Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Moved, We're Building, Let's Square Dance

What's next in Hendrick World?

Building a house.

We've always wanted to build, but never wanted to move twice.

Who wants to do that?

Instead, we've moved 900 times in the last two years.

Right now, we're renting the Winslows sweet house.

Our next project is building.

When people ask me what we're doing next, I say with an excited face...

"We're going to build a house!"

I wait for yee-haw, giddy hand clapping to erupt from the person I'm talking to.

Instead, what I've gotten is...

"Well...we built a house, and if I had it to do over again, I would make these (fill in the blank) changes."

Apparently, when it comes to home building, you should get a practice round.


That's where you come in.

Have you built a house?

Is there something you would change?

Do you say things like, "If we build again, I will NEVER and I mean NEVER do ___________."


"If we build again I would FOR SURE _____________."


We built a house, and I was SO STINKIN' smart, I did _____________ and I love my smart self for doing that!

Come on with your bad, building self.

This is no time for humility. Bring on the regret.

Let me learn from your brilliance or your suffering.


Anonymous said...

If you build in the country and are required to have an aerobic septic system make sure the sprayers are far away from any yard space you are planning on using. No one wants to have a backyard BBQ interrupted by an unharmful chlorinated pee spray.

Don't waist precious square footage on a hallway. My Dad's house is almost the same size as ours but his seems so much bigger because all the rooms branch off from an open kitchen/living room space.


~Wilkerson Family~ said...

My aunt and uncle built a house full of STORAGE! Ok, you know that space under your kitchen cabinets, I guess it is like the base board. Well, they turned those into long skinny drawers. It is so neat, it has a special hing on it so you just tap the drawer with your foot and magically it opens. They are perfect for place mats and platters and stuff!

I would love to post more but my darling Hadley won't stop closing the lap top on my fingers!

Sarah Shalley said...

heather, are ya'll custom building? who's your builer? what kind of modifications can you make on the floor plan? makes a difference.

one thing we did do is put radiant barrier on our roof. we're very glad we did that. our electric bills aren't so bad. we also have a gas stove/oven. i'd have more than 4 burners if you can...possibly 2 ovens with all your boys. :)

Jeanie said...

It took us 5 years to agree on a comforter for the bed so I figured if I wanted to stay married we should never try to build a house.

The Vann's said...

This could be a no brainer but I think its important. Dont allow yourself to compromise on things in your house that could even kind of make your life easier or that would be more practical for the long run. For instance, dont take the cheaper road just because its cheaper because in the long run it will end up costing more! Also, with all of your mom experience Im sure there are things that would just make your life 500 times easier like a large laundry room or big kitchen, whatever it maybe dont allow yourself to compromise on those things. Also, in a market like the one we are in, you have alot more barganing power as far as breaking the mold with house plans etc. if you are using a builder. So, do it as much as you can that way your house is different than others which would give you the possibility of a better re-sale value. Im sure you are thinking, "We will NEVER move again".... but lets face it you will!! haha... Anyway, good luck, it sounds SOO fun!-nick

bighousetx said...

Okay, this is really super random, but pretty cool too. When my in laws were building their lake house my mother in law walked though the house with those little dot stickers (the garage sale ones) and she found everything that needed to be fixed. If the paint was scratched, or the wrong color, or trim wasn't painted, etc. She would just put a garage sale dot on it, and that way they would know to fix it. I just thought that was so smart. Otherwise I would probably forget all of those little details.

Congrats on building your house. I think that is so exciting!

Garratts said...

You need to call my mom and dad and ask them that question.

We moved like every 2 years when I was growing up. In the same town.

My dad would build a house, sell it, then we would move out of it.

Anonymous said...

We built, but it was spec house, so we only had a few choices on anything. One choice I cannot believe we didn't make was bermuda grass instead of st. augustine! What a stupid choice! We have no trees, except for the tiny ones they planted when we moved in - which have grown a lot, but not enough to shade the st. augustine. If you have great shade, go for it. If not, get bermuda or zoysia. Almost everyone's st. augustine in our neighborhood died, so many of us planted bermuda after a couple of years. I've done that, but it's taken 2 years to get it to really start filling in the front yard.

