We're Building a House!

I'm so excited to be able share with you guys that we're actually going to be building a house!

A little back story: We've been living in a small basement apartment (about the size of a mobile home) for over 7 years. It's the only place we've called home since we got married. It's a 2 bedroom, 1 (small) bath, and it was starting to feel very cramped. 

I knew I didn't want to spend too many more years here because I don't want Helen and James to share a bedroom forever. So the process of deciding on new housing options began!

We're building a house!

It started last year. We decided that we had two options: One was to buy a cheap in-between fixer-upper house that would get us by. The plan would be to sell or rent it in 10-15 years when we had enough saved up to build our dream home.

The second option was to buy land, and build a house in stages. We could put a mobile home on the land to get us by until we could build.

I searched Craigslist and Zillow for any homes that would meet our criteria: 3 bedroom, at least 5 acres of land, and outside of town, but not more than 15 miles out of town. It was very difficult to find anything that met all of those requirements in our price range.

Then I found a 40 acre piece of land just outside of town that had a rundown farm-style house on it. The land was very pretty, and we thought that we just *might* be able to fix the house up to be livable. We were fairly serious about making an offer.

Reuben had his dad look at the land to get his opinion. And then he made a suggestion: why not just build on his land?

That was a new thought. That would allow us to build our forever home right away instead of waiting 10-15 years. The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea.

I did have to do a bit of soul searching. The thought of building just down the road from where we currently live wasn't super appealing at first. It just didn't feel like we would be forging ahead into a new life. But other than the psychological aspect, everything else made a lot of sense.

We're building a house!
So Reuben found a plot of land that he thought would be good for building.

We also started to draw up house plans. We went through many different versions until we came up with one we both liked. And then Reuben's dad pointed out that it wouldn't work with the way the land was sloped. 😭 So we scrapped everything and worked it all out again until we were satisfied. We weren't happy with it until about July or so.

This was a sketch from the early stages.

I also convinced Reuben to do a rough version in Sketchup so I could get a better picture in my head of what the house would look like.

I'm sure this is a far cry from what the final house will look like (it's also going to have an attached garage), but it gives an idea of the style we're going for.

We're building a house!
Something that's very important to me is privacy. I wasn't happy with the fact that you would be able to see the house from the road. So we (and by "we" I mean Reuben) dug up some little pine trees and transplanted them along the edge of the land that's closest to the road.

We're building a house!
I was still very much in my fatigue crash, so all I could do was watch and take pictures.

We're building a house!
Standing in one of the holes destined for a little pine tree. 😊

We're building a house!
We also watered the little pines to begin with to give them a good chance of surviving.

We're building a house!
In July, we broke ground!

We're building a house!
The kids have loved playing on the dirt mounds.

We're building a house!
July 26: Making progress! It takes a lot longer to get the ground level than you think.

We're building a house!
September 3: James insisted on "helping" with the shovel work.

So right now the dirt work is mostly done, and "we" will be working on getting ready to pour concrete.

We were originally hoping to be able to move in before the baby arrives, but now we're thinking that Spring 2019 is a more realistic date. But I've been told that everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you think it will, so we'll see...

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