Highlights of Homebuilding

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Faves!

As much as I love the building phase~seeing all the new things done to our land~I love the furnishing phase more:) Picking out the colors, flooring, lighting, decorating things and ideas!! If I had a hobby it would be this:) Furnishing my home:)

Honestly my tastes have changed soooo much over the last five years. I have gone through an Americana phase; a shabby chic phase; a rustic cabin phase; a minimalist phase; you name it, I've liked it:) It made birthday gifts interesting to say the least. Every year it was different! I just couldn't make up my mind!! Oh my goodness! Anyways, my hubby and I have decided to look back and see what stayed the same through all those themes and use that as our base for decorating. So, here is our "theme":

Light colors (paint, furnishings, fabrics)

Mixture of light and darks woods

Antique materials (furniture!, fabrics)

Some modern elements (lighting, pictures)

So, I don't think there's a name for my theme. You can try to name it for me. Maybe I'll start a new trend! :) haha.

So, during a slow week I will be posting pictures of my ideas, favorite furnitures, lights, paint colors, rooms, etc. I'll be doing a blog or two a week of these (only on slow weeks) and you can look back to see my new pictures I've posted. Let me know what ideas you've seen or that you like. Maybe things that you absolutely LOVE about your house (or hate!). Layouts you love; rooms you couldn't live without; storage solutions (my downfall); or anything else you can think of! I need all the help I can get:)

These are from wallnutz.com. Love them! Will put these in the playroom/homeschool room:) That's a lot of sticking!Will definitely be using black chalkboard paint. Just can't decide if I want it in the kitchen or the playroom or maybe both!

IKEA pendant light...totally awesome and SOOOO cheap! Only $30! Two of these will be going over the kitchen peninsula.

Another IKEA steal - a dream of mine...an apron front sink! LOVE LOVE LOVE these!!!!

And for wood flooring we are seriously considering buying ours online at simplefloors.com. They have amazing reviews, really great shipping costs and an awesome selection of flooring. We calculated what it would cost to buy and on a really good sale it's 2/3 less than Lowe's!! Here's the link to the flooring we are thinking about. Brazilian Teak, hardwood planks. We like the lighter wood because it shows dirt a lot less (thanks for the hint, Kaci!)


Hope you enjoy my faves and don't forget to comment and let me know some of your faves too! I would love to see what you suggest!!

And also, check out my new link at the top right hand side of the page: it's my idea book from houzz.com...that place is totally awesome!!!

On to build,


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Grounds...pt. 2

Sooooo, here's the second part of our preliminaries!

Well, I left off with picking out our sub contractors. That was actually a fun experience. Now that we had our materials list and quotes from subs we were armed and ready to meet with our banker lady, Katherine. She is totally the sweetest lady and has been great with answering our numerous phone calls and staying late so that my hard working hubby can come with me to talk to her. ( I do not like to do stuff like that by myself...who does?) So, Wednesday, June 30th was the fateful day...the day we signed our life away to the Bank of Cadiz...and all to own our own home! Is it worth it?? OH YEAH! :) Honestly, I couldn't stop smiling while we were signing the papers! My hubby, on the other hand, couldn't stop groaning. :)

Well, with the loan under our belt, we were ready to begin the building process. The first step?
Calling Mack Brame. Remember? He's our Septic Man. Before we could do anything he had to get the septic permit from Health Department. This allowed us to get the water meter. The water meter is the main valve that runs from the main water line to our own personal water line? Lost? Yeah, me too:) Simply put: the water meter is the tracker that counts how many gallons of water we use, therefore we now have a water bill! Exciting! haha. It took about two weeks for the meter to be set.

the water meter

Secondly, (and this was all happening around the same time) we had to get the city electrician, Tim Tucker, out to tell us where to put our temporary electric pole. The pole is exactly what it sounds like: it's a temporary pole that has a whole bunch of plugs and electrical outlets and stuff for all the contractors/builders who need to charge their tool batteries. When we are done building it will be taken off. When he found the perfect spot for it (in front of our lot), he staked it and we called our electrican, Mike Fort, and he came out and put up the pole. So that was the first obvious sign that something was done on our land. I'm telling you, I almost kissed it!! Here's the picture of it.
temporary electric pole

