Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Sticks in the Air"

  I love being stopped and told how great the house looks and how much progress is being made. I think I heard the best comment today, though. "I see you got some sticks in the air now". Right he is. Enjoy a few pics from the progress made this week. 

Before Thanksgiving
From living room looking into kitchen/dining area

Night visit

Thanksgiving Day
In the light

Looking like a house

Living room


Bonus room

Garage AKA Brad's shop until we can afford to build him one

  I love it when a plan comes together. :)

Shout out to Amanda Rose for stopping by with her sister Tracey while we were there. Glad we could give y'all the tour. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Don't even know what week it is anymore...

  Minor 3 week set back on the home building process. It's a good thing our framers were busy, busy bees but is it selfish to be pissed that they weren't busy with our house? Probably.
  They were able to get started on Friday and Saturday to make up for the Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday they will be off. Fair enough. The progress they made in two days is pretty phenomenal. Perhaps I'm just naive when it comes to the home building process and time frames but I'm pretty impressed. Our contractor says we will still be framed and roofed in by Christmas, even with the set back. We still have a sinking feeling that we won't be in for Valentine's Day like our first home we built 6 years ago but no matter, I reckon. 
  Here's the latest picture from "our spot": the driveway we won't be using. Trying to keep up the progress through pictures from the same spot each time. 

Floor box and some garage walls
  Now, if we could just get the next door landowners to sign permission to put a light pole on their property, we could get temporary power to our lot... *sigh* 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weeks 2 and 3

  I'm being extremely lazy tonight and don't feel much like typing but Brad and I are so proud of the progress so far. Gotta love it when a plan comes together. We look forward to many more wonderful days working with Etheridge Custom Homes.

  For your viewing pleasure:
A selfie with the freshly dug footings

God's Country in the background, y'all.


Foundation coming together.

  Some of these pictures were taken by us and others were taking by Willie, our contractor. Check him our on Facebook-- Etheridge Custom Homes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week 1, homies!

  I didn't feel it was completely necessary to update over the last two months because all we have done in that time frame is get our money approved and appraisal completed. It took longer than we had anticipated but what hasn't so far??
  We feared that appraisal so bad. It was our make or break. It was going to tell us whether we could build this bad boy or wait it out a few more years. We really didn't want to be forced to do the latter since we had already shucked out $2,500 to cover the cost of drafting the floor plans and our various permits needed to get started building. Our contractor, who Brad and I affectionately refer to ask "Big Willie Styles" (A- I do not know why. B- this is a public blog so when he sees it, he will either laugh or be pissed.) had said "if all else fails, you'll just be out a couple thousand dollars." Just? Just?! Every penny we have may as well be gold. One income surely will teach you the value of a hard-earned dollar. Basically, we were NOT going to let the appraisal hold us back. But if it did come in under, we still weren't sure exactly how we were going to get the extra money we would need. Are you still with me?
  Praise be, the appraisal came in after only 3 weeks and was $15,000 more than we needed! That good ol' Curle farm land is worth some dolla dolla bills, y'all! Next up was making sure every t was crossed and i was dotted in order for BB&T to loan us the monies we would need. Lots of emails back and forth with our loan officer but it was worth it and semi-painless. Then I got a J-O-B! The timing hasn't been ours but it has actually been perfect. Big Man Upstairs knows a thing or two about what He's doing. 
  Fast forward to this past Monday, Brad and I pull into the parking lot at the lawyer's office, get out of our vehicles, grab hands and saunter across the parking lot in what felt like slow motion, A-Team style. It felt pretty bad ass. Like a building should have blow up behind or something 
  ...Twenty minutes later, we leave the office with hand cramps from signing our life away six dozen times and a bit exhausted, wondering what the hell have we just gotten ourselves into...
  Perhaps B.W.S. was more excited than us? He responded to Brad's text by informing us he would apply for our building permit the following day. He has since received it and informed us that he will break ground on Wednesday-week.
  Today B.W.S. began grading the area around the house. It looks so pretty. We can't WAIT to get started on our forever home. It's been a longgggg time coming and we are pretty stoked. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

When it's okay to be a two-timer.

