Hello and welcome to The Wooded Lot, a website detailing our family’s experiences while building a bigger, better house. For background, this will be our second time building a house, and our third house overall.
Looking back on houses #1 and #2
Our first house was a semi-custom build by a corporate builder in a new subdivision. That process involved choosing an available lot, selecting from a handful of pre-approved floor plans, making a few (minor) modifications, picking out our options and upgrades, and negotiating a price.
We built that house from afar, and it was a rather stressful experience that I don’t wish to repeat. Various details got glossed over and a number of mistakes were made. In retrospect, this wasn’t all that surprising given the builder’s assembly line approach and our distance from the build site.
Nonetheless, we survived. The house got built, most of the mistakes got fixed, and the builder made some concessions before we got to the closing table. We bought the house in 2002, moved in, and loved living there for four years. In 2006, however, a new job prompted an out-of-state move.
We sold that first house for a tidy profit and bought a nice (existing) house that we’ve lived in for the past nine years. During that time, we built an addition, did some landscaping, and made it our own. We’ve loved calling this place home, but we’ve also mused about building a new house.
Looking ahead to building house #3
We have a large family (four kids) and would welcome some additional space. After having lived on a slab and then over a crawlspace, we’d also like to have a basement for the kids to hang out with their friends. And, as the kids grow up, we’d love to have the space to host their future families.
And so… We’ve decided to build. Again.
This time, though, the building process will be different. It will be much more customized and personalized. We won’t be using a cookie-cutter builder in a cookie-cutter subdivision. We won’t be building from afar. We’ll have the benefit of experience. And we’ll also have a larger and more flexible budget.
While my wife and I both like living in a neighborhood, we do value space and privacy. We’ve thus targeted a so-called “conservation subdivision” that’s about ten minutes away, but in a more convenient location.
Lot sizes in the new neighborhood are typically under an acre, but the neighborhood itself is surrounded by (and contains) a ton of protected forest. We’re talking about nearly 150 acres of woodland, as well as numerous other amenities, including hiking trails and a pool.
As of this writing, we’ve identified a nicely wooded lot — hence the name of this site — and have (we think) selected our builder. We’re currently working through the permit process and hammering out the design details.
In the coming months, we’ll be documenting our home-building progress here, alongside a variety of other useful information. And once the house has been built, this site will live on. At that point, however, the subject matter will likely shift to after-the-fact customizations, maintenance, and more.
P.S. For context, we live in the southern Piedmont region, though much of the information that we share will be applicable just about anywhere.