Updated: October 31, 2022
We began looking for our new house in Idaho back in March with some specific ideas in mind of what we were looking for (with the caveat that the house had to be near our daughter) and shoulder either be super funky with character or super perfect.
Pro Tip: Perfect doesn’t exist.
We couldn’t find anything. Either the prices were out of our budget or it didn’t hit all the boxes for us.
Enter the idea of having our home built. It hadn’t occurred to us, but suddenly it was a logical move. So we talked to our realtor, Dan Cantrell, and the next thing we knew, we were touring a few Hubble model homes in some Hubble HOA communities nearby.
Then we found it: the Opal with Bonus. (A half room up top for just a bit of extra space.)
We found a lot right away, but it was pretty unique in that it was weirdly pie-shaped. We could make it work. Narrow in the front, party in the back.
A few weeks later, we had an appointment at the Showroom. In the 3-hour appointment (yes, three!) we walked around the showroom to decide on carpet, cabinets, paint colors, doors, fixtures, counter surfaces, tile, floors, etc. We had a budget, but we also wanted to make some smart choices on upgrades without breaking the bank. In the end, we stayed under budget by a mere $5,000.
I think we chose well. A few compromises, last-minute changes, last-last minute changes, sad realizations (no, a 3-car garage would not fit, no it didn’t make sense to look for another lot elsewhere, no we couldn’t get the wider door frames in any rooms but the master). And then in June right around my birthday, we finalized the plans and they were submitted for permit approval. Permit approval typically takes 30 – 45 days.
We met with our builder’s Project Manager, Dylan, last week for a pre-construction meeting so he could review the blueprints (yes we did, in fact, have a few changes, but they were minor placement issues).
We were next on the list. Woo! Waiting, let me tell you, is hard, especially for someone like me. I feel like a gypsy living out of boxes with an entire garage of our stuff in it just waiting to be moved to our final abode.
And this is where we start:
September 1, 2021
Imagine my surprise, when I pop by mid-week and see some actual digging! It has begun! How exciting! Looks like they’re putting in forms to pour the foundation concrete.
September 4, 2021
They’ve poured some concrete! They haven’t poured the foundations yet, but I guess that’s coming soon. I don’t know anything about construction terms, but it’s nice to see concrete around the sides. Dare I say, “foundation”?
The front door must face east since I was pretty much taking pictures right into the sun from the back of the lot onto the street. I’m thinking that will make a nice end of day sunset in the kitchen one day.
Fun Fact: There are 28 steps from the back foundation to the fence.
September 11, 2021
No major changes this week.
My guess is that the concrete still needs about 10 – 14 days to “cure”. I did notice that they’ve started digging on the house beside ours so it gives a better perspective on how close we’ll all be together. (I will say, living on Danielle and Jared’s lot has been a bit cushy since they’re on a half acre lot and we’ll be niiiiice and tight with our neighbors. So that will be an adjustment.
September 18, 2021
Well we are still in full swing Foundation this week. But it looks like we now have a driveway! They’ve apparently leveled all the landscaping, poured said driveway, laid the back deck, and we have the makings of a garage foundation, and sidewalk. Not sure when they lay the rest of the foundation for the floors in the house.
Soon, I hope!
September 25, 2021
Well, kind of a bummer, but no changes this week. Stay tuned for next week, maybe there will be a piece of lumber on the horizon. I don’t know how long these things take. 😛
October 2, 2021
Um….where is my house? There’s all this wood in the way. You know what that means! Framing is starting soon! I got a closer look and I think those are the trusses. And then all the wood for the walls and such. I’m not a contractor so I’m not entirely sure, but it makes sense. Progress! Nice to see after last week’s non-starter of no progress.
October 9, 2021
I was cautiously hopeful for this week’s visit to the ol’ Idahomestead and I WAS NOT disappointed! We have framing walls! It feels like a real home!
October 16, 2021
Gang, it looks like we have a home! I was kind of hopeful that maybe they’d have more wood in place. Trusses up. I think that’s elevation. And so I was VERY excited to see that, yes, those were up and we have a version of a second floor, too! The workers were in there (on a Saturday?) so I didn’t get a chance to poke around at my leisure inside, but if they’re not there next week, you can bet I will. (Or start coming on Sundays.)
