Guest Post: How to Build a Home and Stay Married

Guest Post: How to Build a Home and Stay Married

Even the best relationships can be tested during the custom home building process.  It’s an emotional and sometimes stressful venture.  Not only are you making one of the biggest investments of your life, but there are decisions to be made at every turn.  

I’ve asked one of our current clients to share her thoughts on getting through the build while maintaining marital bliss!  I’m hoping this will be the first of several posts because she is knee deep in the process of building her own NDI home, and I think she has a lot to say. 

Friends, meet Sarah.  I think you’re going to love her.  We sure do!

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When I tell people Dan and I are building a custom home, the first question they ask is: how much does that cost?!

You can read a handy post about that here.

The second question is: how do you build a home with your husband without killing each other?

When you’re building a home, the possibilities are ENDLESS. ENDLESS! Well, as endless as your loan allows. But, even checking out NDI’s standard cabinet and floor colors can leave a couple stymied.

So, how do you make all these selections and stay on the same page as your spouse? And stay married?

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Dan and I are almost done with our house, and we’ve finally made all our selections. And we’re still married! Here’s how we did it:

Go check out a lot of homes

We’ve been wanting to build for years and years, so we spent those years watching HGTV and going to every single open house we could find. Every single time NDI had an open house, we went. Sometimes twice in the same weekend, taking our parents back with us to hem and haw over features.

So before we signed the contract with NDI, Dan and I both agreed on the overall look of the home we wanted since we’d seen so many things.

Go look at open houses, go to as many as you can. And get on Pinterest and Houzz (And check out NDI on Pinterest and Houzz), and start pinning all the homes and features you like. Then have a little house talk time with your spouse, scrolling through, talking about what you like and what you don’t like. (Be sure to look through the extensive galleries on the NDI website for each of the models. Even if you’re going to build an Estate Series, still look at the Legacy Series homes because they will still give you ideas for your house.)

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Go check out a lot of materials

We drove around, looking at all the various Hardie Plank colors. We took trips to Home Depot to look at various fixtures and materials. Checking out these materials gave us an idea of colors and textures we loved. And what we hated.

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Ask!

Now, ultimately, this is YOUR house. So, do what you like. However, I always suggest polling people with more experience. Dan and I asked our parents, what do you think about X, Y, Z? When it was time to select our cabinet configuration, Dan and I called my parents and put them on speaker phone as we talked through the pros and cons of a trash caddy. (Spoiler alert: we did go with the caddy. Thanks, Mom and Dad!). And, that’s what the staff at NDI is for. Ask them! They’ve built just a few homes. So they know what looks good.

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Compromise, compromise

Dan felt really strongly about some things, where I was neutral. So we went with Dan. Or I felt strongly about things and he was neutral, so we went with what I wanted to do. (Here’s a post about what we each valued.)

Sometimes we disagreed. When we disagreed, we’d poll Jen and Shelly and ask for feedback. Jen and Shelly do a great job of being diplomatic but offering advice, pros and cons, and letting us know what combinations tend to look the best.
After we sat with Jen and Shelly’s feedback, polled our parents, and looked up some combinations online, we always came to an agreement.

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It’s definitely possible to make it through the selection process and still love your spouse. Dan and I could not be happier with the look of our house. We can’t wait to get in! Maybe Jen will come back and let me share a tour of our home. 🙂

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