Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Progress Report on House Building

As I have mentioned over and over, we are building a house this summer.  As a matter of fact, we hope to break ground next month.  Woa.  Did I just say next month?  NEXT MONTH??!!  Ahh!  I cannot believe it!  I remember when the calendar turned to 2012 that this would be the year we would build.  I still wasn't sure when this year, but I knew it was this year.  Now we have determined we would like to start next month, towards the end, so it could actually be early June but we are aiming for the end of May!  So excited.  Tonnes has to happen before then but I will update you on where we are right now.

As I write this, Jay is at the property talking with the hydro company to see how much work (and how much money) it will be to move the electrical to where we need it from where it is currently.  On the phone they made it sound like it will be a bit of a job so we will find out what that means.  Then to see when they can actually do the work.  But, it is an important step so we are glad they are meeting today.

Since the septic field that is currently installed is probably neither legal or to code, we will need a new septic tank and field installed.  This requires some knowledge we do not yet have but know people who do, right, dad?!  :)  We will need a soil test done to determine what kind of field we can have and that will only happen when we know where the field will be.  My dad will help us figure that out.  Once we know the placement and have the soil tested we can apply to have a septic field installed.  That application must be approved before we can apply for a building permit.

We are waiting for the final renderings of our blueprints so they can be approved by us and sent to the engineer to be stamped for approval.  The changes at this point are very minor so that work should be done this week (we keep calling every other day and it helps!) and then they can be sent off for approval.  These engineered plans are required before we can apply for the building permit.

After studying all my price quotes and studying the companies and meeting with our top 3 choices, we have chosen the window company we will be using.  Due to numerous reasons I will fully explain in another post, we have decided to use Durabuilt Windows.  I am so glad to have that choice made.

This next Monday we will be placing the order for our kitchen cabinets!  I know, a little different than most people do it!  But, the solid wood cabinets (and I mean all of it is solid wood!) are on a 30% off discount until April 12.  The next level down, which has solid wood doors and drawers but particle board carcasses, are actually more expensive since they are not on sale!  Since this is a sale price that rarely comes around (10-15% off is more common) we are ordering our kitchen before we even start building our house!  I will talk more about the kitchen in another post as well.

Finally, probably the  most exciting decision we have made is to build the house ourselves alongside a contractor/carpenter that we know.  During this whole process we approached a building company to have the house priced out turnkey.  That was too expensive.  When we took out the contractor's profit, we knew we could afford it.  So, we looked at contracting it ourselves and hiring out crews.  That was a possibility.  Then, when the Lord brought to mind the name of a gentleman I worked with during my college years, we contacted him.  He is a contractor/carpenter that has seen many builds through from start to finish, both residential and commercial.  He doesn't have his own crew this summer but was willing to work with us.  He will be there every step of the way (or at least for whatever we want him to do), providing the tools and expertise, working alongside us and teaching us as we do the concrete work, frame the house, roof the house and finish the house.  We will still be hiring others to do the electrical work and the HVAC but the rest of it should be in our hands.  We will hire one other individual to help us as well.  That means that there will be 3 people full-time (our contractor, Jay and our employee), 4 people most of the time (you better believe I will be in there like a dirty shirt - would be all the time but we still have kids to parent) and maybe some others that would be willing to help out here and there.  After spending time in prayer and looking at all the options, this was the one that sat best with us.  We are hands-on people.  We wanted to be involved in the building of our house.  Well, hands-on and involved we will be!  We are so excited and cannot wait to get started!

I will be sure to keep you posted as progress is made.  Given the fact that we will be doing a lot of the work ourselves (but not alone, if that makes sense) it may take a little longer than usual.  However, we are determined and dedicated people so we will be sure to work hard and long to get this job accomplished as quickly as we can while still doing it properly!

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