The Decision to Build
Tyler and I went back and forth between the decision to build versus renovate for months. Even the day we officially bought our land, I wondered if we were making the right decision. I never had dreams of building a home or living in something brand new, so it took me quite a while to wrap my head around the idea of starting from scratch. While renovations, DIY, and working within the confines of existing structures is second nature to me, starting with a blank slate is completely new and uncharted territory.
We actually searched high and low for an old home to make our own, but it was nearly impossible to find the right mix of location, land, and size. We were in search of a home, not just a place to settle for another five years and then move on. I knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, and at the end of the day, it was quite possible we would spend just as much money renovating as we would putting exactly what we wanted exactly where we wanted. The decision to build was going to be the smartest longterm plan for our family.
With the decision to build a new home made, we knew our number one priority was energy efficiency. We saw "new" as an opportunity to make smart decisions from day one that would pay dividends in the years to come. We would be able to determine the optimal orientation of the home to maximize solar gain, perform energy modeling to calculate ideal insulation levels given our geographic location, and strategically select appliances and systems that could be supplemented with renewable energy sources, just to name a few. Hardly any of these long-term solutions could have been easily implemented within an existing structure.
Nearly five months in to the planning process, I feel like we have done our research (A LOT of research!) and are well equipped to build a home that is going to meet all of our needs. While I know we could have made just about anything work, the decision to build has given us the opportunity to take advantage of the technology advancements of today while strategically reusing and repurposing old.
Houses come in all shapes and sizes. The key is to figure out what it takes to make it feel like a home - your home.