Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward us a small commission – at no extra cost for you.
Ya know, I prepared myself that building is a long, hard process. That it takes a lot longer than you think or want. That you should add months to the closing date. I’ve read enough to prepare my impatient heart that building takes a long time.
But, I went wrong somewhere. Because I did not prepare myself that before you even start building you must practice patience, patience, patience.
We looked around at land for about 3 years. And we’ve been working (waiting) on plans for about 4-5 months. And no, we aren’t building anything crazy! This is just the nature of the biz, plus that dreaded “C” word we’re probably all tired of talking about. You know, the one that ends in “19”.
Truthfully, I thought we would be building by now, but our plans are just now finished. I’m speaking candidly in hopes that those that are following along our building journey can get an accurate idea about what it’s like.
But I don’t want to come across as Grumpy Gus either. Our plans being finished is great news! This means our builder can bid out our plans to subcontractors so we can get a better idea about what our house will cost. We’re not even close to breaking ground, but it’s progress!
And you can’t move forward without plans, so it’s a very necessary step. And being able to have a visual of the home and detailed specs means we can better plan things out, so when it is time to pick out colors and finishes, we’ll be all ready. We certainly don’t want to be the cause of any delays!
Before we dig into the plans, I thought I’d share some inspiration I had for the elevation first:
I was in for a very rude awakening when Titus pointed out all the houses I was saving were two stories and they would look nothing like our one-story/ranch.
I love the height and grandeur of a two-story home, but we love living in a ranch-style home and having bedrooms and living areas on the same level.
Plus, this is what is common for our area and they are better for resale down the road as they appeal to more buyers. Not saying we plan on moving anytime soon, but the concept of a “forever home” seems a little final to me. Between unexpected life changes or a sudden job opportunity, you never know what life will bring!
How To Create a French Style Living Room (& Home Update!)
How I Gave My Bed a European High-End Look on a Budget & Other French Country Bedding Ideas
Our Budget-Friendly French Country Inspired Kitchen Reveal
Once I accepted the fact that I would not have a home that looks “tall”, I started searching for inspiration for a ranch home with a steep roof.
Then I was in for another rude awakening when our builder pointed out that the homes I liked had 10/12 roof pitches. Apparently, this is pretty pricey as you need special trusses and whatnot.
Oh, and he said that a side entry garage (from my other inspiration pictures) is not impossible, but would be very expensive on our lot as well as we would need to bring in even more fill dirt.
Okay, okay, so what can I have?
I’ll admit that after having my dreams crushed like this, I thought, “Well, if I can’t have exactly what I want then I’m not even going to build!”
Ugh, so dramatic.
This is when I had to reframe my thinking of “dream home” to “beautiful home”. A dream home is a slippery slope anyway. Perfection doesn’t exist and that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself and your home- to materialize the home of your wildest dreams!
Plus, it’s important to us to not be house-poor. So it’s not exactly a matter of “Can we build the super tall roof and side entry garage?” but, “Should we? Are the added expenses worth it? Do we want a French chateau that takes up all our time, money, and effort? Or do we want to have something we can live in comfortably, freeing us up to go on adventures and live life with our boys?”
Once I got over the idea of a picture-perfect home and I thought about how I get the layout I want and I can pick out all the finishes and that someone will do all the work for me, it was a lot easier to come back around to the idea of building. But, it’s hard! Especially with social media. I mean, is everyone building a mansion these days??
Also, I’m learning that building is all a trade-off. Do I want the master suite with a spa-like bathroom or a steep roof pitch? One will look cool while one will bring daily joy to my life. I’ll take the daily joy.
Thanks for coming to my Girl-Gets-Home-Dreams-Crushed-But-Musters-Enough-Courage-To-Keep-Going TED talk. So inspirational, I know.
Okay, so now to our actual plans!
So you do the layout first and then the exterior sort of does itself, besides all the little details of course. This was the first thing our designer came up with, based on a sketch that my mom drew. Not all things are my choosing (like the stone on the bottom), but that doesn’t need to be finalized exactly yet. I admit I was a little underwhelmed (I was expecting a grand chateau, remember?). Plus, who can really get passionate over a drawing?
So I hired out the elevation rendering to a freelancer to get a better idea of what it would look like.
This definitely helped! I was able to picture it better and get excited about what it could look like.
Once again, the details are not exact. I for sure know that I want white or cream stucco, a brown wooden door, brown wood-like garage doors, trim over the windows, window boxes, grid windows, and sconces.
But what color roof, what exact sconces, what landscaping, what stone or brick accent (if either), and what exact details are all TBD. Even the lights above the garage door may go.
It’s symmetrical and simple. The perfect canvas to let all the wonderful European details shine!
I’m excited for the time when I get to bring weekly or even monthly updates but until then, here’s a visualization of what it might look like on our land!
I’ve been thinking of a hashtag for it too. So millennial, I know. What do you think of #thewoodedmaison?
Wooded because of our wooded acreage and maison is French for home. I’m just afraid that at a glance, maison looks like mansion haha.
Ah well, I’ll keep noodling on it.
Want to catch up on the home updates? Keep reading!