Our newest and largest project these days is building a house! Many of you know we have been in the house selling, hunting or moving season of our life for almost three years. We started getting ready to sell our house in Crestwood when I was pregnant with Caroline. We didn't sell it until September of 2013. Almost one year later we are still in a rental that we thought we'd only live in for three months (HA!).
In the past year we've had three contracts fall through for various reasons, but the last one was the most painful - it was in a good area, four houses up from great friends and newly remodeled. But, thank goodness for red flags, a great agent and unanswered prayers. We ended up pulling out the day before we were scheduled to close/move and it was the best decision we've made - maybe ever (besides getting married and having kiddos). While we were devastated for a day or so, three days later we found an empty lot in Homewood - unheard of - and jumped on it. Never in a million years would we have ever thought we'd be building a brand new house in Homewood. Needless to say, we're thankful for God's timing. Even when it's hard.
So, here's our little lot - true to Homewood, it's long and narrow. There is a house sitting here now, but this was taken in June when the lot was still empty. This lot was bought over 50 years ago by the couple on the left - they didn't want someone building next to them and they wanted a yard (also rare in Homewood). They moved on and sold their house about a year ago, our builder bought it, remodeled it and then had the lot to sell. That's where we came in! They put the lot up for sale the day before we were back out looking and it was our second stop that day, we never looked at another house, THANK THE LORD. I can't tell you how over it we were.
Empty lot before house construction began
Wide angle view - from the street
They started clearing the lot and laying the foundation the first of July - in the beginning it was hard to envision what a house would look like, but now it's very real.
From the back alley - the garage is what you see here and the back of the house
More of the first floor foundation
Side view from the right
Mound of gravel
They finished the foundation rather quickly and next came the framing and it flew up. We left for the beach with nothing but a foundation and came back to a partially framed house. It's really hard to tell what things are in these pictures, but in the next few posts things will start to come alive. I want to have a record of building our home together - probably will be the only one we ever build. Honestly though, it's been tons of fun. The waiting is hard sometimes, but we've had a great experience and had a blast picking out everything from lights to wiring to appliances, colors, tubs, faucets, etc.
Back of house from the ally - garage entrance and work area
Courtyard, patio and breezeway area in the back
Breezeway from the garage to the patio and the french doors are the kitchen entrance. Entrance on the right is to the master.
Our master closet - I might be most excited about this room. The girls nurseries were this size. We won't know what to do being able to have all of our clothes together in one place!
Half bath downstairs - framing
Hallway to mudroom, laundry room, half bath and master bedroom
Kitchen area downstairs
Another kitchen view - this is the breakfast area side
Kitchen french doors to patio
Downstairs Den from the stairs - kitchen is on the left - open concept
This is the beginning of August - so the framing was half way through - no roof, etc. The upstairs is harder to tell, but this a phase we want to capture.
Upstairs Den - girls play area
Back upstairs bedroom
Window view of back upstairs
Middle upstairs bedroom (on front of house)
Girls bedroom - first upstairs bedroom (on front of house)
Another view of kitchen and den area from the front door
We visit the house pretty frequently and the girls LOVE seeing it in progress. Every time we go they want to know when it's going to be ready - me too! :)
Caroline and Catherine Ellis on the construction site
View from the front of the partial framing
A lot has been completed inside, but it's a lot of the same pictures that are hard to tell unless you know what you're looking at. Below the roof framing is on and they have started the plumbing and electrical.
This is the partial wrapping for insulation in progress
Below we're officially in the dry - this was about three weeks ago. Windows are in - LOVE them - and most of the electrical and plumbing is finished. The house passed inspection last week and the wood siding is complete - I'll have pictures of that in the next post. We have picked shingles, exterior paint colors and interior paint colors, interior and exterior bricks, cabinets, appliances, tile and counter/vanity tops. Whew! We're getting SO close. Can't wait to show you the progress in a few days!
In the dry - windows installed, framing complete and plumbing, electrical almost complete
I won't bore you all with our many selections, we'll keep that in an album for us, but thought it would be fun to show you the exterior paint colors and brick that should start next week. The far left is the exterior color - it's a taupe/brown color and the trim is a cream/tan color. We loved the bricks and hope it will pull the colors together! We're getting closer every day!