Saturday, April 28, 2012

Building a Custom Home

Nearly six years ago we sold our home when the housing market was at it's peak. We turned around and bought a custom home lot, designed our retirement home, and went to work being our own contractor. It was an experience that I absolutely thrived on. I put my skills as an event planner to work as a home builder. It really wasn't that much different. You begin with a plan and a budget and you contract your vendors ( in this case, a concrete company, a framing company, plumbers, electricians,  drywall guys, doors and trim guys, cabinet guys, granite guys, and painters to name a few.

Instead of hitting the party stores I became very familiar with the big home improvement stores. Instead of picking out the linens and the centerpieces I chose the flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, door hardware, doors, cabinets, ceiling fans, paint colors, mailbox,  moldings,  custom address plaques, granite and more.

It was a thrilling time and I loved making all of the custom choices.  ( personalized address plaques ) I especially liked having the challenge of working within a budget. Completing our new home within the budget we had set for ourselves kept us debt free which was very important to our early retirement plans.

Once the house was completed it was time to start work on the full acre of landscaping. That was a huge job. My husband and I moved 100 tons of granite rock one shoveled wheelbarrow at a time. There was tons of additional choices that had to be made in our own landscape design that included the color of the granite, grass choice, plant and tree choices, and in our landscape lighting. We dug over 130 holes to plant everything we wanted in our landscape. We had to choose sixteen light fixtures for the exterior of our home alone. ( bronze address plaques ) On top of that there was our landscape lighting to choose. I was actually kind of sad when all of the choosing was complete.

Unlike most people when our custom home was complete I was ready to do it again! I got the same thrill of working with many, many details, seeing it all come together and meeting my budget as I am with any event.  BUT, the biggest perk is that the finished project wasn't over in a evening or even a week. It is forever for my husband and I to grow old together in a place that is just right for us.


  1. It does sound like fun (and lots of work).

  2. Somehow it doesn't surprise me that designing and building your own home would be right up your alley. On the other hand, I was thrilled to find one readymade that fits my needs.