Things I have learned from building a house…

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I admit that I am a bit house-obsessed. I am not afraid to say it. I like things in my house to be neat, and look how I want them to. I have often said, I want visitors to feel welcome and comfortable and my children to grow up in a home with a sense of peace and security.

A gorgeous kitchen from Country Living via Pinterest

{As I write this, I am looking around my parent’s beautiful and welcoming home where I am (still) staying, and feel certain that some things are hard-wired.}

So, when we unexpectedly had the opportunity to build our next home in our relocation process, it’s sort of a dream come true for someone “like me.”  Rather then remaking an existing home into what I would want it to be, I could literally start from the ground up and make it exactly what I wanted. Let’s just say this right now, that Site Agent at the model home probably should have just started running when she saw me coming her way. I am sure she is ready to have my house done and closed after all my “crazy” requests.

 The good news is that from spending too much time reading blogs, decorating magazines and now making great use of Pinterest, I pretty much knew just what I wanted in my new home.  However, most of these things didn’t really fall into the builder’s standard packages, so they agreeably gave me an allowance to pick my own lights and appliances, and let me redraw the cabinet layout to better serve our family. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Cabinet plan in process

Well, here is what I have learned…NOT hearing from your builder for 2 months is NOT a good sign. Now, don’t misunderstand, I think incredibly highly of the builder of my new home and do believe this is one of those things that just happened. Due to a long crazy set of circumstances I won’t bore you with, nothing that we had selected (back in June) was ever ordered for our home. And, due to this crazy economy and constantly changing loan regulations, our house MUST close in September before some things change that will drastically effect our loan. So, I spent last Thursday, after a frantic phone call from the builder, making every selection for my home over again based on availability (and of course, cost) while trying to still get exactly what I want. Sounds fun, right? Nope, really, not that fun.

So, what I learned is that if you build, renovate or anything (especially long-distance as we are), you must check and double check everything is being taken care of. Thankfully we managed to pull out just about everything we hoped for after a long day with much running around to lighting stores, granite warehouses etc. I will say I never loved my husband more then at the moment when I was told that there was no way I could get the countertops I had my heart set on in less then 30 days, and he glared looked at the saleswoman told her she better figure out another supplier because I was going to get what I wanted. {Sigh, I love him…} And, yes, it does look like they were able to find another supplier.

I have also learned to dig my heels in, especially in dealing with men in the contracting business. Not to show gender-bias, but there are things in my home that are definitely making the builders scratch their heads and say, “What is this woman thinking?” The looks on their faces as I tried to explain that No, I didn’t want light pendants, but rather would like a chandelier in the middle of the kitchen which sounds perfectly logical to us in blogland, right? You would have thought I had suddenly grown 3 heads– those men just could not understand it! And interestingly, they kept telling me what I wanted instead…?

Our soon to be front door and foyer

I have also learned that No doesnt mean No. Sometimes in building it just means “I don’t really want to,” but with enough determination and frantic work last week, we are hopeful the house will be done as we had planned. My husband (who really, could care less about anything other then having a ceiling fan in the master bedroom and his outdoor shower) did a phenomenal job of not letting me give in as we were repeatedly being told “No, we couldn’t get this or that in time.” He continually reminded me that we have waited for this house (to the discomfort of our family, and even more to the discomfort of my parents and friends who have let us stay with them during the construction process) and we hope to be able to stay in it for a very long time. So, fingers crossed, in just a few weeks we will have our new home…unless of course, Hurricane Irene which is, as I write, barreling toward the coastal community where we are moving has her own plan, but let’s just not think of that just yet…

our future family room

Stay tuned, this could get even more interesting!

Thanks for stopping by!


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