but at the same time we wanted room for a deck and also for the kids to run freely.
Checking to see if it’s roomy enough to play soccer…
September: Framing, roof, and most windows. Staircase was installed today, can’t wait to get a photo of it! (you can see real-time updates on Instagram and @ MLblog on Snapchat.)
Next up: Roughing in the plumbing and HVAC, now that we have stairs they can more easily reach the second floor.
Estimated finish date in mid-December, and we’re going to keep our fingers crossed that happens! We’ll know more exact dates once they start the drywall.
We are learning so much about this process and ourselves at the same time.
Whether you’re building a new home or an existing one, it’s so important to create a needs, wants, and NO WAY list. Next week I’ll share ours, as well as how we customized this home to fit our family’s needs. Plus a ton of eye candy from the (many) model homes I visited during this process to illustrate what I’m talking about. It’s about to get fun up in here, if you’re as obsessed with houses and decorating as much as I am.
If you’ve gone through the building process, I’d love your advice. We can use all the help we can get!