building our home: a really good update

I’m going to ignore the fact I haven’t posted an update in two months and go on with this post. Of course, you will forgive me, right? After all, we are building a house.  Trust me, a lot has been going on lately. We should be getting insulation in within the next week, if that tells you anything about how far we have come in the building process. I’m going to show you a bunch of photos with very little details right now, so you can get an idea of the progress since the slab was poured.

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

 

HollyDays Home Framing
So how excited was she that her bedroom had walls? Silly girl!

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

I love this picture with one of the men standing so high on top.
I certainly am not that brave.HollyDays Home Framing

Jonathan up on the second floor for the first time!

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Framing

HollyDays Home Exterior

HollyDays Home Exterior

HollyDays Home ExteriorWow, I think that is a good quick update! As you can see, we’ve had a lot of progress in the past two months. It is starting to really feel like a house since the windows and doors were installed last week. I’ve got more great pictures to share with you in the next post and I promise it won’t be two months from now!

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building our home: pouring the foundation

Looking back at the past few weeks, so many things have happened in our home building process.

These weeks have been a little more on the stressful side as we have been having to make some permanent decisions about moving a wall to give us more space in one area and deciding about plumbing fixtures, flooring and starting to think about counter tops.

HollyDays Home Sitting where our couch will be(sitting in our living room!)

I have to say I have learned quickly that building a house causes you to second-guess all of your dream home ideas. Anything that I have had as a “definite” in my mind is questioned, I guess because I was ten when my parents built our home and I can still remember the process. Also, I know these are pretty permanent long-term decisions and I am afraid of making the wrong ones. We’ve said “yes” only to change our answer to “no” on some things and “no” only to change it to “yes”. It has made us feel a bit out of character, but I guess the stress of having to make so many big decisions happen to make you feel a bit overwhelmed.

Now on to the foundation…

My last post was about the sand that filled the blocks. Next came the electrical and plumbing preparations. We found this picture on our time lapse camera that I loved. South Alabama humidity and the hot summer sun… these guys have a pretty smart idea… HollyDays Home Plumbing and Electrical

 I love their creative use for a tent- Definitely a good idea!

Here are some photos of the process:

HollyDays Home Digging Plumbing & Electrical

HollyDays Home Digging Plumbing & Electrical

HollyDays Home Digging Plumbing & Electrical

HollyDays Home Foundation Base

HollyDays Home Foundation Base

We couldn’t help ourselves and wanted to watch the next part:

Pouring the foundation…

HollyDays Home Foundation The sun was hot and bright and yes, we were truly amazed to see these guys standing in boots walking around in concrete. They worked so quickly and made it look so easy (I know it is not easy at all, that is why they are the professionals!) This process went so fast and they were walking on it the same day! HollyDays Home Foundation

HollyDays Home Foundation

HollyDays Home Foundation

And this is what it looked like the next morning: We have a foundation!

HollyDays Home Foundation

This week, they started framing and wow, what a difference a day makes in this process – huge visible differences daily and with each visit we get more and more excited to call this place “home”! We’re trying not to rush the process, as we are enjoying every step (well, almost, ha!), but savoring it with the constant thought that this is a big part of our family’s life, praying this home will be a place where we raise children to love God and have moments we treasure with family and friends for years to come.

Oh and if you have ever built a home, we’d love to hear your suggestions for “what not to forget” for us and our readers/future readers… I’ve been reading up on lists of things we make sure we have in our home… like an outlet in the vacuum storage closet. Let us know by commenting below!

Thanks for reading.

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building our home: week 3 + 4 recap

Building our home: HollyDays Home

Wow, how quickly the past two weeks have passed. Yesterday officially marked the one month mark for building our home! It is so fun at this stage of building because almost every day something new happens and it is visible change. I know we will get to some point in the process when everything will seem to slow down and take longer when we are getting anxious about the move-in-day. But for now, no boxes are packed, we are just enjoying the everyday changes.

We ended week 2 with having all the block installed for our foundation. If you missed the time lapse photos video, it is here.

HollyDays Home: Fixing Block

After the block was installed and finished, a ton of sand was hauled in and dumped, spread and compacted. The sand appears to be clay, but it is actually sand because of a city ordinance. It has tiny bit of clay mixed in and that is what gives it a reddish tint. Our contractor said there were 25 dump truck loads coming that day!

HollyDays Home: Adding Sand

This was not an easy job, plus with high temperatures and humidity, I’m sure it made it even more difficult.

HollyDays Home: Adding Sand

HollyDays Home: Adding Sand

 Now, this is one big sandbox!

HollyDays Home: Adding Sand

We are now just about to finish week 5 and early next week they should pour the slab!

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building our home: week 2 recap

HollyDays Home: Building our home: week 2We officially have made it through week 2 of building our home! Last week, I shared about pouring the footers. The next day, the block was delivered and on Saturday, they started with the blocks. During the first week, Jonathan installed a time lapse camera, so we have a really neat time lapse video of the block. I think it is so fun to watch!

