New Home Construction: Consider the Wisdom and Advice of Others

For those of you that have been following the progress of our new home construction project on the “Building Our Dream” site, you have probably noticed that there has been a long pause since our last post.  We have not broken ground on our home yet, but we were extremely close several months ago.  We had finished our final plans and were trying to finish up the package for the HOA approval when we started questioning the direction we were heading and the house we were about to build.  There were really three things that triggered us to re-assess going forward:

  1. Our plan did not take the best advantage of the incredible backyard mountain views. Feedback from professionals and friends/family suggested that a backyard-centric floor plan would be more ideal for the property we have chosen.
  2. Sometimes you have to know when you don’t know and then be wise and humble enough to ask those who do know“.  This is a paraphrase of a principle preached by our pastor, Andy Stanley. Common feedback was that while our house was unique, it may be difficult to sell in the future (if that should ever be necessary).  A more conventional layout was suggested by several sources.  It seemed prudent to give weight to the opinions of those who know a lot more about building houses than we do!
  3. Couldn’t justify the total cost.  In the whole scheme of things, we want less of our money going to a house and more of our resources going to what we esteem most important in life – God, family, and friends.  The final price tag was more than we felt was wise to spend on a house.  Andy Stanley influenced our thinking with his sermon “The Best Question Ever“.  In light of our past experiences, our current circumstances, and our future hopes and dreams…we did not want all of our money going to a house.  Thanks, Andy, for reminding us of our priorities at just the right time!

In light of theses factors, we decided to sit down and re-evaluate our direction.  Starting from scratch made sense.  This was more intimidating than it seemed.  After all, we had poured two years of thought and energy into developing the “perfect” home for us! We finally had to accept that it was not really the ideal design.  However, we had learned a ton about home design through the experience of designing the first home and hoped that a start-from-scratch approach might not take as long the second time around – and it didn’t!

While we enjoyed working with our first designer, Imagine-It Designs, we noticed that when we stick with the builder’s recommendations for contractors that there is a synergy and working relationship that produces efficiency and seamless collaboration.  In light of that realization,we decided to go with our builder’s preferred designer, Josh Hardy (CADD Drafting Services), for the design of our second home plan.

We started our discussions with Josh in early March.  He couldn’t start our project right away, but once he could fit us in it was a snap!  We received the final plans before the end of April.  Bethany had designed a new conceptual house plan using the Home Designer Architect software so we shared that plan with Josh and discussed our design goals.

Some of the main changes we wanted to make were to:

  • reduce the overall square-footage of the original plan
  • simplify the exterior elevations to reduce costs
  • create an efficient layout of space that is still open and well-lit
  • ensure primary living spaces take better advantage of the views to the rear

We realize that when others see the plans they may think, “why didn’t you do such and such?” Or ,”I think it would look better this and that way.”  It is easy to judge a plan against your imagined possibilities. It is a whole different experience when you run your ideas up against a real-world budget!

We are extremely satisfied with the new design and feel that with the budget we have in mind the plan could not be more perfect for us.  The delay to the project was well worth it and we are thankful we took a pause, reflected on the wisdom and advice of others, and committed to a new direction.

Hope you like the new plans!  We still have a ways to go before we break ground but we will continue to post the updates here for those that are interested in following along.  Subscribe if you would like to be notified when we post new updates.

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