We built a house last year after we sold the one we were living in for less than we paid for it 6 years prior. But now we live in an apartment because we sold the house we built too.
I need a time line just to make the last year make sense.
This might help if you’re in need of some context to this whole ordeal. Otherwise: let’s get started.
The photo above is of the house we looked at to possibly build one like it. We modeled our floor plan almost exactly after the above house with small changes and upgrades – when we sold the house it looked like this.
But lets back up. First comes blue prints, then comes colors then comes the checkbook and the crazy hour!
Once we decided that building was what we were going to do (with the hope of selling it) we picked a lot (check!) made small changes and upgrades to blue prints (check!) and then waited. And waited. And waited. Permits, time, meetings, time, colors, permits, approval, time, waiting.
The changes and upgrades we made were:
Taking the “garden shelf/box wall thing” out of the main floor living room. Cathedral ceilings were interrupted by those 1980 fake flower shelves (also the place you always see those Christmastime villages displayed, fine for you, not for me). No.
I wanted the kitchen island counter top wrapped in stainless steel.
I did not want a microwave, or upper cabinets.
We were unsure on the trey ceiling in the master bedroom.
I moved walls and we added walls in the basement for 2 more bedrooms and a laundry room.
We changed one of the closets off the backdoor that was (in the blueprints) the laundry closet to a normal sized coat closet we were going to convert to a desk behind doors. When we made this closet smaller (no need for washer/dryer) we made our master bath larger.
We upgraded our landscaping package.
We were ecstatic about the garage!
My advice for you at this stage of the game:
Take your time. We felt very rushed through this process and not ever having done this before we didn’t know our full options of what was NEEDED!! vs. what was just “good to know”.
Ask all of your questions right now. Call them every time you have a thought or flippant worry/anxiety/hesitation. You are paying them a lot of money to build the place where you are going to sleep at night and feel your safest. They need to be your best friend. If they’re unwilling – you’re paying the wrong person.
Don’t sign ANYTHING until you understand EVERYTHING it says. On the flip side, get EVERYTHING in writing. All of it. Your notes on that phone call? They sign it, you sign it. Agreed? The email you sent back and forth – print it off and they sign it, you sign it. Every. Time.
Get your schedule from the Builders in writing. Signed. If it’s important to you that they stick with it – make sure they know that full well from day 1. If they don’t stick to it, remind them of their signature and what it might mean (an agreement?) if they don’t meet their specified deadlines.
There will be set backs and mistakes. Unfortunately in our case every single thing we had specifically changed and added to our contract (or removed from it) wasn’t done correctly the first time. So that meant that after the 3rd time I found them not paying attention I got very pissy.
Get pissy. Again, it’s hard for me to confront someone who said they were going to do something only to find out that hey! I’m not that important to them but would I please pay my invoice? Customer service is a huge deal to me and when it’s going all wrong I deserve better. And answers. So let them know and be upfront with them.
Ok, lets end on a happy note! Bring your clippings, send ideas with links and get excited. If you’re doing this for the first time it’s definitely a wild ride but a really fun one at that.
Take in all your options. Explore them. Then decide.