Building Our Dream Home

A major part of our move to a wholesteading lifestyle is our dream to move out of the suburbs and on to a hobby farm. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find a hobby farm that meets the needs of an 8 person family, that matches our architectural and design preferences, and that simultaneously fits within our budget. After an exhaustive search we decided our best option was to purchase land and design our own house.

Below is a summary of the steps involved in building our custom home from beginning to end…please leave a reply if you have any questions on the process:

Click on any of the pictures below to learn about each step:
1. Find and purchase land
1. Find and purchase land
3. Select an architect and/or designer
2. Select an architect and/or designer
3. Finalize formal construction plans
3. Finalize formal construction plans
5. Design kitchen and cabinet layouts
4. Design kitchen and cabinet layouts
6. Select a builder
5. Select a builder
7. Select a surveyor and perform a site survey
6. Select a surveyor and perform a site survey
8. Dig test pits and perform soil tests
7. Dig test pits and perform soil tests
9. Select a landscape architect
8. Select a landscape architect
10. Design a master site plan, landscape plan, grading plan, and lighting plan
9. Design a master site plan, landscape plan, grading plan, and lighting plan
Bank of North Georgia - Synovus - Logo - Construction Loan Closed -
10. Apply for construction loan
Septic Featured Image
11. Document septic plan and apply for septic permit
Building Permit Sign
12. Apply for building permit
13. Clearing & rough grading
Basement Excavation - Featured Image
14. Basement Excavation
16. Install water meter and electric service
15. Install water meter and electric service
17. Basement and Foundation Footings
16. Basement and Foundation Footings
Foundation Walls Featured
17. Foundation Walls
19. Basement Slab and Garage Slab
18. Basement Slab and Garage Slab
2015_01_10 - Framing Featured Image
19. Framing (including Floor Frame & Sub Floor, Walls, Headers & Joists, Wall Sheathing, and Roof Framing)
20. Roofing Shingles
22. Windows
21. Windows
Rough Plumbing Featured Image
22. Rough Plumbing
23. Rough HVAC Ducts and Furnace
Second Floor Electrical plan - Featured Image
24. Rough Electrical
26. Siding and Bricks
25. Siding and Bricks
27. Septic System and Drain Field (or sewer line)
26. Septic System and Drain Field (or sewer line)
27. Drywall
28. Porches and Decks
30. Install Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
29. Install Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
31. Interior Trim and Doors
30. Interior Trim and Doors
31. Install and Finish Hardwood Floors
32. Exterior prime and paint
32. Exterior prime and paint
33. Gutters, downspouts, and rain chains
34. Direct Vent Fireplace
35. Kitchen Cabinets and Appliances
36. Bathroom Vanities

if you would like to be notified of new posts!

Coming soon:

Interior Paint

Plumbing Fixtures

Electrical Fixtures

Full House Tour!

Food & Recipes

The first time I heard the word “foodie” my ears twitched a little.  The  term was a new one for me.  What on earth was a foodie?  At the time I didn’t know what the word foodie meant, but I strongly suspected that it applied to me.  As it turns out, a “foodie” is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.  It was somewhat of a relief to discover that there was an entire following of people who suffer from my exact affliction, and there is a diagnostic label for what I have…

My name is Bethany, and I am a foodie. 

I love to eat food.  I love to cook food.  I love to read about food. I love to grow food.  I love to write about food.  I love to dream up new ways to display food.  I love to nourish my family and friends with food.

One distinction must be made.  I am a CLEAN EATING  foodie.  My strong preference is to consume foods whose ingredients are as close to their natural state as possible.  This means whole grains, unprocessed meat and dairy, and organic when possible.  This does not necessarily mean low fat or low calories.  For example, I have nothing against cheese and chocolate as long as it is REAL cheese and chocolate, and it is consumed in moderation.  I do not want to put things into my body that have ingredients my great grandmother wouldn’t recognize.

In our Food and Recipes category you will find recipes that I have developed, or that I have taken from other sources and adapted them to a cleaner eating approach.  I do not pretend to be a trained chef or a food photographer.  However, I will do my best to communicate my favorite recipes as clearly as possible.  I hope you find them to be as yummy as I do!

For a list of all our recipes click HERE

Faith and Family

My wife and I have observed that in life there are two levels that people operate at. The first level is the day to day level where we work, pay bills, distract ourselves, and just generally get by. The second level is when we are aware of, or even focused on, the things that really matter, like our relationship with God, our family and friends, and sharing our time and resources with those in need. Continue reading Faith and Family


We both started our careers working as public school teachers and also as private school teachers. Many people are aware of the shortcomings of public school but our experience showed that private schools are only slightly better as an alternative. Public schools suffer from 1) large class sizes 2) a factory based approach to education that leaves slower students behind and prevents gifted students from reaching their potential, 3) violence and bullying, 4) spiritual deprivation, and 5) a curriculum that at its roots is a government education based on a worldview that is frequently at odds with the child’s parents. Private schools usually have smaller class sizes, decreased violence or bullying, and parents can pick one that aligns to their worldview but where private schools frequently fall short is with their budgets and in the oversight/expectations of their teachers. Except for some of the most elite private schools, many of them are struggling to keep their doors open and for that reason they can not pay their teachers what is needed to attract the best educators. Additionally, the shortage of funds may make administrators hesitant to suspend or expel troublemakers, especially if those troublemakers are offspring of large donors! Many parents are surprised when they take their child out of private school and re-enroll them in public school that suddenly their child is struggling in school because they are significantly behind their public school peers in testing results and academic performance. Continue reading Homeschooling