Let's Build a House

The Dream Continues:  Researching, Planning, and Waiting … Building a New Home

The dream of our new home continues while we wait on the second version of our home design plans.  The first draft didn’t fulfill the vision we had for a light filled, open floor plan.   Having never gone through the process of building a home, we really didn’t know what to expect.  Evidently, it’s normal to go through several drafts before finalizing your house plans. Needless to say, I was disappointed because it meant at least another week in the process.  I also realize that it’s much better and less expensive to make any changes at this point rather than later.   Once we’ve finalized the plans; then we’ll decide on the placement of our house on the lot.  We hope to save as many of the beautiful trees as possible.

Some of the gorgeous trees we are trying to incorporate  into our house design.

Some of the gorgeous trees we are trying to incorporate into our house design.

My husband and I have discussed what we each want in our new home.  I want an open, light filled home with lots of windows.  He wants a home that requires little maintenance, is energy efficient and looks good.  We have an agreement that (for the most part) he concentrates on things that make the home work – electrical, heating, air, insulation etc.  While I focus on the decorating and design  – windows, colors, decorations, and the organizational/functional aspects of our home.  Personally, I think I got the fun part.

Hubby pacing out the possible dimensions of our house.

Hubby pacing out the possible dimensions of our house.

There are so many things to consider when building a new home.  It can almost become overwhelming.  It would be very helpful if someone from HGTV would magically appear to guide us. (David Bromstad, where are you?)   I don’t see that happening anytime soon; so  I’ve been burning up the Internet everyday researching home designs and decorating options.  Of course, I have several Pinterest boards dedicated to our new home.  I started with a lake house board; but soon decided for organizational purposes to start boards for decorations and various rooms.  You can find my Pinterest boards here.  My plan is to pin everything I like and then narrow down the ideas to the few I like the most.   In order to reduce frustration and wasted time, I’ve learned that you need to make sure to track back to the original website before pinning anything.  This is one of the cool things I’ve pinned.  I think every home could use at least one of these.

Rambler socket from gadget review.com

Rambler socket from gadget review.com

I also have started several ideabooks on houzz.com.   You can find my ideabooks here .  Houzz ideabooks are convenient to use and allow you to save photos/pages from any website.   It’s also possible to upload personal photos as you begin or complete a project.  You can even order products straight from houzz.com.  It’s hard to describe just how much information you can find on houzz.com. The “about page” provides this information:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality.  (Check it out at Houzz.)

We want to incorporate a type of bunk room for our grandsons. This is one of my favorites so far. 

 If you check out my “boys’ room” ideabook, you can see that I’ve found many variations of the bunk room.

You might think that I’m still dreaming — that all of this isn’t really research.   Yet, this is how I would research any project.  I need to look at many different ideas in order to be able to figure out what I like and what I don’t like.  I’m a very visual person; so this method really works for me.  I also tend to see things in color and I’ve already started thinking about the color schemes that we might use in our new home.  I think that I really want to go for a beachy cottage look; so this home will be much different from the home we are in now.  (Does that mean we might need new furniture, too?  I better start saving now.)  I seem to be drawn towards blues, turquoise and green.  watercolor blues

One of our biggest debates right now revolves around a fireplace.  I want one and my hubby really doesn’t care if we have one or not.  We decided that a corner gas fireplace might be a good compromise.  I’m looking for the perfect corner fireplace  — one that isn’t too big; but adds character to the room.   My decorating style is rather eclectic; so we can go towards a more modern one if we choose.

The pantry is another item we’ve spent some time discussing.  Just how big does a pantry need to be?  I believe that a pantry could never be too big (especially since we will be located some distance from the grocery stores).  My dear hubby says that he doesn’t want to waste our home’s square footage on a pantry that is too big.  We’ve decide to wait to see what size pantry the architect puts in our second draft of plans.

Truthfully, waiting is the biggest problem I have right now.  I’m usually a patient person; but I’m ready for the next step.

Our dogs check out their new home for the first time.

Our dogs check out their new home for the first time.


7 thoughts on “The Dream Continues:  Researching, Planning, and Waiting … Building a New Home

  1. I’m the creator of the Building a House Blog you visited. Congratulations, you’ve already skipped several of the mistakes I made! One thing to watch out for as you select fixtures, is that the vendors (who in my case were extremely knowledgeable and helpful) were also very creative. That shows up as “you know what you could do… ” followed by some amazingly clever idea. Unfortunately, all those amazingly clever ideas also cost money and when the first cost estimates of my house came in, contributed to my severe cost overrun. One option is to select your ideal fixtures and then a second set of those you could live with. That would save you time if you need to cut costs.

    One other note: I too love lots of windows and light, however you need to be prepared for some sticker shock in that regard. Windows are EXPENSIVE. I also wanted lovely wooden window frames on the inside which added to the cost, but also to the charm. Best to ask for prices very early in the design stage so that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment later.

    I’m about to post a PDF of my plans on my blog site. If you look at the floor plans you’ll have some ammunition to give your husband regarding pantry size. I have a huge pantry in my current house and there’s just no going back. But it is very useful space.

    All the best in your project. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. JB


    • Thanks for your feedback. We’re moving on to the next step and should actually have an actual house plan sometime next week. We will have to make some decisions at that point.
      I think I’ll go with your suggestion of picking 2 sets of fixtures. That should take some away some of the stress.
      I’m not sure how many windows we’ll actually have; but I can still add some after we see the elevation drawing.
      I’ll go over to your blog and look at your plans. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Although my fireplace is beautiful, if I had to do it over, I would fine a very fancy wood burning stove and use it instead with maybe the limestone behind it or something. The tiny wood stove in my bedroom works much better for heating when it is really cold than a fireplace. A fireplace/wood stove is nice to have even if you rarely use it. For one thing it will heat if we have a bad storm in the winter and the electric goes out.


    • I’ll look into the wood burning stoves. We’ve looked at the gas burning stoves with a heat disperser of some sort. I also want an outside fireplace for those cool fall and spring evenings.


      • We haven’t decide yet if we want an indoor/outdoor fireplace. It will depend on the location of the indoor one and how our patio ends up being shaped. We will have lots of trees around, too. I don’t think they will be that close to the house. We may just have a fire ring in backyard.


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