SELECTIONS AND OVERAGES | Just Say Whoa?!

CALLING CHIP & JOANNA GAINES? Our next step in the whole process was actually a lot of little steps, or basically visiting alllllll of the suppliers to make selections on the details we wanted in our house. You guys… we were NOT prepared for just how much you pick out! Thinking it would just be … Continue reading “SELECTIONS AND OVERAGES | Just Say Whoa?!”

CALLING CHIP & JOANNA GAINES?
Our next step in the whole process was actually a lot of little steps, or basically visiting alllllll of the suppliers to make selections on the details we wanted in our house. You guys… we were NOT prepared for just how much you pick out! Thinking it would just be a paint and flooring type of party? Nooope… also the outlet covers, door hinges, bevel of the wood trim, type of lightbulb… HOLY SMOKES!

Luckily we knew a few major items we wanted to have so we based selections off of our desired paint color, the fireplace and ceiling design we wanted, etc. (Here’s a photo of the main floor mantle we wanted!)

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OVERAGES ARE NOT OVER-JOYOUS
Building a home lets you see exactly how much every, single, little, tiny detail costs… everything. It’s painful, but in the end it makes sense when you add it all up and compare it to a “fully finished home”. That doesn’t mean it’s still not a shock each time, but the bigger picture keeps us sane!

FRUSTRATIONS AND FRANTIC HURRYING
The hardest part of all with selections was picking your perfect item… to find out later on that the manufacturer wouldn’t be able to have it here in time to install. Then you began the process all over again, but triple speed because now you feel rushed and behind.

SOME OF THE BEST… AND WORST
We definitely had some AMAZING experiences with a few suppliers, seriously I’d recommend specific sales associates and stores we went to over any others, period. (Example, our granite supplier was beyond perfection, they went the extra mile and then some for us!! I’d use them again in a heartbeat.)

We also had a few less than desirable experiences, which I will not mention because it all worked out in the end. Just understand that if you’re building, you may be your biggest priority and your builder’s priority, but not all businesses are as efficient or as communicative as you may want. It sucks, but it’s frustratingly true.

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WE HAVE BRICK AND BARE WALLS!
(First off, our house is not beige… that is the color of the siding before it gets painted. We kind of hate beige.) But guys, look… we really are starting to take shape over here!! Inside we have drywall, and trim is going up. There are so many more steps to go, both inside and out, but it’s seriously becoming so very real. WE CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!

THE NEXT STEP… IT’S TRIM TIME!
As mentioned, we’re starting the trim stage now, so that’s exactly what you think it is, plus anything else lumber related besides the flooring. Our cabinets will be going up, doors, window ledges, etc etc etc.

Xoxo, Meeghan 

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STICK AND STONES | And a Roof?!

STICKS AND STONES WILL… BUILD MY DREAM HOME! Since we last talked… the concrete jungle has become a stick palace… we’re moving up in the world people! Once the foundation cured (slowest weeks everrr), the framing FLEW up. I understand the “hurry up and wait” aspect of home building more and more each stage of … Continue reading “STICK AND STONES | And a Roof?!”

STICKS AND STONES WILL… BUILD MY DREAM HOME!
Since we last talked… the concrete jungle has become a stick palace… we’re moving up in the world people!

Once the foundation cured (slowest weeks everrr), the framing FLEW up. I understand the “hurry up and wait” aspect of home building more and more each stage of this process. First, it looked so strange… what were those weird small pieces?? (Hint: the main floor flooring/ceiling of the basement level.) After that point though, it really began to look like a house!

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WAIT… IT’S GREEN??
As someone who obviously has never built a home before, it was interesting (and mind boggling) to see each stage go up. Who knew the inside of a house was green?! Heyyyyyy Irish pride over here.

 

SNEAKING INTO OUR OWN HOME
Once the roof and windows/etc. were on, it felt a bit like sneaking into an abandoned house whenever we went by to check on the progress. Whereas before we just breezed right in, now we had to creep in through the garage doors… but it’s our house! Haha, it was still a funny feeling to get past.