The next thing was to get our electric poles on our land, so that we can actually have electricity. There were a few setbacks but they everything worked out! Praise the Lord. All in all there were six poles set on our land. Three in front and then three leading back to our lot.
electric pole (1 of 6; this is on the front of our property)

Once the electric was in we called Gibson Plumbing and Mr. Gibson came out the next day (which was this past Saturday) and dug our water line and put in the line...and at the end of the line, he put a spigot! With flowing water:) I took a video to remember that moment! Paul wouldn't let me run the water too long...you know, with our new utility bill and all :) But it was pretty cool. :) here are those pictures.

water line (and yes, it has been officially approved!)
(sorry I have two pics of our spigot:))

Well, that is the happenings of the time! We are having a great block layer come in from Knoxville and he is supposed to breaking ground a week from today. It may vary a day or two what with trying to survey the exact location and stuff. But a week, people, and we are digging the dirt! Yeah! Be prepared for lots of home ramblings:)

Have a great night tonight...
On to build,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Grounds...:)

First of all...we needed the construction loan:) Yeah, unfortunately we have to have money for this project! And here's proof! Doesn't Paul look so happy...hehe
Well, this may look easy and simple, but there were probably 200-300 man hours of work that we put in before we could actually sign the loan. I'll give you a rundown:
First of all, we needed to get a material's list. That sounds simple enough...NOT!!! This involved TONS of searching the internet at the beginning, because frankly, I didn't even know what a material's list meant. I thought it meant, you know like how many toilets you wanted and what kind of light fixtures would be used. Searching for that kind of stuff was fun...I mean, I found the coolest pendants from IKEA! But no, a material's list is everything from floor joists, to termite protection, to sheetrock nails, to subflooring, to studs, to shingles...EVERYTHING! And I am SOO glad Paul was there to help. I really tried while he was working to shoulder this responsibility. But I couldn't do everything. Hubby finally got frustrated enough with my efforts to tackle the job:)

A material's list is simply two steps:
First get what you need to build the house and get all the prices of those things.
Then get the quotes from subcontractors.
That will give you a cost estimate of what you will need to build your home. Keep in mind that this is an ESTIMATE!!! There will be a whole lot of added fees, but that is for later.
Here are two great sites that helped me realize all the things that go into building:
I did call Lowe's and they were zero help:
Me: "I'd like to see if you could compile a material's list for me. I had heard that you do that for those who are building a home."
Them: "We don't do that anymore...it just got too difficult. But you are more than welcome to compile one for yourself. All you have to do is write down everything you need times the amount you need and multiply that by the price and there! You have your list!"
Haha, that's pretty funny, Lowe's peeps! "No, thank you" in my kindest voice possible :) So, I went to two local lumber companies and they were happy to oblige my request...go locals! With two material lists in hand I was now ready to get quotes from subcontractors. I actually did all this work by myself! I called the Health Department to find out a good Septic guy; I called three contractors to see who they used for Plumbing and Electric; and I used references from those two lumber companies also. Long story short, I think I've found the best guys in the business!! Here they are:
Gibson Plumbing
Mack Brame Septic
King and Hester HVAC
Means and Fort Electric
(my amazing, wonderful, marvelous hubby will be doing nearly everything else!)
Top of the line and actually the least expensive quotes than the other folks I called.
After making several (and I mean several) phone calls to ensure everything was covered in the quotes I compiled the list and showed them to hubby...and he approved all my hard work! This took a week and a half, btw! They were all so sweet and nice to this girl who had no clue what a 14 SEER was (which has something to do with a better HVAC system, I think), and who barely knew what recessed lighting was. But, now I do! hehe And btw, did you know that your electrician will put in up to 20 recessed lights for free with the package... I thought that was kind of cool, though we'll be having more than 20. And you have to get the package. Obviously they are not just gonna come to your house to and put in 20 recessed lights for free! lol. But anyways, if you end up building your own home, this if for you! :)
Well, that's the first part of like three parts! I better stop before I make this too long. :) I will keep posting pictures, if I can find a way to post more than one picture at a time. Ha, this blog is good at stumping me:)
Have a good night, y'all...see you tomorrow!
On to build,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

