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How to Build a House in 7,612 Easy Steps

Almost exactly one year ago Tim and I moved to Georgia to build our own house. When we arrived, the land we purchased looked like this:




Now, it looks just like this:




Not bad, right? Although Tim and I both had very little experience with building a home (and by very little, I do mean NONE).

I thought it might be interesting to see the various steps we went through over the last 12 months to build our dream home. Keep in mind that this post doesn't even BEGIN to cover it all. If you are super interested in this kind of thing, check out Tim's blog for more details.

First up - excavating the house site, getting rid of the brush and creating the house pad where we wanted to build.



Next, we plotted out the area for the foundation base on hubby's design for the house. It rained right before we laid the concrete, which meant an emergency shoveling session to clear out the space. The next day the cement was put down. 



Once the foundation was set, we got to the good stuff. The house was built with custom made and pre-built panels. Kind of like giant pieces of Lego. Both are equally challenging to me. 


The interior framing was next. Once it was finished we could begin to put on the roof panels, which again were pre-made to fit the design of the home and filled with soy foam insulation. 



After the roof was on, it was time to have the walls insulated one more time to make it an energy efficient as possible. Drywall went up and Tim and I spend a LONG time installing the cedar siding around the entire house. 



Along the way we dug a well, got electricity to the land and developed the sewage system. Thankfully we also got to move to the interior. Hubby spent days and days tiling the floors and laying down the bamboo floors in the other rooms. This is the part where I started working full time and did less and less with the house, while hubby took on more. 

Multiple trips to Ikea meant he could tackle the kitchen, turning this:


Into this:


And there you have it! So easy, right? All it takes is 12 months and your entire life savings. Nothin'. 

Would anyone be interested in a house tour of the completed space? I'm debating whether that's weird (my bed! my chair! my tv!) or awesome. Let me know!

Have you ever tackled a home build or remodel in the past? Do you ever want to in the future?
Obviously this was a first. I'll be honest and say I have no desire to do it again. Hubby, on the other hand, would love it. I bet if we had tons and tons of moolah he would want to do it all over again somewhere else. 

Comments

  1. My parents had their house built back when I was a sophomore in high school so I remember very well all the work that goes into it. All the decisions. All the planning. All the money. I don't think I will ever build a house because of all the work you don't realize that is there. I will buy a house that is already built and has a nice lawn :D

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    1. That's the only thing I would change - getting the landscaping part is harder than I thought it would be! Ready for a nice pretty lawn now!

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  2. Yes i want a house tour! Everytime I see pics in your house I think, "ooh I wanna lice there". It's just as pretty on the outside

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  3. We had someone else redo our kitchen. That wasn't so bad for me ;).
    I would LOVE a tour of your house! I think it looks absolutely beautiful. You guys did a great job!

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  4. This is gorgeous! And a TON of work-- well done! We renovated much of our first house (bathroom overhaul, kitchen floors & countertop, and lots of paint indoor and out) and that was exhausting enough. I'm so impressed! Love the open beams in the kitchen and bamboo floors!

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  5. I love your kitchen. have y'all ever thought about getting an island? I am always wanting more counter space...
    you should do a video tour of the rest of your house!

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    1. I really wanted an island at first! We have the space, but once it came time to buying kitchen stuff budget intervened. If we need it in the future I would definitely consider it.

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  6. I LOVE your house or er your kitchen, but yes all of it. It's fun to show off hard work and good taste - do the tour! xo

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  7. i always love seeing your home, it just seems so cozy and inviting. we are getting ready to empty our life savings for a home in the next few months, scary stuff. guess it means its bout time to be an adult.

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  8. I would love a tour!! I love seeing all the work you did. Off to Tim's blog to read the house building details!

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  9. I screwed up hanging my allied medal hanger (used too big of a drill bit and the pieces that make it stand away from the wall went through the holes). You guys are truly remarkable!!! I've popped over to your hubby's blog from time to time - incredibly impressive!!!!! You have a beautiful home!

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  10. Your house looks amazing, I'd love a virtual tour!

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  11. House tour for sure. I think spending your life savings in a period of 12 months is better than not paying off a house that you didn't design until you're 80. lol.

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  12. We have thought of building a home with a metal building structure. They are very energy efficient and clean. We are in the beginning stages and seeing this post completly overwhelmed me!

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    1. If you can't tell from the pictures, the panels we used were steel framed. I highly recommend it if you use a good insulation as well!

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  13. That's awesome you guys got to build your own home and customize it! I'll definitely be checking out Jim's blog!

    Home Tour please!!!

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  14. I actually come from a long line of General Contractors -- my Dad has been building custom and speculative homes since before I was even born so this sort of thing is sooooo up my ally:) I would definitely enjoy a tour because I'm sort of obsessed with "cribs" and all the HGTV shows.. plus I'm in Real Estate, so OF COURSE I want to see more of your house!!!

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  15. I love love love your house. Micko and would love to build our own house on some land, but I don't know if it is going to happen until the boys move out! Def do the house tour!

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  16. Wow, what a project! That's so awesome. Would love to see the home tour.

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  17. I vote for a tour of the house! It looks so awesome & that 12 month recap was pretty sweet. Makes me want to build me own house now!!

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  18. LOVE your house. Our house had a busted pipe last winter and we had to tear down all the walls and floors and cabinetry and redo it. A contractor did it and since we don't live in that state, we "supervised" from afar. It was hard. We felt like the contractor thought they could get away with shoddy work. And there was a lot of discussions and redoing.

    Not pulling for business, but you know my boyfriend's company manufacture kitchen islands and other furniture. :) Several online retailers carry our products and we are very proud of our stuff.

