I’m so excited because today I have a huge announcement…are you ready!?
We’re building our DIY Dream Home!
It almost doesn’t seem real, but YES, you guys, we are building our DIY Dream Home! We are going to take you along for the entire journey here on the blog, on Instagram, and on YouTube! So get ready and be sure to subscribe because this is going to be an amazing adventure that you’re not going to want to miss!
“We’re Building Our Dream Home”
You hear it all the time “we’re building a home” or “we built our dream home”…but what they mean is “we hired someone to build us our dream home”! When I say “we are building our dream home”, I mean that we are literally and physically building our Dream Home ourselves, as a family, the four of us….my husband and myself, and our two teenage kiddos!
We’ve Got This!
Since renovating our first Fixer-Upper we now have nearly 20 years of DIY, design, and construction experience. We have renovated each of our homes over the years, top to bottom, put on additions, and tackled numerous and extremely large DIY projects together. We always act as our own general contractor and pull ALL permits required. Although my husband is a mechanical engineer and I am a licensed cosmetologist, we’ve spent our lives building things together and we love it that way! This is going to be hands-down the biggest and most exciting DIY project of our lives!!!
We’ve done it once, we can do it again!
You may be reading this and thinking “You guys are CRAZY” or “How in the world?”. I get it! The thought of a husband and wife building an entire dream home together does sound a little crazy! But, we actually LOVE working together and we have already built an entire home together! We built our current home “Fletcher Creek Cottage” ourselves from the ground up for only Seventy Thousand Dollars ($70K) almost four years ago now and we’re more than ready to build this home together!
As I mentioned, we love building things together and we love a challenge! We’ve dreamt for years about building our Dream Home all DIY and we couldn’t be more excited that the time has finally come to begin!
WHY we are building a DIY Dream Home:
Five years ago we followed our hearts, quit our jobs, sold our home, and moved back to our hometown to raise our children near our family! We purchased 65 acres and built our DIY cottage (that we currently live in). We knew we wanted to build our dream home on our land one day, but our budget 5 years ago was just enough to build our 2 bedrooms, 1 bath cottage. We did all we could with the budget we had and this little cottage has been a wonderful place to live the past few years…but it is small and we have a huge extended family making it hard to entertain in this space. Building our dream home here was the plan from the get-go and after we build our dream home, we’ll use the cottage as an office/ homeschool room/ workshop/guest home.
Will we sell the cottage?
The short answer is NO WAY! The cottage is on the same land that our new home will be on. We will use the 40×40 garage area as a workshop and the 900 sqft of living space as a studio for my projects and a homeschool/home office space. It will also serve as a guest home for all our out-of-town family and friends that like to visit our hometown of Traverse City Mi. We have been asked a lot if we will rent it out as an Airbnb and no, we don’t see ourselves doing that at this point.
WHY we are building our DIY Dream Home all ourselves:
There are three reasons…
One, we LOVE DIY! Two, we can build our dream home for about 1/3 of the price if we do the work ourselves and three, we have hired work out before and ended up letting the workers go and finishing the work ourselves because we weren’t happy with their work. We don’t take shortcuts and we have found that unfortunately, some tradesmen don’t take pride in their work. We simply don’t have the budget to hire skilled tradesmen who do beautiful custom work. So for us…DIY is the way to go!
WHERE we are building our DIY Dream Home:
Our DIY Dream Home will be built on the same 65 acres that our Cottage, Pavilion, and Greenhouse are on! Rest assured, we’re NOT moving off our little homestead! Everything that we have on our land, we’ve built by hand as a family and after 17 previous moves in 20 years…we’re not going anywhere!
In fact, when the house is done being built, we have plans to put in a DIY in-ground pool, build a DIY barn, and build a little walking bridge over Fletcher Creek!
In other words…we’re super invested and staying put!