I really wish we'd paid extra - as if we could have! - for a jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. Oh, how I wish. Little did I know God would fill this house with 7 kids and I would really appreciate a long hot bath in a jacuzzi tub.

Must go to bed. More later, I'm sure.


Brandi said...

girl! i hope you love shopping for doorknobs. i actually did, and enjoyed building. i think it's more stressful if you're both working regular jobs, and don't have time to meet the contractor at the last minute or spend hours picking out toilet paper holders. but i do have time for that (is that sad?) and loved every minute.

i bought a three ring binder and put in dividers (outside, kitchen, bath, paint, etc.) and tore pictures out of magazines and even books. i cannot underestimate how helpful that was. the most helpful pictures were those that i tore out just because i liked the "vibe" rather than a specific feature. then when i needed to make a decision i could just flip through the book and look for common elements. example: i thought i liked dark wood floors. but all the pictures i tore out consistently had light pine. if you're just looking for floors, or at flooring samples in the store, you might like something different than when you see how it affects the look of the room as a whole. does that make sense? or when i needed to pick out windows. i'd never even paid attention to windows before. so i flipped through my book to see what type of windows were in the rooms i liked. i thought i would like wood trim and no panes, but most of my pictures had painted trim and some panes. funny.

for floor plans, i think the most important decisions are these two: 1. how do you want the kitchen to relate to the living area? closed off, completely open, or somewhere in between? that relationship affects how you live in the house everyday, how you entertain, etc.

2. do you want your bedroom close to the kids, or separated somehow?

once you answer those two questions, you narrow down the floor plans you have to look at considerably. there are lots of plan websites where you can search by features you want (attached garage? island kitchen? etc.) that were helpful to me.

other random things about floor plan: it's helpful to park your car close to the kitchen. sounds silly, but when you're carrying groceries in every week you'll appreciate having a short hike. consider having your laundry area close to the kitchen, if that's where you are all day like me. i would have moved my laundry room closer and traded places with one of the kids rooms, which don't need to be close to the kitchen.

check out the "not so large" books by sarah susanka.

get the best kitchen you can afford.

i could go on all day. i love talking about this. feel free to email or call (lynsey has my number i think) with any questions.

The Wakefields said...

ok, i've re-read this post about 3 times, still trying to figure out where square dancing comes into play here...

Brandi said...

since i haven't met you in real life i don't know how tall you are. but if you're petite like me, consider having your kitchen counters a little lower than standard height. i have a cutting board area that's 33" high, and my stove is 35". the rest of my countertops are 39". a lot of standard countertops are 42", which is essentially useless for me. the only drawback is that you lose a little drawer space.

i have my dishes in a drawer. the kids can reach them easily to set the table. my microwave is also below the counter, so in a couple of years they'll be able to make their own oatmeal, etc.

Andy said...

I would that I didnt...
-Add an internet connection in my living room (even if you use wireless, better for resale, might even add 2 as todays electronics all seem to want an internet connection)
-Move the light switch in our living room that is on the wall near the main entry to the wall near the kitchen. We enter the house from the garage in the kitchen and have to walk through the LR to get to the light switch.
-Get gutters for the entire house, ours it is just on the front
-Make sure that the front door can not see into the master bedroom (it is only a very thin line of vision, and the glass has a design so it is hard to see through, but it is still unnerving sometimes)

I would not...
-Design rooms where the door opens in, and then 3 ft later you have the side of a closet. It is nice in that the room is a square, with a little pocket tacked on for the door to open into, if that makes sense. But is is a pain to move furniture into when you immediately have to angle it to get it in.

