They're 27, Newly Married, and Building Their First House!

By Laura Fowls

The siding is VERY close to being done. 2-3 more days and we will be saying “Aloha” to our sider Eric. Eric is a one man show we are going to miss dearly. Plan 479-4 by Peter Brachvogel & Stella Carosso.

This posts introduces Sticks and Dirt, the house building blog where Laura describes building Plan 479-4 (designed by Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso) with her husband Mike and a local contractor. I am really impressed with this young couple's infectious enthusiasm, can-do spirit, imagination, and hard work -- Bravo Laura and Mike! {Dan Gregory}

"Story from blog: 
One fine Friday night I was tweaking out on house plans with a glass of wine. After looking at probably over one thousand house plans just that night my head and eyes felt twitchy and off balance. Then just like that, on page two hundred and something of a major house plan distributor was our northwest coastal home with barn inspired elements. It was perfect. It is perfect (for us).


It comes from Stella Carosso at The Perfect Little House Company. Truthfully I don’t actually have the slightest clue if this house fits any of the styles we thought we wanted, but it was the first house that made me want to climb in my computer screen and cozy up by a fire.

Phone call notes: Waited 2 years to get a building permit. It was a brutal process and we almost gave up during that time. Our original plan was to buy a home. We are both young 27 years old and traveling seperate directions to get to work so we need a very specific location. We found a neighborhood that was perfect and we wanted to live there. It is a great community with some large houses and some small houses with a beautiful river. 

My parents built their house so we used the same builder and he is great. He lets us do a lot of the work ourselves and is very encouraging. Sometimes there are things we don’t think would be possible to do he just says yes you can! My favorite part of the process is imagining how we are going to live in the house.  

For example, we had some extra space in the master bedroom and decided to turn it into a 2nd laundry room. I want a big family so with lots of laundry I’ll be running up and down the stairs so having a laundry room upstairs would make life so much easier. We go to a lot of places to find inspiration like wineries and breweries. They have a warm simple feeling that we like. I used Houzz way more then Pinterest and I got inspiration from other blogs too. We will be done in July but right now we are focusing on the process not the end date. We live 100 ft. away from the lot right now so its perfect, we are as close to the lot as we can get without being on it and we are living in a 400 sq. ft. house now so we are getting used to the simple living! 

My advice to someone looking to build would be to research the true cost and time it will take. But more importantly COMMIT AND DON’T LOOK BACK. My husband and I have learned a lot through the process so far. It’s a really cool thing to be able to build, it's our first house, our builder is very encouraging, we are doing it together, my dad is handy, and my husband is good with wood working. We are doing a lot of the work ourselves so it is hard but we are so excited about all of it."

Meet Laura and Mike, below:

Here's their great caption: "One year wedding anniversary. We totally dig the dirt." 

To read Laura's regular updates on building the house, click here.

Originally Published in Sticks and Dirt Blog

05/28/2014