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The best part was seeing the inside begin to really take shape. Walking through the “rooms” and envisioning what we were going to do with them, where we’d put furniture, etc. It’s as if the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible!

 

THE NEXT STEP… DESIGN DRAMA
Did I mention HGTV before?? Because now I know why people use design teams… HOLY HARD WORK BATMAN!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

 

BUDGET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD | And Other “FUN” Stuff

A continuation of the home building blogs… With this series, I’ll keep you updated as we go with insight into the process, and maybe help you make a decision if you’re on the fence about building! (Read here for the previous post in this series.) CONCRETE JUNGLE Since we last talked… the dirt hole had … Continue reading “BUDGET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD | And Other “FUN” Stuff”

A continuation of the home building blogs…

With this series, I’ll keep you updated as we go with insight into the process, and maybe help you make a decision if you’re on the fence about building!

(Read here for the previous post in this series.)

CONCRETE JUNGLE
Since we last talked… the dirt hole had quickly become a concrete jungle of sorts! What you see in the photos below are the plotters used to form our concrete foundation. Think like a jello mold… but luckily more sturdy in the end.

They place the plotters where the foundation walls will go, and then pour in the concrete. Now is the “wait” period of the phrase “hurry up and wait”. Unknown to me before this moment… while you only need to keep the concrete protected for the first week or so while it cures, it actually takes about 28 days to reach its full strength and hardness. So be prepared to stare at your concrete for a few weeks, and not much else.

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After the plotters come off, the build progress speeds up considerably. So use this time wisely to make your selections, and not feel rushed later!

REDLINE THE PLAN, REDLINE THE BUDGET…
When we had our ‘Redline’ meeting with the builder (see previous post for info on that) we also were presented with the breakdown of our home’s budget and based on that, the allowances for our design selections. By selections, I mean all of the fun stuff… the decorative items like flooring, lighting, paint, etc. that make the house, YOUR home! This selection guide is paramount to staying within (or close to) the price you determined and anticipate the house to be at closing.

Now that we’ve established that… burn your budget. Welcome to the joy of home building!!

We quickly found out that we have expensive taste. So the most stressful part of the selection process was seeing the deadlines approaching while trying to find out when to go over budget and when to stay on track. You think you’ll come in under budget? Hah. No. That’s like saying you’ll lose weight but cutting off your leg.

CURB APPEAL… AND HOA APPROVAL?
Our first deadline, and a VERY QUICK one at that, was to select our exterior paint colors, brick and stone. This is no small feat, not only because one of your homes most valuable resale points is it’s curb appeal… but also because we had to have our selections pre-approved by the Development and HOA (read this post about why and how and wtf the HOA has to do with it). We were lucky that our preferred exterior look was one that was doable with our plans and that the HOA/Development approved.

THE NEXT STEP
Sticks and stones and framing, PLUS: lights, appliances, paint, floors, granite, color schemes and cat nooks… oh my!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

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FLOOR PLAN PARTY! | Can You Make It Cat Friendly?

A continuation of the home building blogs! (Read here for the previous post in this series.) HOW MANY CLOSETS ARE TOO MANY? ASKING FOR A FRIEND… As previously discussed, once we’d decided on our lot, and knew the floor plan we liked, it was time to make sure that plan would be approved for our … Continue reading “FLOOR PLAN PARTY! | Can You Make It Cat Friendly?”

A continuation of the home building blogs!

(Read here for the previous post in this series.)

HOW MANY CLOSETS ARE TOO MANY? ASKING FOR A FRIEND…
As previously discussed, once we’d decided on our lot, and knew the floor plan we liked, it was time to make sure that plan would be approved for our lot. (Yes, there are many hoops to jump through with building, be prepared!)

We submitted the plans to the Development Office and (woohoo!) were approved within a couple of days. Then, we were finally able to meet with the builder to discuss the plans. (Yes, we hadn’t even met the builder yet! There’s really no need to do so until you know you’ll be able to build with them. Otherwise it’s just a waste of everyone’s time.)

