HOLY HOME BUILD – we have walls, y’all!! And not just walls, but our doors and windows are framed, our upstairs floor trusses are in and rafters are up, our garage is coming along and our yard is getting back-filled to bring it up to grade with the house. Our dream of “country living” is coming alive!
We are two months in and movin’ and groovin’ at the build site. Every time I drive up our long, gravel driveway, I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning because I have no idea what to expect. I am LOVING documenting the building process because every week there is a huge change and it’s fun looking back on photos to see how far we’ve come. We even set up a Stealth Cam (trail camera) on a tree overlooking the buildsite to get a timelapse of the entire year-long building process. We will definitely not be short on memories of this chapter of our lives, I can promise you that.
As much as I’m enjoying the project, I’m not going to pretend that building a custom home is stress-free, because it is FAR from it. Tim and I have had our fair share of heated house-build-related “discussions” in the last few months… although if I had to pinpoint the root of all these arguments, they’re mostly related to one of the following:
- Me changing our floor plan after it’s not supposed to be changed
- Me changing my mind about something
- Me blowing past our allotted budget for a given area
- Me… in general
So in summary, I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars that A) I’m married to someone as patient as Tim – can I get an AMEN!? and B) we are working with the BEST BUILDER EVER (Clifton Hicks) who has never once been flustered, not even when I changed our floor plan two days before we started framing. Or when I asked him 209320 times when the house will be move-in-ready and then tried to move that date ahead by a month or two. He is a saint.
As far as the home build details go, there are LOTS of stuff to bring you up-to-speed on, so here it goes…
We found the greatest local company, Service Building Supply, who are providing all of our lumber and building supplies (and there’s a LOT of it) and handling a lot of our relationships with other vendors who are going to be a part of our project. We’ve been working closely with Josh Alldridge from SBS and he’s been AMAZING. I’d put him into the same category of patient angels that Tim and Clifton fall under. Especially when he let me drive the ‘Piggy Back’ forklift and I almost dropped a stack of lumber off the forks. That might be the last time I’m allowed to get behind any heavy machinery – ha!
It has been unreal to see how different everything looks once the framing started going up. This has been my favorite stage so far and it changes DRASTICALLY every time I go to the site. Tim goes nearly every day and I try to get there at least twice a week and I plan to go more often but I always have Leni with me and Raleigh has been SO DANG HOT every time we go, poor Leni melts into a puddle of baby mush. Once this weather cools down, it’s ON! They won’t be able to get rid of us! Leni goes around the house waving at everyone and collecting empty water bottles from the builders (not sure how sanitary this is, since she usually tries to drink out of them), so they probably miss our friendly garbage-collection duties when we aren’t there!
The best part about the framing is now we can visualize the different rooms and walk through the hallways and get a real feel for the sizing and layout of everything. I am soooo relieved to know that our custom floor plan is PERFECT for us because you never know whether something won’t turn out as expected.
Just the other day, the bones of our fireplace were delivered on site by our amazing team at the Stone Center of Carolina – Julie Endries has been running point on our project and it’s already being installed! The actual stone doesn’t get chiseled and stacked for a while but just the Firerock blocks that make-up the inside of the fireplace already look HUGE and AMAZING!!! From day one, Tim and I both wanted a large open-plan Great Room with lots of windows and a big stone fireplace that’s a full masonry fireplace, but could also have gas logs. We looked at SO MANY STYLES and companies and finally went with a 42” Modular Fireplace System from Firerock because they have better heat reflection, they’re safer and 100% American made – which you know we LOVE!
Our kitchen is starting to take shape too, which makes my heart go ‘pitter patter’. I will LIVE in this room, which is why we wanted it to be big, bright and open to all the social areas of the house. It’s open to our Great Room, and also to our dining area and our sliding glass doors. We are using Panoramic Doors that actually fold independently on each other and create an entire 16’ opening that connects the kitchen/dining room to our screened-in porch. We obviously love, love, love being outdoors so we wanted as much outdoor-living space as we could get. Panoramic Doors give us a ton of flexibility with having the ability of being completely open, partly open or closed! We also found a cool company, called Phantom Screens that make retractable screens so we have these around the porch so it can be screened-in or wide open with the touch of a button, depending on the weather. YES, YES, YES! Never leaving. I. AM. SO. EXCITED. ABOUT. THIS. Can you tell?
Next up I have to make some serious power moves in the cabinet department with our Downsview Cabinetry from David Glover (from Design Gaps, based out of Charlotte, NC). He has been SO helpful in helping with our space planning and creating my dream kitchen but now I have a LOT of decisions to make so it can all come together and not hold anything up. Cabinets, hardware, interior colors and so many tiny details that I’ve never even considered – oh boy!
So now you’re up to speed! I could write a blog every week about this house build (if my schedule allowed) because there’s so much more to share. Lots more to come and it’s just going to get better and better as the house starts to take shape.
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It’s almost 1am, so I should probably get to bed, but thanks for sharing my excitement with me!
Photos by Jennifer Wilson