It has always been a dream of ours to build our own house in the country on a large plot of land. We wanted to be owner builders and act as our own general contractors in order to save some money and to challenge ourselves.
So in the spring of 2014 we bought 30 acres of land near Lunenburg, ON. This was shortly after we moved into our third house, and around the same time that we finished the flip house. Most of the 30 acres is treed, except for about two acres in the front corner. This cleared area is a little bit higher and provides some natural drainage, so that is where we decided to build.
This is the view of our land from the road before starting to build. We built the house about 200 feet off the road in this cleared area.
Our dream house was a 1650 square foot raised bungalow with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open concept living area. Tony and I were our own general contractors and hired sub-contractors for some of the work. We (and by we I mean mostly Tony) wanted to do as much of the work ourselves as possible, depending on time. When you are an owner builder, there is a lot of potential to save money instead of hiring someone else to do it. It’s a lot of work to organize, plan, and buy supplies, but for us it was worth it to save some money.
This is the front view of our house plans. We wanted a raised bungalow because of the bigger windows in the basement. We will eventually put bedrooms in the basement and want it to be bright living space.
This is the left and right sides of the house. We will do stone on the bottom 4 feet of the front and sides of the house, and siding for the rest of it.
And the back of the house. There will be nice big windows from the living room and dining room, and a covered deck.
And this is the floor plan. We wanted a big mudroom/laundry room off the garage before entering the house. Another must-have was an open concept living area. We tried to keep it simple with three bedrooms, even though we have four children. One thing that we definitely wanted for this house was an ensuite and a walk in closet. Tony and I thought about our house plan layout for probably a year, and came up with this design ourselves. We found someone local to draw them up for us, then got the plans stamped by an engineer.
We started building in April 2016, and the goal was to get our occupancy permit from the township after about 6 months (we didn’t quite make that goal!) I kept track of our weekly progress and the accomplishments and mistakes we made. If you are considering builder your own house, I’m sure you can learn a lot from our experiences. To see all the posts about our owner built house, click on “The Build” category in the sidebar.
*Update: You can see the full house tour where the house is about 95% finished*