I would that I did...
-Put a ceiling fan on the back porch
-Build a garage big enough to hold a truck. This requires an 18 ft wide door instead of a 16 (if you want to fit a 2nd car in) and generally about a 22ft long garage, maybe more if you want to store stuff in there. Dont know if yall have a truck, but as we were shopping for houses and talked to other people shopping, several people lamented not being able to fit their large SUV or truck in the garage with their car. Would be a nice to have the option, or the extra storage. Also doesnt typically add a lot to the price as this is not counted in sq. footage of the house.
-Have a pocket door in the master bath toilet. Bathrooms are difficult to fit a door in because of space and all. But some people are uncomfortable not having a door for the toilet. Pocket door allows you to have that so people can have their privacy (for resale consideration), doesnt take up much space, and if you dont want to use it can just stay open and out of the way. We were recently in some Century Homes houses and a Charles Thomas home, to close the MB toilet door you had to pretty much stand on the toilet (in one there was literally 1 inch clearance between the door and the toilet as you opened it).

That is about all I can think of for now! Hope some of it helped.

Anonymous said...

Get an outlet put in your mantle so at Christmas time if you want to put lights there then you don't have a long cord hanging down where little ones can pull it and all your stuff comes stumbling down.

The Kramer Family said...

I have two words for you sister.......


I don't know if you were considering this, but I know you detest water hoses immensely. And I'm not too great about remembering to water.

We have a sprinkler system now, and its the only reason about a month ago when we were in a drought, that we still had grass and flowers.

This is our first experience having one, and it rocks!

You two are creative folks and like to think outside the box, so I know your home will reflect that. I know that you will be a bit limited in some of these recommendations since its a builder's floorplan verses custom.

But, I let stress get the best of me when we were remodeling. I've heard many times that by the time you are done building a home, most people DETEST the home builder and vice versa. It is that stressful if you let it be. So, have fun with it and know that in the end, you will have a home built that you didn't have to paint.

Can't wait to see it all take shape!

Love you bunches.

Brandi said...

good one on the lights, anonymous. you can also put a plug outside, up by the roofline, for the outside christmas lights. put it on a switch, so you can flip your christmas lights on easily.

Garratts said...

I would say build an open floor plan. No matter how small the house they seem so much biger when kitchen opens up to living, living opens up to dining.

Our last house was like that and it just felt so big.

BIG PORCHES. Big living and kitchen, smaller bedrooms.

And Mike would say DO NOT DO BERMUDA grass. Sorry Melodi.

Anonymous said...

I never comment, where you can HEAR me anyways! I am a super silent blog stalker. I cant beleive I am typing in this little box...will I really send this?
---get a washed gravel driveway. I think that is what it is called. The kids can still chalk it up but it does not show all the oil stains and other stuff that drips on it.
---expand the laundry room and be sure there is a long rod to hang clothes on when you get them out of the dryer. That way you can just transfer them to the closet on the hanger, or not. As I take a look in there now mine look nice hanging in the laundry room. Always my 2nd place to look for what I want to wear but at least they are clean and not wrinkled.
IF you are seeing this that means I sent it...oh my!
Melissa "Claire's mom"

Hi. My name is Alanna. said...


BrunerAbroad said...

I would say, think about your windows carefully. How big they are, where they're oriented, shutters or not, etc. I love big windows but if they face the neighbors it can be a bit unnerving, or if bedroom windows face the East but don't have shutters (or at least dark curtains), the sun coming up at 6am can drive you crazy (or at least it drives me crazy!) And with all those boys, you'll want to have windows to the backyard so you can see them easily while you're cooking supper.

All Things Morris said...

Well, I don't know you Heather or Hendricks...and really I can't even trace back to where I found your blog, but I really enjoy reading all of your stories and the ministry you have in your home. What an amazing model and I pray I can be that one day when I have children!

My husband and I just finished a total home remodel and really had a blast doing it! We had more problems picking out couches for our house than we did remodeling. If I could tell you anything, I would say to get a gas tankless water heater installed on the outside of your house. We have one and it's smaller than a carry-on suitcase attached to the back of our house. We have saved so much money, it was basically the same price as installing a new water heater in our home and it is so much safer to not have standing hot water anywhere in your home.. Plus, everyone will always have hot water for a shower, and the hot water NEVER runs out in the middle of a shower! Also, I don't know if you are using a custom builder or what, but we found a local fire fighter who builds cabinets as a side job and we got all new custom, solid wood cabinets put in for about a fourth of the cost of using one of the major home retailers.

