Lisa is a Lifestyle, Family and Travel Writer who has a love of all things travel, all things food, and all things living life. She gives family travel tips, the inspiration to dream, and the real deal of family life. It is not always roses and daisies, but that's life!
Family Life

10 Things I Learned While Building Our Dream Home

It is an absolute blessing to be able to create our forever home. But here are 10 Things I Learned While Building Our Dream Home.

Don’t get me wrong here, I feel fortunate that I was able to build a home that is completely our style and has all of our families needs in mind. However, building our dream home was daunting at times. The whole process was not always roses and daisies.

Building a new home was a monumental task. There was so much planning! I am not going to try to fool you here. It is not for the faint of heart. It is totally worth the adventure though. But here are my thoughts on what I learned from this experience.

10 things I learned while building our dream home

So, here are the 10 Things I Learned While Building Our Dream Home…

Building Our Dream House on a Budget

1. Hire a General Contractor

Unless you don’t have a regular job and you have unlimited free time, it is nearly impossible to GC a project like this yourself. You literally constantly need to be on-site or things will never get done. Also, you really need to be pretty knowledgeable of the building process itself. 

Subcontractors routinely try to cut corners or don’t even show up for that matter. So a general contractor keeps everything in check and helps the project to move forward.

2. You Need to Communicate Your Ideas

Nobody knows what you are envisioning in your head. Your builder and contractors are not mind readers. If you envision 10-foot ceilings in your bedroom but tell your builder you want 8 feet, you are going to get 8-foot ceilings. It’s kind of a no-brainer. Make sure you talk through your ideas with your builder during the contract stage. And then make sure everything is in the contract that you want. There are so many details when building that it will make your head spin! You will forget things that you agreed on. Trust me.

You can get some inspiration from some of my home decor pins on my Pinterest.


3. You Will Go Over on Your Allowances

No matter how good we thought we did on the contract, we did not get enough on our allowances at all. We went over in almost every category. Before we started the project we had no idea how much things cost so we thought the allowances in the contract were good. We were wrong! And we don’t have million-dollar taste here either.

4. You Will Want to Kill Each Other at Times

10 things I learned while building our dream home
The struggle is real here people! This s**t is stressful. You will be at each other’s throats at times. It is inevitable. You are literally in the thick of it so to speak. And for a long time. Our build took us a little over a year.

5. There Will be Some Things You Hate

10 things I learned while building our dream home
Not everything will be perfect no matter how hard you try. There will inevitably be something you chose that you hate in the end. You got to just roll with it and not get stuck on the small stuff because in the grand scope of things it will probably not even matter.
We spent so much time designing our outdoor deck to get the maximum view of the mountains behind us. Once it was built we were kicking ourselves in the you know what because it didn’t come out how we envisioned it. 

6. Put More Storage Space Than You Need

You may think you have enough closets and storage space, but you don’t. The end! There is never enough. Design with more storage space than you think you will need. Our basement storage area was much smaller than we thought it was going to be in our heads when we were designing the plans.

7. Things Will Look Worse Before They Look Better

10 things I learned while building our dream home

Spaces look so light and huge during the framing stage. Obviously, this is because you can see through walls. Literally. Then the drywall goes up and panic immediately sets in. The space looks teeny tiny and dark. I immediately felt like we royally screwed up the design. But then floors go in and the paint goes on the wall and things start to look normal again. There will be ups and downs throughout the process.

8. Let Your Gut Instinct Guide You at Times

Even though you may not be an expert builder and know everything, trust your gut. If you feel like something is not right, speak up. Remember, this is nobody’s dream home but yours. And if you don’t like how things are going with something, say it sister.

9. Compromise Will Happen

Sometimes the compromise will be between you and your significant other. Or sometimes between you and your builder. But it will happen. Unless your significant other and you are the exact same person, you will have different tastes in things. You might have to bend a little to make each other happy. 

10. You Can Never Design the Perfect House

10 things I learned while building our dream home

You just have to accept this one. Unless you have unlimited money you will never design the absolutely perfect house. There are many things that I wanted so bad but “the buck stops here” as they say. In order to stay in control of the budget, some things have to go. It is what it is.

There you have it! 10 Things I Learned While Building Our Dream Home. 

Here are some other posts you might like:

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  3. Why You Should Shop Local for the Holidays

Happy Building!!

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25 Truths Every Parent In The Trenches Understands

Being a mom is the hardest yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. I really wish people would have warned me of some things before I had kids though. There are 25 Truths Every Parent In The Trenches Understands.

Kids are kinda gross and they do weird things. Along with all the hugs and kisses comes a LOT OF STRUGGLES. Kids can do things that make you question a lot of stuff, like what is the fascination with their “junk.” There are days where I might be on the verge of questioning the meaning of life.

Here are 25 truths every parent understands:

1. 75% of parenting is repeating “brush your teeth” or “get your shoes on” over and over again.

2. No matter how hard you try, you will never cut the crusts off of your kid’s sandwiches “just the right way.”

3. Whoever invented shoelaces hates parents.

4. You will forever be amazed at what would be considered A WEAPON to your kids. Today it was a french fry.

5. Wet wipes are your new best friend.

6. “Don’t touch that” is the phrase of your life. The toilet, the lamp, their privates… All fair game to kids.

7. Someone will inevitably poop in the tub.

8. Someone will inevitably need a 2nd bath after you discover someone pooped in the tub.

Now that is some truth from the trenches right there…

9. Do not be delusional and put your kids to bed late thinking they will sleep in. They will actually be up before daylight to torture you.

10. Everything is always sticky. So sticky. Don’t bother to try to figure out why.

11. Most of the day will be spent screaming at your kids to stop screaming.

12. A TODDLER can leave a path of destruction anywhere with just one cookie. Pretty impressive actually.

13. Ketchup is a necessary food group.

14. The words “I do it” will make you be late for every single thing in your life for the next 5 years.

I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes every now and again just to keep it real .

15. Trips to the restaurant bathroom will be the majority of your dinnertime.

16. Poop will be part of every conversation basically.

17. Someone is always naked. WHY?

Speak the truth sister!

18. If you ever want your kids to SLEEP AT NIGHT, do not let them fall asleep in the car after 5 pm. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Open the windows, turn the music up, whatever it takes.

19. Your kids can work your smartphone better than you can but they couldn’t possibly get themselves a glass of water because that’s too hard.

20. The struggle not to laugh when your child throws out an F-bomb is real.

22. 3rd-grade math will make you question your COLLEGE EDUCATION.

23. Kids consume all of their daily water intake 5 minutes before bedtime and then have an endless parade of bathroom visits all night long because they are “just so thirsty.”


24. The world is always ending and everyone needs you when you are either in the bathroom or on the phone. Otherwise, they could care less about you.

25. God made kids cute for a reason. Well played God.

One thing that all parents can probably agree about is that in the end, it is all worth it. When my kids are older I am sure I will miss every sticky finger and naked bum running around my house. I know it feels like I am in the trenches of parenting right now and this time of my life might be a struggle.

I know it feels like I am in the trenches of parenting right now and this time of my life might be a struggle.

It’s a hard job shaping these tiny little humans into responsible adults. There will come a time when my kids will not really need me so much anymore, but this is probably going to be my life for the next 18 years or so. I think I will invest in some good wine or beer to help me through it.

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