{the process} of building a house 2

Yesterday we talked about the beginning stages of building a house which has nothing to do with building and everything to do with paper and meetings and expectations and dreams and wants/needs/ideas.

A taxing part, yes. Exciting? Very.

So let’s break some ground.




Please don’t forget to play in the dirt. And marvel at how that hole is actually going to be a basement? It looks so big?! And so very small!!

The dimensions of a house as it goes up mirrors more of a suggestion than an actual. Foundation? Looks small. Walls? Look big. Drywall? You actually get a feeling for space definition. It’s a little like walking through the crazy-house at the fair with all those mirrors. You’re never really sure which reflection is the right one.

The footings go in pretty quickly after the ground is broken.


And from here to Framing something’s new almost every day. We made a trip every day to see the progress, some times twice. It was a lot of fun to watch everything happen so quickly. At times they were way ahead of schedule and then there’d be a lull while we waited for contractors to finish jobs so they could start them on our house.



The top photo is looking over the garage and what will be (once framed in) our main floor. The bottom photo is looking up from the back yard at the back of the house.

The house always looked HUGE from the backyard view through the entire build – most of that has to do with it was the only unobstructed view of most of the house – both stories and walkouts. Made it look so much bigger.


Backfill of foundation dirt and concrete for basement floors and garage/patio footing up front. The concrete for the actual front porch, side walk, drive way and back patio from basement walkout was all done separately from the concrete for the flooring/foundation.

What we were looking forward to at this point

It was really fun to watch the house go up and while all of that was happening we were constantly calling/emailing and talking about what was going to happen next. Picking out finishes and then trying not to worry that I made the right decision.

We read a lot of magazines and stalked quite a few websites during this ordeal and made a few changes as we saw something we absolutely loved. (Kitchen island on a diagonal and not in a square to the rest of the counters? Yes.)

There were cracks in the basement concrete as it was drying and I brought this up to our builder as a concern. I’m not someone who knows much about concrete and foundations but cracks don’t really seem like a great idea. I was told with confidence that it was normal, and that with out Michigan weather it would inevitably crack and “heal” with the climate changes any way. I believed him. I think if we had to do it over again I would research it and push a little harder. You don’t really get to do a foundation over again, if you know what I’m saying. Not that anything was wrong with it – but I’d like to know that in 15 years water isn’t going be a guest with our climate changes.

(I should maybe get this out of the way now: I would build again – completely differently though and not with the builders we used this time. Not because they’re craftsmanship is bad at all but their customer service sucked. And I’m being nice.)

3 thoughts on “{the process} of building a house 2

  1. Love hearing about someone else’s build. We built 3.5 years ago and both loved and hated the process. My BIL built it – he was great, our foundation was perfect looking. Some of the contractors were a royal PITA. I would build again, but do it oh so differently!

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