So many emotions during a build. Seriously. I want to stop with all the feelings. At first when we made the decision it was exciting! The interior would be exactly the colors I wanted, there would be everything done just the way I had inside my head, without having to undo something first. Reality has a funny way of sneaking up on you though.
Our initial meeting with the builder seemed perfect! The budget was in line with what I thought was reasonable and affordable. This was before any work was done in the plans were finalized. The commitment was made and then everybody got to work and getting the plans ready. Weeks later we meet with the builder to finalize the contract and budget, and I pretty much shit some bricks because the budget was over $100,000 more than I thought it would be! (No those bricks will not be used on the house.)
My head is swirling! We have already sold our house. We have nowhere to live. Can even forward to build a freaking house?! My husband is the calm one and he always just says that everything will work out. (Honestly most the time when he says that just pisses me off.) Anyway, we decide to do what we can to get the construction loan and just see what happens. We finagle the plans enough to make it to where we can meet the right equation of loan amount to appraisal value once the house is completed. I lost a lot of hair during this process and my acne was in full force. It didn’t help that I binged on cupcakes and Starbucks for happiness.
Weeks go by while the loan is in process and it feels like it’s been a year already. Kiddo is starting to get tired of living in the camper and wants the house to be done. It’s going to be a long eight plus months of building. Luckily he started school and is loving it. I haven’t figured out how to keep this camper looking clean half the time yet either so that’s driving me cray cray! We brought too much stuff with us.
When I asked people who built their own house before if they would do it again everyone has said no. Now I know why. Getting a loan is probably the hardest part. Then again we haven’t broken ground yet so what do I know. And winter is approaching. And it’s been so windy on the prairie the barn is weeks behind schedule so there’s no cover for the camper for the snow. The Colorado nights are already cold so we are going through propane like it’s going out of style!
Admittedly there are nights I’m still in tears that we sold our house. I feel like I made a really big mistake. When I get weepy sometimes I don’t really know what to do. I feel like there are times I’m not contributing enough financially and I manage to stress myself out even more. I’ve always been excessive worrier. The bills are still paid, but costs are high during a build. We have three storage units now! I do more retail therapy than I should right now. Dave Ramsey would have chewed me up and spit me out.
OH. Another feels. Impatience. I’ve always been a total control freak. I have a type A personality when it comes to projects, and I like them done organized and on schedule (if not early). If you’re like this, start preparing yourself if you ever build your own home that your life is going to be in chaos. And it’s almost guaranteed that the house is going to cost more than you thought it was going to. A lot more.
In May we closed on the land property. In my mind, the build would start in June, at latest July. The bank loan phase took 3 months longer than anticipated.
Insert the next emotion, anger. Building a house seems to be like it’s own version of a step program. I’m not angry at any particular person, because it isn’t anyone’s fault but our own, but it’s just one more delay getting this project off the ground so that we can move onto the next phase of the homestead. I have days when I feel all of these emotions all at once and I feel like this process is never ending. I’m not always sure that it was worth leaving the old house in an HOA for this mess.
The budget of course wasn’t exactly the way I had hoped for, so there’s limitations that I’m now going to have to work under for interior design work. I just hope I can pull off a cohesive dream home with the money that I do have to work with. (I certainly have champagne taste on a beer budget!) I’m hopeful that my home-based business income will allow me to pick a few of the pretty items that are no longer in the budget and add them in and outside of our construction loan. The biggest ones are the vanities that I wanted for the bathrooms. When the budget had to get cut down those were the first to be revamped. You can get functional and a big box store for a couple hundred bucks instead of over $1000 for a designer look but I was going for. The problem is, those were the items that we’re going to add the character that I was looking for in a home without having to have clutter. There’s just so few places that we can cut costs at this point. Obviously the infrastructure is set, so unless miracle happens and concrete prices go down pretty sure we’re not saving money there.
I have always always wanted inset kitchen cabinetry doors. I went to go get the quote for the kitchen and my heart sank. This door style and look for the modern farmhouse is pretty much unobtainable at this point. Needless to say, my kitchen design is back to a blank slate. So there’s another emotion for you. Disappointment. It’s cold hard fact of being a grown-up that you can’t get everything that you want in life. Now it’s about trying to make the best of what I do get to have.
We spent about a year perfecting this floorplan to the best of our abilities. I’m sure that once were living in it there’s going to be a few things that are quite what we thought it would be, and I already can tell you that the laundry area is not exactly how I wanted it originally. When you have a basement, and you live in a cold climate, there are limitations that you have to work around. My laundry room set up was a perfect example of “I can’t get what I want.” Well, technically I could, but it would’ve come at great cost when it came to the plumbing and HVAC work around. It wasn’t worth it.
In all honesty, I have no idea what I’m going to do with this “room.”
Most days I’m still pretty excited about what could be. I feel an incredible sense of peace when I’m out on the land. Even listening to the grasses blowing in the breeze just makes my soul sing. I don’t like this building process one bit though. Maybe once the walls are in and it’s starting to take shape the tears will end. It usually does work out in the end, just like my husband says. (Don’t tell him I said he was right, mmmmkay?)
Maybe this is just a simple reminder even a grown-up needs a lesson in patience sometimes. And buy some waterproof mascara .