It’s finally here!! After more than a year of planning, designing, waiting for permits, more waiting for permits, and a whole lot of back-and-forth decisions (the back and forth was mostly one-sided between me and myself. Tim is very decisive. Me… not so much.), our house is finally going up!!! We have a hole in the ground. We have a driveway. We have the beginning of our “Forever Home” and I AM SO. STINKING. EXCITED!
Let’s start with our builder because I get asked this question on a daily basis. We’re using Clifton Hicks, who’s based out of Raleigh and he is THE BEST EVER. He builds incredible custom homes (he recently built a 38,000 square foot home for a client… yes… thirty-eight-THOUSAND square feet!), and he’s become a great friend of ours over the last two years. I honestly couldn’t imagine building a house with anyone else because I trust him like family and know he will always have our best intentions in mind. For example, I changed our floor plan around two days before we started framing (if you’re not familiar with the building process, I can promise that this was NOT a welcome change), but Clifton didn’t kill me. So that in itself proves that he is a keeper. Tim on the other hand…he was not thrilled!
We started with a big ol’ hole in the ground. This was a long time coming (we were waiting for our permits for an insane amount of time before we could finally dig a hole), and this was the first moment it all felt real. Since we’re building a ranch house (all one level, except for a playroom over the garage), the footprint seemed VERY large. I had a momentary panic attack thinking we were going to be living in a huge fortress. If you’ve ever seen a footprint of a large ranch house you know what I mean, because it goes OUT instead of UP like most two-story homes so it just feels a lot bigger. The house itself is 4,000 square feet on the main floor and just under 1,200 square feet above the garage. Tim wanted it to be 3,500 square feet total… but once I got my hands on the plans, I managed to blow right through that. Sorry, Tim!
Once the foundation started going in, I could see the house layout boxed in and the size was much more manageable, thank goodness. We got all of our concrete from S.T. Wooten, and let me tell you – their service was out of this world. I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to pouring concrete (although they let me sit in their truck, so I guess that makes me a pro), but that company is unreal. They had truck after truck pulling into our lot (seven trucks total!), and it was the most efficient thing I’ve ever seen. The trucks themselves were actually cleaner than my own car, and their entire job is to pour concrete all day… how is that even possible?! The guys at S. T. Wooten even gave me my own customized hard hat with my name on it, which solidified my status as Professional Concrete Maker Person.
The crew from C&J Concrete Foundations laid the forms for the foundation (see above) and once the concrete arrived on site, they went to work. It was 103 degrees the day we poured concrete, and while I was standing in the shade melting into a puddle, the C&J Concrete crew was out in the hot sun forming the foundation and pouring our garage slab like the pros they are. Their crew was super friendly, but they probably all hate me since I asked them at least 1000 questions about what they were doing, because it was so amazing to see them work so proficiently and make the foundation work look so easy, when I know it wasn’t.
The next week was the big job of waterproofing the crawl space. Again, this is something I have zero familiarity with, however, our building inspector said that the guys at Raleigh Waterproofing did the best job he’s ever inspected, and Clifton was beyond impressed with their work, so it was a huge success! We aren’t building a basement in our house, because it’s not necessary in North Carolina, but knowing that our crawlspace will be sealed and dry as a bone forever is a great way to kickoff the beginning of our future home.
Next, we’ve got the floor joists going in, followed by the lumber package getting delivered so we can start framing!! Seeing the transformation so far has been unreal, and I cannot even imagine how exciting it will be once the framing starts to take shape.
That’s all I’ve got for you for now – if anyone out there has built or renovated a home, please let me know your advice!! I’m all ears for any suggestions I can get to make this process easier, so keep them coming!
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Be back soon,