BTW – This post is just 1 in a series of Home Design and Build posts. You can find them all right here: Positively Jane's Home Design and Build.
In December of 2022 we sold our dream house and moved from Georgia to South Carolina. You can read about why we moved HERE. We had been to SC many times to visit my daughter and her family but usually only on the weekends when the traffic was bad! And since we knew nothing about the area from a ‘living permanently' standpoint we hired a realtor to show us neighborhoods. NOT houses. We wanted to see what was available. What was the traffic. How far from Nicole (a big priority for us was to be close).
We had a list of ‘criteria' that we both wanted in our next house. You can read all about how we came up with our list right HERE.
It seems to me that the area we moved to is the home of one story ranches. Which is great on many levels. But, for us, a ranch was too spread out. Too many steps between rooms. We sold our dream house because my husband has physical limitations – you can read about that HERE. An elevator was better for us. Hence, we needed 2 story living.
As we spent the day looking around it became clear to me that renovating was what needed to be done to most of the homes. Or build from scratch.
Now, when we decided to sell our dream lake house I said that I would NOT build a house. I did not want to live in temporary housing for 18 months as a 71 year old! Life was too short to not be fully living and having all of my stuff, right?
But, as they say…never say never, right?
We ended up buying a lot on January 14th. (This involved narrowing our search down to 1 neighborhood, looking at ALL the choices, and talking to a builder before making a decision).
And so the design process began, again!
What style? How big…realistically. What rooms did we need? How big? And, of course the big kicker – what was the budget?
The neighborhood that we chose is a planned community, Hartness Living. It was designed to replicate a European village. Small houses. Large manor homes. Cottages. Very little land but TONS of common areas and walking trails. With an area for commercial establishments. Restaurants, ice cream shops, retail shopping and more. Even a school.
Because it's a planned community they only allow 5 architectural styles. We walked around and looked at what was already built and fell in love with the English Cottage Style. It invokes the feeling of small, cozy, and simple.
So, now a few decisions were made.
✔️ Neighborhood chosen.
✔️ Lot chosen.
✔️ House style chosen.
Next up…the house plan. Which, in my humble opinion is the most difficult. We met with our builder and his person that he uses to design houses. Our builder likes him…I won't have any idea until we see a rough draft. You can read about our meeting right HERE.
I spent hours on Pinterest – typing in English Cottage. I pinned anything that was remotely interesting – exterior and interior. My daughter sent me ideas, Instagram people and TV shows I should watch for inspiration. I was only looking for inspiration! I fell in love with Jean Stoffer/The Established Home on Magnolia Network and took pics of the TV screen!
I then put all of my images (screen shots) in a Google Drive folder for my builder and his designer.
I also began my notes…anything that came to mind got written down. I did not filter anything. A brain dump if you will. A wish list. As the design/build gets further along I will eliminate what no longer interests me or what I can't afford.
We are anxiously awaiting the preliminary drawings from the designer. I want to see if he understood what I was saying…or not. I do have an architect that I LOVE who I could hire to help me. I was hoping to save a few dollars tho and not use him. In the long run, it's better to use someone who understands me than someone who does not!
BTW – I am probably one of the most detailed people you will ever meet – especially when it comes to home building! Let the builder beware! Haha.
I am looking forward to design our next home…the next stop in our journey together.
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