  Holy wow, this process is crazy! But I will say God works in mysterious ways and the plan you think you have will likely be tossed out the window. 
  This process isn't any cheaper than it was in the beginning but if we're ever going to do anything with that piece of land we have on Buckhorn Church Road, then we better start making some decisions. 
  We are so glad that the Lord made us wait before jumping into a decision. We've been known to be so excited about something that we just jump all in. About a month ago we were ready to sign a contract and get the ball rolling. We got a baby-sitter for the night (thanks, Grammy and PaPa) and drove the 20 minutes to this contractor's office with huge grins plastered on our faces. We just knew it was time-- we were going to sign that contract. We pull up into the driveway, wait for 10 minutes since he wasn't there yet, then just as we are about to ring his cell, he comes up and almost drives past us, like maybe he had somewhere else to go? He couldn't possibly have forgotten about our meeting. We had just set it up that morning. Could he?
  Long story short, it was a wasted trip. The contract was not prepared, numbers had risen with no real reason why, numbers had to be tightened back up (again), and topics discussed at the last meeting had to be revisited. Perhaps they were forgotten? Not on our end, I take notes at every single meeting we have with every contractor. Call them "minutes" if you will. I'm glad I did.
  When we got back in the car, I wanted to cry. I looked at Brad and said "tell me exactly what's on your mind." He said "I'm glad there wasn't a contract to sign." Good grief! 
  So we took time off and went on vacation for a few days. "The Contract" was faxed to Brad the following week. It looked fine but we just couldn't shake the feeling we got at the last meeting with this contractor.
  Let me go ahead and say this for you future home builders: meeting with a contractor(s) is kind of like dating or courting. You get all involved, start falling in love, then something happens and you realize this relationship isn't going to work out. So it's time to break up. But you really don't want to because someone's feelings are gonna get hurt. I mean, he invited us to his home for a tour and a beer. This is a legit relationship. What do you do now? You google how to reject a contractor. And it's not pretty.
  Some say we should explain why we aren't hiring him and others say keep it short, sweet, and to the point; do not burn any bridges. You may change your mind or need him later. Either way, it's proper to let the contractor know. Don't leave him in limbo; he will call and you'll fumble around with your words. Keep reading.

  So we get back on the phone with our other boyfriend, I mean contractor, and set up another date to review his proposed contract again. Look at us! Dating two at one time! How cheeky. How necessary. This is our forever home. We don't want to make a mistake or wonder "what if..." So yes, we've gotten 3 different proposals from 3 different contractors.
  We spent this entire weekend back and forth with this contractor fixing our proposal to get it within a price range we can afford. And lo' and behold, guess what we're doing tonight? Signing a contract! Say a little prayer for us that we are making the right decision. Please.
  Oh and that other contractor? He called on Saturday as I was emailing "the one" back. How ironic. I didn't even know what to say. So, to buy some time, I told him we were still thinking it over. His response: "Okay, well it had been a week since I sent the proposed contract. Hadn't heard from you. Also, I printed 6 of those floor plans you picked. Paid $48 to have them copied for you. I'm sure you'll need them to take to the bank and such..." Is he trying to tell me that I owe him $48? We never told him to print the plans. Yes, it's from a home he has built before so he could easily make new copies for us. Copyright law broken? Not sure but probably. Guess who will be receiving their "Dear John" letter this week? Yeah... Break ups are never fun. Let's just pray he doesn't call for a reason WHY we didn't pick him. I really don't want to tell him...
  That it's because your older-than-old-school communication through phone calls and faxes are ridiculous, driving out to your office 5 times (the last of which was a total waste) when the other contractor is willing to come to us or meet anywhere since he knows we have a small child, numbers increasing out of nowhere, and not remembering what you were suppose to be researching between meeting dates. 

