Sunday, March 23, 2014

{building a house} answers.

Still finishing up some answering some questions from January... 

* House reflection -- how are you settling in? What do you like the most? 
* For sure a post about the building process... what you are so glad you did, what you wish you knew or had done differently! 

Just a warning... this post will probably be pretty long and pretty random. I have lots of thoughts in my head and I'm not sure how organized they'll all be. =) 

Building a house was definitely a dream come true for us. Corey had talked about building/living at his grandpa's farm someday pretty much our entire marriage. I wasn't crazy about the thought of farm life for most of our marriage, but a brand new house was appealing. =) So we had both been dreaming for years.
{We're still dreaming about grass and landscaping...} 

We knew several things that we wanted... 
* 4 bedrooms (we wanted each kiddo to be able to have their own)
* a dining room (we have an antique Hoosier cabinet and big table that have been in the family for years.) 
* an open kitchen/living room
* a big front porch
* a BIG mudroom! 
* an extra room for a craft room (this was really just my wish, not Corey's) 
* a breakfast nook with a bench window seat (again... just me!) 
* the stairs in the middle of the house with a turn/landing halfway
* everything important on the main floor so that someday when Corey and I are old, we won't have to worry about going up and down stairs. 

I had been looking at house plans and pinning them on Pinterest for quite awhile. None were just quite perfect. We weren't sure if we wanted a two story, or just a one story house. I was completely opposed to a ranch style house. Nothing against ranch style houses... it's just not my dream house. And since we are planning to retire here, we knew we were only going to do this once. 

I pinned this house a few years ago and said that it was the closest thing I had found to my "dream house!" 

We knew we wanted/needed a basement. This is Kansas, after all. Gotta have someplace safe when those tornados come rolling through. We weren't sure that it made sense to do a two story house, though, when we were going to be pouring a full basement. We realized that we were more interested in the *look* of a two story house than the actual two stories. 

So this is the plan we started with: 

We made some changes... moved the garage to the back of the house... made the mudroom bigger (we actually did that a couple times... so glad we did!) and we pretty much just left the basement design to the architect. We told him we wanted 3 bedrooms, a jack and jill bathroom, a family room, utility room (for the furnace, water heater, a/c unit, etc.) and then a storage room/storm shelter. (We ended up making that room bigger, too. Again... so glad!) I don't think we made any changes to the basement floor plan. None that I remember, anyway. 

I know that building a house can be really stressful for some people. Some couples talk about it being so hard on their marriage. We didn't really have that experience. Yes, there were LOTS of decisions. So many decisions. But really, the only one that stressed us out was wood flooring. We knew we wanted most of the main floor to be wood floor, and we knew the look we wanted. We just had trouble making our vision match our budget. =) 

Several people that we worked with throughout this whole process commented on how "easy" we were. I joked one time that normally it wouldn't be a good thing to be called easy... but when it was coming from our builder and the plumber, I took it as a compliment. =) Really, we just trusted that the people that we were working with knew a whole lot more about building houses than we did. We listened to their opinions, took their advice and even let them make decisions for us sometimes. (The plumber kind of redesigned the floor plan in the bathroom... explained why he thought it would work better and we said, "Sure!" And... he was right! The electricians walked around with us and pointed out all the places they thought we would want outlets, light switches, light fixtures and we said, "Sure!")

Corey and I compromised pretty well, too, I think. There weren't that many things that one of us was dead set on and the other wasn't. The things that were really important to one of us, weren't that important to the other one. A white kitchen was the one thing I wasn't going to give on. It was too important to me. So Corey agreed. 

The fireplace and mantle were important to him, so I let him make all the decisions there.

I wanted white trim and Corey wanted stained trim, so we compromised there. All the interior trim is white, but the doors and most of the windows are stained. We kept the windows in the kitchen and mudroom area white, but the rest are all stained. I love how it turned out. 

Honestly, every single time we went shopping for house things (appliances, wood floor, tile, carpet, lights) or met with someone where decisions were involved... I intentionally wore my amy {heart} corey necklace... 

Just as a reminder that we were in this together... this was our dream.
{This was on our 15th anniversary... buying appliances.}

I had a Farmhouse 3-ring binder that I took with us everywhere. I had divider tabs with pocket folders for each main room or area (Kitchen, Mudroom, Bath, Doors/Windows, Bedrooms, Flooring). Each tab had notebook paper behind it where I wrote notes about anything and everything. Receipts, business cards, prices, sketches, anything that we wanted to be about to go back and look at... all in one place. It definitely helped keep us organized. 

I also had blank calendar pages in it to write down what was happening at the house. Those are fun to go back and look at. Kind of crazy when you think that they started digging the basement on April 1st and we moved in on August 10th. Less than 5 months. Crazy. 

Ok... this post has gotten long and I still have a lot to say to answer those questions. 
{And there are only 3 minutes left in the Shocker/Kentucky basketball game! Since we only get 2 TV channels, I'm watching it online and switching back and forth between Blogger and ESPN.}

I'll be back with the "things we're so glad we did" and "things we wish we had done differently" on another day. 

{Go Shox!!}

1 comment:

Toni :O) said...

Oooohhh fun post!! I love what you chose and especially the design. So unique but just so lovely. Many blessings in your gorgeous home.