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  19. Your house is gorgeous. A tour would be great! Show it off, looks like you put tons of work into it. My husband and I went with a builders standard one where we stepped in at the last minute and picked out final touches and then we were in it within a month! Of course, we've now ripped out most of the original stuff and replaced it with better stuff slowly as we can. I anticipate one day we'll build our own, though I watched my sister go through it and there were lots and lots of headaches too!

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  20. I love your house and it has such a beautiful setting. How peaceful! I hope someday to get to build my dreamhouse, but I know it can be a lot of work. Love your kitchen also btw

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  21. That's amazing. All I did was paint two rooms of my house, and that was enough home improvement for me. Talk about a lot to do! Congrats :)

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  22. WOW! I really do love your house. It looks so modern and inviting. You two did such an amazing thing together.

    I have never built a house but my aunt did when I was a lot younger and I remember it being so much work and money! It's well worth it though because then you get exactly what you want!

    I totally think you should do a tour! That would be fun...and funny. Get hubby in on it!

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  23. I can't believe how much of it you guys did by yourselves!! I would definitely love a virtual tour of the whole thing, I love that kind of thing!

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  24. I think this is so awesome. There is no way you could get me to do it, but I am so freaking impressed by you guys. The most I'll do renovation-wise is paint. Anything else and I'm hiring professionals.

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  25. That's really cool. I do commercial construction for a living and I can't wait to build a house one day! I'd love to see the rest of your house!

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  26. You guys are my heroes! We did a complete reno of our house a few years ago...I barely survived. I cannot imagine going even further.
    Very impressive!

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  27. Seems like all of your hard work paid off with a house you love! A tour would be awesome!!

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  28. beautiful!! Yes a tour!! We are looking at houses now, already built.

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  29. This is amazing and I just went to Tim's blog and I LOVE it....as I love fish. I am sooooo envious of your pond! your wildlife must be amazing and the chorus of frogs must be something else in the summer :) I am totally coming to visit!

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  30. This is AMAZING!! I can't even imagine doing all those things myself, you guys are so talented! I totally want to see more!!

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  31. This is so cool! I think it's awesome that you guys did this and that you did so much of the work!!! A video tour would be really cool….but I totally understand if it creeps you out too much :) That's cool that Tim has a blog too, he does a great job with it. And, girl, you need to give us more background on why you moved here, why you picked Georgia, do you plan to stay in the states????

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  32. Nice. The Captain had just finished building a house when I met him... and then he added a lot of built-ins for me such as a library wall, china cabinet, clothing shelves, sewing counter, laundry appliance closet ... over a few years of course.

    It is great to be able to do this stuff yourself and I have NO desire to do it! But I know that The Captain would build again in a heartbeat.

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  33. So, so cool that you guys did that! I would love to build my own space someday, and I know my parents thought about it (but never followed through) many times. Kudos to you guys, you are hose building rockstars!

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  34. SO AWESOME! It looks gorgeous! I can imagine there were many stresses along the way, but now you get to sit back and admire it :)

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  35. Awesome!!!! I have often thought that your house was so stunning and unique. I didn't know that you built it! Good work. I would love to see more.

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  36. Vanessa, that is absolutely gorgeous! It IS a lot of work, isn't it??? We built our house and moved into it in '07. We did MOST of the work, but there were a couple of things that we contracted out. I think just the plumbing, the sheetrock, and the brick work. Oh, and we had cabinets custom built. My husband drew up the blue prints, framed it (with some help, of course), wired it, painted it, laid the tile, hardwooded it... It makes it feel so much more like home when you do it yourself!

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  37. I LOVE your house and am so jealous that you designed and built the house exactly how you wanted it! It's so simple ane elegant at the same time! I hope some day when I get married that my future husband and I will be able to build our own house. That is always everyone's dream!

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  38. Omg -- you guys put SO MUCH work into this!! Wow. I never fully realized just how much work goes into building your own home...I mean, I knew it was a lot but I just didn't see or appreciate the full scope of it, I guess. WOW!

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  39. You should be so proud of how much work you have put into your home! My Dad is infamous for renovating our house; although we have lived at the same address for 21 years now our home only has one wall remaining from the original house. Yep. We are the house that Jack built (well Bob actually but you get the idea). Most of the work in the latter years has been done by my Dad and my sister!

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  40. We remodeled a lot in our current home. The hardest by far? Not the bathroom or the two bedrooms, it was the kitchen and dining room, the largest combo room in the house! We survived that, though our floor is still not done 5 or 6 years later. . . we took a break and are trying to figure out what to do with it.

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  41. I think I would love to remodel a home. It would be fun to see the changes, and make it your own.

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  42. Well, we helped build my bro-in-laws home...boy was that work...then we were going to build ours, but the economy tanked and we were concerned about our job status...So we now live in a trailer that was supposed to be temporary until we built our home... (think FEMA only worse-ha)which sucks! BUT we do have a barn frame up, most of the fencing for the many beasts, and so the rest will come someday!

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  43. Your home is seriously GORGEOUS! Love the look of the wood panels and the open floorplan and all the windows! IMPRESSIVE! Well done!

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  44. I don't really have anything constructive (ha!) to contribute, but the whole project is impressive and completely gorgeous! It's so cool that you photographed it each step of the way. You must love living in it - I especially love the pic of the house at night!

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  45. it is so gorgeous, i love the windows!

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  46. Your house is gorgeous! You guys have done a great job making it your own space from the ground up!

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  47. The house is gorgeous - I'd love to see more!

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  48. The house looks amazing. I would LOVE to see the rest.

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  49. YES I really want to see more of it!!!!!!!! I am obsessed with your house.

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