  So tonight's the night! We're getting engaged! No really, we sign our proposal then get started designing our very own floor plan. Sure, the main idea is from one we found online but to avoid buying them then having to make all the changes we want or violating copyright laws, we get to use a drafter to design our plans! Let's pray all this dating we've been doing will turn into a beautiful marriage of home building, communication, and selecting paint colors and tile!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You can make a PLAN if you want to but God's gonna do as He pleases with you

  HAHA! LOL! Teehehe! Bahahaha! LMBO! That's God laughing at our "plan"...
 Our plan was to break ground Spring 2014. Umm, Summer 2014 is in about 30 days. So much for that plan.
 God knows what we want and though we are being impatient, He has perfect timing. We will get our Forever Home when we are meant to have it. 
 Got back the numbers from a contractor we really liked... and it wasn't pretty. Way out of our price range. So we've been talking to yet another contractor. He seems very real and is super detailed in his hard estimate. We are waiting for his final number. Fingers crossed he is within our budget.
 Mind you our budget has increased twice since we decided to buy land and build a house. We are so far away from what we had planned to spend on a 1600-1700 sq ft house it's not even funny. We honestly can't afford to increase it again. Like I told Brad about our beautiful, cleared one acre of land surrounded by growing corn, "I'm about ready to throw a single wide on it and call it a day."
 With this last contractor, I have literally gone as cheap as I can get on finishes without sacrificing my hardwood floors. I got back my covered back porch, though. At least for now. I think we might be back to a spec home already. :) I bet it still costs more than we want to spend...
 I've decided if our next quote comes in out of the newest price range, then I AM going back to work as soon as I can find a decent job. Otherwise, we truly won't be able to afford to build. The 20% down and closing costs is already going to deplete our nest egg as it is. That alone is depressing enough. 
 I just have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan for us and in His timing, we will get this house. It WILL happen. I just need patience and to trust Him.

Lifestyles of the Broke and Not-Crafty

  I guess you could say I get a little jealous when I see all these awesome DIY projects gone RIGHT. I can't seem to get that to happen to me. I've even given up on Pinterest these days. So many cute ideas... but I lack a creative gene or something. It's super rare when I try to recreate the Pin that it actually comes out half decent.
  Below you will find a few of my DIY projects lately. They didn't turn out terrible, I don't think. My motto is "when in doubt, buy some black spray paint."

Gold Mirror Gone Black

Mirror prepped for spraying
End result- I cropped out the table on purpose.

 I like the mirror painted black now but it is over a dark brown console table in my foyer and it just doesn't look great together. Whoops. The mirror is heavy and requires a screw in the wall to hang. Since we do not own our current house, I will wait until later to move it elsewhere. The console is a family heirloom in great condition so I dare not refinish it to match the mirror. 

Inherited End Tables Get ANOTHER Face Lift

 Back in 2008 I was obsessed with HGTV (nothing much has changed in 6 years). Inherited two end tables from a family member. They used to be straight outta the 70s and in dire need of an upgrade. Mind you this was before the days of Pinterest. What can I say? I'm an original DIY-er. I saw Sabrina DeSoto use painter's tape to create this... Yeahhhh, it's not cute. And I've lived with it for SIX YEARS! Six.

Much better
 So the two end tables look a bit better but I would still love to change the hardware. Took one to Lowe's with me to buy new handles and NOTHING would match up with the existing screw holes. So I'm stuck with these "gold" beauties for a while longer.

I Have A Night Stand. Hallelujah!
 When we sold the Greenville house, homegirl wanted our ENTIRE bedroom suit. Yes, the very first purchase I made with my teaching paycheck! Even had to put that joker on Layaway for a hot second until I got my second and third paychecks. It broke my heart to have to get rid of it even though we do want a King suit next. I thought I'd pass it on to my son. So much for that idea. I sure hope she loves it as much as I did.
 Since we've moved back home, we are sleeping on our original mattress and box spring on a metal frame, upgraded from 7 cardboard boxes to a $60 yard sale dresser, and our "night stand" is more commonly known as The Floor. Naturally, when I saw this one on a yard sale site, I snatched it up. It's Mission Style like my old bedroom suit so it reminded me of it. *tear* 
 This project cost $20 for the night stand, $8 in spray paint, and $4 for new hardware. Not too bad. Legit night stands can get pricey, brand new. 

Forgot a before pic. This is post-sanding.

Ta-da! Terrible quality pic.

 Now my books, cell phone charger, and the ingredients for a diaper changing station all have a place to sleep at night. Our "gorgeous Master Suite" is a bit more appealing now.
 Y'all just go ahead and be looking for me on HGTV. My new show will be called "From Crap to Class".