Building Tips, New House

Our Planning Phase of Building a House

As some of you already know, we are in the process of planning our new adventure, a new build. The planning process of a new home can be both very overwhelming and exciting. Along this journey, we hope to share with you different stages we are in. Sometimes its good to see what is behind the build and what actually goes into it. This will include the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

Considering we serve as our own contractors, this may also be a little different than the normal process some experience. Today I’m going to share with you a few of the things we are working on that may help within the planning stage.

Finding a Location

Once you decide or are even thinking about building, you need to find the location. This is one of the first steps that will take place and is obviously pretty high on the planning list.  You may ask yourself several questions as you are searching for the perfect location for you and your family. Do you want acreage or are you a city person who wants to be close to everything? Sometimes you may not know the answer to this question right away and have to find out later after building several homes like us…lol.

Having acreage is very nice, but it also requires much time to take care of. Would you prefer a wooded lot or no trees? Trees are nice for shade, but may be hated during the months or October and November. Oh, and a big one is… does the land have lots of rock on it? This can be a huge expense that is not budgeted for! This is something we are currently taking into consideration.

Not only is location important for happiness, but it is also important for resale down the road. Most of you are probably not like us and move every few years, but there are circumstances in life that may force us to move. In these cases, it is important to know the resale value will be good.

As we have been searching for a location, there have been several things we have been looking for. We currently live on almost 6 acres within the city. We love the land and location, but it has been very high maintenance. For us, and the season of life we are in at the current time, we don’t have tons of extra time to be mowing and doing yard work. This leads us to why we are searching for a different type of property with not as much upkeep.

We are currently looking at almost 6 acres that are completely wooded. The plan will be to keep the trees on the outskirts of the land, while leaving only enough yard for the house itself. This will allow for privacy, but yet not much mowing. We for sure will have tons of leaves, but plan on blowing them into the wooded area. Keep following us and we will let you know how this works out for us…lol.

Finding a Plan

Finding the right plan might be the most challenging step in the planning process. Many people find a plan that already exists and can be purchased from a company. The other route would be to choose an architectural firm to customize one or design a completely custom plan personally for you. Obviously, buying a preexisting plan is the more affordable route and may be little easier.

There are many things that you should consider when choosing a plan. A few of these are the size of the home, design style, fitting your location, your budget, and floor plan that fits your needs and wants. I’m planning on writing an article that dives a little deeper into this.

This go around, this step has certainly been challenging. We know what look we are wanting, but are having a very hard time finding a plan that combines the style and exact floor plan that fits our needs. Due to this, we are teaming up with a firm in order to get everything we are wanting. This will allow us to customize each aspect of our home, both inside and out.

Determining the Exterior and Interior Look and Feel

I feel like before the building process starts, you need to know what kind of look and feel you want for both the interior and exterior of your home. Lots of this will be based on the plan you choose, but some will be based on your own style and inspiration from others.

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We’re at the point in the process where we need to nail down the style of house we’re going to build. We love many different styles of houses, but it’s important to choose the right style for the piece of land you’re building on. Since the new lot is very wooded, we’re thinking of going a little more English Cottage inspired, and @dixonkirbyhomes is giving us all kinds of inspiration! I love everything about this one. The color scheme is incredible and the way the lime wash lets a little bit of the brick color show through is perfection. I love new houses that look like they have been there for ages. . . . #exteriordesign #exteriors #curbappeal #customhomes #custombuilder #mybhg #mybhghome #houzz #southernliving #houselove #houseinspo #housebeautiful #myhousebeautiful #housegoals #lovehgtv #styleathome #realhousesofig #homedesign #homedetails #limewash

A post shared by Brooke (@plankandpillow) on

The two main sources that inspire me are Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest is great for making different boards and pinning ideas. For instance, I have boards that only I can see for planning purposes. Within these boards, they are broken down to exterior, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. You could even break it down even smaller into things such as kitchen hood, fireplace, doors, etc.

There are many things to giving a home the look and feel it will have and portray. Some things to consider when thinking about the exterior may be what material will you use. Some prefer brick while others love hardy plank. What you choose might depend on budget, but most of the time centers around personal preference. Other things will include guttering, shutters, columns, and windows. All of these will go hand in hand in giving your home a certain look.

The interior look and feel is also very important. It should be cohesive to the exterior. Things to consider and plan would be the overall color scheme, cabinetry, trim, flooring, lighting, doors, and special custom features. Keeping in mind that if the custom features have anything to do with the framing, this would be important to plan quickly.

For us, we have a basic idea of the style we’re wanting. Once we have it nailed down, we will be revealing it in upcoming articles.

This planning stage can feel like it is taking forever, but I keep reminding myself of how important it is. Taking your time and planning will cut down on mistakes during the building process itself. We’re so excited about sharing this journey with you in future articles. So please feel free to ask us any questions along the way. We love input and are very excited you all are with us on this journey!




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  • Reply Tatiane

    Great post. Location was a big deal for us. Thanks for sharing your point of view 😊

    December 28, 2018 at 3:09 am
  • Reply Ashley

    We just purchased a 2 acre, wooded lot in TN so very curious on which direction you take with your house plans 😉

    January 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply Lynn Power

    Very timely post as my hubby and I start on a building journey on 40 acres in central TN. Not only do we have a house to plan but a barn for our horses, kennel and chicken coop.
    Also we are making the move from Texas so much, much planning to go through.
    I’m anxious to follow your journey. Lynn

    February 6, 2019 at 4:56 am
  • Reply MaryAnn

    I love how you have broken down your process. Thank you for the details. This is very helpful.

    August 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm
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