How to build a house and not go crazy


Ha. Fooled you there.
There is no known way to build a house and not go slightly crazy.  That's a scientific fact.

How about a little timeline to start.

March 2017 we found the lot we are in love with.  Tons of space, rolling hills and trees.  Plus it is 5 minutes closer to the city and in the same(ish) area that we're in already.

July 2017 the lot is purchased. At this point it was just a huge chunk of agricultural land, so if we wanted to explore we had to park on the grid and do some major walking. Kids hated it until we gave them walkie talkies and let them go off exploring on their own.

August 2017 planning/architect meetings began.  I had in mind what I wanted, it was just a matter of it making sense on paper.

I think this was the hardest part of the process as I find it difficult to imagine size of spaces on paper without actually being in the space.  Sure there are some 3D things they can do but I'd just prefer they'd build the house then I can walk around and decide if rooms are big enough and move walls as I wish.

April 2018 - ground was broken and the build was started.

Enter into the picking of things, the meetings on everything and deciding the purpose of every single draw and nook and cranny.   Had I been left alone to the customized mess, then this house would have made little sense, but because the builder's wife is a designer, someone magically the entire house has flow.

We made a list of things we wanted in this house- Dan's list was things like bulkhead lighting and no open bulbs, my list was much more extensive.  I wanted a modern farmhouse clean look on the main floor.  The upstairs needed to be a bit more glam and the basement retro.  I think we nailed it now that I see it coming together.  The only thing I wish I could change is the exterior- it looks too golf course fancy and not enough farmhouse to me- I should have requested a wrap around veranda. Ah well.

The biggest lesson I learned in sanity saving measures is to be decisive and stick to your guns.  If I knew what I wanted I needed to remember that otherwise it was easy to get swamped with all the other options.

A few photos of the progress?  I loved going there each week to see what had changed, some weeks it was super noticeable, others not so much.

The upstairs is our sleeping area- the kids have their room and bathroom, there's a laundry room with workspace, there's a sitting area, there's a guest room which has been claimed by Salt and Light for storage and then our master suite is separated down the hall and placed over the garage.

The main floor is built for entertaining with a huge entry way, a music room off of the great room, a kitchen and butler's pantry and a sunroom.

The basement is my fave- it's retro with a side of industrial with brick walls and appliances from the 50s and custom wood door/baseboards.  There's a guest room, a bar, a theatre, bathroom and then a mudroom which leads to my other favourite area of the house- the indoor pool.

And now here we are on the last leg of the race with all the moving/packing/finishing touches being done while we're away for a family wedding.  Also, I change my mind on the architect part being the hardest -its the living in boxes and chaos that's the worst.  I am so ready for this to be done!

July 2019- house is ready for move in!  Stay tuned!!

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