House Update

Last time we chatted about the house, we were still getting the dirt work done. You can read all about the beginning stages in Part 1 HERE.

By mid-October, Reuben had the framework set up for the foundation, and the ICF walls up for the garage.

One day, he asked me if I would help him lay out the PEX for our floor heat.

So even though I was pregnant and tired, I spent the morning/part of the afternoon stapling down PEX. Reuben rolled out the piping while I stapled.

October 20th was concrete pour day!

Family and friends were kind enough to help with the process. It was a little...interesting since it was a cold day which affected the concrete. They had to put foam on top of the concrete to keep it from freezing while it cured.

The kids enjoyed watching the work.

Reuben decided to build the floor trusses himself to save money. Of course the decision slowed the work down a bit since it's a lot faster to just go buy the trusses. πŸ˜…

By early December the walls were going up!

The kids and I walked over as many days as we could while the weather was still decent. Jim loved to "help" as much as he could. Helen liked to build little towers and rooms with the lumber scraps.

More progress! By December 22nd Reuben had some sheeting and floor trusses up.

Here we are posing in front of our home-to-be. Thanks to my sister, Katelyn, for insisting that we take a family picture. :)

Life Lately
Here's a view-from-above of the progress on the house. It's so exciting to see it come together!

One afternoon in January Reuben asked me to come over to the land to help Make Decisions. I hauled my pregnant self up a ladder to walk around in the future upstairs, and Reuben carried the kids up. I just about had a heart attack worrying about the kids falling down the hole where the stairs will be. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­

Life Lately
Here is a sketch of the *current* design for the outside of the house. The garage is to the left, and the rest of the house angles off of it.

Young House Love | LetΓ’€™s Take It Outside |
This is the house that I took inspiration from (photo from Young House Love). I love the wood beams on the porch!

Life Lately
Here is a quick sketch I did of what my kitchen *might* look like. I'm totally sold on a subway tile backsplash, but there are few things that I have yet to make a decision on:

  • Countertop material (I know I don't want laminate or granite)
  • Cabinet color (I know I want white uppers, but I can't decide if I should do navy/slate for the lowers or keep them white as well)
  • Sink material (I know I want an apron sink, but should I go for the beauty of a white farmhouse sink, or the durability of a stainless steel one?)
  • Window treatment (I know I want grids in the windows, but I don't know if I should do a black accent or keep it white and bright)
  • Grout color (I don't know if I should go for a clean, white grout on the subway tile, or a contrasting dark grey/black)

Let me know your opinions in the comments!

Here are some inspiration photos so you can see what I'm talking about:

Example of dark lowers with white uppers. Photo by Lindsay Salazar

Example of contrasting island with all-white cabinets. Photo by Black Band Design.

Example of a stainless steel farmhouse/apron front sink. Photo by Traditional Home

Example of dark window grids. Photo via McGee and Co. 

What would you choose?


  1. Hey Erica,

    I'm loving your new house! So exciting! My dad was a builder when I was I was growing up and seeing the pictures of the kids at the building site brings back memories of my brother and I doing the same thing.

    Regarding your kitchen, if I were you, I would plan for a larger refrigerator in the future, one with double doors and not on the same wall as your sink. I would also have Reuben frame in a walk-in pantry with a door you can latch when you can keep all of you bigger appliances and your baking supplies, as well as root vegetables and whole grains. You'll be able to store any extra things you don't use all the time in there, as well.

    I can't wait to see the completed project!

    Best wishes,



  2. Hey Diane,

    That's cool that your dad was a builder! I think it's a great experience for kids to get to see houses being built. :)

    I would love to have a larger refrigerator! But I don't know that it will fit in. Ha! I'm thinking that eventually we'll need a second fridge, which will probably go in the garage. Not ideal, but what can you do? πŸ˜…

    We're going to have a walk-in pantry a lot like you described! It will be off to the left of the kitchen - I just didn't know how to sketch it probably. It will be SO nice to have a home for my appliances other than on my counters. 😊

  3. This is so exciting! What fun! I would have such a hard time with all these decisions! If you choose dark lowers or island, I'd go with the darker window accents (the same color). As far as the sink, think about your other appliances and what will tie in with them. I'd do white grout. Also, like Diane I need to warn you about your fridge. That is not a good placement. And if you already know that it's not big enough, now is the time to work something else out, even if it means reworking the kitchen. Please do not do something that is not ideal! Do it right the first time!!! It would be great if you could put the fridge on the wall to the left. Just add some counter to make the turn. It doesn't have to come out far, but something needs done. As soon as I saw the sketch, that fridge just did not sit right with me. Also, think of the kitchen work triangle (between sink, fridge, stove): No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet or more than 9 feet. The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet and 26 feet. I just want you to be thouroghly pleased and satisfied, and not wish that you had done things differently once you actually get cooking. I can't wait to see the final outcome!

    1. Thank you for the recommendations, Heidi! I know my layout isn't ideal, but we've reworked it many times and this is the best we could come up with! Moving the fridge to the wall on the left isn't an option since that's where the pantry will be (it's going to span most of the width of that wall). Also, I drew the fridge quite small because we'll probably be repurposing our current fridge for a while to save money, but I'm pretty sure Reuben is going to leave a space for a larger fridge once we can afford it. 😊
      That's interesting what you mentioned about the kitchen work triangle - I'd never heard of that before! That makes sense that don't want things too far away from each other. My kitchen isn't going to be HUGE, so I don't think it will be a problem? 🀷‍♀️ Ack, there are so many decisions to make! Haha!

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  5. This all requires a large amount of money. Perhaps an inheritance allows for it. I am glad you are in the country!


Let me know what's on your mind!