Hope this helps! Thanks for keeping your blog open so the ministry of your home and your church can be shared and hopefully contagious to others who so desperately need a Godly example in their lives!

Brandi said...

think about how your house will sit on the lot. don't put a window right next to a neighbors window if your houses are close. that can be creepy. i love having eastern light in my bedroom b/c it helps me wake up. you'll get lots of light on the south, but southern light can be warm, so those rooms can tend to get hot. it's more energy efficient to have fewer, smaller windows on the south. (in texas, that is. in the north it would be the opposite, where heating bills are the big expense.) some people don't like a lot of windows on the side facing the street.

another thought on my earlier suggestion about cabinet height: if you do stock cabinets you won't have as many options, but there are still things you can do. you can choose to do all 36" height and no 42". bathroom cabinets are 30", so you might consider putting in one of them with butcher block on top as a work area. you can probably find a bathroom cabinet that looks identical to your kitchen ones. or use 2 or 4 bath cabinets back to back to make an island.

pbmciver said...

Cable outlet in the bathroom. I have one and I love it. I will turn on the news in the morning while brushing my teeth, etc. and I will pop in my bare minerals dvd because I can never remember what make-up goes on next (lol). And, on a really stressful day, I will put on a good lifetime movie, shut the door and take me a jacuzzi bath. So relaxing!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're thinking of building a 2-story house, but if so, I think I would really, really, really love a laundry room upstairs! I hear these are being done in newer homes now. It would be so much easier in so many ways. The next best thing would be a laundry chute, of course, but still, it would save many steps if it were upstairs.

A friend of ours came and installed those spinning air vent things on the roof, that vent the hot air out of the attic, and it dropped our utility bill considerably. He installed the electric ones. He owns On Top Roofing, by the way.....and I highly recommend him. :)

You'll need a large dining area with a really large dining table - come see the one we built! - because you KNOW you will always have a lot of people at your house for meals. We love having our big family, plus guests, all sitting at the same table every night. It's so amazing.

I'll second that sprinkler system idea. We had one in our rent house and it was awesome. I miss that.

You'll need a second refrigerator some day with all those boys. We were just given one and it is going to save our lives. We go through 3 gallons of milk every 2 days, people. Now I will have room to put all that extra milk, eggs, butter, etc., that go so quickly around this house. That will eliminate those quick runs to more expensive grocery stores. Next up, an extra clothes dryer!

Certainly consider Hope group in your floor plan.


Carrie said...

We changed a fifth bedroom by the garage into one huge laundry room. With a big family - you probably spend a lot of time in there. I would build built - ins for crafts, extras (paper towels, toilet paper etc)

Picking your lot is sooo important. When you drive up to your lot make sure you drive up and see the front of your house. If you have a corner lot, you don't want to reach your garage first. Because you will never see the front of your house, just your garage. Make sense? Next, make sure that you don't get a lot where car head lights will always be shining into your windows.

Kimberly said...

We built this year in the country, and the main thing I considered being that we have 6 children and baby 7 on the way, is lots of OPEN space. We have a totally open floor plan. We did not build hallways because they are wasted space. Our school room is off of our living room and it has french doors with glass so that if we need to close the doors we can. But being that we live a lot of life in our kitchen and living area, it is good to have the school room in a central open location.

Anonymous said...

I got the square dance comment.

A square - like the tool used in carpentry.



Hendrick Family said... people are AMAZING! What a wealth of information.

Brandi...I might just have to borrow your notebook!

I'm starting one ASAP.

And Melodi...

You crack me up. I'm going to start putting random things in my posts just to keep you up at night.

Really, the only reason the square dancing was in there was because in my mind, when I talk about building, I do this little square dance move. The one where you lift your arms up and down and bend your legs.



Thank you all for these great ideas. When people mention the things they would do differently if they built again, I noticed they were small things...not even things that cost a lot of money. This is such great information!

And welcome Claire's Mom!! I'm so proud of you!