Time Saving Tips for Building a Home Part: I

posted on: Monday, July 28, 2014

I wish I could report a one-stop-shop process for building a home, but as I'm sure most of you can imagine it's no easy endeavor. Someone told us that building a house either makes a breaks a relationship--honestly, there haven been moments where I wanted to cry or at the very least throw a can of paint but seeing the progress has been so rewarding. We've lived in this house once before, we just couldn't get enough of it I suppose, so the thought of building it again has made us kind of giddy. I already know exactly how my furniture will fit and where my dishes will go, I'll hang up the kids growth chart on the same wall, and I'll stumble through the darkness with a little more ease this time, I hope... 

The last time we built this home a general contractor managed all the day-to-day chaos and this time we decided to take it upon ourselves to general it. With that being said, I think we've both learned some valuable lessons and pocketed a few tricks that we hope to use in the next home. Here are just a few of the things that I hope can help those of you that are planning to muddle through the murky course of home building:

1. Find reputable sub-contractors. Saving a penny is great but sometimes having a good name who does the job right the first time is worth paying the extra cost.

2. Plan accordingly. Map out a time frame for each contractor. Sometimes they will overlap, but make sure to provide a little bit of cushion for those unexpected events i.e. weather, faulty equipment, slowness of other contractors.

3. Imagine the big picture. A new house to call a home is totally the end result, but getting there takes some work. Here is how the progress has moved along so far with us Survey-Excavation-Concrete-Framing-Concrete-Excavation-Siding-Roofing-Plumbing-HVAC-Electrical-Plumbing-Drywall.....See? It's kind of complex. (I'll make sure to post John's excel spreadsheet soon).

4. Skip a few sneaky steps. If you're building a basement you can save some time by skipping a few steps. After the concrete is dry in the basement and between the floor going down see if there is any way you can put your tub and dry wall in the basement. This will save your plumber time and effort and it may save some of your walls by not having to navigate down the stairs and through framing. By having drywall materials placed in the basement before the main floor is put down it means less cutting and hauling down the stairs for the drywall dudes. Less time for them, means more money saved for you. Does that make sense?

5. Pinterest is not always friendly. Pinterest has literally turned into a smorgasbord of ideas. Just because an idea is cool doesn't mean it will be the coolest idea for a home. So I'm trying to minimize my overload of Pinterest in the home. I've incorporated a few fun "home ideas" while also realizing I don't need to put all 576 pins in my home. Could you imagine? Oi.

6. Being neutral is kind of like being Switzerland. And we all know the Swiss have great chocolate and killer AlpsWe're nearing the stage of painting/setting cabinets/and laying down floors.  I tried to pair darker floors with neutral walls and light cabinets. This in turn gives me the flexibility to accessorize with fun colors which I can trade out depending on the seasons or if it goes out of style. Remember friends don't let friends go color crazy on walls. 

Well, there you have it. When it come to building questions, you'll have to ask John specifics whereas I'm well versed in carpet weights, cabinet styles, and which colors of paint pair well with circular sawn wood floors. 

Happy Birthday 'Merica

posted on: Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I've been holding back from writing as of lately. I'm not sure why. Our lives are in one of those transitional periods where there are a few open doors and not enough information to make an easy sure-footed decision. Even in the midst of this chaos I find that I am really happy right now. I've stood up for myself in a few hard ways, I've managed to let go of things that should have been lifted from my shoulders months ago, and I'm trying to appreciate the knowledge that I'm nowhere where I imagined myself to be but I'm happy for where I've landed. And the best way of finding these things out for myself was to step away from the world of technology which has an uncanny ability to suck us into a vortex of comparison. And how refreshing it's been to not wake up judging my life again someone who I only "knew" through a internet footprint. 

I'm finding by living a life of less comparison I've become more appreciative for the here-and-now. Little things like playing in the backyard and visiting the farmers market seem to be readily enjoyed instead of looking for the next photo opportunity for Instagram or my blog. And surprisingly enough, by removing myself from behind the camera I seem to be capturing more of those instantaneous moments with my family too.

I, however, am a victim of holidays and the need for overindulging in the picture taking department. The morning of the Fourth Brecken asked me why we were celebrating Captain America's birthday. He never seems to miss a beat in the department of leaving me tongue tied. I'm sure it's been said over and over again but I'm enjoying this stage of Motherhood more than the last (and I'm sure I'll say it about the next one too). My babies are communicators and both of them tend to wear their feelings on their sleeves, which makes for more than their fair share of dramatic moments, but it also means that they tend to express their feelings of love, excitement, and enjoyment more readily too. 

John, on the other hand, has never been known to show emotion but he remarked late into the night on the Fourth how this holiday was his favorite. There's no real commercialized market that goes on for months,  it's simply a time to eat good food, be with family, and (his words) "blow things up." And I guess that would make good ol' Mother 'Merica proud. She is a she right? I think she is. She must be. 

I hope y'all had an amazing holiday. I'm back. My head is a bit cloudy these days with house building and all, and exciting things are happening! 

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