How exciting!!! Luckily, there hasn’t been much in the way of rain so having a roof is a great thing. Very excited about that. And now I’m getting a better sense of how big the house is, at least from the outside. Whee! This is feeling really real now!
October 17, 2021
Okay, I went back today (Sunday) when no one was there and I got inside to do a walkthrough! Sorry for the wind, the mic picks that up whether I like it or not. But now you can see inside!
I tried to upload the video directly to this blog, but it kept failing. It’s 12 minutes long so maybe there’s a file size limit. Anyway, I had to upload to YouTube instead. It’s unlisted, but as long as you have the link, you can watch it.
Idahome Walkthrough 10.17.21 (YouTube)
October 22, 2021
We have windows and ceiling paper and siding paper! I don’t know what the term is, but I’m glad it’s done because we had a rainstorm this week. Phewww!
We wandered in today to see how badly the rain affected the interior. The paper held up really well and there was only a small spot on the floor in the entire house. No doors have been installed yet so it was also lucky the rain wasn’t pushing too hard into the house through the garage or front / rear doors. (We’re really thankful that they got all of the papering done in time! I’m guessing they ramped up progress because they knew the rain was coming.)
The house next to ours has started to lay down foundation, so now we’re starting to get a sense how big the lot will be. Pretty exciting!
Oh, and they installed some insulation at the fireplace and where the tubs and showers will have the inserts placed.
October 30, 2021
We have… HVAC and plumbing and electrical! And apparently the house next to ours has their foundation poured so we have a better sense of how big the space will be between us. Not sure yet the dividing line between the houses, but hoping it’s in our favor obviously. So we even have some bath tubs and showers installed since last week.
We have a meeting with the builder on the 8th for a Pre-Drywall walkthrough. (Little do they know I’ve been there every week since they started digging, but that’s cool.). And then I guess we start putting up insulation and sheet rock. Kind of neat! Definitely coming along!
November 6, 2021
Starting to see it all come together! We have siding (unpainted — kind of interested to see what colors we picked because neither of us can remember)! And we have electrical! Woo!
We have our Pre-Drywall meeting tomorrow with the builder and that’ll be super exciting. And then I guess we move on to – er – drywall. Wheeee! (Why am I so excited about plaster and wall-type-stuff?)
It was a little weird walking on in, easy-as-you-please, with the guys working on the siding, but they didn’t mind.
November 13, 2021
Insulationpalooza! They’ve done a great amount of work on getting all the insulation in and beginning on putting up drywall. So far, the bonus room and parts of the hall stairs and some of our bedroom has drywall. You’ll see the pictures, but it’s coming along! AND they got the tiles on the roof done, too. So it’s very exciting to see.
Our expected completion date is now end of January, so we are very excited about that. Lots of changes in just a month. Amazing.
November 20, 2021
Some great progress this week! (Every week is like Christmas!)
Hubble has been kicking butt and taking names! They finished up the Sheetrock and it looks like they’ve already done the taping and spackling. So I guess we wait while all of this dries. And then I think they do the texturing and painting! We didn’t pick any crazy colors for the interior, just plain white. It’s a good “blank” canvas. I’m going to probably pick some fun colors for my den, office, and the bonus room upstairs. Light subtle colors, I promise. Nothing too bold! I’ve never picked a paint color before!
This time around, I did another video. We still have some pictures, but the video gets through most of the house interior to show progress before I somehow stopped recording. That’s fine, it stopped in the bonus room, which was my last stop anyway.
I thought, for sure, they wouldn’t get to painting the exterior because I heard that if it’s too cold, they have to wait until it warms up to paint, so imagine my surprise when they had done a mad dash of painting and we finally got to see the colors we’d picked!
Idahome: Interior Walkthrough 11.22.21 (YouTube)
Idahome: How Big is the Side Yard? (YouTube)
November 27, 2021
No major changes this week as it’s Thanksgiving and looks like they are still waiting for the sheet rock tape and spackle stuff to dry. The only big change I noticed was the “rounded corners” they have put in on any wall that does not have a door.