 

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it all comes down to money: printable family budget

HollyDays Home Printable Family BudgetI will tell you, I’m a HUGE fan of Dave Ramsey. Since I was a little child, my parents had me on the Envelope System. When I received my allowance, a certain percentage had to go in each envelope. Now, even as an adult, we budget our monthly income so we know exactly how much we have to spend each month in each category. Since we are building a home, we are being especially strict, as there are a lot of out-of-pocket expenses along the way in getting our plans designed and our lot ready to build.

I wanted to share with you our Excel spreadsheet Family Budget for your own personal use. Just fill in the blank areas, starting with your monthly income at the top. Then, you will input your budgeted amounts (For Example, in the electricity category, say you spend an average of $200 a month, put that in the “Budgeted Amount” column. Then, at the end of the month, you calculate how much you spent in each category and put it in the far right “Actually Spent” column. Oh, and we have a handy column in the middle that helps you calculate how much percent in each category you are budgeting. (For Example, your mortgage should be 25-35% of your entire monthly take home pay- I’ll list all the recommended percentages below) Now, these percentages will automatically be calculated once you put in your “Budgeted Amounts”.

Printable Family Budget

 Click HERE to download the 2 page Family Budget

Recommended Percentages for a Household Budget:
Charitable Giving: 10-15%
Saving: 10-15%
Housing: 25-35%
Utilities: 5-15%
Food: 5-15%
Transportation: 10-15%
Clothing: 2-7%
Medical: 5-10%
Insurance: 10-15%
Personal: 5-15%
Recreation: 5-15%
Debts: 5-15% (goal is 0)

We do a zero-based budget at our house, meaning every dollar that comes in has a place to go. Yes, we do have a Misc./Blow money category, but it is designated. It’s so much easier to run a household and have freedom in spending when you know how much to spend. I look at a budget as giving me freedom and not as a constraint.

Once you download the free printable budget, you can add lines and items, just be sure you are calculating the new line in the totals at the bottom. At the bottom of the spreadsheets, you will have a Grand Total Budget (It should equal your total take home pay if you do a zero-based budget) and Total Actual Spent for the Month.

Hope you can put the spreadsheet to use! Any questions?
Comment below and I’ll be glad to try to answer them!

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recipe for a house: a dash of rebar and a heaping serving of concrete plus a little cleanup


cleaning up our lot

We were so grateful over the weekend when Jonathan’s Dad did some major mowing and cleanup on the bottom of our lot. Basically, it looked like a jungle. You know, from this post, you could barely see a person standing in the bottom part. So I guess “mowing” isn’t the correct word for what he did, but we are grateful. It looks a million percent better.

HollyDays Home cleaning up our lot

Oh and speaking of not knowing the correct words… I am now going to attempt to show you the process of our footers yesterday. Basically this is my “holly version” of pouring footers for a house…

HollyDays Home footers

Some big concrete trucks showed up with this really big truck (guess he was the pump truck) that had a REALLY long arm started pouring a ton of concrete in the footer holes on top of all the rebar.

HollyDays Home footers

Then there was this guy… he had a cool remote control thingy that made the “arm” go wherever he wanted. I know Jonathan really wanted to get a hold of that thing!

HollyDays Home footers

Then, all the guys started smoothing out the concrete, one on his knees with a trowel, the others with shovels, etc. smoothing the concrete as it came out of the “arm”. Wow, that’s it. Really technical description, thankyouverymuch.

HollyDays Home footers

HollyDays Home footers

Here’s the full-length motion picture of the work yesterday
{not really, just 22 seconds}

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

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we have started: week 1 recap

HollyDays building our home week 1 recap

It’s official: we can say we are building our home! The work started last Monday, so today we are a week into building. This is going to be a quick post of photos of the first steps of getting the lot ready and the first process of digging the footers. Right now, I’m not proficient in my house building vocabulary, however by the end of the process, I’m sure I will know more than I wish to know!

Here’s a before photo of our lot with my husband marking the few trees that had to come down before we started building. It looked like a jungle and you could barely see him down at the bottom of the lot… thank goodness for that bright red shirt!

HollyDays Home: home building process before photo

… and after the area was mowed (thanks to a dear friend with a great mower! Um, you are so good at this, how about bringing that mower back every couple of weeks once the house is built, please?!)

HollyDays Home: Our Home building journey - preparing the lot

… and after the trees were cut, here’s our daughter standing where our new house will be standing!

our home building process before photo standing in what will be her bedroomHere it is at the end of week 1…

HollyDays home building process week 1

HollyDays home building process end of week 1

HollyDays home building process footers 2

It has been so neat to watch it go from a bunch of weeds to this in just a week!

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our journey of home building + homemaking

We are building our first home! We are a family of three, recently moved to a southern coastal town and getting settled in nicely.

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(Our bikes: This is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken since we moved.)

I am already a blogger for my creative business, HollyDays. I thought it would be fun to document our process of home building, DIY projects, decorating and organizing. I love these topics, so I wanted a platform where I can dedicate my posts completely to those subjects. Introducing HollyDays Home! I can’t wait to get to know you and share our story with you.

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Will you join me on this little adventure?

 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV

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