If you have been around for any length of time, you know we have been blabbing about building a house in the woods for a long time. I received a text a few weeks back from the girls who bought our old house. It said:
Yes… it’s been an entire year since we announced the sale of the House on Winchester. Can you believe it? I can. ???? We are so grateful for the rental house, but Deb and I need our OWN space. We both love projects and have done all that we can at the rental house that doesn’t cost us money. Or I should say LITTLE money. The backyard got an inexpensive makeover. We replaced the front porch columns for a month’s rent. And, we added a shelf above the washer and dryer in the laundry room. It’s time to move on.
In the beginning of this journey, we said we were going to build Deb’s workshop and live in that for awhile. We thought it would be a great idea just to get us out here on our land so that we could clean up the fallen trees and brush. And just get a feel of this woods so that we could plan the layout of the yard, etc. Building a house in the woods takes a lot of work!
Earlier this year, we switched gears. We already had a place to stay at the rental, so we may as well put all of our focus on building the house. We started working with our architect planning all of the details. It was a very simple process since we knew pretty much what we wanted. Things were moving right along.
We met with basement boy, septic boy, driveway boy and all of the other boys you need to talk to when building a house.
We were so excited to get our house started around the beginning of the Summer. And then… February – March, 2020, the dreaded Covid-19 hit the US and every decision we had made thus far was questioned.
Is this even a good time for us to build?
What’s going to happen to the economy?
What happens if we get this house started and everything shuts down?
Will it cost us more to build a house now?
After spinning all of these questions around in our heads for WEEKS, we decided to hold off building ANYTHING. The decision was a rough one, but we felt so comfortable with it. We have a place to stay very inexpensively at the rental.
Several more months went by…. things weren’t looking as scary as they did earlier in 2020. We both said…..
We resumed all of the plans on the new house. We contacted all of the boys. The rest of the trees were removed where the house would be and the driveway was put in for the concrete trucks to get in and out of the property. We ordered the blueprints and pulled some of the permits we needed to get this project started soon.
Then….. this new buzz started going around regarding the price of construction materials. And, how the price of lumber is skyrocketing because of a shortage. I not only heard it from some of our contractors, but also from lots of people over on Instagram who were also in the midst of building a home. One of our girls who works in the construction business said that lumber prices have raised 60% over the last couple of months. Let’s just pretend (because easy math ???? ) that a house last year had $100,000 worth of lumber. It would cost $160,000 this year. That’s a HUGE difference on lumber alone.
Lots of you know this and some of you don’t. We are planning on having our house built up to the drywall and then finishing it all ourselves…. painting, flooring, lighting, kitchen, baths, etc….. which means cash out of pocket.
We started asking ourselves ALL THE QUESTIONS again.
If lumber raised 60%, how much did everything else raise?
What’s going to happen after the election?
Will the prices raise more DURING the construction of our house?
What if we start this house and can’t finish it due to a shortage of lumber?
Can you imagine getting this house half-done and not having the money to finish it because of the higher prices?
What if all of our money is wrapped up in a house that we can’t finish?
We are both risk-takers at heart and have never been wishy-washy when it comes to decision making about houses. We flipped our first and second houses in 2008, during the housing market crisis. And did quite well on both of them. We always follow our guts. If a decision feels right deep down in our souls, we go with it… no matter how many people think we crazy.
Deb and I had a million conversations, not only with each other but with SO MANY people…. family, friends, financial boy, etc. I had lots of discussions over on Instagram with people who are in the middle of building and they themselves are feeling very afraid. I also had discussions with people who said there is a shortage of lumber and they are terrified their own home building progress will come to a screeching halt.
Remember…. we need out of the rental and into our own space.
After a long evening of discussions a few weeks ago… and after a few cocktails, we made a decision. We both said we wanted to sleep on it and see how we felt in the morning.
The thing that makes THE MOST sense to us at this time….during this crazy Pandemic, is our original decision of building our barn (aka Deb’s workshop) first. And living in that until the world calms down.
Will the building cost more than it would have last year due to the rising lumber prices? YES! More than likely, the cost will be doubled than it would have been last year. But this decision makes the most sense to us. It will give us our own space, for a fraction of our money, and get us out here on our property which is where our hearts are. And, it will allow us to do all of the projects we have in mind…. the old lady swing set, the tree house, etc.
We obviously need to make this building function like a house temporarily, but have it easily convert it to a workshop when we get the house done. We have so many ideas to accomplish this task and know you will love seeing what we have in mind for this building. I will be sharing the entire process with you all. And I will be sharing the layout and design and all of the ideas we have come up with later this week.