We have been so blessed to be able to build our third home in the almost 24 years Bill and I have been married. Our first home was a tract-builder home. Our second one was a semi-custom home. Now that my husband is a contractor, we decided to sell that home and custom build our dream Farmhouse. We are building it ourselves. See my post on Why We are Building a Farmhouse.
We love building homes. It’s so much fun to put your imprint on it and literally make it fit your family.
Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned from over the years and I’d love to pass them along to you!
- My very first tip is to sketch out a drawing that you like so you can take it to your architect/designer. Going to the first meeting prepared will save you a lot of time and money. You can even print off a few floor plans and cut out the pieces that you like and make your own floor plan that fits your family.
- Create a binder. This will be a notebook so you can keep your home building organized during the entire build process. I make tabs for each room and get inserts with pockets so I can stick samples or quotes in. This will come in so handy!
- Rough-ins: Make sure you know exactly where you want your plumbing fixtures to go like your sinks and if you are incorporating a claw foot tub. You’ll need to know if you want floor or wall mount faucets. Also, think about where you want your shower valves ahead of time. As far as electrical goes, this one is important! Make sure you center the wiring over your kitchen table not the room. Same goes for island lights. Draw out your island on the slab and measure how you want to place them. This goes for anything else throughout the home. If you have an open concept in the living room, don’t forget about a floor outlet so you can have a side table with a lamp. Also, be thinking about your blower that goes over the oven. You’ll need to do your research and see if you want an in-line blower or a standard one. The A/C guy will be the one to install it. Once drywall goes in, things like these cannot be changed. Well, they can LOL, but will be costly.
- Start selecting your paint colors early on during your build. Do sample paint swatches on the exterior material that you are using. You will get a true color of what it will look like on the house. Your builder may provide this for you but do it yourself if they don’t. Just grab a piece of the material from the job-site. Most paint stores offer small containers now of samples for less than $10. It’s so much less costly than going off a swatch and having them paint everything and then you don’t like it LOL.
- Take pictures/video of everything once the house has been framed. You will be able to see all of your wiring and duct work. This will be helpful if you ever need to find something due to an unforeseen problem down the road once you are moved in. It’s also a great way to make sure the drywall guys didn’t cover up any outlets.
- Drywall/Wall Texture: Decide ahead of time where you may want to add things like wainscoting, shiplap or bead board. I would start planning for this when it’s during the framing stage. Take a copy of your plans and start sketching where you think you might want it to go. You can hang all of these directly to the framing and that way you won’t waste money on buying extra drywall for this space.
Building your own home can be stressful at times. Subcontractors don’t always show. Material arrives damaged. Wiring gets buried under the drywall and so on. Things can go wrong, but remember, this is your house. If something’s out of place, tell your trades about it and if it’s their fault, they need to fix it at their expense.
It should definitely be a fun experience. Have your kids get involved, if they are old enough, helping make selections. Embrace every decision together and think about all of those memories you are going to make in your beautiful new home!
“You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”
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