Building Our Own Home Part One: Choosing the Land and Floor Plan

I come from a family of construction workers. My dad, his brothers, and my grandpa have all built their own homes. Additionally, my father-in-law has built a home and my husband helped build two houses while in Building Trades in high school. Because of this, we were fairly certain we would have the resources we needed to build our own house one day.

The opportunity to build came sooner than expected, right after we got the itch to move. We loved our little starter home but it was right on a busy highway and didn’t give us much room to breathe. I grew up on 20 acres that was passed down from my grandpa to my dad. It has a large hill for sledding in the winter, a pasture for the 4H dairy feeder calves we had when we were kids, and a beautiful woods. My dad started talking to us about buying 3 acres of the woods from him and suddenly the wheels were spinning.

We picked a lot of land in the back corner of my parent’s property that would be surrounded by trees, giving us the privacy we longed for. Our driveway would be around the corner from my parent’s on a quiet dirt road which was a dream come true. We could imagine setting up our greenhouse, a playground, and a chicken coop and we were sold.

Building our own home part one: choosing the land and the floor plan
Standing in my parent’s backyard, you can see the house through the trees. When summer comes and leaves are on the trees, we won’t be able to see it anymore.

It took several (almost 8) months for us to meet with enough professionals to decide for sure that we could build in the low, wet land we had wanted. My husband spent that time clearing land for us and I was focused on creating the perfect floor plan.

I started by browsing Pinterest for hours and hours to get ideas. We were planning for a house around 1800 square feet and we went back and forth between building a ranch with a basement or a two story home without a basement. After morphing and editing several plans we came up with this one.

Building our own home part one: choosing the land and the floor plan

It’s a 1915 square foot ranch with a full walk out basement. Here’s a break down of why we love it.

Bedrooms Close Together

One thing that was really important to me was that the master bedroom was near the other bedrooms because I wanted to be close to my little ones at night. So many floor plans are split, meaning the master bedroom and the other bedrooms are on opposite sides of the house. This automatically eliminated most of the options out there and helped me to focus in on a couple. This floor plan has three bedrooms on one side of the house which I love.

Three Bedrooms, Two Baths

At the very minimum we needed a three bedroom, two bathroom home with one of those bathrooms being in the master. Ideally, I wanted room to build more bedrooms as our family grows and with a big unfinished basement, we have that in this plan.

Building our own home part one: choosing the land and the floor plan
A sneak peek of our master bathroom almost complete!

Main Floor Laundry

I feel so spoiled with main floor laundry but as a cloth diapering mom who sucks at keeping up with laundry, I think this will make life a little easier. I’m so excited!

Mud Nook and Entry Nook

In our old home, we didn’t even have a coat closet where we or our guests could hang their coats and put their shoes. So having designated spaces for that was a huge priority for me. We are using the closet space by the garage as a “mud nook” for us and the space beside the front door as an “entry nook” for guests. I can’t wait to put those cozy corners together.

Play Room

I really wanted a space that was separate from the living room but still close by that was designated for the kids to play and hang out. I’m so excited to not have a living room taken over by toys. Eventually this room could become an office or we may close up the wall and make another bedroom. We will see!

Building our own home part one: choosing the land and the floor plan

Open Concept

Our living room, kitchen, dining and playroom are all open to each other. I love that I can stand at my kitchen island and see what my kids are doing in their playroom. It feels so cozy, connected and most of all, convenient.

Three Car Garage

My husband has lots of tools and he wants to buy even more. We need a place for him to store them as well as do the beautiful work that he’s always doing for us. In my mind, he can build anything we need and I’m thankful we have a place for him to stretch out and be creative.

An Unfinished Basement

We have a full, unfinished basement which gives us plenty of room to grow. At this point we will have one room used for workout equipment and one room used for storage. These both have the potential to be bedrooms one day if needed. Our ping pong table will be down there and we will also eventually have a bathroom, a small kitchen for canning, and another living space. I’m looking forward to that project but I am just fine taking a break from construction for right now.

Building our own home part one: choosing the land and the floor plan

Our floor plan was constantly being tweaked until the day we put in permanent walls. Even though it was somewhat stressful to keep thinking up changes, each suggestion made the home a tiny bit more functional. I can’t wait to get all settled in and really live out the benefits we built into this plan.

Building your own home is a ton of work and the mountain load of decisions you must make is truly overwhelming. However, the satisfaction of knowing you chose every little detail of your home is so worth it and every day I’m so thankful we have this opportunity.