The biggest reason I have started this blog is to help me remember this amazing (and yes, difficult) thing we have undertaken. Building our home...

It's for you to read and enjoy...

Look at the pictures. We have started from "scratch". Just ten acres of beautiful Western Kentucky property with no electricity or water. Just a phone line! Ha! And not even DSL with that! My awesome man is the GC (General Contractor) of this project. He has experience~Yay! So in addition to it costing less to build, I will also be able to tell him what I don't like and not even feel bad about it:) Just kidding! This project has been nearly two years in the making. I will start from the beginning and show you how the Lord has answered amazing and specific prayers and how he has opened and shut doors.

So first, the land...

When we found out we were moving to Kentucky (and "found out" is not exactly the perfect phrase) the first thing we were looking for was a house with acreage. Paul and I both LOVE the country life and all that comes with it: land for kiddos to run on, a place for a garden, seclusion, room to expand and build, etc. So we knew the city life was not for us! Thankfully, my dad's church has a great realtor who began to look for properties while we were still traveling. We were always getting emails from him with houses for sale. None really stuck in our mind. There was one we looked at a couple of times but the price tag was too out of our range, so...

We told him to narrow it down to just land. No homes on it. The good thing is, land in KY is pretty inexpensive! The bad thing is most of the pretty places were miles and miles away from civilization. NOT good for me! As much as I love country life, please don't take me away from my places to shop:) hehe. Not too long after we told him that, he found our future piece of land! Ten acres of amazing woods with a small meadow in the front. We went to look at it and Paul and I instantly fell in love! He knew deer would be plentiful for his hunting hobby and I knew it would be the perfect place to raise our family. And the best part? The price tag was only $35,000!!!!! A steal of a deal. Paul and I mulled and prayed and thought and prayed. We finally decided that we would offer the owner $8,000 less than his offer and if he tried to counter bid the highest we would go was $29,000. We gave him our offer and our realtor called within a couple of hours to let us know that the man had accepted our bid!!!! Talk about a specific answer to prayer! Praise the LORD!! God is sooo good to us:) That was in November of 2008...it has taken this long to finally begin building our dream home!

We cleared about an acre right away about 200 feet back from the road with a long curvy driveway (!) with help from a Christian man...long story that I won't go into. I know that's what blogs are for, but it would be unnecessary and would only give me a reason to complain, which frankly, I don't need! We did the perc test, which is a test to see if the soil is right for a septic system, put gravel on our drive and laid a drain tile. But other than that, nothing was done until about three weeks ago! :) I look back and can't believe I waited this long.

And I'l let you know, when I say nothing was done...I mean nothing was done to the land. Believe me, I had plans drawn up. By a construction friend, and then later revised by myself. I pored over magazines and books and websites looking for the perfect floorplan, materials, furnishings, etc. The Lord knew I needed that time to get in my head what would be perfect for my family as far as the layout of the house would be. I can't wait until you see my plan! I am going to try to scan it and post so you can see:) Yay!!!!

Well, this is it for now:) A lot has happened in the last three weeks, that I will be writing about soon. I will also be posting pics going from start to finish of our house. Let me tell you, the first few pictures will be "boring". To you anyways, not to me ! :) And also, my blog page will be changing. Check out the links I'll be putting up. They have been a great source of ideas for me. Notice the countdown and the pics I'll be changing around.

Thank you for reading and for being interested in my life:) You all are pretty awesome!

On to build,