Thursday, October 4, 2012

Building a Home

When Big A and I decided to move, because we just needed more room for the kids, we had to decide whether to look for a larger older home, or take the plunge and build.  We, obviously, chose to build, because of the following reasons:

1. Everything is new. I know, duh!  But at risk of sounding obvious:  We lived in an old home, which was built around 1850.  It was beautiful, had original wood floors, high ceilings, secret passageways and storage areas.  There’s no denying it had charm.  It also had uneven floors, antiquated plumbing, dangerous electrical, leaky windows and doors, lead paint, steep stairs, and a long, long list of other problems. The home we built is brand new.  The walls are straight, the floors are even, and the plumbing and electrical are new, and up to code.

AND, with a modular home, our builder took care of all the details, right down to installing the new carpet, the cabinets, and the lighting.

2. New Windows and Doors. This deserves a mention, because, rather than a steady fresh breeze (that’s a nice way of saying a “constant damp draft”), our new house is air tight.  If I want a breeze, I’ll open the window.

With a modular home, the modular home builder walks you through all of the options they have available and recommends based on your needs.

3. Better energy efficiency. The furnace is new, the appliances are new, and the windows and doors are new (and don’t leak).  I’m not paying to heat or air-condition the yard.  Just my house.

4. I did it my way. Yup, now the song is stuck in my head.  But we did it our way.  Every time I walk in the house I think “we chose that counter top”, or “we thought of making that room bigger”.

We had help, because our modular home dealer had suggestions.  But essentially it was Big A and I who brainstormed and made all of the decisions. Nothing feels better than knowing you built your home the way you wanted to.

5. No wondering where things are. You know when your Mom (very generously) puts your dishes away for you, and you’re very grateful, but the next day you can’t find your cheese grater ANYWHERE?  In an old home, if you want to do any work on a room, you wonder “where is the wiring?”.  You don’t get that with your new home.  You chose where to put your cable wires, your phone jacks, wiring and outlets.

We even put some outlets in our kitchen cabinets so that we could use them to hide the wires for Christmas lights. Our modular home builder let us sit down and outline exactly where we wanted everything to go.

6. It (may be) a once in a lifetime opportunity. I know we will never have this opportunity again, and building is certainly going to be a happy memory every time I walk in the front door. As I mentioned, there’s an undeniable charm to older homes, and I’ve loved and appreciated their value.  However, there are some big advantages to building, and especially in building a modular home.

(And because we both like the feel of an older home, we didn't choose a modern look - we chose antiqued hardware and cabinets, and doors with a more classic look. It kind of feels like we got the best of both worlds.)

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