Sitting down with the builder to discuss what you envision from their plans, if some of your ideas are even possible, and to see if you’ll even like working with that builder is a very important first step. This company is building your HOME! Make sure you like them, you like how they respond to correspondence, that they have plenty of example builds you can refer to go see in person, and that you can’t dig up any negative reviews on their business. (Don’t confuse this meeting with the “Redline” meeting, that happens later on.)

BUT REALLY… ABOUT THOSE CLOSETS?
After all the necessary paperwork for the builder and the bank is set to proceed (aka the hoop titled: “heyooo you’re actually allowed to build!”) NOW it’s time for the Redline meeting. You literally sit down with the Builder and room by room, go through the plans, “red line”/mark up the blue prints, and discuss any changes you want. EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Of course, you can still make small changes later, but you should have the big picture idea of what you want in your plans at this meeting (this is not about the decorating, think major items like moving walls or adding structural features that may have lengthy supply times.)

Among our many changes to customize our build were making sure the garage space would work best for a project car paradise and… having wide window ledges for our cat to enjoy lounging on. Seriously! We had quite a few other changes and completely redid the basement but that’s the best part of building. The world {plans} are your oyster!

BREAKING GROUND
The day we broke ground was much more exciting than we could’ve thought a dirt hole to be, it was becoming real!! (When we went out there, they were in the process of digging, so we came back later on to see it at dusk. Something about staring at the poor guy operating the digger seemed creepy of us…) The entire building process goes in “hurry up and wait” waves, but that first dig was such a monumental step. Adulting at it’s finest!

THE NEXT STEP
Breaking ground meant narrowing our many design ideas down to one fluid look (harder than you think)… hello HGTV?? It’s Meeghan calling.

Xoxo, Meeghan 

SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOUSE | Insanity and Creativity Combined!

For those who didn’t know… Jon and I are not only planning a wedding, we’re building a house! I know… we’re insane. We’re doing all of it at the same time. But hey, if we can you can too! Also, if we can do all of this, we are SET for married life. Huzzah! TO … Continue reading “SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOUSE | Insanity and Creativity Combined!”

For those who didn’t know… Jon and I are not only planning a wedding, we’re building a house!

I know… we’re insane. We’re doing all of it at the same time. But hey, if we can you can too! Also, if we can do all of this, we are SET for married life. Huzzah!

TO BUY? OR BUILD?
Our biggest hurdle was the initial decision to build… we are extremely picky and nothing exactly fit our needs and wants. Jon is a car enthusiast in need of good garage space and functionality (putting it mildly) and we both have a need of large closet space (putting it VERY mildly). We also really wanted a lot with nothing behind it. Neither of us are fans of the giant backyard Tetris puzzle you see in suburbia today. Try as we might, we couldn’t find a house with everything we wanted, that we weren’t going to have to update. In our desired area, it was more cost effective to build, then it would have been to buy and renovate an existing property… the numbers said it all, BUILD WE WOULD!

THE BEST REALTOR EVER
Our realtor was AMAZING. Seriously, if you’re in the area and in need of a Realtor, go see Nicholas Weathers. He went above and beyond to find our perfect lot, our perfect floor plan, our perfect builder, EVERYTHING! He’s been there with us every step of the way, and has been a lifesaver in this process.

THE LOT
We found our dream lot by chance… at first we fell in love with the area of town we wanted to be in and then a model home of what our floor plan would derive from. We were almost set to make an offer on the model (which we’d need to finish the basement in anyway and it wasn’t exaaaactly the perfect color scheme for us)… but we found out that there would be the dreaded group of Tetris yards behind it within a few years. Nope. No Way. Not happening. So we hit the search again… it was about this time that our Realtor suggested we build that floor plan ourselves. He found available lots in that neighborhood and others in the area… and one was FREAKING PERFECT. Situated on a cul-de-sac, heavy tree-lined back yard, open fields behind that… SIGN US UP!

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THE NEXT STEP
We needed to reserve the lot and make sure the floor plan we liked would be approved for that particular lot (HOAs dictate the above ground square footage, layout, etc. that is approved for each lot in a neighborhood). We reserved the lot and proceed with figuring out the build. It’s a long process but we know in the end it’ll be worth it!

Xoxo, Meeghan