How many SQ FT is the DIY Dream Home:
The home will be just over 4,000 sq feet and it has two floors each totaling 2,031 sq ft (we have the main level and walkout basement). The most important thing for us in designing our Dream Home was making the most of the views and of course the functionality of the home! The main level of the home will have 14-foot tall ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows spanning almost the entire exterior of the home. We love nature and the views from the building site are breathtaking. The home will have three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. The home is an open concept with a large eat-in kitchen, dining, and living all as one space!
We LOVE entertaining and we have a huge extended family! We are building a home that will accommodate our lifestyle in hopes that it is a blessing to so many for years to come. We can’t wait to host our first Holiday meal with family and friends in our new home!
DIY Dream Home Main Level Layout & Floorplan
Our master suite connects to our main floor laundry room which also opens up to our mudroom and office area. The lower level has two bedrooms and one very large bathroom. The open space on the lower level will have a large family room with walkout slider doors as well as a home gym and mechanical room. One of my favorite features is the long cold storage we added to the basement spanning the full length of two sides of the home (directly under our front and side covered porch). The cold storage space will allow me to keep my garden food and canning stored all winter
DIY Dream Home Lower Level Layout & Floorplan
The design style of the Home:
I want this home to be as timeless as possible. You can see from the renderings above that the home has somewhat of a classic Farmhouse exterior with a wrap-around front porch. It also looks like a two-story home from the front due to the 14 ft ceilings on the main level. Two of my favorite Interior Designers are April Tomlin and Jean Stoffer! I am in awe of how they both bring in natural elements and create spaces that are breathtakingly beautiful, as well as classic and timeless! I have a very clear vision of the finished look of our home and I can’t wait to bring it all to life!
How long will it take to build:
There are so many things to take into account when figuring out a timeline. We are planning on doing all the work ourselves (or at least 99% of it) and most suppliers have extremely long lead times right now. So taking all that into account, we are guessing it will take us two full years to finish the home (if not longer). We both work full time and I homeschool our son…so we only have evenings and weekends to work on it. Also, the winters can be very cold and long so when we can and can’t work will often times be determined by how the weather is. Of course, we’re hoping and praying for a shorter winter this year so we can make as much progress as possible! Building with winter layers on really slows us down so we’ll see! We’re planning on having the house move-in ready and landscaping completely finished within two years, but there is no way of knowing how long it’ll actually take.
How are we able to build our own Dream Home:
It’s taken us 20 years of trial and error to have the skill sets we have now. We have been tackling remodeling/construction projects for years. We have always acted as our own general contractor when we’ve renovated our own homes and we follow building code as well as pull all our own permits. So as you can imagine we’ve acquired a lot of skill sets in a variety of Trades over the years. We also have the BEST families around as well as I have a very large family! We believe in helping each other and anytime anyone needs an extra set of hands we help one another out. There may be a day here and there when we need extra help, that we call on my brothers/brothers-in-law, uncles, or our parents to lend a hand.
We do all we can as a husband and wife team, but when we pour concrete or set trusses…these days we need more hands and we are always super grateful to our parents or siblings for generously offering their help! We try to be available for them as much as possible too, that is what family is all about…supporting one another…and for our family, oftentimes that shows up in the form of HARD work! I guess you could say it’s one way we love on each other!
The old saying is so true… “Many hands make light work”
How you can follow along and support us as we tackle the biggest DIY project of our lives!
Your support means the world to us…it has been so incredible to see how others have been motivated to chase their dreams after hearing our story! That is WHY we share what we do! I hope that what we share encourages, motivates, educates, and really helps you see that anything is possible if you’re willing to stay the course and work HARD!
As our journey unfolds we’ll be sharing the entire Dream Home Build process here on the blog, as well as on Instagram and Youtube. We would love for you to subscribe to our channels! Your comments, shares, and likes are so encouraging, but also open up amazing opportunities for me to partner with incredible brands during this DIY home build project…which is not only a dream come true for me personally, but also helps us stay on budget (which is a huge blessing to us)! This project is going to be the most difficult and challenging thing we’ve ever done…but we’re ALL IN! We truly believe that with hard work and effort, you can achieve anything!
So, Let’s GO…IT’S TIME TO BUILD OUR DIY DREAM HOME!!!!