Most of today’s visit was taking measurements of our rooms for things like, oh, furniture. It’ll be real helpful for when we buy the wall-bed for the bonus room and I finally buy a “real” desk for my office.
December 4, 2021
This’ll be a quick update. We’ve got progress, but it’s not super exciting. Looks like they did the wall texturing this week! And we have some doors and trim sitting in the garage waiting once the painting is done to put up. So definite progress, just not the sexy kind. More “wait to dry” patience exercises.
December 11, 2021
So the big word for this week is: TRIM. They haven’t painted yet, but they have been doing a lot of trim around the house. And closet organizers so that is fun, too. And we have a door from the garage to the house installed now. Also fun. And much warmer, which was nice because it’s getting pretty chilly in Idaho right now. (Oh, and a fence. Fun-ish.)
December 18, 2021
Some nice additions since the last time we were at the ol’ homestead! I had hoped they would get the painting done and I was not disappointed! But in addition to that, they also got most of the electrical plates in on all the plugs and such, as well as not only the lights, but also a ceiling fan in the living room. This is very much starting to feel like our house is nearing the finish line!
Also, they added the lights outside and got the stonework done on the front of the house. Very exciting!
December 31, 2021
Nearly two weeks since we visited last and lots of progress. Unfortunately, the place was locked up tight, so we couldn’t get inside this week. But we got a few from the outside. Third party inspection coming up on the 21st and then New Home Orientation on the 31st. Keys probably around first week of February. So we now have floors, cabinets and some stone work on the fireplace, but you can’t see it.
January 9, 2022
Alas, locked out again so we had to get pics from outside. BUT…some new gutters (not sexy, but kind of important) – I also like the chain that the rain will drip down, that is pretty cool. And we now have our kitchen counters in and the backsplash. I also noticed, but it’s hard to see, there is tile in the bathroom if you look real hard at last week’s update. I didn’t notice it until after-the-fact. Ron and I even went to Lowe’s to pick up a ceiling fan and a washer and dryer. (More unsexy house stuff.). So this is really happening, people!
January 15, 2022
It’s a good thing we’re nearing the end of this adventure. This poor blog page is struggling with the file size like you wouldn’t believe. Chug. Chug. Chug. BUT ANYWAY. We have some interiors, courtesy of my husband who was at the house the other day. Finally some kitchen closeups. We now have a front door and a man door. So yay! The house is secure! Next week is 3rd party inspection!!
January 22, 2022
Home stretch, people! I attended the 3rd Party Inspection yesterday and while I was there, took a few pictures because both Ron and I forgot what kind of tile and counters we picked in the bathroom. A little busy, but not bad. Ron has more experience in this area and would have probably said busy counter, keep the tile simple. It’s hard to tell when you can’t see it “in action”. But I’m happy with our choices. I may have gotten a little verklempt walking into the great room for the first time and seeing it all finished. Honestly, except for a few minor things, the house is DONE. It kind of blows my mind a little after so many months.
No point in taking pictures until we have the landscaping complete and the backyard complete so stay tuned for that. 🙂 We’ll need to wait until it’s warmer.
October 31, 2022
Wow, talk about not ending the chapter! Well, house is finished. Even the backyard is finished. We moved in in February and, let’s face it, still have unpacking to do and stuff. Baby steps, amirite? We decided we didn’t need a formal Dining Room so we converted it into a library. Pretty much my favorite room of the house. You can’t see to the left of the backyard picture, but there’s a hot tube. And around the right-hand side of the house is a small orchard. Hey, technically, if you have five trees, you have an orchard. We picked two apple trees (so they’d polinate each other – Granny Smith and Honeycrisp), apricot tree, peach tree, and nectarine tree. I have two planters I need to figure out what I’ll do with in sprint (berries, likely, huckleberry and maybe raspberry). And an entire greenhouse I have no idea how to fill or use. What could possibly go wrong?
This post is getting woefully hard to upload photographs on (huge!) but I’ll pick a few: