Home Building

The Highs and Lows of Home Building

We purchased our land almost a year ago. While we knew building would take some time, and even longer than we thought, it’s taking much longer than we could have imagined. However, some of the extra time can’t be attributed simply to our decision to build a home. Some of it has to do with the uniqueness of what we want to build. Leave it to us to make things more complicated…haha.

We’ve never liked the typical home plans. We don’t like open concept. We like some charm, quirk and character. We also like to push the boundaries and do something different, if we can. As we’ve developed more and more interest in eco-friendly choices, we’ve been drawn to a “different” way of building. While it’s exciting to do something new, it adds to the frustration and time that’s already inherent in the building process.

Now we not only have to find a builder, we have to find a builder willing to step out of their comfort zone and literally build something new. Something so unique that we’ll be one of the first in the U.S. to build it.

Piqued your interest yet?

Sorry, but I’m not expounding any further yet until we have the contract completed. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of highs and lows as we try to bring our dream and vision to life. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve been ready to throw in the towel more than a few times, so has Michael.

We’ve been working with a company who produces the types of homes we’re interested in for several months now. We’ve researched the product, and we’ve seen others build this type of home in other states. In order to get our unique and green home built we need a local builder who’s willing to take on the project, even if it isn’t to handle the “unique” aspects of the build.

Many wonder why we don’t just self-build, and act as our own general contractor, which is something that normally could be done. However, in order to secure the construction loan we have to have a licensed General Contractor due to the non-traditional status of the build. If we were building a traditional structure and ran into the issues we’ve been having in finding a general contractor, we could forgo it, and still get the funds we need to complete the project. Not so when you’re asking a bank to fund a building type they’ve never funded before.

Even if we find a General Contractor who seems to be willing to take on the project, they’re busy, and dealing with the fallout of Covid, which has been both good and bad for their industry. The good is that they are extremely busy, with no trouble finding enough projects. The bad is the high price of materials, shipping delays and the inability to find enough people to build the projects they have lined up.

Many General Contractors have expressed an interest and find our project exciting, but in reality they don’t have the time and team to focus on something new for them.

That’s the constant cycle we’ve been stuck in for the last several months. We find a contractor willing to look at the project only to find out they either can’t take it on, or don’t have the time. For this reason, we have slogged through some of the initial stages of building, such as obtaining the well and septic permits, zoning permit and contacted our electric company about construction service. But we’re coming to a point where we have to have a General Contractor to continue the process. We’re confused by the building permit requirements, because we feel like we were told one thing in the beginning and now they’re requesting something different.

We always knew that building a home (and farm) wasn’t for the faint of heart, but I don’t think we could have ever imagined just how difficult it could be, especially when you try to do something different…something green and eco-friendly.

In the meantime, we’re spending time with the girls and dreaming of the future, taking one step forward and two steps back along the way.

Sidewalk chalk drawings with our girls.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *