Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Bob the Builder

Continuing with the April A-Z Challenge on the blog today...
go here to catch up with Day 1-Letter A

 Day 2- B is for Bob the Builder

Technically our builder's name isn't Bob, but let's call him Bob anyway.  So you've got your land and your plan and now you need someone to build your house. We actually hired our builder and agreed on a plan all at the same time.  Here's how it went down...

Friends from hubs previous place of employment retired to our lake. They built a home from the ground up in a nearby neighborhood and it's stunning. They very kindly introduced us to a couple in their neighborhood who are realtors and we asked them to help us find a house. Initially we thought we'd buy an existing home, but everything we saw was either perfect waterfront, imperfect living space or imperfect waterfront, perfect living space. 

Truth be told hubs had his heart set on building, but I needed a bit of convincing. He thought it would be a grand adventure and I thought it would be a true test of everything under the sun. Reality is a little bit of both. 

The realtor showed us the lot we ended up purchasing and we fell in love with the view. We knew we wanted land that had a gradual slope as opposed to a steep drop off, and we wanted to be near the wide water end of a cove, and we wanted to be in an established neighborhood. This lot ticked every box. 

We'd done some research online (you can find anything on the Internet people) and there were a couple of builders we knew we wanted to interview as a result. Our very helpful realtor suggested we also get in touch with Bob the Builder because he thought the quality of his work was stellar. All three contenders came out to the lot (not at the same time!) and told us what they could do, and for how much they could do it, and in what sort of time frame it could be done.  

Bob was our last interview and honestly we just clicked with him right off the bat. He's relaxed and easy going and we liked him. His office is in his home so he invited us to come out and view his work and the finishes he uses, and to see if he had a house plan that might work for us. By this time hubs and I had been in umpteen houses around the lake and we'd looked at dozens of plans online, but hadn't found one that was just right.  

Until we went to Bob's house. He showed us around and as he was gathering paperwork hubs and I looked at each other and said, 'We want this house.' It's a custom home, built once (he lives in it) and we consider that a big bonus. He knows where potential trouble spots lie, and if any changes need to be made in terms of living space. 

Because of the way our lot slopes our house will be the opposite of Bob the Builder's. His garage is left and ours is right and everything interior is flipped too, but still we know how the house feels and we love it. We added a screened-in porch which meant adding stairs outside (one thing always leads to another when you're building a house), and we wanted four bedrooms as opposed to three, so we've put our stamp on it too. 

Bob the Builder's wife is an interior designer and they're a package deal. We liked her immediately too, and it didn't hurt that their real first names are the very same as hubs mom and dad. I'm not saying that's why we hired them, but it might have swayed things in their favor.  We still checked references which I think you need to do.  

I will probably talk more about Mrs. Bob the Builder in another post because she is the one who steers us in the right direction and keeps us from blowing our budget and talks us down from time to time. Home building is stressful y'all and it's good to have someone warm and reassuring walking beside you throughout the process.  

I think the builder is probably the most important piece of the home build puzzle. We've all heard horror stories of people who've had to fire and/or sue their builder, so before signing a contract with someone do your homework, check references, and understand that you're not only building a home you're building a relationship with someone. You'll be working with the builder every day for nearly a year (perhaps longer, but let's hope we're in by the one year mark) so you definitely want to feel comfortable with their work style and communication.

We're about halfway through the build now, and we see Bob the Builder and his Mrs. not just as our builders, but also as our friends. They even have two daughters the same ages as our own, and we like to think we'll remain friends long after the house is complete. They'll come to the lake and have supper on the deck he built with food prepared in the kitchen she helped design.

It will be more than a house then.

It will be home. 


  1. It sounds like you found a gem in Bob! It would be such wonderful fun to build a house! But I am glad to live it through your blog!!

  2. Aah, sounds like Mr and Mrs Bob will indeed be friends long after the builder has built. So happy you've got a good relationship.

  3. I think any builder named Bob could be forgiven for changing their name lol. Glad you found a good one.

  4. Ha, ha, in the UK we have a cartoon called 'Bob the Builder.' By the way, I'm not the visitor on your Live Traffic from Birmingham - I'm from Kent about 200 miles from Birmingham,I don't know why it tells you up from 'up north.'

    1. The show popped into my head as soon as I thought about my theme : )

  5. Enjoying walking through this process with you, it's a LOT LESS stressful than when we actually built about 18 years ago!!!!!We really did have Bob the Builder, but Honey had another name for him :/

  6. Oh, I so agree with every word. The builder and designer are "key" to a success build. We have known our builder for 30 years and he was wonderful to work with. My designer kept me "between the ditches" for sure. So enjoying these posts!

  7. Sounds like it was all meant to be! One really does feel it when things are just right and falling into place!

  8. How very exciting building your own house but also very frightening and nerve-wracking for most of us too. A great theme for your posts and look forward to reading many more :)
    A Stormy’s Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  9. I've never built but once had a perfect house on a perfect lake. It sounds like quite an adventure to do it yourself, with the help of Bob the builder.
    Finding Eliza

  10. Finding the right contractor is key.

  11. Good evening, Joyce,
    We look forward to seeing more progress!

    Take care, ~Natalie