Last Wednesday, the surveyor came out to mark the four corners of our property and to plot out where our house will be situated on the lot. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our property is even larger than it appears, especially because one of the side fences is about 10 feet inside the property line; not right on the line as we (and our neighbor) had assumed. Thankfully, our neighbor is not upset. We’ve met several of our neighbors already and I’m really thankful we seem to be surrounded by great people. Jason took all these photos of the surveying.
On Thursday we broke ground! It was a wonderful anniversary present.
Things are moving quickly so I’ll have one or two updates a week on the house build. Today is my birthday and we’re hopefully getting a delivery of concrete for our footers. We might even get a delivery of concrete block for the foundation and front wall.
Yesterday Jason, Precious, Lucy and I took a morning walk around the block and stopped by our property to say check on it. Jason wanted to inspect our fruit trees—the cherries and pear we transplanted from our last yard—while I just wanted to admire our giant white dogwood tree.
We met with a team of contractors at Starbucks later in the day. They seem like really nice guys and we had a lot in common personally, too. They’re a family business and all three of them are married and have kids. One of the guys has six, two of which they’re adopting through foster care. We also know some people in common. One of the three original general contractors who were putting together bids has dropped out. We haven’t gotten numbers back yet from the other two yet and it’s been 2.5 weeks. We’re getting antsy. We want to get started!
Our architect finished our construction documents last week and we have three general contractors putting together bids. Friday night we looked through the plans with our friends Leila and Jeremy who just built a house last year. We are getting so excited now, looking at all the drawings, elevations and schematics in PDF form. Hurry up, GCs! We’re ready to break ground!
On Sunday afternoon, Jason and I spent a little time on our land tree-chopping. We cut down three trees a few months ago… a huge one that had been burned by a house fire in the past, a dead cherry tree and a sickly dogwood tree. We neatly stacked all the wood at the back of the property, along the fence in anticipation of a wood burning fireplace in our new home. We were really bummed when the whole pile of firewood was stolen. Who does that?! So last weekend when we cut down huge maple tree that we decided would be too close to our back patio and house, we left the wood in large (10′ or so) pieces at the back of the yard to make it less appealing for thieves. We’ll cut it up later, maybe after the house is up.
As if we don’t have enough going on with Precious and her pending adoption, Jason and I have also been working on another big project. We’re building a house! Well, we will be once we sell our little mid-century modern ranch. But, we have purchased a piece of land. It’s really rare for land to become available in our 1950s-70s developed neighborhood, but the house that originally sat here was removed after a fire. This lovely, treed, flat, half-acre lot is less than a mile from our current home and just 6 houses down from my parents house. That probably sounds too close to most people but we have a great relationship and I love that Precious and our other future kids will be able to walk to over to Grandma and Grandpa’s.
We found a local architect, Ryan Thewes, that we’re really excited to work with. He’s studied with students of Frank Lloyd Wright and he does a lot of modern design. We think he’s the perfect architect to bring the mix of mid-century and modern that we’re hoping for. Building a house is something we’ve been dreaming of for a long time but assumed it would be in our distant future. When the perfect lot opened up, we decide to take a leap of faith. God has blessed us with great friends and family who helped us work everything out.
Our biggest motivation for moving out of the home we absolutely love: more space and bedrooms for more kids. We tossed around the idea of building on but ultimately decided to move on. Our home is three bedroom but one of the rooms is Jason’s studio which leaves just one room for kids. That worked great for the past 5 years but we’ve moved into a new season. Now that we have Precious for good, with DCS regulations for foster homes we would only be able to take one more child and she’d have to be a girl close to Precious’ age. We have it in our hearts to continue fostering more kids so more bedrooms are a must.
Here are some pictures I took on the property back in October the day we met Ryan there with our friend and real estate agent Jeremy (and his dog Maggie.):
You can bet I’ll be blogging about our experience all along the way. We’re super excited!