We didn’t need a new house. I LOVED our old house. But stoopid Covid made us stay at home all the time and for some reason we started to THINK we needed a new house. And then one day I was scrolling the Internet and this plot of land on a cul de sac came up for sale, and my hubby was like let’s think about it, and I was grabbing him by the lapels yelling, “Are you insane?!! There’s no time to think! It’s going to go!”
And so, just like when you grab an extra pack of tic tacs at the cash register, we were making an impulse purchase. Do you want freshmint, orange, or tropical adventure? Oh, no thanks, I’ll take the one that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. WTF????
So was it a mistake? Depends on which day you ask me. But before I tell you what my final answer is, here are a few things I learned along the way. If you’ve ever thought about building a home (or doing a big renovation), here are ten things I learned when we were building ours:
- Be prepared to make 10,000 decisions. You have to pick every doorknob, pull, light fixture, tile, faucet, etc etc etc. And if you’re anything like me, you will spend many hours staring at ten different whites trying to decide which one to paint the walls.
HUBBY: WTF, isn’t white white?
P.S. If you are doing a project right now, I HIGHLY recommend this website for lighting, bathroom mirrors, cabinet hardware, etc. I loved all their stuff, and it all goes well together! At least I think it does. If it doesn’t, please don’t tell me. (I can earn off qualifying purchases)
- Be prepared to pay for things you really want AND things you DON’T really want. Did I know the chevron fridge would cost more money? Yes. Did I know the price of lumber would skyrocket right when were starting to build. Grrrrrr, no. No matter what they tell you things will cost, they can’t predict everything.
- Okay, so picture this, you and your spouse walk into a massage parlor for a couples massage. Only once you get in there, it’s not a massage parlor. It’s an operating room. And you’re both gonna be sliced open end to end and hemorrhage money for the next 18 months. That’s what it’s like. Be prepared for change orders out the wazoo.
- Do you like telling people what to do? Me neither. I HATE asking for things. Heck, I don’t even like calling a store to ask what time they close. But you’re paying a crapload of money for something you’re going to live with for a really long time, so ask for what you want. Just make sure to say please.
- You know all those awesome pictures you see online of totally amazing kickass homes? They’re bullshit. Nothing looks like that in real life. Because no matter how awesome your mudroom is, your kid’s gonna dump their backpack on the floor. And their room’s gonna look like it came out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog for approximately point two seconds. So pick a style that goes with “stuff.” Because life is full of “stuff.” And by stuff I mean shit that doesn’t photograph nicely.
- While you’re designing spaces in your house, picture yourself using them. Like literally picture yourself unloading the dishwasher and putting shit away. Is it close enough to where the dishes and glasses go? Will the cabinet door open in the right direction? Is there a space for a drying rack? Yes, I know your new beautiful kitchen isn’t supposed to have an ugly drying rack in it, but it will. So where’s that hideous thing going to go?
- Building a house is like having a baby. People are going to flood you with alllllll kinds of unsolicited advice. Like someone told me I should definitely put two dishwashers into the kitchen. And I started to think it was a good idea, until I thought about who I am and how I’m not a fancy person and realized I am not a two-dishwasher kind of gal. Think about what YOU really want and need. YOU, not someone else.
- IF a room doesn’t look exactly how you pictured it, IF a tile is a slightly different color than you expected, IF a door opens differently than you asked, remember something—FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. Don’t get me wrong, if something is truly wrong, ask for it to be fixed, but some things aren’t wrong. They’re just different than you expected.
- Okay, so here’s what I want you to do. Go get a plant. If you don’t have a plant, go find one in your yard. Now watch it. Are you watching it? Okay, keep watching it. Is it doing anything? It’s growing! And you’re watching it grow. That’s how F’ing patient you have to be when you build a house because it takes forevvvvver.
- Have more money than you think things will cost, have more patience than you ever knew you had, and have a super strong marriage made of titanium because you’re gonna need it.
So was building a house a mistake? If you asked me a year into building it, my answer would have been maybe. If you asked me the day we were leaving our old house that I love with all my heart and will always miss, my answer would have been yes. But if you ask me now, a month after we moved in, my answer is an emphatic hellllll nooooo. It was NOT a mistake. I LOVVVVVE our new house. It’s not a home yet, but it’s starting to be.
Of course, ask me again when our first mortgage bill arrives. The answer might change again.
If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it. Thank you!!
P.S. I wish I could give credit to our amazing builder and all the awesome people on his team. Unfortunately, I try to keep our location anonymous, so I can’t. With that said, if you live in our area, feel free to ask me privately. They were AMAZING.