Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting the Hell out of Here: Part Eight

 "I'm explaining to you because you look nervous."

Build the Dream House

This is the accumulation of what will likely be two to two and-a-half years of hard work and upheaval. Once we've sold this house, found the land we want, and spent a year to a year and-a-half saving and preparing, we'll finally break ground on our dream home.
This is where the shit will really hit the fan. There'll be contractors to interview, codes to review, a slew of tiny design details to work out, and compromises to be made. We'll go in with a budget and a dream and whittle away at both until a satisfactory plan can be made. We'll have to decide where to splurge and where to save for later upgrades. We'll have timetables and setbacks and frustrations and moments of elation.

And after all that, we'll have our beautiful, custom home. We'll move our family in and settle into new routines. We'll decorate and cook meals and play games and fight and learn and grow. It's going to be awesome.

In preparation for this entire process, I downloaded this really helpful ebook that outlines a typical home building process. It's not claiming to be the end-all-and-be-all of home building, but rather a nice guideline to prepare for some of the possibilities. I really enjoyed it and found it helpful because it gave me a nice idea of where to begin and where to go.

I've already begun compiling a shortlist of possible contractors based on reputation and the information on their websites, and I imagine we'll try to narrow it down to three or so to interview. We have an idea of where we feel our money will be best spent and where we can save for later upgrades and I want a builder who will offer his or her experience and insight without making us feel pushed. I'd love to find someone with experience building Craftsman-style homes, as that's what we want and I want it done right. But most of all, we want a builder we can trust not to use shoddy materials in the structure. I'd rather put in builder's-grade cabinets and counter tops and fixtures and put our money towards quality building materials, but I need to know that the contractor is actually going to follow through on that plan and not go with the cheap shit while pocketing the rest of the money.

So yeah, that's a little scary. This is our forever home and I don't want it falling apart five years in.

I'd love to hear about your building process or plans. How did it go or how is it going?

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