Our Home Build Progress

January 6, 2021

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Iā€™m a wedding & senior portrait photographer from WI who loves big laughs, sunshine and puppy snuggles. I'm armed with coffee on the daily and a heart for capturing joyful moments.


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Whew! We’re down to just 8 WEEKS until we move into our new home! Yes, time has been flying by since we started this process in September. And yes, it also feels like it’s taking forever.

I knew what I was signing up for when we decided to build our first home. This extremely impatient girl said, “Oh yeah, it’ll be fine! I can totally wait 6 months for our home to be built!”


I’m struggling because I’m incredibly excited. And impatient. Can’t forget that part.

I’ve had a lot of people express interest in the home building process on Instagram. I’ve loved sharing progress, what stage we’re at and what’s coming next, etc. And it seems like you’re loving it, too!

I wanted to take it a step further here and go into detail about our experience with building a home. This is for anyone who has ever considered it, are maybe still considering it, or maybe you’re just curious about it.

Disclaimer: I am one person, with circumstances that are unique to me. So, my experience could be DRASTICALLY different from someone else’s. And that’s fine! I just want to give a real-life viewpoint of how it’s going for us!

First thing’s first: our builder is Veridian Homes.

And they have been FANTASTIC. We actually found them because we were shooting a wedding at a past couple’s new home, and she told us they built with Veridian. Who knew that our future home would literally be built because of our friendship and connections with our couples!

We reached out and scheduled a walk through of a few models. We immediately fell in love with the second home we saw. We also toured a few neighborhoods, and signed off on the VERY LAST lot available in the neighborhood that we wanted. It was fate!

We were also blessed with the gift of an incredible New Home Specialist, Ashley Carmichael. Not only is she really, really good at what she does, we just have a lot in common. I love her style, her opinions are spot on, and she’s incredibly sweet! We LOVE HER! And that, my friends, is a big deal because she has been the one to guide us through this process.

To clarify, we are building a home that is semi-custom. This means that we found an existing floor plan for a home that Veridian offers. We did NOT have an architect draw up plans, which is what a custom build would be. We found a plan we loved, and had the ability to make pretty much any change we want, and of course customize finishes, colors, etc.

The only big change we made is that we added a screened-in porch to the back. Again, shoutout to our past couple! They did this too, and it inspired us.

We met with our designer where we then chose EVERYTHING we wanted for the house… floors, paint colors, cabinet colors, siding… EVERYTHING! This was my favorite part of the process!

We chose appliances, lighting fixtures, and had meetings with our personal builder. He is basically a general contractor that oversees the construction process. We’ll have a total of five (I think?) “official” walk throughs of our home where they guide us through progress, and we confirm that everything is going according to plan. Since we live 90 minutes away, we’re not the people who are stopping by their new home every other day to monitor. We really only see it every 3-4 weeks or so, and by that time, there is a TON of progress made. It makes it even more fun!

Currently, we’re at the stage where drywall is just beginning. That means that all mechanicals (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) is done and walls will actually start to look like real walls. In about 4 weeks, we have another walk through where a lot of the design work will be complete, and I am SO EXCITED for that one!

Okay, now I want to answer some FAQs about the process, because they’ve probably already crossed your mind…


Q: Have you dealt with things getting delayed/behind schedule?

A: No. This is unique to Veridian. They GUARANTEE our close date. And I don’t just mean, “yeah they told us the house would be done by March 1st… but it could be a little later…” No. I mean they GUARANTEE it, like we WILL be in our house that date, per our contract. Everything has been on schedule for this reason.

Q: Are you way over budget? I heard that can happen when building and is a big part of the stress.

A: It totally can, but no we aren’t. Our girl Ashley has been awesome with keeping us in the loop from the very beginning. Could we have gone crazy and way over our budget with design requests? Yep. But we just didn’t. We’re budget people. We set one, and we stick to it.

Q: Wasn’t it hard to make all the decisions?

A: That depends, how good are you with decision making?! šŸ™‚ One good thing about a semi-custom build is that they sent us a catalog of options to choose from. It’s all very organized. This also limited us, in a way. Not in a negative way, but in a “let’s not have 493 options for every single thing” kind of way. What made it easier for me was that I know my style (hello, lots of white with light natural woods!) If you don’t really know what you like and you’re starting completely from scratch with everything, it might be a little harder!

Q: Why did you choose to build over buying something existing?

A: Building has always been my dream. I wanted a blank canvas. Also, neither Adam or I wanted to constantly FIX our house or wait forever to make it what we want. Love you, Joanna Gaines, but that’s just not us! We loved the customization opportunity that building gave us, and the ability to choose the location.

We cannot wait to move in! March 1st can’t come soon enough!

Hey! I'm Katie!

This is where I share not only my work and show off my sweet couples, but also (many) pieces of my life. I'm an open book when it comes to talking about things I love, current obsessions, my cute pup, and my amazing hubby, so I hope you love reading about it! Also, you'll find quite a few resources for planning the wedding you've always dreamed of, so grab yourself a latte and start exploring!

-cheers, Katie

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